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For those in this category - how did you reach $1,000,000 net worth...combination of stocks, side hustles, jobs etc.

likehelpful
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My wife and I just hit $1,000,000 (combined household net worth) at age 36 and 34. We both started with $0. It's a combination of hard work while young, getting a good start, joining the Army, and hitting a great streak of luck later on.

Step 1: Graduating debt free.
Starting from college, we both went to an affordable state school. I joined Army ROTC to pay for my schooling (since I was out of state and didn't have 3 cents to my name). My wife (then girlfriend) was in state, and worked at a Walmart to pay her tuition. Both of us had worked restaurant jobs in highschool so we already had cars and some spending money before we started. After graduating with no debt, we got hitched 3 weeks after.

Step 2: Marrying young and early home ownership.
(First 5 years after graduation)
I took a reserve commission and had a decent paying job as a systems engineer and my wife, after interning with PwC, entered as a tax senior associate. I volunteered for a deployment right out the gates, and the year of tax free income I made added up to a down payment on a condo in a HCOL city. My wife, on the other hand, got her CPA immediately and put all of her extra effort into work getting early promotions to Senior Associate and Manager. 3 years after graduation, we were both homeowners with no other debt making $200K combined. During this time we started maxing out 401Ks.

Step 3: Accumulate Wealth.
Career years 5-10
By this point, I had pivoted into management consulting and was a B4 public sector consultant. After another deployment, and another year of tax-free income, we had saved enough to sell the condo and trade up to a single family home. My wife switched to a smaller firm and quickly found herself on the partner track. Meanwhile, I had lucked into a pivot into commerical consulting by taking a position in Dubai. We spent the next two years as geographical bachelors, which sucked, but I doubled my salary and my wife, now on the partner track, was accelerating rapidly. Now having earned a full GI bill benefit, I got accepted to INSEAD and took an executive MBA while overseas which turned a $150K degree into an $80K degree. After finishing my studies, I took a job with Amazon and moved back home. Pre COVID, I negotiated 100 RSUs as part of my compensation package.

Step 4: Dumb, Blind Luck (Benefitting from 10 years of good decisions)
Career years 10 to present.
The 100K of RSUs worth 160,000 when I negotiated them before COVID just happened to be worth 330,000K after COVID. During the two years apart, my wife busted her ass and got herself up for partnership at her current firm, and our house had accrued 200K of equity over the past 5 years. With our 401Ks now at about 200K each, we also became comfortable living on only one of our incomes and socked away 100% of the other. From 4 years of aggressive savings and COVID stock rallies, our personal portfolios grew from 50K to 500K, and without even realizing it, we became millionaires.

likeupliftinghelpfulsmart

This is inspiring to read. We are a few years younger than you guys (both 32) and currently at about ~700k total assets. I’m also a combat vet pursuing an exec MBA. I have not worked anywhere with stock based comp (Active Army to PwC). Do you feel there are more opportunities in tech to grow wealth via RSUs than consulting firms? Also, how did you best capitalize on your EMBA? I have not noticed any material change in access to job opportunities but I only started 4 months ago and of course we have the covid economy.

likehelpful

We started with a nest egg, but what you don’t see are all of the little things we do that add up to save money. DH has fixed our washer and dryer, we buy older used cars and drive until they cost too much to repair, kids clothes from garage sales/resale shops, meals at home, no outside coffee habit, stocking up on loss leaders at the grocery store, vacations with free lodging (staying with relatives or friends), residence inn with free breakfast when traveling, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, packing PB&J for road trips, freezing leftovers and having another dinner out of them, chicken soup from the Costco chicken carcass, lots of meal planning.

A good defense is just as important, perhaps more so, than a good offense. it’s not how much you earn, it’s how much you keep.

All of our furniture is used/antiques or was purchased on sale (the last day of estate sales are amazing); we rarely buy things that aren’t on sale/a good price.

We’ve also maxed out Roth’s for almost 20 years, consistently contributed to 401ks, paid extra on the mortgage and refinanced when it was advantageous to do so, and generally paid attention to where the money goes.

We also travel extensively, give to charities, and have a lot of (frugal) fun with family and friends. Our house is the spot for neighborhood kids playing games in the yard and parents driveway drinking. Figure out what really brings you joy and concentrate on that, make saving automatic, and time and effort start to pay off.

Also, invest in your relationships, divorce is exhausting and very expensive.

likefunny

We love it, too!

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I would honestly like to hear this from perspective of those who started at basically zero net wealth out of college due to no parental assistance. Seems nearly everyone who explains how they got there somehow magically started with a car or house paid off, or somehow was able to make a $30k+ down payment on something when they're 22.

I make good money now at 29 ($150k), have a mortgage and save for retirement + general stock investments each month, but I started with zero.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

How to get to a million? It is difficult and simple at the same time. Do these 4 things. 1. Save/Invest - max 401K and put some overflow in other vehicles. The magic of compounding growth is boring but, over decades, it works. 2. Control spending - also boring, but if you can do that somewhat - also over decades - the same compounding rules apply. 3. Home ownership - there is some risks here with buying on bubbles, etc. - but over the decades a vast majority do well with this and a lot of their wealth is in their home. 4. Marry well if you do marry - not talking about marrying rich - I am talking about marrying well from a compatibility standpoint - particularly financial compatibility. A partner who is not on the same financial page as you and/or a divorce can blow up all the careful work in 1-3.

likeupliftingsmartfunny

Got hit by a UPS truck and settled. I got hit by a UPS truck and settled. I hit the goal after I got hit by UPS truck and settled out of court. One time I got hit by a UPS truck and got a check. Hey look - snow.

likefunnyuplifting

D7 You’re still on that weirdo

Y’all need to stop cappin and just say generational wealth

likefunnyhelpful

I was looking for this comment 💀

like

Did you send me the deck I asked you to fix?

