How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

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migmarks
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How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by migmarks »

Hello everyone,

Have been learning a lot on the forum and have been trying to plan for the future (I'm in my mid 20s), starting out with a new job.

For those in the two comma club and those that have "won the game," could you share how you got there? How much you put away, when, where, and how long it took? Any other pointers?

So far, I've been doing a lot of reading and have set up an asset allocation and basic 3 fund portfolio and plan to max out my retirement accounts and save as much as I can. Since I am just starting out, I thought the advice, experiences, and real stories of those than have been in the race a lot longer than me would be very helpful.

Thanks
RadAudit
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by RadAudit »

Here's a link that'll give you some insight.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... st=1754226

Based on some back of the envelope calculations, if you continue on the present course and earn about 7% PA you'll be there in 25 years + / -

Good luck.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.
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Ged
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Ged »

migmarks wrote:Hello everyone,

Have been learning a lot on the forum and have been trying to plan for the future (I'm in my mid 20s), starting out with a new job.

For those in the two comma club and those that have "won the game," could you share how you got there? How much you put away, when, where, and how long it took? Any other pointers?
Saved 10-12% of my gross income into 401K and some more into taxable for 25 years. Mostly went into crummy actively managed funds which were the only thing available to me in my 401K. However there was also a 6% company match for 15 of those years that helped a lot.

I discovered Malkiel back in 2007, which gave me a big boost over the past 6 years which is why I'm up to 1.3 now. I won't say I 'won' compared to many here. But I think I could retire now and live well enough on combined income from savings, SS and pension.
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steve roy
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by steve roy »

I think it's simple and ... fairly boring.

1) Pick an asset allocation -- 60% stocks/40% bonds, or anything else within the parameters of 70/30 (bonds or stocks, your choice.)

2) Put 10% of your earnings into investment/tax advantaged accounts every week. Put in more if you can afford it.

3) Don't second-guess yourself and change allocations when the going gets bumpy. Stay the course.

4) Get emotionally distant from the process. If you start getting elated when holdings shoot up, or despair when they plunge, you'll take some wrong-headed actions and your problems will multiply. If you start chasing returns, you will live to regret it.

5) Use index funds and strive to get your costs down to 10 basis points. Or less.

6) Be light-hearted about the whole thing. You're working toward a comfortable, low-stress retirement. But remember than when you die, you'll die broke. (This realization helps to keep me on an even keel.)
livesoft
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by livesoft »

I didn't get a real job until I was 28 years old. I decided that I wanted to reach a number by age 40, but that number was not a million. I was married and we basically just saved/invested the entire salary of the higher paid spouse while paying living expenses and taxes with the lower paid spouse's salary. As for reaching a million, that happened about 15 years after starting the plan.

We were living near NYC at the time, so the cost of living was higher back then for us than it is now. In particular, rent was the most I have ever paid in the past 28 years and so were state income taxes.

So some takeaway lessons:

1. You don't have to earn 6-figure salaries.
2. You don't have to start before age 28.
3. You don't have to live in a low cost of living place.
4. You don't have to be childless.
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bengal22
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by bengal22 »

Earn as much as you can.
Save as much as you can.
Diversify per your desired asset allocation.
Stay true to your desired asset allocation.
Repeat until finished.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley
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EternalOptimist
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by EternalOptimist »

bengal22 wrote:Earn as much as you can.
Save as much as you can.
Diversify per your desired asset allocation.
Stay true to your desired asset allocation.
Repeat until finished.
+1
"When nothing goes right....go left"
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iceman99
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by iceman99 »

steve roy wrote:I think it's simple and ... fairly boring.
Pretty much sums it up.

Make money
Save more than you spend
Pick an AA you're comfortable with
Stick with the plan during ups and downs
scrabbler1
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by scrabbler1 »

migmarks wrote:Hello everyone,

Have been learning a lot on the forum and have been trying to plan for the future (I'm in my mid 20s), starting out with a new job.

