Becoming a Millionaire: What Are Your Chances of Getting Rich?

Learning how to save and invest your funds is crucial for maintaining wealth.

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

In every country across the world, you are considered rich if you have a net worth of at least one million US dollars. People with a net worth of $1 million (R14 million) are referred to as high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

There are currently around 43,600 HNWIs in South Africa, according to a report published by the AfrAsia Bank in 2018. This report also notes that SA has more than twice as many HNWIs than any other African nation, making it the richest country on the continent.

Some would argue that becoming a millionaire now is easier than ever. There are so many different ways to get rich, and you could virtually become an expert in any field without a college education. All you need is a computer and access to the Internet.

On the other hand, many people think that becoming an HNWI is an unattainable goal. However, this is exactly the type of mentality that is holding them back. If you come from a poor or middle-class neighbourhood, it’s likely you will never even meet a millionaire. This also has an impact on whether you think your dreams are attainable.

In case you were to see just one of your neighbours become a millionaire, you would know you could do it as well. This phenomenon is similar to the four-minute mile. There was once a time when it was thought running a mile in less than four minutes was impossible. Nevertheless, as soon as the four-minute barrier was broken, more than 1,400 athletes achieved the same feat. Even some high-schoolers managed to break the barrier.

man standing in bathroom with bathtub next to body of water
man standing in bathroom with bathtub next to body of water. Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Un

If you’re 62 or older, the odds of you being worth at least $1 million are 1 in 7. In contrast, your odds of becoming rich are 1 in 55 in case you’re under 40. It can be hard for young people to attain a fortune because they have to dedicate a lot of their time to school. A lot of people are almost 30 years old by the time they graduate college and get their first entry-level job, which makes it incredibly difficult for them to save and invest their money.

Younger people also have to deal with more debt. Individuals under 40 are more likely to make big purchases like buying a new home or car. They go on vacations more often and spend a considerable part of their salaries on wardrobes, eating out, and clubbing. Meanwhile, older people don’t have to worry about these expenses.

Of course, there are a lot of other factors that will determine whether you’ll become rich. You don’t have to be particularly skilled in anything to become wealthy; you can just be incredibly lucky. Some people may simply get a huge inheritance that would change their lives completely.

A few might even win the lottery and become insanely rich overnight. The youngest lotto millionaires in SA were a couple that were 18 and 20 when they bought the R20 ticket that won them a prize of R6 million. While this is considerably less than $1 million, the couple did mention they were going to invest their winnings. By now, they could’ve easily turned the winnings into a few million US dollars.

In South Africa, you can’t buy a ticket if you’re 17 or younger. Nevertheless, there are some countries where it’s legal to buy a lottery ticket if you’re 16 years old. A teenager by the name of Tracey Makin managed to win big in the Irish lottery at the age of 16. He won a million euros (around R15,8 million). This was only the third time that she had played the lottery.

Games of chance aside, you may find luck in other things. For instance, you may invent a product or service that becomes popular across the country. Nowadays, anyone with enough knowledge and creativity can develop an app that will help them make millions. Although you should aim for stability in your life, sometimes it’s a good idea to take a chance and try something different. In some cases, the best course of action can be to quit your day job and start your own business, provided you have a good idea and capital.

Becoming rich at a young age can be an extremely confusing experience. You suddenly have more money than your friends and their parents combined. No matter how much money you currently have, you may lose end up losing it quickly if you’re not careful. In case you’re lucky enough to win the lottery or inherit a significant sum, you should seek financial advice immediately. Learning how to save and invest your funds is crucial for maintaining wealth.

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