You are not going to get anywhere close to the number above unless you keep me happy.

Pls fix.

likefunnyuplifting

Dangling the 🥕 as usual I see 😆

like

Answering on behalf of those who want this answer to remain on the DL...
Daddy
Grandpa

likefunny

A5, agree, but this sounds like achieving this young and early. You’d be surprised how many trust fund kids are in consulting, which is how they have the money up front. More shocking, is how many actually think they are self made because they are working. Regardless, many have to work to tap into the fund, which is more responsible of the parents to set up than not setting those parameters.

likesmartfunny

37, ~$1.2M.

I grew up thoroughly middle class. Never had anything fancy but never felt like the basics weren’t covered. Won some scholarships for college, took out some loans, and my parents covered some.

Graduated with a bunch of student loans to pay off, and a “typical” post-college job (non-consulting) making like $40k. Kept progressing in salary for the next 8 years but never crested $100k in total comp. About 5 years into those 8 years I had spent almost all of my savings on drinking and fun (I’m a recovering alcoholic now). I also had my MBA paid for by my company at the time.

Next I get a job in consulting as an associate at the age of about 30 making $135k, and start aggressively paying off loans and saving. Salary keeps going up and savings follow suit. Suffer tragic loss of a family member and receive quarter million dollar payout from insurance. Would give it all back and everything else I have to have that family member back.

You can love money but money will never love you back. Don’t lose focus on what’s really important in life. Love and cherish those you have in your life, nothing lasts forever.

likesmarthelpful

I immigrated to the country with two suitcases and a $1000 in cash. I worked 5 years, saved money and paid for my MBA (no scholarships and no corporate assistance). I graduated MBA and joined Deloitte with near $0 savings. It has been 8 years and I have well exceeded $1mil.

I have $500k I stocks (37% y-o-y return over 8 years), I bought and paid off a condo (which was down payment for our home). I made some international real estate investments and sold them after five years at 60% appreciation.


I did not have any side hustles, my wife worked very hard to contribute to the family and just took a break to take care of our two sons.

All of the remaining earnings are from uncle D, I am a senior manager going through Partnership acceptance this year (fingers crossed).

It is not what you make, it is what you spend.

like

Thanks!

Hit 1M at 31, 2M at 33 and currently 3.8M at 35. All on consulting salary.

Graduated with zero debt and joined consulting at 21. Started saving 20% of income and invested into the stock market continuously. As income increased - kept spending flat and saved and invested the difference. Am now saving 70-80% income monthly.

Of the 3.8M; 2.5M is in mutual funds, 400k in a rental property and rest in cash. Once my investments generate income equal to my salary - will then be FIRE.

like

Coincidentally ESI is one of my favorite personal finance blogs. I will re-read some again when I consider more factors. Thanks for sharing!

investing early and saving and a little real estate - also eliminating all major debt except mortgage by 27- starting working at 23 had 1m in net worth by 29 - mortgage paid off in 15 years and just investing and living small - it is much harder now the early milestones for student debt and mortgage are 2x min

likehelpful

Can we chat?

Great Great Grand Daddy->Great Grand Daddy->Grand Daddy->Daddy->Me

likefunny

Hoping I can start this for my family! 🙏🏽 except great great grand mommy. 😜

like

Started as an analyst with -$10K networth. Saved $1.5K each month as an analyst. Kept my cost of living more or less the same. Currently a manager saving ~70% of my take home. Have never spent any of my bonuses before. Everything just goes into equities and some real estate. Just crossed the $1M NW mark this year

like

Bogleheads.

likesmart

Started negative 80k coming out of undergrad at 21. No parent help, state school. Fast promotions and good income growth.

Bought real estate and did the work myself. First was 200k condo with 10k down. Didn’t make any money on it ha. On my 3rd property. Very strong appreciation on number 2 and 3. Took on a lot of debt but super low rates.

$2mm net worth at 33.

like

Brooklyn. Property 1 has 500k mortgage valued at 1.3. Net Positive cash flow of $2500 per month. Thinking I need to take some cash out soon given my ROE is pretty bad.

Property 2 has 1mm mortgage against $1.7. This is my primary.

like

Pogs

funnylike

Waiting for my Magic Cards to pay off. I threw a few handfuls of Benjamin’s in alpha a few years back.

funny

Cryptocurrencies

likefunny

I sold my liver for 320k

likefunny

How many livers you got

like

Not a millionaire yet, but I am working hard to become one soon.

I graduated from college at 23. 42k/year income. -39k net worth.

Now I’m 28. 120k/year income. 150k net worth. My net worth is mostly cash, stocks and real estate equity. Now, I’m able to save 35% of my net income.

At the pace I’m going, I’m set to become millionaire in about 7 years. Here are the rules I live by.

Post Photo
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I did it the hard way (mostly returns on labor vs capital) - worked hard, got promoted, saved and invested into funds. Wish I could have said I put 10K into Amazon in 2002 or something

likehelpful

I grew up poor and knew nothing about investing. I left $30k in a checking account until my bank told me I should at least put it in a savings account.

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