How Most Millionaires Got Rich

Books on how to become a millionaire

If you need to know how to become a millionaire fast, read. These books help show you how easy it is to become wealthy, thanks to the many insights from those who have done it before.

(P.S. The books listed below have affiliate links. This means we might earn a small commission if you use our link. This helps us keep our platform completely free!)

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley

The Millionaire Next Door digs deeper into the principle of living simply to build wealth. It shows that millionaires can be your Toyota-driving neighbors and emphasizes why showing off with status symbols is worth so much less than financial independence and security.

For those wondering, how do millionaires make their money, it offers tons of insight.

The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life by J L Collins

The holy grail of many in the FI (financial independence) community, and for a good reason. The Simple Path to Wealth is clear but comprehensive and highly actionable no matter what stage you’re in with your financial journey.

The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

A book that has a similar lesson to the Simple Path to Wealth, focusing on maximizing your investments and living below your means. The Automatic Millionaire is a good option for beginners who are looking for a “set it and forget it” process for how to become a millionaire.

Check out these books to learn more about how to attain millionaire status!


20. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg

Goodreads Rating: 3.95/5 | Audible Rating: 4.5 stars

“Lean In” is Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book on women and leadership. Sandberg advocates for women to be confident in themselves and to make small changes that will land them the promotion, raise, and equal pay that they deserve. This book comes recommended by her fellow Facebook C-suite executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and business magnate, Richard Branson.

7. “Conscious Business” by Fred Kofman

Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 | Audible Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommended by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in a New York Times interview, “Conscious Business” advocates that you apply more awareness to all aspects of your work. It prompts you to recognize obstacles, identify the needs of your team, and engage in good communication and decision-making. The book also has a spiritual element that investigates who you are and what your purpose is in order to bring that consciousness to the surface.

Create appropriate estate planning structures

Work with your estate-planning attorney to determine and create appropriate structures for yourself and your family to help hold, manage, protect and transfer your new wealth. These can include Wills, trusts, limited partnerships or LLCs, and other planning vehicles. If you are charitably inclined, you can also create a private foundation or donor-advised fund, which can fulfill not only family and personal goals, but also tax and financial ones, both before and after your liquidity event.

How Can I Get Rich With No Money?

Unless you come from a very wealthy family, are expecting to win the lottery, or are on the verge of getting a patent on the next great invention, there's very little chance that you can become rich by doing nothing. You'll need discipline, a plan, and, in some cases, good advice from a registered professional who can help push you in the right direction to reaching your goal of becoming a millionaire.

What other factors contribute to becoming a millionaire?

If you want to be rich, you can’t go out and buy a few houses and assume they will make you rich. You have to educate yourself, made a plan, and have the right attitude. Here are some highlights from a survey that defines rich people as those with an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more, and poor people as those with an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less.

1. “Daily habits are critical to financial success in life.” Rich people who agree: 52% Poor people who agree: 3%

2. “The American dream is no longer possible.” Rich people who agree: 2% Poor people who agree: 87%

3. “Relationships are critical to financial success.” Rich people who agree: 88% Poor people who agree: 17%

4. “I love meeting new people.”

Rich people who agree: 68% Poor people who agree: 11%

5. “Saving money is critical to financial success.” Rich people who agree: 88% Poor people who agree: 52%

6. “I believe in fate.” Rich people who agree: 10% Poor people who agree: 90%

7. “Creativity is critical to financial success.” Rich people who agree: 75% Poor people who agree: 11%

8. “I like (or liked) what I do for a living.” Rich people who agree: 85% Poor people who agree: 2%

9.”Good health is critical to financial success.” Rich people who agree: 85% Poor people who agree: 13%

10. “I’ve taken a risk in search of wealth.” Rich people who agree: 63% Poor people who agree: 6%

You don’t have to use real estate to become a millionaire, but you do have to have the right outlook and attitude. These results show some very consistent and clear data regarding why rich people make more money. They are willing to take chances, they are willing to get out of their comfort zone by meeting new people, they love what they do for a living, they save their money and they believe that their actions are what will make them successful.

Many people feel the wealthy had an unfair advantage growing up and that is why they became successful. Statistics show that 80 percent or more of the wealthy were self-made. Studies also show that people who are first-generation Americans are more likely to become millionaires than those that have lived in the country for multiple generations. Theories suggest people who live here for multiple generations gain habits of spending too much money, which makes it hard to ever become rich no matter how much money you make. People who come from other countries also want to take full advantage of the opportunities the US provides compared to where they came from.

If you are looking for help managing your money, investing it, saving it, making more of it, or even how to start a career, check out this program I started to help people learn about money!

Investfourmore Money Mastery.

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street’s investment community in New York City.

How Millionaires Invest (and Spend)

According to the survey, 8 out of 10 millionaires invested in their company’s 401(k) plan, and that simple step was a key to their financial success. Not only that, but 3 out of 4 of those surveyed also invested outside of company plans. But they didn’t risk their money on single-s

But they didn’t risk their money on single-stock investments or “an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.” In fact, no millionaire in the study said single-stock investing was a big factor in their financial success. Single stocks didn’t even make the top three list of factors for reaching their net worth.

