Just for fun, I asked ChatGPT if most millionaires inherit their wealth.
According to Dave Ramsey, a whopping 74% of millennials believe most millionaires are swimming in family money rather than earning it through salaries, starting businesses, and investing. 52% of boomers think the same.
More than half of people believe millionaires lucked into money.
With a belief so prevalent, I was sure that ChatGPT would uphold the rampant assumption that wealthy people stumble into their wealth rather than acquire it through hard work and building businesses.
But it didn’t.
It shot back an answer I never expected to get.
The inheritance myth
Here’s a screenshot of my question and ChatGPT’s answer:
The AI robot enthusiastically debunked the common assumption, writing that most millionaires don’t inherit their wealth. While many of us get help, that doesn’t mean we’re falling ass-backwards into money, what three-quarters of millennials and over half of boomers believe.
But I’m the kind of guy who wants numbers to back up the claim.
So I asked ChatGPT to prove it.
Many studies have backed up the claim that most millionaires don’t inherit. Instead, they build wealth by working, saving, and investing.
I did some looking around of my own and found plenty of studies proving that most millionaires don’t just inherit:
- Fidelity found 88% of millionaires are self-made
- Cato said “most millionaires inherit their wealth” is a myth
- WealthX found 68% of wealthy people earned it themselves
- Dave Ramsey found 21% of millionaires inherited an inheritance, and of those, only 16% inherited more than $100,000
Regardless of what number you choose to believe, the point is clear: while inheriting money does happen, that’s not the driving force behind building wealth. You don’t need to come from a wealthy family to get wealthy.
Even if some do receive an inheritance, consider this…
Inheritances for most don’t last long. According to the New York Times, most people who inherit money get about $50,000. And a significant portion spend it, donate it, or simply lose it.
That’s not how millionaires are made, inheritance or not.
This is really good news, by the way.
It means the family you were born into won’t dictate the rest of your life.
You have the power to change your life.
Your job. Your income. Your future.
It won’t happen overnight. And sure, you will struggle along the way.
But it happens all the time. And there’s no reason why you can’t be that next story of someone who built a wildly successful life out of nothing.
I wouldn’t spend so much of my time writing emails to you if I didn’t know it is possible. I’m not wasting my time here.
And neither are you, right?
Until next week,