My 100th Post: Why Millennials Will Never Be Surprise Millionaires

The Surprise Millionaires

To celebrate my 100th post, let’s discuss the millennials from their perspective.  This post features my first guest writer: my daughter, Kelsey McDowell.

Saddled with student loan debt and a perceived inability to invest, I am far from the profile of the frugal outlier chronicled on this blog. When my father initially asked me to write for The Surprise Millionaire, I was quite unsure what I could possibly contribute.

Lucky for you, I am not here to provide any lasting financial advice. Rather, as a self-proclaimed expert on my generation, I am here to support an argument made in his last post: the millennial will never be a surprise millionaire.

That’s awfully generalized and negative, isn’t it? “Never a surprise millionaire? I’m going to be showing all you boomers just how awesome and unique and successful and UNIQUELY SUCCESSFUL I am… or will be! Someday!” cries the millennial from his urban coffee shop. Yes, the millennial fervently believes in his potential. Is that not how he has been raised, though?

If you were to stop 100 millennials on the street, I can unscientifically guarantee most of them would claim that they possess the potential to be a millionaire. The millennial believes in himself, which is certainly half the battle. But will this confidence translate into consistent and gradual wealth accumulation? Probably not.

The millennial, with his inflated sense of self and conditioned need for instant gratification, is in for a life-long battle. Will his immediate perceived needs outweigh the wise advice to invest for the future?

While the millennial can certainly become a millionaire, he will likely take a path much different from our surprise millionaire. Where the surprise millionaire slowly accumulates his wealth through frugality and sometimes doing without, the millennial will harness his innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and follow a vastly different timeline.

The surprise millionaire will always be an outlier, but it appears that his breed will become even more rare.