For those in the two comma club and those that have "won the game," could you share how you got there? How much you put away, when, where, and how long it took? Any other pointers?

So far, I've been doing a lot of reading and have set up an asset allocation and basic 3 fund portfolio and plan to max out my retirement accounts and save as much as I can. Since I am just starting out, I thought the advice, experiences, and real stories of those than have been in the race a lot longer than me would be very helpful.

Thanks
(1) Paid off debt quickly, from student loans to home mortgage; avoided other debt such as credit cards and car loans.

(2) LBYM and saved 30%-60% of my salary.

(3) Single and childfree.

(4) Lucky enough to have peak earnings in the 1990s when the stock market boomed.

(5) My former company's stock value rose by 3000% (yes, that is thousand) in 11 years.

Retired at 45, nearly 5 years ago.
LFKB
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by LFKB »

We're on pace to hit $1 million in December of this year when we get our year end bonuses. We're each 27.

For us, it's really been 100% about having two high incomes and saving 50% or more of that income. We have some investment gains in our retirement accounts, but we really only started following the boglehead method this year so have only modest overall investment gains as a result. Before January of this year all that money was just sitting in cash (unfortunately).

Good luck
mars
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by mars »

LFKB, I have to ask what you and your wife do to be able to achieve that goal so quickly? My guess is biglaw?
LFKB
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by LFKB »

mars wrote:LFKB, I have to ask what you and your wife do to be able to achieve that goal so quickly? My guess is biglaw?
We both started in investment banking and did that for two years. After that, I moved onto private equity and she now does recruiting for finance firms.
Paul78
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Paul78 »

2028 in December at the age of 40

or at least I hope.

I am using a few assumptions
1. 5% return a year on investments
2. 3% a year inflation
3. I contribute from all my sources (tsp + tsp match + roth ira +taxable accounts) 30,000 a year (in today's $$$, ie next year the goal would be 30,900 and so forth).

Clearly nothing none of these 3 are locks and all could turn out more favorable or less favorable.

I am hopeful #3 will be achievable. This year I am on pace to contribute 45,000 to retirement accounts (ie 1.5x my goal) and I am very hopeful I will be able to at least achieve my goal (30k inflation adjusted) the next 15 years.

Plus there is always my pension and SS which I am not adding to this total.

edit: and yes 1 mil in 2028 will worth worth a lot less then 1 mil today or whenever you reached your 1 mil in the past.
Paul78
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Paul78 »

scrabbler1 wrote:
(1) Paid off debt quickly, from student loans to home mortgage; avoided other debt such as credit cards and car loans.
So far I am doing that one. I had a scholarship that cover 80% of my college cost (ALL cost of college not just tuition and housing) and my parents gifted me about 15%. I paid the remaining 5% of the cost off within a couple of months of my first real job

(2) LBYM and saved 30%-60% of my salary.
currently at 42% of gross hopeful to keep that number at least at 30%

(3) Single and childfree.
Same here so far. The "game" will be easy to win if I stay single BUT ideally I get married and have at least a couple of kids. Even with marriage, a wife that makes noticeable less then me, and 2-4 kids I still think I can win the "game".

(4) Lucky enough to have peak earnings in the 1990s when the stock market boomed.
Way to early to tell how the market highs and lows with affect me

(5) My former company's stock value rose by 3000% (yes, that is thousand) in 11 years.
impossible in my case.

Retired at 45, nearly 5 years ago.
statsguy
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by statsguy »

livesoft wrote:I didn't get a real job until I was 28 years old. I decided that I wanted to reach a number by age 40, but that number was not a million. I was married and we basically just saved/invested the entire salary of the higher paid spouse while paying living expenses and taxes with the lower paid spouse's salary. As for reaching a million, that happened about 15 years after starting the plan.

