How do Charlotte millionaires spend and invest their money? And what’s their best purchase under $100? – Charlotte Agenda

Posted: October 8, 2019 at 6:48 am


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In our story At what age do people become millionaires in Charlotte? we shared that on average, Charlotte millionaires hit $1 million in net worth at 41.5 years old, and the average net worth of those people today is $4.64 million. We also explored how people invest and spend that money.

Most survey participants accumulated their wealth by starting their own company or working a high-paying job, investing in real estate, taking advantage of stock options, 401(k) plans and living below their means.

Real estate was the respondents No. 1 investment, although nearly all said they invest in multiple ways to create a diverse portfolio.

We have numerous plans. IRAs, SEP, two active 401ks, 529s for each of our three kids, and we just opened a stock plan, one respondent said. We max out everything we can on our 401ks and have monthly deposits into the others. Weve tried to maintain our standard of life even when our income has jumped. We are also putting money into our house. We bought low in a good neighborhood and have been adding on (paying in cash). We have a low mortgage and a high home value because of it.

Some people went more in-depth with their responses. A handful explained they started by investing in stocks, and as soon as they accumulated enough money they moved into real estate.

Now, I have friends who run hedge funds and private equity shops who have given me smaller allocations than they would normally take, one said.

This is important, they said, because you dont have to have it all at once or make a giant investment to see a return; you can start slow and gradually build a more diverse portfolio (even if you dont have friends who run hedge funds).

I dont track them. My assistant does, one said. Another said, I have always tracked my money, starting with Quicken in the 90s, and now using Mint on-line as well as the personal finance hub through Fidelity.

Quicken and Mint were mentioned most often among programs used to track spending, but plenty of people said they just use an Excel spreadsheet they made.

A few said they put all expenses on their credit cards and pay them off monthly, so they are aware of their spending and will look further into it if they feel theyre over-spending or need to make adjustments.

Yes, all purchases are made on cash-back credit cards. I then export those transactions into Excel, which I then plug into a budgeting spreadsheet I made a long time ago. The spreadsheet automatically recognizes the transactions and puts them in the correct budget categories and months.

Of those who said they dont track now:Not on an everyday basis, but taking the big-picture approach. I did track expenses in more detail when I was younger and trying to be more disciplined.

There was also plenty of advice like this:

No one said they got to where they are by skipping lattes, but sacrifice was a theme of the responses.

I obviously think its dumb to fund a luxury lifestyle with debt, but theres nothing wrong with a luxury lifestyle itself. I drive a Tesla but I paid cash for it after eliminating debt and fully funding all tax advantaged accounts.

Several people mentioned driving average cars they were able to pay for with cash or pay down quickly.

Be smart in buying cars. We never had car debt and hold our cars for ten years or more. And, buying two- or three-year-old cars is a great way to get quality and technology without paying too much, one person said.

And a couple of people said they still find a lot of value in sales and penny pinching.

My parents came from nothing, one wrote. We learned to save, use coupons we literally cut from the newspapers, wait for sales, share meals, and never overspend. Though I am more financially comfortable I find myself doing the same to this day. I will wait until that shirt goes on sale, I dont find it necessary to stay at the five-star resorts when I travel, I still sit in the nose bleeds at sporting events, and I always give back what I can. Maybe that will change in the future but money doesnt define a person.

We also asked our respondents a few lighter but still revealing questions, including their favorite restaurant.

Three of Bruce Moffetts restaurantsreceived the most mentions: Barringtons, Good Food on Montford, and Stagioni.

The other most popular picks were Beef n Bottle , Bardoand Peppervine.

Chick-fil-A also received an honorable mention from one respondent illustrating the range of tastes within the upper echelon.

The number next to each response is their net worth.

Best purchase under $100:

Spotify. Great music and podcasts help me to burn stress and relax. $20 million

A good cup of coffee. $8.5 million

Most recently my Roku so that I could cut the cord on cable and save $175 a month! $5.2 million

A rescue dog. $2 million

Gym membership. Stay healthy. Socialize with friends. $5 million

The cushions to fit over the crevices in my car to keep crumbs from falling in hard to reach places. Its a Shark Tank invention. $2.4 million

Power wine aerator. Makes enjoying wine more enjoyable after a stressful day. Great conversation piece too. $2 million

Notebooks. As much as I want to use digital lists, theres something for me about a paper notebook. I create lists for work, home and the kids and it definitely helps me keep my sanity. That and paper calendars! $1 million (many people said notebooks)

Good sunglasses, they are just fun. $4 million

Omg. My Swiffer. I mean its awesome. $16.99. Lasts 10 years and makes life easier. $3 million

Fresh fruit and vegetables each week. Money is worth less if you are not healthy. $3.5 million

Griottine cocktail cherries: $20 for a big jar! They enhance any Manhattan. $1.7 million

Lululemon sweat pants they make me feel relaxed and appreciative. $2.5 million

Shares of Microsoft stock due to their increased value over time. $4.5 million

My Fitbit. It motivates me in ways I never would have expected. $1.5 million

The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It totally changed my perspective on money. $2.5 million

Sitters for Wednesday night date-night when the kids were little. $1.3 million

Yoga mat yoga is my therapy & one of my greatest joys. $3 million

Amazon @ $30/share in 2000. $2 million

A stay at the Disney World Camp Grounds in the 80s you received all the same access as the fancy resorts and it was a great campground. $2.5 million

