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How to Get Rich and Be Wealthy in America (5 Ways to Do It)

Did you know that only 20% of the millionaires out there actually inherited their wealth? For whatever reason, many of us have this notion that wealthy people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They’re all brats that are thankful for nothing and expect to be handed everything. The regular guy or gal couldn’t possibly get wealthy in America…

In reality though, 80% of America’s wealthy are 1st generation rich. Meaning, they’ve absolutely earned every dollar that’s in their bank account. No silver spoons, no trust funds, no inheritance. 

Maybe it just makes us feel better about ourselves when we look at our embarrassingly low bank account balance, or maybe we just want to keep sitting on the couch without remorse. The basic truth of the matter though, is that the large majority of rich people work hard to make their fortune.

5 Top Ways to Get Wealthy in America

Instead of coming up with a million excuses about why you’re poor, why not use that brain of yours to think of ways that can earn you wealth? Wouldn’t that just be logical. Oh, wait a minute…that would mean that you might have to trade in your TV for some reading glasses – you know, so you can actually learn something worth while each day.

get wealthy in america

Are you honestly up for the challenge? Do you think you could stop making excuses, put in the effort, and work an extra 10 or 20 hours a week? If you truly want to know the top ways to get wealthy in America, then read on my friend. Soak it up, put in the work, and become one of the next 20.6 million millionaires that are projected for 2020.

1) Start Your Own Business and Sell It

recommended book - the millionaire next doorAccording to The Millionaire Next Door, two-thirds of the millionaires in this country own their own business. They might own a farm, a welding business, or pest-control operation. The business doesn’t have to be pretty, and often times it isn’t. But, that doesn’t mean that the business doesn’t earn some serious money each year.

Let’s dive into this a little more deeply actually – with a real life example:

Last summer, my brother had a skunk problem – there was a family of 8 living under his house. He had no choice but to call the exterminator. Over the course of 2 weeks, the exterminator stopped by approximately 8 times to set live traps and remove the creatures that got in there. In the end, the exterminator spent roughly eight hours on this job and earned $600 for his efforts. That’s $75 an hour. If this guy worked a 50 hour week (like many of us do), guess what his yearly income would be? $195,000!!

You don’t need to be a doctor or lawyer to get wealthy in America. All you need to do is find a need and provide the solution.

2) Invest in a Start-Up Company

Ninety percent of start-up companies fail, but that means that 10% of them succeed. And, some of these become mindblowingly successful, which is why this has made the list of the top ways to get wealthy in America.

Bill Gates’ company Microsoft went public in 1986. If you would have invested the $21 on each of the 100 shares at that time, your investment would be worth nearly a million dollars today. A similar story is told for companies like Apple, Dell, and Amazon. Each one of these powerhouse corporations were small and insignificant at one time, but today their income statements and balance sheets carry numbers that are in the billions.

So how can you find companies like these when they’re still small and in the start-up phase? Thankfully, Forbes already did a bit of the legwork for us. According to their research, one can invest in start-ups:

  • by searching through venture investment websites (like Seed Invest or MicroVentures
  • by purchasing small companies through your 401k
  • through personal, local connections (start attending young professional and Chamber of Commerce meetings in your area)
  • attend a pitch event (often marketed and hosted by local colleges in your area)

By investing some money into a start-up, you’ll likely receive a certain number of shares of the company. In other words, by simply funding a bit of the operation, you become part owner of this start-up corporation. It’s one of the top ways to get wealthy in America, but don’t forget about the risks that are involved.

get wealthy in america3) Develop a Product with a Residual Value

Authors, song-writers, and designers are all classic examples of occupations that produce products with residual value. The concept is pretty simple: you put in a bunch of work without getting paid, then you present your product to the world and hope they like it. If they hate it, you essentially wasted hundreds of hours of your life for nothing. But, if they love it, then you could become one of the wealthiest people in America as you get a paid a percentage of every single product that’s sold. Sell a million products at $3 a piece and you’ll earn yourself a cool three million bucks.

