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The Millionaire Next Door

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 13, 2008

dollar sign.jpg

Well even with the housing market’s collapse and the stock market’s tumble at least some people are still rich. That’s according to the latest data from the market research firm TNS.

The number of households with over $1 million in net worth outside of their primary residence increased 5.9% last year to an estimated 9.9 million nationwide. The mean age of these millionaires is 66. Their average net worth is $4.6 million.

Some 75% of them owned stocks. About 60% said their approach to investing hasn’t changed much. As the book The Millionaire Next Door pointed out a few years ago, most people get rich not by speculating, just by earning decent money, spending less than they earn, and socking away the difference.

New York is the metro area with the highest number of millionaires. There are 661,000 in the New York metro area, almost 10% of the population. Here’s the full top ten city list:

New York, 661,000 millionaires
Los Angeles 376,000
Chicago 343,000
Washington 264,000
Philadelphia, 232,000
Dallas 190,000
Boston 185,000
Miami 180,000
Detroit 178,000
San Francisco 178,000

We’ll see what happens this year.

Reader Comments


May 14, 2008 6:35 PM


If there are 9.9 million millionaires with an average net worth of 4.6 million ( NOT including primary residence) that gives a total of assets valued at 45.5 TRILLION DOLLARS. That must mean that the rest of the population is just walking around with the one pair of draws and one shirt to their name because BW has often published in their magazine that the net worth of all Americans is about 46-48 trillion dollars.

Michael Durden

May 18, 2008 6:02 AM

Hi Chris,

I work with high net worth real estate investors investors everyday. I can tell you this:

The ones that have been speculating have changed their ways in real estate, or they have retreated from the market.

The REAL investors, the ones not speculating, but truly investing, are also ultra-conservative and do EXACTLY as you say.

But the numbers you state seem high. What is your source specifically, besides just saying market research firm TNS? Can you point us to a URL?

The other thing is are those numbers before or AFTER the bubble? That WILL make a difference.

Thanks in advance,

Michael Durden
Professional Property Scout


October 21, 2008 7:26 PM

Well, I can't comment on the net worth for all Americans as being $46 trillion, but I did just look over the TNS press release, and the numbers are as stated by Chris. The URL, if you're interested, is Best wishes.

Michael Chen

November 14, 2008 6:57 AM

I just believe that I will join with them to A MILLIONAIRE!!!

Scott Deblois

December 13, 2008 1:15 PM


I am interested in becoming a Commercial Property Scout through Maverick REI, and NACREPS.

Do they actually buy properties that they are looking for, and do you get paid.

From what I have read so far, many people say this is just another scam.

Please let me know.

Thanks, Scott

Michael Durden

March 2, 2009 10:34 AM

Hi Scott,

It's definitely legitimate. They are growing pretty fast too.

I've been working with a few of the investors closely and everything they do has integrity.

Yes, you do have to put in the work up front and you don't get paid until there's a real deal going down. Maybe people aren't willing to really do the work to find that deal. Who knows. But the pay-off is real. :)

And they really want you to learn how to find good deals which you can get paid on.

Best wishes,



July 31, 2009 12:44 PM

Steve - I'm afraid that both you and BW have done their math right.

The wealth disparity in America is far worse than the income disparity and your comment proves it.

Post a comment



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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