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10 Most Common Myths About Millionaires

People toasting champagne

Being a millionaire can seem pretty luxurious — from expensive vacations and parties, to having tons of clothes and shoes. But did you know there are some pretty major misconceptions surrounding those people who are rolling in their dollars? These are the 10 most common myths about millionaires, and a few just might surprise you.

See also: The 100 most expensive things in the world.

Family eating dinner

Myth 1: You have to be born into wealth to be a millionaire

The reality: It’s common knowledge that it’s easier to get rich when you already have money, so most people think that to become a millionaire, you need to come from a wealthy family. Not having any debt or financial burdens makes it easier to start a business or daydream about a million-dollar idea, but not all millionaires come from money. From actors like Halle Berry who was homeless for a period of time before making it big, to designer Kendra Scott who started her jewelry empire with only $500, it’s possible to become rich on your own, though it’s definitely much easier if you already have money to your name.

Related: Managing your money is hard, but this finance expert wants to help.

Woman typing on computer

Myth 2: You need a degree in business or finance to earn millions

The reality: A lot of people think of millionaires and picture stockbrokers on Wall Street in fancy suits. Knowing about money definitely makes it easier to invest and manage your finances. However, millionaires come from all walks of life, and not all of them have a college or university education. Depending on what field or industry you’re working in, it might not be a good use of your time to be in school when you could be out making your idea or business into a reality.

Related: A beginner’s guide to investing in Canada.


Woman fixing a wheel

Myth 3: Millionaires are all young geniuses

The reality: Yes, there are people like Mark Zuckerberg who started their empires while still in university, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Success comes at any age. Oprah Winfrey didn’t become a millionaire until she was 32 when her talk show became syndicated and now, at 67, she’s a billionaire.

Related: The best credit cards of 2021.

Two women having a meeting

Myth 4: All millionaires have financial advisors

The reality: Most people with that much money likely have someone advising them on how to properly manage all their finances; however, there’s no proof that this is true for all millionaires. Some millionaires are financially literate enough that they don’t have someone helping them. Those who have a background and investing and accounting likely don’t require assistance to manage their millions.

Related: 10 genius money hacks we snagged from TikTok.

People toasting

Myth 5: Millionaires all have rich friends

The reality: Most people assume that rich folks stick together, having fancy yacht parties and doing other bougie activities together. Although most millionaire celebs tend to be friends with each other, there are tons of millionaires who are friends with less wealthy, regular people. If a millionaire like Chris Evans can be friends with a non-famous person like his friend Tara Testa, a real estate agent, then there’s hope for us all.

You may also like: 10 things you should negotiate before you start a job.

New York City

Myth 6: All millionaires live in major cities like Toronto, New York, Vancouver or L.A.

The reality: Although millionaires can certainly afford to live a lavish life in large cities, there are plenty of them who have homes in different areas all over the world. Millionaires can live pretty much anywhere. Just take a look at Ed Sheeran, who has a giant home in Suffolk, England, a county with less than a million people.

Related: 20 companies you didn’t realize were Canadian.


Woman in bed

Myth 7: Millionaires spend all their time relaxing and having fun

The reality: Sometimes we see pics of celebs like Kendall Jenner going out for dinner and lounging poolside, and it gives us the image in our minds that all millionaires do is enjoy a life of leisure. Many millionaires, especially non-celebs, have to work to maintain their wealth. Even our favourite rich actors and actresses have to keep getting booked for movies and TV shows to keep their money coming in.

Related: Top 10 cheapest, most frugal celebrities.

Woman meeting in a room

Myth 8: If you have a high-paying job, you won’t stress about money

The reality: Having a job that brings in millions, from being an investment banker to a lawyer might mean that because you’re financially secure, you don’t stress about money. From layoffs to having to stop working for personal reasons, even people who make millions are still worried about money. Rich people can end up filing for bankruptcy, so despite being wealthy there can still be concerns and stresses around maintaining a wealthy lifestyle.

Related: Who is the richest woman of 2021?

Woman with shopping bags

Myth 9: All millionaires wear designer clothes and drive fancy cars

The reality: Thanks to popular culture, too many of us think of millionaires and picture a Great Gatsby-eque lifestyle filled with mansions and name-brand clothes. But not all millionaires dress in head-to-toe Gucci and roll around in Ferraris. There are plenty of millionaires like Sarah Michelle Gellar, who love using coupons when they shop, just like regular people.

Related: How to start managing your money after landing your first job.

Emma Stone with her Oscar
Getty Images

Myth 10: You can’t become a millionaire if you’re not famous

The reality: Many millionaires do things outside of being Oscar winners or supermodels, which is why there are so many you’ve never heard of before, from the founders of startups or owners of retail chains. People who aren’t always in the public eye can still be millionaires.

Related: These remote side hustles help make you extra cash from home.


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