Getting Acquainted with The Millionaire Next Door

Most people have it all wrong about how one becomes wealthy in America.  It is seldom inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that build fortunes; more often it is the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means.  Most of America's truly wealthy do not live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue - they live next door!  From keynote presentations to after-dinner talks, or very informal "wine, cheese, and conversation" receptions, Dr. Danko shares insights that extend the research found in The Millionaire Next Door. The basic theme includes:

  • Why the book is successful: the strength of convergent validity.
  • Building self-sufficiency in the next generation through appropriate uses of wealth: tuition, extraordinary medical expenses, and seed money versus vacations, cars, and housing.
  • Ben Franklin's advice: "…do not depend too much on your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things, for they all be blasted without the Blessing of Heaven..."
  • The practical wisdom of many self-made millionaires: seek competent advisors.
  • Perspective on wealth in America, given 100,000,000 Households:
    • 7 million have a total net worth of $1 million or more, i.e., 1 in 14
    • 3 million have investments of $1 million or more
    • 1 million have a total net worth of $5 million or more
  • IRS data: Asset Allocation of 1995 Estates in Two Net Worth Categories of $1 Million+
  • Asset Type$1-$2.5 Million $20 Million+
    Personal Residence9.83%1.36%
    Other Real Estate16.86%7.97%
    Closely Held Stock7.90%28.57%
    Traded Stock15.72%26.05%
    Tax-exempt Bonds8.19%12.12%
    Retirement Assets13.67%0.99%
    Other Assets20.79%21.11%
    Average Total Assets$1,575,291$62,804,309
    Average Total Debt$104,737$4,575,285
    Average Net Worth$1,470,554$58,229,024
    Percent of $1 Million+ Estates76.81%0.83%

  • The virtues of frugality and stability: the RAND study on wealth.
  • Making it rain: how to be a proactive sales professional (if audience appropriate).
  • Implications: how much is enough?
The Millionaire Next Door