Time to First Million Logo

For the world’s wealthiest, their first million dollars may seem like a lifetime ago, but we’ve been diving into the data to find out just how long it took them to first join the millionaire’s club.

While some managed to make their millions in just a matter of months, others took years of hard work to build up their fortunes.

The 100 richest individuals on the planet have a combined wealth of over $2.7 trillion.

But just how long did the likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos & co. to work for their first million?

How much

are the world’s top 10 billionaires worth?

Over the last few years, the billionaire list has continued to grow, as more people enter the 3 comma club and those existing members continue to grow their wealth.

$750bn
$600bn
$450bn
2016
2017
2018
2019

The Making

of the Millions

The runaway success of the world’s richest individuals started from somewhere; whether that was a genius business idea such as creating a real estate, new casinos, or telecoms empire, or a significant investment or family inheritance.

On average the world’s richest earned their first million at age 36 with most making their fortune through their own business ventures…

25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
25
26
27
...
34
35
36
65 percent self-made rich

Highly successful individuals will tell you that becoming a millionaire is rarely an overnight process and even the world’s richest took an average of 8 years to hit their first million.

0-5 years
6-10 years
11-16 years
17-25 years
Inherited

Work

Where The Wealth Is...

If the world’s top billionaires are anything to go by, the best strategy to follow in their footsteps is to launch a venture in telecom or tech, with the first million earnt in as little as 3 to 4 years. in these sectors!

Business sectors where the first million is earned the quickest…
(Excluding those who inherited their fortune)

Average Time (years)

Telecom 3 years
Telecom

3

years
Tech industry 4.8 years
Technology

4.8

years
Mining 5.2 years
Metals & Mining

5.2

years
Real Estate 5.8 years
Real Estate

5.8

years
3 People Symbol 6 years
Diversified

6

years
Automotive logo 7.5 years
Automotive

7.5

years
Energy 8.4 years
Energy

8.4

years
Media and Entertainment journey to the first million
Media & Entertainment

9.5

years
Gambling industry journey to the first million
Gambling & Casinos

9.5

years
Finance & Investment 10 years
Finance & Investments

10

years
Services 10 years
Service

10

years
Food & Beverages 11.25 years
Food & Beverage

11.25

years
Fashion and Retail 14.3 years until first million
Fashion & Retail

14.3

years
Construction and Engineering 6 years
Construction and Engineering

15

years
Manufacturing 16.3 years
Manufacturing

16.3

years

Which Country

Wins The Race To A Million

We often think as the USA as the place where billionaires are born, but while it’s true that the majority hail from the States, which country produces the first to a million?

0 years
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years
7 years

Austria Austria

Mexico Mexico

South Africa South Africa

India India

China China

Hong Kong Hong Kong

Russia Russia

Czech Republic Czech Republic

But how did the journey to a million differ for the world’s 25 richest self-made billionaires?

Time to First Million

Age
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
Net worth
Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos
Net worth:131bn

131bn

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Net worth:96.5bn

96.5bn

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet
Net worth:82.5bn

82.5bn

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim Helu& family
Net worth:64bn

64bn

Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega
Net worth:62.7bn

62.7bn

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison
Net worth:62.5bn

62.5bn

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth:62.3bn

62.3bn

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg
Net worth:55.5bn

55.5bn

Larry Page

Larry Page
Net worth:50.8bn

50.8bn

Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin
Net worth:49.8bn

49.8bn

Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer
Net worth:41.2bn

41.2bn

Ma Huateng

Ma Huateng
Net worth:38.8bn

38.8bn

Jack Ma

Jack Ma
Net worth:37.3bn

37.3bn

Hui-Ka-Yan

Hui Ka Yan
Net worth:36.2bn

36.2bn

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson
Net worth:35.1bn

35.1bn

Michael Dell

Michael Dell
Net worth:34.3bn

34.3bn

Phil Knight

Phil Knight& family
Net worth:33.4bn

33.4bn

Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing
Net worth:31.7bn

31.7bn

Lee Shau-kee

Lee Shau Kee
Net worth:30.1bn

30.1bn

Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault
Net worth:29.7bn

29.7bn

Joseph Safra

Joseph Safra
Net worth:25.2bn

25.2bn

Leonid Mikhelson

Leonid Mikhelson
Net worth:24bn

24bn

Jorge Paulo Lemann

Jorge Paulo Lemann& family
Net worth:22.8bn

22.8bn

Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin
Net worth:22.6bn

22.6bn

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