We were living near NYC at the time, so the cost of living was higher back then for us than it is now. In particular, rent was the most I have ever paid in the past 28 years and so were state income taxes.

So some takeaway lessons:

1. You don't have to earn 6-figure salaries.
2. You don't have to start before age 28.
3. You don't have to live in a low cost of living place.
4. You don't have to be childless.
Very similar experience. I started my first job (faculty position in Math) at 27 years old. We had a baby and wife retired to stay home with daughter. Around the time I turned 30 we started saving $25/month, buying a $50 savings bond through payroll deduction every other month. Two years later I got a $4000/year raise. We put half into retirement. I put half of every raise after that into retirement and despite never earning a six-figure salary I retired at 56 and we had made it to the seven figure portfolio.

Stats
SirHorace
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by SirHorace »

1) Marry a frugal woman
2) Live below your means
3) Anytime you get an increase in your income or a unexpected windfall automatically allocate 25% (or more if possible) of the increase to your investments
4) Plus everything else that has been mentioned !!!
travellight
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by travellight »

worked like a maniac in school to get into good programs and into a high paying career.

real estate as a side franchise adjunct to my day job.

only purchase for value; few frivolous purchases. DIY whatever I can.
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chaz
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by chaz »

bengal22 wrote:Earn as much as you can.
Save as much as you can.
Diversify per your desired asset allocation.
Stay true to your desired asset allocation.
Repeat until finished.
Exactly right!
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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Sheepdog
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Sheepdog »

Do like I did. Lived long enough and let inflation push up my net worth. :)
Well, that's what happened along with some good low cost mutual funds, controlled spending and no debts.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
DoWahDaddy
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by DoWahDaddy »

SirHorace wrote:1) Marry a frugal woman
Not a +1 type of guy, so +50.
"I've worked in the private sector. They expect results." - Dr. Raymond Stantz
jon-nyc
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by jon-nyc »

An IPO at age 32 took me there overnight. (Though I was well on my way) LBYM and working in a high paying profession compounded it over the years until I pulled the plug completely at 44.
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ClevrChico
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by ClevrChico »

Not there, yet, but should be in about two years, in our late 30's.

- Spouse is a generation zero immigrant who came to the US with $2k a few years ago.
- I'm a small town kid that moved to the (relatively) big city.

It's required lots of hard work, and we both have STEM related careers. Because of our background, we live well, but frugally.
penumbra
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by penumbra »

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sometimesinvestor
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by sometimesinvestor »

saved 20% of my income which was much less than 20k and lived in an area with low real estate costs. It still took almost 30 years.
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nedsaid
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by nedsaid »

I am working on it. It will take a while.

Live below your means.
Have emergency funds at a bank atleast 3-6 months of expenses.
Invest systematically.
Buy good stuff and keep it.
When young, go heavy with stocks.
As you get older, invest more conservatively.
A fool and his money are good for business.
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Toons
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Toons »

Living beneath your means is critical to wealth creation ,for decades.Saving and Investing in low cost funds.Maxing out any tax free or tax deferred vehicles that are available,401k,Roth,and reinvesting the dividends and capital gains along the way.Once you start to see the how the "Compounding" factor starts to do the heavy lifting of the portfolio ,you will be well on your way to your million. :happy :happy
Press On Regardless in both good and difficult periods of your life.
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Tycoon
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Tycoon »

Living beneath your means is critical to wealth creation
+1
Emotionless, prognostication free investing. Ignoring the noise and economists since 1979. Getting rich off of "smart people's" behavioral mistakes.
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by investor »

Live behind your income.
Read the Book "The Millionaire Next Door"

investor
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Garco
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Garco »

@Migmarks. I reached the two commas in the late 1990's, after about 23 years of investing 15% of every single paycheck (including employer match) in a 401k. Now I have well over twice that amount, despite the crashes of 2000-2002 and 2007-8.

Just a few remarks to add to those made by others.