Three out of four millionaires (75%) said that regular, consistent investing over a long period of time is the reason for their success. So, the story about the young computer genius who developed an app that earned millions overnight is the exception, not the rule. Even when millionaires don’t have to worry a

Even when millionaires don’t have to worry about money anymore, they’re still careful about their spending. Ninety-four percent of the people studied said they live on less than they make, and nearly three-quarters of the millionaires have never carried a credit card balance in their lives!

These milloinaires also said they spend $200 or less each month at restaurants. And 93% of millionaires use coupons all or some of the time when shopping. By staying out of debt and watching expenses, they’re able to build their bank accounts instead of trying to get out of a financial hole every month.

Liquidity needs and time horizons

Group cash balances into three types based on your liquidity needs and time horizon.

Day-to-day Balances

  • 0-9 Months
    • Cash typically used for daily needs; may be subject to unforeseen expenses
    • Requires preservation of principal
    • Same-day liquidity

Reserve Liquidity

  • 9-18 Months
    • Fairly static; same-day access not reached
    • Cash set aside for possible investments, large purchases

Investable assets

  • 18+ Months
    • No short-term forecasted use

Talk to your J.P. Morgan Advisor about planning around your liquidity event and about a longer-term investment plan

© 2021 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. 

The Four Paths to Seven Figures

In writing for CNBC, financial expert and author Tim Corley outlined the results of research he conducted for one of his books. The results revealed that people tend to follow one of four paths to becoming millionaires.

The easiest way, and the only way that comes with something like a guarantee, is what Corley calls the saver-investor path. Around 1 in 5 millionaires in his study banked their first million in their mid-to-late 30s despite their middle-class incomes. They did so by living frugally and by saving and investing at least 20% of their income consistently from early on in their working lives.

The hardest path — followed by about 28% of millionaires — is the so-called dreamers path. These millionaires strike it rich by beating the odds at a high-reward, low-probability endeavor like becoming a successful actor, athlete, musician or millionaire business owner. The lifestyle is defined by long hours, lots of stress and years of toiling without a steady paycheck. When they hit, however, they hit big — their average net worth is $7.4 million, the highest in the study by far.

About 1 in 3 millionaires made their money through what Corley calls the company climbers path. Ascending the corporate ladder into executive territory lands the average climber $3.4 million after 22 years.

Finally, there’s the virtuosos path, which is Corley’s name for the tradeoff of money for knowledge and expertise. About 1 in 5 millionaires takes this route and earns $4 million after 20 years of doing so. Many of those years are spent learning and becoming one of the best in a highly competitive and complicated field like law or medicine, where they’re paid a handsome sum for their standout skills and knowledge.

Learn More: How Long $1 Million in Savings Will Last in Every State

Examples of self-made millionaires

According to the same Wealth-X study discussed earlier in this article, as of 2018, a little over 265,000 individuals are considered ultra-wealthy, meaning they have a net worth of $30 million or more. Moreover, more than two-thirds are self-made. Here are three famous examples:

  • Barbara Corcoran: The real estate mogul turned Shark Tank investor started her eponymous brokerage business with a $1,000 loan. Under her supervision, shegrew the business into a multi-million-dollar empire that she sold for $66 million in 2001.
  • Janice Bryant Howroyd. The founder and CEO of ActOne Group started her staffing agency with $1,500 ($900 of which she borrowed from her mother), a fax machine, and a phone. She is now one of the richest self-made Black women millionaires in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of $285 million.
  • Warren Buffet. Perhaps one of the most famous and richest people in the world – and technically a billionaire and not a millionaire — Warren Buffett still merits a mention in this list because he is well known for being self-made. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO made his first millions by running a hedge fund and is known for his principled and sensible approach to investing.

What makes people rich?

When asked what makes financially successful people rich, it can be easy to answer such question with a singular word: money.

However, it is interesting just how the word “rich” can be defined in more than just one way in the dictionary. Aside from being synonymous with abundance and having high value, ‘rich’ is also to the words ‘meaningful’ and ‘significant’.

Once a rich person’s lifetime is up, what will the accumulated wealth mean by then?

Millionaires do not build wealth, but legacy

Building their legacy is the top priority of the w

Building their legacy is the top priority of the world’s wealthiest and most successful.

The true essence of wealth is captured in a Harvard Business Review article by Bill Gates, the fourth richest man as of to date. He recounts all that he has learned from Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett,who was once the richest person on earth, and currently the only person in the Top 10 Billionaires who has gained wealth this year, with his net worth climbing from $2.4 billion to $111 billion.

Gates recollects how Buffett likes to say that “he wants to give his children enough money for them to do anything but not enough for them to do nothing.” Both successful men believe that passing on great wealth to their children isn’t in the best interest for both themselves and society, what with both Gates and Buffett spearheading charities and philanthropic activities as they continue to rise to the top.

What sets millionaires and billionaires apart are not just the number of digits in their net worth. On how most millionaires got rich enough to turn into a billionaire, is that they have to begin shifting their perspective from simply building their wealth to building their legacy.

The Pros and Cons of a Live-and-Rent Approach

This approach does require moving about every year, however.

But if you’re a 22-year-old just graduating from college, that means you will own 10 pieces of property by your early 30s. If a 15-year mortgage is obtained and paid off early, several could be owned free and clear. That would provide for a significant stream of income for the investor. From that flow of funds, more properties can be purchased, too, continuing into the future if you wanted to.

Related: Buy A House vs. Rent An Apartment – The Math

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