Is it possible in this day and age to become a millionaire? Or perhaps the better question is: why would you want to become a millionaire? I mean, in the media today, millionaires—and billionaires for that matter—are often not depicted in the best light. Characters like Scrooge McDuck or the always supremely evil C. Montgomery Burns come to mind here. And of course, right now in real life, we have the ever-present Donald Trump as one of the main poster boys for the super wealthy. So, I suppose, with that kind of media influence hovering over us our entire lives, it’s not surprising that most of us have a fairly negative view of the super wealthy, and many really do not want to become a part of it. Especially since the majority of us don’t personally know anyone who’s super rich, we don’t have anything to really balance the scales, and all we really have to draw upon is what we see in the media.
And that’s really unfortunate because there are a lot of really great, wealthy people out there. But most of them are not in the public eye, and even the ones that are, like Bill Gates, don’t get as much media attention as someone like Donald Trump does. And as a result, there are a lot of misconceptions about millionaires and the wealthy in general. Hey guys, Daniel here from Next Level Life, and it recently occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting a huge part of what it takes to have that next level life that we all dream of, because whatever your dream life is, you need to have the financial resources in place first to be able to live it.
So with that in mind, I’m going to be starting this new series on my channel, covering various topics in the field of personal finance. And as you can see by the title of my first video in the series, I wanted to talk about a simple plan that, if stuck to, will practically guarantee your future millionaire status, as well as take a moment to really define what a millionaire is and is not. Because, believe it or not, even for the average American, it is possible. No, you know that possible is too soft a claim because it’s more than possible. In fact, if you follow a few simple steps, it’s almost guaranteed. Don’t you believe me? Well, hopefully over the course of this video as well as the rest of my personal finance videos that will be coming out soon, I’ll be able to convince you. So without further ado, let’s get started. What is a millionaire? A millionaire is simply someone who has a million-dollar positive net worth. Meaning, after subtracting debts and other liabilities and expenses, they have a million dollars worth of stuff leftover between their cash, their house, and all their other assets.
That’s really all there is to it. It has nothing to do with how much money you make. It has nothing to do with what type of person you are or how well-known you may be; it simply means that your assets are valued at least 1 million dollars greater than your liabilities. But how can the average American get to that $100,000 in positive net worth in their lifetime? I mean, at $100,000,000, that’s 6 zeros. I’d imagine that most of us have never written a check with more than three zeros. Unless of course you bought a new car or house with cash, and if that’s the case, kudos to you, you may not even need this video because you’re already probably well on your way to that million-dollar net worth. Now, I said that if you follow a few simple steps, you will almost certainly reach the million-dollar mark.
Let’s find out how. Well, I did a few calculations and found out that over the course of the last 40 years, the S&P 500 has returned an average of % per year, not including dividends. Now, technically speaking, past results are no indicator of future returns, but until we see the future returns, this is the best we’ve got to go off of. So assuming that over the next 40 years the market does roughly the same as it has since 1978, you could invest $2 per month over the next 40 years and become a millionaire. Again, assuming no dividends Now, 261 dollars may seem like a lot, but when you break it down, it’s not even $10 a day, and there are lots of ways to save money. You can cut cable, or go down to a lower internet speed, or not eat out quite as often, or use coupons when you’re shopping for groceries, or you can do none of those things and instead find a way to make a little bit of extra income.
Maybe you start mowing lawns or shoveling driveways on the side; maybe you start selling old clothes that you don’t need anymore online; or if you’re young, you might be able to start teaching people how to use social media better. You’d honestly be amazed at how many people would pay you to do that. There are a ton of options out there; all you have to do is pick the one or maybe a few that work out the best for you and start your own journey on the path to becoming financially independent. Now there are a couple of things that I want to clear up before ending the video for those of you who are a little bit more analytical in nature. That percent is the geometric mean rate of return that the S&P 500 has had since 1978, according to Yahoo Finance. All I did to get it was go through each year and look at where the market was in September, because as of the recording of this video, September just ended.
Then I put them all into the Excel spreadsheet and calculated the return. And I think the reason why we hear so many different rates of return thrown around by financial gurus is because of the inflation effect. I’ve heard gurus say that you can expect to earn anywhere from 6 to 10% per year in the market. And depending on what time frame and type of average you use, any of those numbers could be true. For example, if you go back to 1978 and use an arithmetic average, the average return on the market would be about percent per year. Inflation is generally assumed to be about three to four percent, so if you adjust for inflation, your realized return would be somewhere in that 6–7% range. If you don’t adjust for inflation, of course, you’re looking at a nearly 10 percent return. So there you go—there’s a simple formula for retiring with the amount of wealth that most of us would consider to be rich.
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