1. Pay yourself first.
Always contribute the maximum permitted by your plan, or required to receive employer match. Target a minimum of 15% of your before-tax earned income.

2. Never borrow from or take money out of your tax advantaged accounts until you retire. Exception: college savings plans.

3. Augment the basic 15% by contributions to other tax advantaged (or to taxable) accounts when you can afford to do so. For me this meant after my kids had completed college, and we found ourselves with more spare change.

4. Mind the story of "The Hare and the Tortoise." Steady, economical, efficient investing will beat erratic and frenetic racing up every market mountain only to suffer a fall.

ADDED: I meant to add that my first full-time annual salary was $11,500. By my 5th year, which is when I started contributing to a defined contribution retirement plan (401k), my salary had increased by 35% all the way up to $15,500. So my path to my first million required continuous employment, promotions, and raises large enough to stay ahead of inflation and then some. Now I'm moving toward my third million, but as I'm on the verge of retirement there will soon be no more contributions from salary to help my accumulation grow.
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avalpert
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by avalpert »

I did it in my mid-30's by living below my income, taking two sabbaticals, getting my pilot's license and continue to use it, travelling to over 100 countries with at least two trips a year even when not on sabbatical, seeking out new experiences and adventures, raising two children (well, in progress) to appreciate life and seek the same, disciplined investing in an appropriate asset allocation and generally not letting money be the primary concern or driver of my life.
ARB57
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by ARB57 »

Slow and steady. It took me longer than many on this board. I didn't earn much until I was nearly 40, but even during the lean years, saved what I could. I've been blessed to earn a nice wage over the last 15 years or so. I'm a lousy investor (or should I say a very, very conservative investor - over the years, most of my money has been in CD's,) I hit a million in 2006. I sit at 1.6 today. I retired for about a year in 2011...but missed w*#k and returned a little over a year ago. Am enjoying it now...when that stops...so do I.

If you're after investing advice, I can't offer much (there are many on this forum far smarter than I.) For me, it was about having some nice opportunities later in life, saving like crazy and living well below my means.
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by jlawrence01 »

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jlawrence01
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by jlawrence01 »

SirHorace wrote:1) Marry a frugal woman
2) Live below your means
3) Anytime you get an increase in your income or a unexpected windfall automatically allocate 25% (or more if possible) of the increase to your investments

Those were the three things my first boss after college told all the new hires back in 1982. I really never took it THAT seriously until he invited me over to his house for fishing and he had NO furniture in his living room ...

And back then, my salary was $15k.
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bogleblitz
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by bogleblitz »

10 years ago when I was 25 with student loans, I thought 1 million was impossible. Only for those who win the lottery.

Now I feel that anyone over 40 years old (lawyers, doctors, engineer, pharmacist, banker, plumber, electrician, realtor, etc) is a millionaire.
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HomerJ
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by HomerJ »

migmarks wrote:Hello everyone,

Have been learning a lot on the forum and have been trying to plan for the future (I'm in my mid 20s), starting out with a new job.

For those in the two comma club and those that have "won the game," could you share how you got there? How much you put away, when, where, and how long it took? Any other pointers?

So far, I've been doing a lot of reading and have set up an asset allocation and basic 3 fund portfolio and plan to max out my retirement accounts and save as much as I can. Since I am just starting out, I thought the advice, experiences, and real stories of those than have been in the race a lot longer than me would be very helpful.

Thanks
The best advice I can give is... as you get raises, increase your savings rate...

If you're making $30k today, and in 3 years you're making $40k, you should be living a $36k life, and saving $4k, not spending $40k. Your lifestyle still went up, so you're not depriving yourself. When you're making $50k, you could be saving $8k and living a $42k lifestyle... Then you marry someone who is also making $50k, and the two of you jump to a $80k lifestyle, and save $20k...

