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The Real World Investor Million Dollar Club

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Million Dollar Bill

To make it to the Million Dollar Club, there are a few things I have in mind.

Started on Budget’s Are $exy, I will add myself to J’s Million Dollar Club. I’m writing this not only as an actual millionaire to-do list but also as a memento to myself.

So I can look back at where I was at this point in my life and where I want to be.

Using the bankrate.com Save A Million Calculator, assuming 7% annual returns.

I will become a millionaire at 39!

So, without further ado…I want to be #215!!

In order for me, Adam, to become a millionaire, I pledge to do the following (each year):

1. Continue To Max Out My 401(k) and my wife’s 403(b)

Although I already do this, I need to continue maxing out our retirement accounts. 99.9% of our net worth is due to contributions and capital appreciation in our retirement accounts. Tax-deferred retirement gains are the most sure-fire way to become part of the Million Dollar Club.

The maximum tax-deferred contribution limit for 2021 for a 401(k) and 403(b) is $19,500.

That said, I recently switched from Mint to the free Personal Capital app. I enjoy the visuals representation of my net worth over time. It’s kind of like a children’s book, with many pictures, so it’s easier on the eyes.

2. Max Out My Back-Door Roth IRA (and my wife’s)

The only reason I was able to max out our Back Door Roth IRAs in 2020/2021 was because I withdrew some money from our emergency savings. Otherwise, it would have been relatively challenging….

So this is a real To-Do!

The maximum contribution limit for 2021 to Roth IRA is $6,000.

I like Roth IRAs because it’s funded with after-tax dollars, and there is a feature that allows you to withdraw $10,000 in an investment earnings tax and penalty for a first-time home purchase after meeting specific requirements.

3. Increase our Emergency Savings by $20,000

As stated above, my wife and I withdrew nearly $24,000 from our savings over the past two years so I could contribute to our Back Door Roth IRAs.

Plus, my wife went back to school, and we spent about $21,000 to pay her tuition.

The tuition is a solid investment because her salary is guaranteed to increase by about $10,000 per year, we so will make our money back in about 2.5 years.

4. Contribute $5,000 to our Brokerage Account Every Year

And by contributing to our brokerage account, I mean buying $VOO, the Vanguard Index Fund ETF that tracks the S&P 500.

Simple Index fund investing is the most practical way for people to join the Million Dollar Club.

As I like to say, $VOO and chill, folks.

5. Do Not Chase Any Meme Stocks or Get Rich Quick Schemes

Hopefully, the term “meme stocks” won’t be in the investing lexicon when I am a millionaire, but one can only wish so much.


I pledge not to get caught up in any seemingly “easy money” schemes and maintain the straight and narrow through plain old index investing.

6. Generate Another Source of Income (Other Than My Day Job)

Now, I don’t plan to become a multi-millionaire from a said side hustle, nor do I expect to be able to quit my day job anytime soon. …

But, if I could generate $1,000 – $2,000 a month from a source other than my job, that sure would be lovely.

Right now, the only cash flow positive side hustle I have is doing surveys on Prolific, and I might not even generate $1,000 in 2 years doing 3 dollar surveys.

Other than that, I currently have this blog that is losing money every month, but who knows what the future may hold…

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, my goal isn’t to become a millionaire simply because I want to buy fancy shit.

I want to retire comfortably without needing to worry about doing a reverse mortgage or any other absurd and exploitative schemes many companies pitch to retirees.

My goal is to provide for my family and live a life where I don’t worry about being able to pay basic bills as my parents so often did when I was growing up.

To me, becoming a millionaire is a reflection of discipline, having a healthy relationship with money, while at the same time, realizing money will not define who I am as a person.

Money is a tool, not a means to an end.

And the numbers eventually just become more digits on a screen.

What is important to me is my legacy….

Not the legacy of being known as the rich father, uncle, or grandfather.

But the legacy of who I was as a person.

For those who will remember me for who I was as an individual – A family man and my contribution to making the world a slightly better place.

What do you want your Legacy to be?


Real World Investor


Adam is the founder of realworldinvestor.com, an investing website dedicated to helping discerning individuals make the best investment decisions.

Before starting Real World Investor, he was a Senior Vice President at one of the country's largest investment banks. He has over 10 years of experience working in financial services. His experience includes working with complex derivatives while spending many years working on a trading floor.

He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, majoring in finance.

4 thoughts on “The Real World Investor Million Dollar Club”

  1. Great pledge Adam! I like #5 the best “no chasing meme stocks”. It’s important to have both should dos and should *not* dos on the list 🙂

    Good luck on your journey! You’re going to crush it!!!

    ps. just added you to J$’s page, you’re now pledge #215. 🙂

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