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How Floridians become multimillionaires

By Dian Vujovich

I’ve a number of friends who figure that their road to riches will come via the Florida Lottery or Powerball. Odds aren’t so hot for either get-rich strategy although each does keep people dreaming.


Then there are the folks who hope their riches will come  thanks to marrying well. This hope I’ve heard from men as well as women. Of the ones I know who have successfully pulled that one off, the one piece of advice they share is that you pay for every cent you’ve married into.


But for those who see wealth as something they are able to achieve on their own, BMO Private Bank released study results today showing that  the bulk of high-net worth Floridians  are self-made millionaires. How about that!


The BMO Private Bank study of wealthy Floridians with investible assets of $1 million or more revealed the following:


• 68 percent of high-net worth Floridians are self-made millionaires and earned their wealth mostly on their own.


• Less than 1 percent attribute their wealth to receiving it from an inheritance.


• About 20 percent were born outside of the United States.


• Over 30 percent of the wealthy in Florida are women.


• 93 percent have at least a university a degree and two-thirds report earning a graduate/professional degree.


• 2 percent report only holding a high school diploma.


• 54 percent of the wealthiest Floridians are 65 years or older.


If there’s only one take-away from this survey let it be the importance of an education.


From Michael J. Dyer, managing director of BMO Private Bank in West Palm Beach, on that point: “It’s no secret that education is a key to success.  It’s just interesting that this survey confirmed that Florida’s most wealthy residents have had the benefit of graduate and professional degrees and have had the determination and commitment to create their own successful destinies.”

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