Golf. Leisure. $2.2 million

That 3-pack of Juicy Jay crowlers was pretty good. $1.5 million

Locally roasted coffee, saves money compared to Starbucks and the coffee tastes better. $2.8 million

Trayana Earbuds. Same performance as airpods, under $50. $1.3 million

Monthly gym membership mind and body need to be right for success. $1.5 million

My first set of golf clubs. Ive made a lot of friends on the golf course. $1.1 million

Kate Spade bag at her outlet store in Palm Springs. I use that bag almost everyday for the last 1.5 years. Talk about return on investment! $1.6 million

I buy a lot of my work clothes at Goodwill for $1-$5. Trust: I look good and no one knows. Brand names with perfect fit for a dollar, not kidding. I dont waste hours looking, though. Ill glance in a GW every now and again and if theres a bunch of stuff in my style and size Ill stay and try things. People donate in batches and when it rains it pours. I usually get about a dozen perfect items at once or nothing. And I cant even tell in my own closet what was full price (I do shop full price when convenience matters) and what was $1. $2 million

My marriage license. My spouse and I generally work to prevent us from acting on our worst impulses. $1.7 million

Milk frothier from Williams Sonoma. Makes early mornings less painful. $1.2 million

WSJ subscription: pays dividends everyday. $5.2 million

Electric toothbrush so I can have that million dollar smile. $2.83 million

Date night (although its hard to stay under $100 these days). Its important to invest in your marriage. $1.5 million

Picnic basket. Encourages quality time with my wife. $1 million

TSA Precheck, I cannot begin to put a value on the peace of mind being able to bypass most airport security lines. $1.1 million

A $3 box of Now & Later candy that I took to school separated to sell individually and came home with $9. My first business was born. $1.4 million

Monthly deposits for children into their own mutual funds. $1.7 million

Salads every night for dinner it keeps me healthy and I dont have to cook. $2 million

Gave $100 to someone who needed it. $1.6 million

Best purchases over $1,000:

My first hotel. $125 million

House because it appreciates. $20 million

My condo. I love the view. $20 million

Espresso machine. Other than my cars, the only item I use daily. $25 million

Our mountain retreat. Its our getaway where stress is not allowed. $16 million

2011 Jaguar XJL Supercharged, cause I loved it! $8 million

A business I bought in 1999 it failed but it taught me that I could build something up. $10 million

Sailing lessons. $8.5 million

New business equipment. It extended the life of my employees and gave them a sense of pride. $7 million

Therapy sessions (to help me overcome a traumatic experience). $5 million

I would say travel with my family. Things are forgotten, but memories last a lifetime. $5.2 million

Our dog. $2.4 million

Rolex timeless, lasts forever. $3.5 million

Our home, we raised our family in a house that fit our lifestyle. $3.8 million

Strategically located land in Charlotte when no one wanted to hold real estate (especially land). $1.6 million

My golden retriever puppy hes an incredible companion and is almost certainly why those 25 year-olds are flirting with me! $7 million

Tesla. Its an amazing piece of engineering and technology. $3.45 million

Oriental rugs because it is important to surround yourself with things you love $6 million

Trip to Europe for my husbands 40th birthday. The memories are better than anything tangible I could have bought him. $2 million

House in Plaza Midwood in the late 1990s. We love living here and it has appreciated with the growth of the neighborhood. To me the most important purchases are things you use every day. $3.4 million

Custom suit look good when you need to. $3.6 million

My airplane. Besides being fun it allows us to travel and see family and friends we may not otherwise see. $1.54 million

Engagement ring ($10k). She is my everything and a big part of the reason we have financial wealth. $2.2 million

My boat. It allows me to get away from the stress of everyday life. $1.5 million

Probably our house. We purchased it at 24 and 26 in an area as close to Uptown as we wanted to spend (note, we set our own budget which was $150k under what we were qualified for). The neighborhood has steadily improved and now we have quite a bit of equity. $1 million

Help around the house cleaning service, yard service, etc you dont want your home to feel like a to-do list after youve been at work all day. $1.3 million

Husbands golf clubs same reason as my yoga mat! When you have a stressful job, find something that you love & brings you peace. $3 million

Every one of my top five vacations. Seeing the world expands your knowledge and awareness. $2.03 million

Cant think of anything Ive bought for over $1,000, other than my car, special vacations, etc. We dont purchase luxury items, we dont try to keep up with the Joneses. $1.5 million

Wedding ring, because marrying the right person is the best investment you can make in life. $8.3 million

The Big Green Egg. The meats. $1.3 million

I spend about $5k on travel every year. The big trips, not the weekends away or going home to visit friends and family. I dont skimp on that stuff. Thats why I do what I do. To be able to travel like I do but even more. I guess also all of the house upgrades (and the house itself). I only make the changes I really want in my house/life so they are true value adds. But you live in it, so spend money on the places where you spend time. I didnt upgrade my kitchen because honestly I dont spend a lot of time there. But the living room and master bath feel like home, feel like extensions of me. $2 million

My first car because it represented my complete financial independence from my parents . $1.7 million

Backyard remodel (patio/fireplace). $1.5 million

Excerpt from:
How do Charlotte millionaires spend and invest their money? And what's their best purchase under $100? - Charlotte Agenda

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October 8th, 2019 at 6:48 am

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