How to make a million dollars ($1M) Reliably; not a scam.

Great News!! – You can make a $1M with investments, read below to see how – Details are below.

Chances are you have read the headline and summary above and either clicked away or dismissed it. But hold on for a few minutes – Could this actually be true?

Now that we have your attention, let’s break this down further. Can we really promise a method for make a million dollars reliably? In a short answer is YES! The key to addressing this claim is to put this into different crucial concepts: time requirement, effort/wages, savings rate. Upon addressing all these concepts, we will define an equation to help you when calculating the best path forward to $1M.

Concept 1 – Time Requirement

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The first concept that must be discussed is the timeframe required, do we expect that a large sum of $1M+ can be achieved in a very short time window of weeks or months; sorry to disappoint but this process will likely take years to achieve. We will continue to develop the equation to reliably achieve the $1M saving goal; but it will require significant time.

If we are trying to achieve $1M within a timeframe of < 5 years, the amount required to be saved will be $200k/year – not realistically achievable. So let’s broaden our time horizon into the context of a working lifetime of 40 years (25years to 65years). Over this 40 year timeframe, we can see the required funds would be $25k – Let’s continue below seeing how our effort or wages can further impact this goal. Additionally, let’s see if we can add some extra “horsepower” get the this timeframe reduced to something more realistic – Keep reading!

Concept 2 – Effort / Wages

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The second context to review is the effort or wages required to make $1M either by working or investing. Either way, this will required a significant investment in effort or wages – Not all jobs require the same amount of effort (farmer, factory worker, doctor vs banker), we can see directly that the amount of money earned per hour will directly impact the ability to allocate funds to meet a million dollar earnings goal.

If we dive further into the concept of earning $1M, we can see that the average full-time hourly wage is $28/hour CAD – Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0320-02 Average usual hours and wages by selected characteristics, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality Therefore, based on the $28/hour CAD wage, we can see the average salary is $60,112/year CAD (3 year average). Based on simple math, we can see that the goal of earning $1M is very achievable; roughly completed in 17 years.

If we take review that the average wage earner in Canada earns $60k CAD a year, in USA earns $52k USD (~$69k CAD), in UK earns $30k GBP (~$52k CAD) – We can see the average full time wage is normalized across the world in large developed markets at approx. $60k a year (normalized to local currency and cost of goods). Note – This will obviously be different for other markets and countries across the world, please adjust to your local conditions.

So now that we know that the average salary across the world is approximately $60k/year, efforts to earn $1M would take approximately 16.67 years. So that being clarified, let’s see how we can leverage wages into expediting our efforts to earn $1M or more – How quickly can we leverage our job type into earning more – According to the USA – persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings—$1,606 for men and $1,168 for women; approximately $83k/year or 12 years to earn $1M in salary. In Canada, high paying jobs average approximately $100k/year or 10 years to earn $1M in salary.

Either one of these scenarios of earning $1M in 10-12 years is achieved much easier by dual income households – $30k/year * 2 earners or $50k/year * 2 earners.

Wait a minute, earning a $1M is not likely the goal you were looking to achieve by reviewing this blog posting. Rather, you want to know how to have $1M in your account, not earning $1M over a lifetime of work. What if we then review the earnings amount within another light – called savings rate?

Concept 3 – Savings Rate

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Now that we know the highest salary to expect is approx. $100k, with the median approximately $60k – what can we do with this information. Well, now we can develop another key aspect of the equation to make $1M reliably.

Based on the earnings capability of an abled bodied worker working an average salary over a normal working period of 40 years (25years to 65years), we see that the earnings can add up to $2.4M – Much higher than our goal of $1M – Based on the higher earnings capability of $100k/year for 40 years, we see that earnings can add up to $4M. But how to we achieve our goal of keeping $1M? That is the tricky part then is based on savings rate.

Savings rate is the concept of setting aside a certain percentage of your income (savings at % rate) in order to achieve your goals. Therefore, if we apply the $1M goal to an average salary of $60k, our savings rate must be 41.6%. If we increase our salary as discussed in concept 2 to approx. $100k and apply the $1M goal, our savings rate must be 25%; much more realistic. Additionally, as discussed above, dual-income families will have a much more realistic chance of saving $1M; 25% savings rate with two earners at $50k/year each.

This savings rate can be additionally leveraged by using the power of investing – See our article on achieving your savings goal with 70% less effort here.


So now that we have addressed the time, effort and savings components, let’s combine them into a usable “equation” to allow us to make an educated effort into calculating the path to $1M.

“Equation” to $1M = (time) x (earnings) x (savings rate)

Now, let’s maximize this equation into a couple of options:

Minimum Path – The minimum way to earn/save a million dollars is the following path – Two people working at $50k/year jobs (total earnings $100k/year), saving at 25% (total savings $25k/year) over 40 years. Note – This method does not include the effect of investing this money or any returns on the money invested.

Maximum Path – The maximum way to earn/save a million dollars is the following path – Two people working at $100k/year jobs (total earnings $200k/year), saving at 30% (total savings $60k/year) over 17 years. Note – This method does not include the effect of investing this money or any returns on the money invested.

Optimal Path – The optimal way to earn/save a million dollars is the following path – Two people working at $50k/year job each (total earnings $100k/year) , saving 30% (total savings $30k/year) + investing these savings over 15 years. Note – This method does include the effect of investing the money at approximately 10%/year return.

So there you have it – A reliable solution to attain $1M within 15 years – Follow the Optimal Path.

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