Why I Might Never Become a Millionaire

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Almost one year ago, when I started Romania Experience, I wrote in the “about me” page that this blog will follow my trip to achieving a net worth of “at least 1 million dollars”. Today I’m having second thoughts: I might never become a millionaire.

Probably many would laugh hearing that statement. It’s not uncommon not to be a millionaire and there are billions of people who don’t get there. So why should I? Why should I get to have a net worth of at least a million dollars, just by wanting to? Others work really hard – maybe a few hours per day harder than myself – and they never even get close. Others want it just as bad as I do and they never get close. Why would I be special? I am not.

Right now, following one of the best years in my existence, both financially and on the personal side, my net worth is more than 300% greater than it was when I started this blog and initially I was absolutely excited to see the numbers. But my growth should not be considered exciting. It was what I would call an unnatural growth: I managed to sell a great blog that I had created, and that’s where the biggest chunk of my progress came from. Now I am back to the basics, trying to find the next big thing and until now failing to do so. Which means that my growth was temporary. Now I am stuck at the same spot, unable to progress, just waiting for the right time to sink my hands into the money I have to repair the house. After a great year, I anticipate 2014 to be one where my net worth goes down.

And we’re talking about a net worth that is way under $50,000. My million? Seems like an impossible dream. Early retirement? Not here in my situation. Will I become a millionaire? Highly unlikely.

It might sound childish, but me realizing that I might never become a millionaire upset me a bit. The loss of money that I never had brought me to the brink of depression. The thought that this plan won’t work made me consider that I failed.

So why I might never become a millionaire?

– I started from zero and I’m progressing way too slow
– I am spending most of my income on necessary things to make life bearable and there’s still work to do (as in house repairs)
– My monthly earnings are low and progress is way, way slower than I anticipated
– I am unable to invest the little amount of money that I have. We don’t have, here in Romania, things like the 401k, an active stock market or a thriving renting community. If I were to invest in an apartment to rent and I would always have the place rented and I would never have to repair the place, it would make me a profit in 18 years. My city is not one that’s growing, so property prices are going down for now and I don’t see that stopping. In the end, most likely, I’d be losing money.

So, yes, I might never become a millionaire. But you know what? I’ll keep trying! If I manage to beat all the odds and do it, success will be even sweeter. If I fail, at least I know that I tried my best, did my best and hopefully created the launch pad for my son to get there. Because it takes money to make money. And I don’t have them.

Image credit: William Murphy

26 COMMENTS

  1. C., even if you never reach millionaire status (and I do believe that you can), you are scores ahead of your peers, and creating a great life of financial independence for yourself. You’re doing awesome – keep up the great work, my friend!

  2. Progress tends to be on an exponential curve, rather than linear. That is to say, the first 8-10 years of your quest of being a millionaire or early retiree will give misleading data: it will look almost linear, when the curve is ready to pull up. My guess is that, if you can manage to save even 10-25% of your gross income reliably, both those things, being a millionaire and/or early retirement, are likely to happen in a matter of decades.

  3. I wouldn’t worry about those arbitrary numerical goals. It’s way more important to stay in control of your ongoing situation. Keep building and saving and let everything else take care of itself.

  4. Hi Man,

    I think you can still invest in the US stock market, however not sure how you can open accounts as a non-US person, and what your taxation situation is going to be.

    However, I am pretty sure that there are blue chip Romanian companies, which are undervalued after the collapse from the financial crisis in 2008 – 2009. If you buy them, hold on to them, and collect dividends, you might do ok over time.

    Good luck in your investing journey!

    DGI

    • Indeed, dividends might be the key on the market here in Romania, but things are moving extremely slow. Took a look the other day at our stock market situation and there are companies that have not moved a bit in weeks. :))

  5. Hi C,
    Even a million dollars would not guarantee happiness. Perhaps shoot for a million Romanian Leu? (Spelling). You might look into something like Barclays International Banking. Not sure what the minimum investment amount is now, used to be 5000 pounds, but it’s a good way to get to buy stocks and bonds. You have good health and family, that’s priceless. Just keep on your path…

    • Well, my health is not as good as it used to be, actually :)) But indeed, it’s not money that brings you happiness – it was not for my general happiness, anyway, but for a sense of accomplished. Getting there starting from scratch did sound good.

  6. Depends in what currency. Used to be dead easy being a millionaire in Italy and Turkey.

    Try first for being a millionaire first in South Korean Won, then work your way up to Hungarian Forints and Icelandic Kronas. Baby steps.

  7. It does suck not being in a wealthy counry like America, I know how it feels living in a country not having that much opportunities like 1st world countries.
    Anyways, I think we can all do something to achieve our dreams despite those obstacles if we are really into it. I hope you could still accomplish yours. Good luck!

  8. C, You might never become a millionaire but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a happy and successful life in the long run. It is an admirable goal however. Personally, I don’t think I will ever be rich and certainly not a millionaire but I’m OK with that as long as I can find a “comfortable” middle ground. If you do manage to become one though just think of how sweet that victory wine will taste! =)

  9. As others have already mentioned, $1 million is an arbitrary number. You may not need that much money to live well at all. It’s about how much you need, not about matching your goals with others.

    Additionally, think about investing in real estate other than in Romania. I invest in U.S. real estate even though I’m in Canada and plan to move around even further over the next few years, so you have other options. There’s a big learning curve to invest remotely in real estate, but it can be done.

    • Yes, and you still need a good starting sum to start investing in real estate, or be able to afford the mortgage. Ah, but it would be so funny to invest in US real estate when I’ve never been there… :))

  10. I like that attitude “I might never become a millionaire but I’ll keep trying”. I think that the worst thing one can do is lie on your deathbed full of regrets “if only I had….”

  11. You can open an account with Interactive Brokers UK. You need minimum 10000$ but they have the lowest fees. Learn about options, which are derivatives of stocks….learn technical analysis and price action and trade any market. Mult noroc si spor la invatat.

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