3 Tips for Becoming a Millionaire

Be bold, pay attention to taxes and costs, and stick to your plan, and you stand a decent chance of attaining millionaire-hood.

By Selena Maranjian

Most people have probably dreamed of being a millionaire — but it doesn’t have to be a dream. If you really want to become a millionaire, there are ways to achieve that goal. Here are three tips for becoming a millionaire. See how many you can act on, and your portfolio may reward you.

1. Take advantage of Uncle Sam’s generosity

Brian Feroldi: The best way I know to become a millionaire is to put the power of compound interest on your side. By giving your money more time to compound and keeping your rate of return as high as possible, you greatly increase your chances of reaching a seven-figure net worth.

Of course, earning a high return on your nest egg is easier said that done, as many factors to create that return are outside of your control. However, all investors do have control over two huge factors that can put a serious drag on long-term returns: investment costs and taxes. If you want to become a millionaire, focus on keeping both as low as possible.

Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to keep your investment tax bill low. If you have access to a 401(k) or 403(b) through work, then any money you contribute to the account can grow tax-deferred, allowing your money to compound more quickly. Opening up a traditional or Roth IRA is another great way to help keep Uncle Sam away from your money, either now or later. There are even ways to minimize your investment tax bill without having to open up a tax-advantaged account. If you hold your investments for at least a year, they will qualify for the much lower long-term capital gains tax rate when you sell them.

A good way to keep your investing costs down is to use a brokerage that charges very little per trade — and not to trade too frequently. Long-term investors who aim to buy and hold for many years will easily enjoy low costs of investing.

If you want to become a millionaire, you need all the help you can get. Making sure your investment fees and tax bill are as low as possible will go a long way toward helping you achieve your goal.

2. Make your savings and investments automatic

Brian Stoffel: Automating your savings and investments can help you quickly and seamlessly build wealth without even realizing it. If you are 25, put away just $55 per week and invest it in an all-market exchange-traded fund (ETF) that delivers the average historical return of about 9% per year — and you’ll be a millionaire by age 65.

But there’s an important catch that needs to be talked about: Being a millionaire 40 years from now won’t mean nearly as much as it does today because of inflation. If we’re talking about how much you’ll have in today’s dollars, the aforementioned plan would yield $570,000. That’s not chump change — but it’s certainly not a million dollars. Instead, you’d need to bump your savings up to $100 per week. Do that, and you’ll have $1.8 million by the time you’re 65 — or roughly $1 million in today’s dollars.

To make your saving and investing more automatic, you may be able to set up automated transfers of set sums from your bank account or paycheck into retirement accounts or other accounts. Increase your investment amounts regularly for even better results.

No matter your age, the takeaway is the same. Do the math, figure out what you can save on a regular basis, and make it automatic. Selena can help you figure out how much to save and invest, below.

3. Be bold

Selena Maranjian: Becoming a millionaire is more attainable than most people think. You just have to be bold, starting to invest as early as you can and doing so in earnest, aggressively. With enough time, you can get there without even averaging impressive annual gains. Below are some examples of what it can take to become a millionaire by age 65, if you start with nothing and if your money is growing at an average annual rate of 8%. (Historically, over very long periods, the stock market’s average annual return has been closer to 10%.)

Start at Years to Invest Annual Investment Needed
Age 55 10 $64,000
Age 45 20 $21,000
Age 35 30 $8,500
Age 25 40 $3,600

Clearly, if you’re already 55 and have few dollars to your name, it won’t be easy to find $64,000 to invest each year. (Also, over relatively short time frames such as 10 years, the market can deliver a far-from-average performance, leaving you significantly richer or poorer than you hoped to be.) On the other hand, if you’re 35 or 45, an annual investment of, respectively, $8,500 or $21,000 may be possible. It can help if you’re partnered. You might, for example, aim to live off the salary of one person in the couple, while socking away the earnings of the other.

You’ll need to invest aggressively, too, though that doesn’t mean jumping into penny stocks or learning to day trade. It does mean making the most of the stock market (perhaps through simple and inexpensive broad-market index funds) and not favoring low-interest bank accounts or CDs.

Perhaps the hardest part of becoming a millionaire is maintaining the discipline to keep investing, despite occasional temptations and letdowns.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.