New research from BMO Private Bank tells us that lots of American millionaires were either not born in the US or had at least one foreign-born parent.
An online survey of 482 U.S. adults with $1 million or more in investable assets found that one in three either was born abroad or is a first-generation American, meaning at least one parent was born elsewhere, On Wall Street reports. Perhaps not surprisingly, 80% of this cohort are self-made millionaires, compared with 67% of total respondents.
Is there any conclusion that can be drawn from this? A guess on my part indicates that immigrants, or children of immigrants may be more driven to succeed that native-born Americans, lacking well-to-do parents to fall back on. In many cases people who gain wealth through their own efforts do so by starting and owning their own business, whether it’s a laundry a dry-cleaning shop, a building contractor, or a newly minted software billionaire. Perhaps speaking with an accent or lacking a college education makes it more difficult for the foreign-born to get ahead in the corporate world and forces them to start a business and become wealthy that way. In any case, the statistic is counterintuitive and for that reason, very interesting.