According to a recent article from MarketWatch, a new economic class — the so-called “middle-class millionaires” — now accounts for nearly 10% of the U.S. population. Defined as being those with a net worth of between $1 million and $10 million, these individuals have some interesting characteristics. For example…
Â» The average middle-class millionaire works 70 hours per week.
Â» They are 5x more likely than the “average” worker to say they are always available for work.
Â» 89% believe that anyone can attain wealth through hard work.
Â» 62% believe that networking is the key to financial success.
Â» 90% say they’ve made a bad business move, and 3/4 say it was crucial to their success.
Â» They are 5x more likely to continue in the same business despite previous failures.
Â» 65% characterize their approach to negotiating as “doing whatever you need to do to win.”
Â» They need an average net worth of $24 million to feel wealthy, and $13.4 million to feel “rich.”
Â» Only 14% “trust the government” (compared to 50% for typical middle-class families).
Interestingly, nearly half believe a child’s academic achievement reflects their success as a parent, and 75% of these individuals chose their home’s location based on the school district. In contrast, only 16% of middle-class households are will to stake their parenting reputation on their kids’ performance in school. Similarly, more than half of middle-class households chose their home’s location because it was close to work.
Based on the above, the authors of the new book “The Middle Class Millionaire” argue that these individuals are re-shaping America in their own images, with the primary changes being in the areas of hard work, networking, persistence, and financial self-interest. Despite the apparent differences between middle class millionaires and the plain old middle class in these characteristics, the authors go on to argue that the trappings of the middle class millionaire lifestyle are beginning to trickle down resulting in “a whole new level of keeping up with the Joneses.”
What do you think? Do you see a new class emerging?
Or perhaps this is simply due to an ongoing divergence between existing classes, with the “old school” middle class moving ever closer to extinction?