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View Poll Results: How Did You Reach $1 million NW?
Owning/Operating a Business 19 5.11%
Real Estate 18 4.84%
Profession - Doctor, Lawyer 14 3.76%
Inheritance 4 1.08%
Saving from your employment income and investing 307 82.53%
Other 10 2.69%
Voters: 372. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-03-2017, 07:55 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I could say "saving/investing", but that would ignore the part about the megacorp job that paid about 3x the median wage.

Having more income than most Americans made saving easier.
No doubt that is true - however, I know plenty of people who make that kind of money and live paycheck to paycheck.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:17 AM   #62
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Saving #1
House #2
LBYM #3

And a very supportive spouse who has the same views on the above.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:18 AM   #63
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And why would we believe any posts by a spin doctor?
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:37 AM   #64
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Saving from 401k, Roth IRA and some luck.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:45 AM   #65
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Agree on having a hard time picking a single item. I was in a 'Professional' career but in the first 20 years didn't make more money than many trades people and made it to 1M before I took a job that really had a major income so I would go with 'saving and investing'. LBYM allowed for the saving.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:54 AM   #66
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:02 AM   #67
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Maxed out IRA's and 401k's/403B's from the time that they began. 100% in stocks for many years, but sat on the sidelines and made 6% during the crash in the early 2000's. So saving, LBYM, and Luck!
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #68
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In 1989, the value of our house took off, fueled in part by panic in HK of the communist takeover and that got us over the top. By 1990, the house itself was over $1.0 million.

Megacorp retirement, divorce, owning my business, investments all contributed to crossing the threshold again around 1997.

2001 and 2008 investment reversals were both absorbed well above that threshold.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 AM   #69
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I voted Saving/Investing but I need to add a few items to that:


(1) About 30% of my first $1M came from the company stock I cashed out when I left the company and retired in late 2008. While you could consider this in the broad definition of "compensation," to me it was always an extra "super-match" of earnings held in my 401k/ESOP savings plan.


(2) Being childfree greatly enabled me to save about half of my income during my peak earning years of the 1990s.


(3) Having my peak earning years in the 1990s when the stock market boomed helped a lot.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:35 AM   #70
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I don't want to say it was all Luck, but I suppose there was some serendipitous timing involved.

My first Real Estate Purchase was a Condo at the Jersey Shore, and it appreciated greatly in the 2 years I owned it. The proceeds from that Sale allowed us to buy a SF Home in a nice neighborhood, using a favorable Mortgage with 20% Down and no PMI. The RE Boom of the 80's boosted our home's equity. I resisted the temptation to Re-Fi and buy toys.

My MegaCorp had a 401K with a generous match. I took full advantage from the first day I was eligible. The Company Stock became the darling of Wall Street, and I was heavily over-weighted. Some would say too heavy. But when the stock is doubling and splitting and doubling again -- several times over. I let it ride.

My position at Mega gave me an overview of the Biggest Bull Market of our Generation. I used Fido's Mutual Funds. Thank you Peter Lynch and whoever was running the Select Tech Fund at that time. The 80's and 90's were very good to us.

So I'll say Real Estate & Investing -- and claim no special skills in either of them.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:36 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Luck_Club View Post
For all of us I would venture to say that if you didn't save from your earnings, you would have nothing to invest.

So after that initial vehicle of living below your paycheck, you have to invest in something. It could be invested in Gold, CD's, Real estate, stocks, bonds, or even bitcoin and pokeman cards, though I don't recommend the last two.

The only other answer is the oldest way to accumulate wealth, inherit it.

my 2 cents
Yes. You either earn it in some way, or have it handed to you.

There are actually a few other ways: win the lottery, or rob a bank, or deal drugs. The OP allows for these under the category of "Other".

However, I think the OP's intention is to find out a bit more details on how one earns enough to save. Thus, the breakdown into RE investing, or owning a small business, or working for megacorp or the government, etc...

Even there, it is difficult to generalize. I know some lawyers and doctors who do not do that well. And we all read about lucky employees of start-ups that became multi-millionaires when the companies got successful. At established megacorps like my employers, one has to reach a reasonably high managerial position to get some options. I always wanted to stay technical, and dropped out early off the rat race at that, so was never in any position to be granted any option.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:39 AM   #72
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And why would we believe any posts by a spin doctor?
A bit of a family joke. When I started my career I was in marketing and then helped out on a local friends political campaign. My dad would tell folks I was some sort of "Spin Dr".

I've left all that behind and have vowed 100% truth in all communications
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:42 AM   #73
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A bit of a family joke. When I started my career I was in marketing and then helped out on a local friends political campaign. My dad would tell folks I was some sort of "Spin Dr".

I've left all that behind and have vowed 100% truth in all communications
Isn't that what they all say? I would expect nothing less than 100% truth.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:09 AM   #74
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Isn't that what they all say? I would expect nothing less than 100% truth.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:31 AM   #75
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I picked savings and investments.
When crossing the $1M mark, it was about a 70:30 house:savings/investments split. The value of the house essentially doubled but I consider the purchase and paying off the initial price of the home as part of savings.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:36 AM   #76
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I was lucky to select a career that paid well, so there was always left over cash from the bi-weekly paycheck that went directly to the investment account. So LBYM was definitely a part of it. However, profit sharing, stock options and ESPP were also part of my compensation. Looking back at my records, I think that the income from those items was probably the largest contributing factor. After the 2001 bubble, I made a point of selling a traunch of company stock every quarter to make sure we didn't get caught with all of our eggs in one basket. I viewed the equity as retirement savings, so many in the valley just view it as fun money to spend on the next toy.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #77
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Saved and invested.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:50 AM   #78
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70% LBOM & investing
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:24 PM   #79
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Saving, investing, and LBYM... but a few other things helped:

1. Two incomes for 30 long years.
2. Annual bonuses and equity compensation at a very successful high-tech Megacorp.
3. We both had traditional pensions and stuck with our employers despite offers with higher base.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #80
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Isn't that what they all say? I would expect nothing less than 100% truth.
One can tell the truth, but certainly not the whole truth, particularly in a public forum. Why spill all your beans? And what is not said may be more important than what is.
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