Ken Morris: Who wants to be a millionaire?
POSTED: 06/06/17, 9:18 AM EDT | UPDATED: 2 WEEKS, 6 DAYS AGO
A recent study by the Spectrem Group claims that 2016 saw the creation 400,000 new millionaires in our country. That means we’re closing in on nearly 11 million households that have attained that goal.
The study showed that nearly 9.5 million households have a net worth between $1 and $5 million. Additionally, there are more than a million households worth between $5 and $25 million and an astounding 156,000 with assets in excess of $25 million.
I say hats off to the new millionaires, especially those that achieved their objective through a combination of hard work, sacrifice and investing.
It’s especially difficult to achieve these magical numbers in this day and age of highly complex tax codes and endless bureaucracy. But the numbers illustrate that people can indeed do it, and I sincerely believe many more will achieve this plateau.
More than just hard work is necessary; you also have to work smart and take a few calculated risks along the way to reap the greatest rewards. In all likelihood, it means stepping away from a comfortable situation and shouldering the risk of pouring money into a new business venture.
The number of households that are millionaires may be increasing, but, according to Pew Research, the size of the middle class is shrinking. Naturally, that concerns me.
Today, 52 percent of households still qualify as middle class. But as more and more are climbing the economic ladder, that number has to go down. The middle class, the backbone of our nation, seems to be hung up somewhere around the center of the ladder.
I don’t claim to be a social scientist, but I believe technology is a big reason why the middle class is shrinking. Large factories that used to employ hundreds can now be operated by a handful of technicians.
Technology has also changed how we tend to shop. Years ago people used to go from store to store, talk to salespeople, and educate themselves about a product.
Today, most of that research can be done online. Potential buyers can read online reviews posted by existing customers. I could go on and on, but technology has clearly changed virtually every aspect of our daily lives.
Like technology, wealth can move at lightning speed. There’s no assurance that a millionaire today will remain a millionaire tomorrow. More often than you might think, wealth can be lost just as fast as it was attained.
All it takes is one poor decision to send everything into a tailspin.
The super wealthy, of course, can survive a loss here and there.
As the number of millionaires continues to increase, I believe it will continue to be difficult for the middle class. Moms and dads will still have to get up every day and go to work, often working longer hours for their paychecks. The financial pressures of everyday living will still be with them.
But while the middle class will continue to feel squeezed, those at the top will feel a different kind of stress, the stress of running a business and staying ahead of the competition.
The grass is always greener at the other end of the ladder. Based on my experience, but I can assure you, every rung has its own set of concerns and pressures.