And here's the other thing... At some point, realize you have "enough". At some point, pretty much ALL your raises should go to savings. $80k is a pretty good lifestyle... Say you both continue to get raises/promotions and 10 years from now, you're making $150k together. Maybe you're still living a 80k-90k lifestyle, and now you're saving some serious cash each year.

And the bonus about a frugal (but decent) lifestyle is that you don't have to save as much to replace that income. So not only are you saving more, but your "retirement number" is smaller too...

Oh, and don't buy too much house, and definitely don't waste money on cars. Read The Millionaire Next Door if you want to see how ordinary people can save $1 million.
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market timer
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by market timer »

We're on track to make it there after six years of working. I've saved over $600K in four years of working, but started from a negative base, and my wife was helped by a large gift from her family. We should reach $1mn in two years. The trick was to get a good education, work hard, and continue living like a student. I expect we'll start to splurge after reaching $1mn, if I'm still earning a high income, but I'm not taking it for granted. The greatest luxury would be more time with family.
heyyou
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by heyyou »

As a blue collar worker, I spent 30 years getting to a double comma portfolio, including going broke at year 5 due to putting all my taxable savings into one real estate limited partnership. I've made most of the behavioral finance errors, so I'm suggesting that you study about those. Luckily for me, I made my investing mistakes early, so start saving early but do expect to make mistakes, encounter bad markets, etc. My salvation was having substantial savings when the good markets occured, allowing me to rebalance gains into more stable categories.

I did always save, completely filling all of my retirement accounts, plus adding to the taxable account. Never borrowed except for a home mortgage. Drove the same car to work for 20 years, after buying it used while knowing it was very reliable. Bought a good starter house only six miles from work, then stayed in it until an out of town transfer to a lower cost of living area but with the same income.

At some point, my spending was stable and any extra income (mandatory overtime) was saved. I had "enough", enough car, enough house, enough spending. I lived just like others who were making much less than I was. I knew that consumption was not the path to happiness for me. Millionaire Next Door is the tip of the iceberg on that topic. Note that those people were satisfied with their spending, yet it was much less than their incomes. Saving is not the focus, living well is, but you can learn to feel satisfied with living well on much less than all of your income.

Jack Bogle quote, "It is simple, but not easy."
RenoJay
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by RenoJay »

Got there the first time at age 28 from a combo of selling a house and having tons of equity in my start up. Then the start up crashed and I was down to half a mil. Got there again (for real this time) around age 32, again from a start up, but this time from the actual cash I was taking out of the company as opposed to questionable equity.
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Tycoon
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Tycoon »

What continues to perplex me beyond comprehension is how over and over again friends, colleagues, and relatives ask, "how did you do it?" Then after taking the time to explain how, recommending, loaning, and sometimes buying them books, and ultimately showing them incontrovertible evidence that it works, they do the exact opposite of the recommendations given. It makes me sad!
Emotionless, prognostication free investing. Ignoring the noise and economists since 1979. Getting rich off of "smart people's" behavioral mistakes.
truenorth418
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by truenorth418 »

At age 36 I started a new job with a new company, my third company in 10 years since grad school, with little to show for my years of hard work. At about that same time I read "Millionaire Next Door". I decided to commit myself to saving $1 million within 10 years by living well below my means. This was done largely through careful budgeting and reducing major expenses like housing. I created a 10 year plan. I reached the $1 million mark about 7 years later.
Nathan Drake
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Nathan Drake »

LFKB wrote:We're on pace to hit $1 million in December of this year when we get our year end bonuses. We're each 27.

For us, it's really been 100% about having two high incomes and saving 50% or more of that income. We have some investment gains in our retirement accounts, but we really only started following the boglehead method this year so have only modest overall investment gains as a result. Before January of this year all that money was just sitting in cash (unfortunately).

