A great article on SmartMoney.com outlines the path to wealth of the majority of the nation's pentamillionaires -- those with net worths of greater than $5 million.
There are now over 930,000 of these folks in the United States today, and a surprisingly small percentage got there via inheritance. Rather, according to a survey done of over 3000 of these pentamillionaires by the Harrison Group, the vast majority of this group -- 80% -- either started their own business or worked for a small company that saw explosive growth. And almost all of them made their fortune in a big lump sum after many years of effort. As interestingly from this survey, most of these folks also did not say that money was their key motivator. Rather, their fortunes were often made after "they made up their minds to solve a problem or do something better than it's been done before."
At Growthink we take away two key lessons from this survey (1) Private equity, both in the form of small business equity and venture capital equity, has been and remains the best investment class bar none and (2) A focus on providing value to customers will lead to bottom-line success, but the reverse of this does not follow. The full article can be read by clicking here.