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There are more than 20 million people in the U.S. with enough assets to fit the definition of a millionaire, according to a 2020 study by Credit Suisse. Chris Hogan, radio host and author of the book “Everyday Millionaires,” surveyed more than 10,000 of those wealthy individuals to figure out their secret to success.

I thought I’d share some of his findings in our blog post.

  • First, most millionaires are “normal” everyday working people. Few inherited their wealth, I’m sure a few got lucky, but for the most part, millionaires worked hard for what they have.
  • They not only worked hard, but the single most predominant characteristic is that they had a plan. We’ve seen this in multiple studies. Though it may seem self-serving for a financial planning company to say so, it is what it is. People do not stumble upon an opportunity. Those who spend their life waiting for the right opportunity to come along; will generally spend a lifetime waiting. Or worse, when an opportunity does present itself, they are unable to take advantage…because they didn’t plan ahead of time. 
  • Becoming a millionaire is first and foremost a mindset. 97% of millionaires surveyed believed they were in control of their own destiny. That is much higher than 55% of the general population.
  • 93% make and stick to a budget. 93% use coupons when they shop. They spend on average less than $200 a month eating out at restaurants. Simply put, they spend less than they make.
  • They minimize taxes.
  • Because they control their spending, they are able to invest aggressively. No not aggressive investments, but aggressive in the amount they save. They maximize contributions to their 401k’s, IRA’s, and Roth IRA’s.

So, the big question is, do you want to be in control of your own destiny? If so, it takes commitment, and a plan.

Investing

We’ve highlighted many times in the past that traditional asset allocation is dead as an investment strategy.  Somewhat a corollary to the asset allocation dogma has been that the best way to invest is to “buy and hold” or “buy and hope” as we prefer to call it. Below is a graph that starts to depict why the asset allocation and buy and hold strategies are becoming a thing of the past.

Average a company stays in the S&P 500 over time

The graph shows how long on average a company stays in the S&P 500 over time. From over 35 years to a projected 12 years. Just recently ETSY, Teradyne (TER), and Tesla (TSLA) were added to the S&P 500 replacing H&R Block (HRB), Coty (COTY), and Kohl's (KSS). 

With technology changing the world at an incredibly fast pace, even the big stalwarts are no longer “safe” long term buy and hold investments.

A portfolio needs monitoring now more than ever. 

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