Good luck
market timer wrote:We're on track to make it there after six years of working. I've saved over $600K in four years of working, but started from a negative base, and my wife was helped by a large gift from her family. We should reach $1mn in two years. The trick was to get a good education, work hard, and continue living like a student. I expect we'll start to splurge after reaching $1mn, if I'm still earning a high income, but I'm not taking it for granted. The greatest luxury would be more time with family.
What kind of jobs do you have that allows you to save so much money so early?
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HomerJ
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by HomerJ »

Nathan Drake wrote:
LFKB wrote:We're on pace to hit $1 million in December of this year when we get our year end bonuses. We're each 27.

For us, it's really been 100% about having two high incomes and saving 50% or more of that income. We have some investment gains in our retirement accounts, but we really only started following the boglehead method this year so have only modest overall investment gains as a result. Before January of this year all that money was just sitting in cash (unfortunately).

Good luck
market timer wrote:We're on track to make it there after six years of working. I've saved over $600K in four years of working, but started from a negative base, and my wife was helped by a large gift from her family. We should reach $1mn in two years. The trick was to get a good education, work hard, and continue living like a student. I expect we'll start to splurge after reaching $1mn, if I'm still earning a high income, but I'm not taking it for granted. The greatest luxury would be more time with family.
What kind of jobs do you have that allows you to save so much money so early?
I'm curious about this too... What skills do you have that someone is willing to pay you such large sums of money with very little experience?
LFKB
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by LFKB »

HomerJ wrote:
Nathan Drake wrote:
LFKB wrote:We're on pace to hit $1 million in December of this year when we get our year end bonuses. We're each 27.

For us, it's really been 100% about having two high incomes and saving 50% or more of that income. We have some investment gains in our retirement accounts, but we really only started following the boglehead method this year so have only modest overall investment gains as a result. Before January of this year all that money was just sitting in cash (unfortunately).

Good luck
market timer wrote:We're on track to make it there after six years of working. I've saved over $600K in four years of working, but started from a negative base, and my wife was helped by a large gift from her family. We should reach $1mn in two years. The trick was to get a good education, work hard, and continue living like a student. I expect we'll start to splurge after reaching $1mn, if I'm still earning a high income, but I'm not taking it for granted. The greatest luxury would be more time with family.
What kind of jobs do you have that allows you to save so much money so early?
I'm curious about this too... What skills do you have that someone is willing to pay you such large sums of money with very little experience?
I already stated our jobs earlier in the thread but we both work in finance, me directly and her indirectly. We both worked 70-80 hours a week for our first two years out of college and for the last 3 years have worked normal hours for higher pay, so you could say based on hours we got four years of experience in our first two years.

I don't think we possess any extraordinary skills. However, we're both hardworking, above average intelligence, like-able and have a good pedigree (top 25 college with honors, division 1 college athlete). Her current job doesn't really require any work that a typical secretary couldn't do, but she makes a tremendous amount of money because the firm is small (15 people) and makes a lot of money and the founder likes to take care of his employees.
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HomerJ
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by HomerJ »

LFKB wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Nathan Drake wrote:
LFKB wrote:We're on pace to hit $1 million in December of this year when we get our year end bonuses. We're each 27.

For us, it's really been 100% about having two high incomes and saving 50% or more of that income. We have some investment gains in our retirement accounts, but we really only started following the boglehead method this year so have only modest overall investment gains as a result. Before January of this year all that money was just sitting in cash (unfortunately).

Good luck
market timer wrote:We're on track to make it there after six years of working. I've saved over $600K in four years of working, but started from a negative base, and my wife was helped by a large gift from her family. We should reach $1mn in two years. The trick was to get a good education, work hard, and continue living like a student. I expect we'll start to splurge after reaching $1mn, if I'm still earning a high income, but I'm not taking it for granted. The greatest luxury would be more time with family.
What kind of jobs do you have that allows you to save so much money so early?
I'm curious about this too... What skills do you have that someone is willing to pay you such large sums of money with very little experience?
I already stated our jobs earlier in the thread but we both work in finance, me directly and her indirectly. We both worked 70-80 hours a week for our first two years out of college and for the last 3 years have worked normal hours for higher pay, so you could say based on hours we got four years of experience in our first two years.

