We all want to be millionaires, don't we? (Well, unless we're already billionaires.)

Wishing and dreaming aren't enough, though. I recently wrote about some words of wisdom from Warren Buffett's partner, Charlie Munger, who said, "The safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want."

So that's a little bad news right there -- to increase your odds of getting rich, you should aim to put in some effort. Sorry about that. It gets worse, though. According to the Spectrem Group's recent report "Affluent Market Insights 2008," millionaires may be becoming an endangered species!

Consider this: "The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including primary residence (NIPR), grew just 2% in 2007 to 9.2 million, up from 9 million the year before." Yes, that does reflect growth -- but it's the slowest growth rate since 2003. Millionaire-making has lost its momentum.

Putting pressure on growth is our sluggish economy and its many faltering stocks.

What to do
You can still become a millionaire. Remember that even though the growth in millionaires is slowing, there are still plenty of people crossing the millionaire threshold, and you can be one of them. You can increase your odds of succeeding in many ways:

  • Learn how the best investors invest. Don't just assume you'll do well with CDs and some stock your grandfather left you.
  • Compare your investments' performance with that of the overall market. If you're not beating the market over the long term, change your approach, or just invest in the broad market with index funds.
  • Invest in some strong mutual funds. (We'd love to help you find some winners.) Take a look at these funds, for instance:


5-Year Annual Return


T. Rowe Price Media & Telecom (PRMTX)


Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS)

Hodges Fund (HDPMX)


Transocean (NYSE:RIG), Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI)

Vanguard Energy Fund (VGENX)


ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

You can learn even more in these articles. Good luck!