Young Millionaires: 4 Ways to Hit $1 Million By 40
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"Investing is the best way to build wealth, but it's not an overnight process."

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It can feel like hitting the $1 million mark requires having a Wall Street job, a trust fund—or decades to save. But these millionaires may change your mind.

All four hit the major money milestone before turning the big 4-0—thanks to a mix of smart investing, sound money management and a little entrepreneurial savvy. Here's how they did it.

The Frugal Investor

Chris Reining, 38, Madison, Wis. 

"Investing is the best way to build wealth, but it's not an overnight process. I began in my early 20s, funneling just $66 a month into low-cost index funds. My first big financial milestone came years later when I  made my first $1,000 from investment returns.

I kept at it, increasing the amount when I could afford it. By 27, my brokerage account had grown to $100,000—a combination of my own contributions and market returns—but I was still a slave to the 9-to-5 grind, earning $75,000 a year then as an IT specialist.

So I made a goal right then to grow my wealth to $1 million by 35. To accelerate my progress, I slashed my spending—cutting everything from lattes to hobbies. This freed up more than $1,000 per month, which I automatically transferred to my brokerage account, on top of what I was already contributing. I also increased my income over the years, so that by 2013, I was saving and investing over half of my salary (which never hit $100,000).

I eventually hit my goal of becoming a millionaire at 35, and even retired at 37. (My plan was to withdraw and live on 4 percent per year, but since my investments have continued to grow, I’m living on just 2 percent.) This kind of freedom and flexibility is worth all the sacrifices I made."

His advice for others: "There have been periods when I lost a lot of money in the market. During one nine-month stretch during the recession, I lost $55,000. As scary as this was, I didn't react. Market volatility comes with the territory and is simply part of building wealth over the long term."

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June 9, 2017

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