Lessons from the millionaire secretary: why getting wealthy is easier than being high income

Consider something for a moment.  The world is becoming more and more competitive.

The percentage of people with bachelors degrees, postgraduate qualifications and professional certificates is going up every year.  The number of people speaking languages is always going up, including in many low-wage economies.

As the world’s population is becoming more skilled, it is also gaining more professional experience. This change has been keenly felt by many workers.

In the UK and elsewhere, it used to be much easier to leave school at 16 or 18 and work your way up. It is still possible, but much more difficult than before, as employers have more and more options, especially in big cities like London and New York which attracts hundreds of thousands of the world’s best students.

That doesn’t mean the world is a zero sum game, but it does mean that the world is more competitive than before.

Consider something else here.  In a developed country, literally 100% of mid-income wage earners could become millionaires or multi-millionaires by simply following some basic formulas such as:

  • Saving and investing from a young age. Ideally at least $500 a month.
  • Not trying to time markets
  • Not engaging in speculation

Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, in the way that income is.  If you become wealthy, it doesn’t stop anybody else becoming wealthy.  But if you become the CEO of Coca-Cola America, you would have stopped every other applicant getting that job. There is only 1 CEO of Coca-Cola America at any time.

The lady in the picture is a millionaire secretary, who died with $6M last year.  More than most executives end up with.  Much easier to execute than 16 hour days as well.

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