The reality of it though is that books and songs don’t sell like they used to. This is why I said they are classic ways to earn a passive income. Put bluntly, you just can’t make money in these categories anymore. So what are the new ways of earning a passive income?

  • Developing an online course
  • Designing and selling an app
  • Building a successful YouTube channel
  • Drop-shipping product via an online store
  • Starting a blog

It’s certainly not as simple as putting words on a page anymore, but these methods have netted people millions of dollars in just a couple of years or less. Interested in ways to get wealthy in America? This one certainly has its perks.

4) Invest in Real Estate

There are two main ways to invest in real estate. Either you can:

(1) purchase a property for below-market value, fix it up, and sell it for a profit, or

(2) you can buy a place with the intention of renting it out.

If you ask existing millionaires about the best ways to get wealthy in America, many of them will have just two words for you: real estate. But why? Many reasons actually. According to, people should invest in real estate because:

  • your money grows tax-free
  • you’ll have tax-free cash flow
  • you’ll have more tax deductions
  • it’s a forced retirement plan

Because of the reasons above, Liz and I began investing in real estate last year. In fact, it’s one of our major plans to retiring wealthy!

get wealthy in america5) Save and Invest Heavily

The great majority of you probably won’t write a best-selling book or come up with a million dollar app idea, but that’s okay. One of the best ways to get wealthy in America is actually pretty basic. Live on less than 80% of your income and invest the difference.

Ramit Sethi explains this concept in his book, “I Will Teach You to be Rich“:

“On average, millionaires invest 20% of their household income each year. Their wealth isn’t measured by the amount they make each year, but by how they’ve saved and invested over time. In other words, a project manager could earn $50,000 per year and be richer than a doctor earning $250,000 per year — if the project manager has a higher net worth by saving and investing more over time.”

Saving and investing has become the single most effective way to get wealthy in America. By starting early and investing consistently over many years, a low-income janitor has a very real chance of earning far more than a highly-paid doctor that doesn’t start investing until he’s in his 40’s.

Go Ahead. Get Wealthy.

There are honestly so many ways to get wealthy in America today. If you truly want it, all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and go get it.

Will you do what it takes to get wealthy? What’s your plan?

Investing Make Money Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. These are great. I already do 4 and 5. About to start working on #3. 2016 will be the year I make the most money I have ever made and I cant wait. Highly motivated!

    • Sounds like you’re definitely on track to becoming wealthy, Alexander! Let me know when you tip the scales and reach millionaire status!

  2. Nice tips. My wife and I have been doing #5 and are starting #3. Key to #5 is staying the course with your plan through thick and thin. My uncle in California used a variation of #4: buy a house, wait for it to appreciate, trade up, and repeat. That was during the real estate boom in the 1990s.

    • Thanks for the comment, Max. Nice to see all the different variety with your efforts to get wealthy. Be careful with your uncle’s method though. He may have done well during the housing boom time, but today, house hopping will just keep you broke.

  3. Great rewards usually come with great risk – to me , 1 and 2 are too risky.I have invested in start-ups and lost all the money. You can say I didn’t do enough research but I think I did my best and spent a lot of time. In my opinion, those who got rich from investing early stocks of Apple, Microsoft are probably just lucky! Because most start-ups won’t be successful, most people who invest in them will lose money. 3,4, and 5 are relatively safe – it may take a lot of work but it’s not likely you will lose all your money from them.

    • Great comments, Charlie. I think the trick to making it big in venture investments is to invest in a wide variety of them. Put your money on one or two and you’ll probably lose. Put your money on 50 and you’ll likely do well with at least one of them. Will it pay off in the long run? Who knows. This one is really for those that have a decent amount of money, but aren’t quite at that “rich” status yet.

  4. These are the best tips for getting rich. I am focusing most of my time on #1 and #5. I did spend quite a bit of time creating a book (#2) that has, so far, been a throw away or 100+ hours :-). If I were to try anything differently, I would probably try investing in real estate to see how this would go for me.

  5. Any more luck on the book, Derek? I just noticed that I never responded to your comment from 2 years ago!! Oops!!

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