I don't think we possess any extraordinary skills. However, we're both hardworking, above average intelligence, like-able and have a good pedigree (top 25 college with honors, division 1 college athlete). Her current job doesn't really require any work that a typical secretary couldn't do, but she makes a tremendous amount of money because the firm is small (15 people) and makes a lot of money and the founder likes to take care of his employees.
Thanks for clarifying. Congrats on having your hard work pay off so quickly!
feh
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by feh »

iceman99 wrote:
steve roy wrote:I think it's simple and ... fairly boring.
Pretty much sums it up.

Make money
Save more than you spend
Pick an AA you're comfortable with
Stick with the plan during ups and downs
I'm a member of this ^^^^ group also:

- I earn a good salary; definitely not anesthesiologist money, but more than average American
- live well within our means
- save/invest aggressively

Following this route, it took us about 18 years to get to $1M of retirement assets.
garlandwhizzer
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by garlandwhizzer »

For me, a lot of luck. I was dating a VP of Smith Barney who was in charge of their technology research in about 1991. She convinced me that stocks of a few Silicon Valley tech companies were wildly undervalued relative to their profit growth rates as the internet was in its early stages. I was working in Palo Alto at the time and knew some people who were on the ground floor of these tech companies who were also wildly optimistic. So I bought CSCO and lesser amounts of INTC, and ORCL and held on for the entire rise in the tech bubble. My CSCO shares after all the multiple splits increased from a split adjusted purchase price of $1.17/share to more than $60/share, a rise of about 6000% in less than 10 years. My CSCO position alone increased from about 60K to more than 2 million in less than ten years. But I mistook the inflation of the tech bubble for my own investing genius and continued with individual stock selection and actively managed funds for years. Only after my portfolio had decreased from 5 million to 1 million did I start to awaken from the wonderful dream that was turning into a nightmare. I had no bonds or cash, 100% equity, almost all of it in tech, and I kept trying desperately to create alpha for years and failed. Finally the simple truths stated eloquently by John Bogle started making sense to me and, much delayed, I reduced risk by adding bonds to the portfolio and moved from all single stock selection and actively managed funds to index funds, a trend that has only strengthened with the passing years.

So in sum I was extremely lucky and very naive at the start, then after losing millions I slowly and gradually learned something about how financial markets operate and asset allocation before I lost everything. I hope that others start out now on the right track without making the same mistakes I did along the way.

Garland Whizzer
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Kosmo
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Kosmo »

I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.

I'm roughly 15% of the way to a million. I'm in the save diligently camp. I'll report back here in about 2 decades (according to a crude 10 sec calculation).
Streptococcus
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Streptococcus »

Kosmo wrote:I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.

I'm roughly 15% of the way to a million. I'm in the save diligently camp. I'll report back here in about 2 decades (according to a crude 10 sec calculation).
Loved it :D

I'm too in the low six figures but I have to say that I belong to the work a lot/earn a lot/save a lot group. If everything goes as planned I'll probably hit it within the next 5-6 years.

That said, congrats to y'all millionaires :sharebeer
avalpert
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by avalpert »

Kosmo wrote:I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.
Selection bias - ask the question on the Early Retirement forum and you might get a very different set of responses.
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Peter Foley
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Peter Foley »

A critical factor mentioned by a few was that I married someone who had the same attitude toward money and savings as I did. We did it by a combination of savings and investing - mostly in deferred accounts. With each promotion or pay increase we deferred more until we both reached the maximum annual limits.
While I made a few bad investments over the years I never sold when the market was down - since our investment choices in deferred accounts were S&P 500 index funds and our AA over many years was about 70/30, this was important. We got to 1M in net worth about the time I turned 50.
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