24 Ways To Become A 1 Percenter

24 Ways To Become A 1 Percenter

Many envision the 1 percent of income earners in America as someone who either inherited the money or is on the top floor at an investment bank on Wall Street, but there are several ways to become a 1 percenter.

Some ways are quick, and some take decades. Some are based on luck, and some take hard-work and dedication. Add to the list in the comments!

  1. Start a business
  2. Sell your business (think Instagram or OMGPop)
  3. Work several jobs
  4. Go to medical school and specialize
  5. Climb the corporate ladder
  6. Win the lottery
  7. Gamble
  8. Work at Wall Street
  9. Invest in real estate
  10. Go to Hollywood and become a famous actor/actress
  11. Be a famous musician
  12. Play on a professional sports team
  13. Work for the government
  14. Join the c-suite (CEO, CFO, CIO, COO)
  15. Inherit a fortune
  16. Invest in the next Apple Inc.
  17. Find a treasure at a garage sale
  18. Marry a rich spouse
  19. Divorce a rich spouse
  20. Sue someone rich or a corporation
  21. Catch a valuable baseball then sell it
  22. Register a domain name in high demand and sell it
  23. Live on an oil field
  24. Discover lots of gold

Feel free to add to the list!

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at I Am 1 Percent. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.


  1. Michelle

    Write the next popular book series (Harry Potter, Hunger Games)

    Become a Storage Wars person

    Invent something

    Hmmm I can’t think of anything else.

  2. Josh @ Live Well Simply

    #1 should be ‘Start a Successful Business’. Many if not most businesses fail in the first five years.

  3. [email protected]&More

    Get hit by a car/injured and win a massive law suit. May not be worth it but hey you might make it to the 1%!

  4. Trey

    Get into Politics and write legislation that just so happens to increase the property values increase around your land (that you of course bought right before the legislation passed) 🙂

  5. PK

    Be a STEM Major?

    Rob a bank?

    (I like’s Trey’s idea too – be a Crony Capitalist)

  6. PB

    Become a lawyer. Doesn’t work for everyone ( or even the majority) but big law partners can make over a million a year.

    Also opening your own successful law firm can bring in a lot of money.

    1. iam1percent

      I thought about adding lawyers to the list, but from my understanding, it takes years to crack $380k. I’m not saying its not possible, but a majority of new graduates don’t make the 1% on their first job.

      I would also lump starting your own lawn firm as “running your own business”

      1. PB

        I agree that it can take years if you don’t find the right gig/start your on firm. However, I figured since most of the things on the list only work for a few, and not for first jobs lawyer fit the bill. If you marry another lawyer and it doesn’t take that long to crack $380K combined, but there is only a small percentage of lawyers (mainly thos working “Big Law”) that applies to. The majority will never, but that’s the case for everything isn’t it?

        I’m 3 years out of law school and my husband is 5, and we are in the 1%, but that is mainly because my husband started his own successful firm. But as you said that could also be considered running his own business. Although his business is something he could not do without the law degree.

  7. Julie @ Freedom 48

    Post a YouTube video that goes viral! Or create a bunch of viral hits!

  8. 20's Finances

    Nice list – it’s interesting that very few of these are ones that I can do. I do like the invest in real estate option.

  9. Joe Morgan

    So many people assume the 1% inherited their money because it absolves them from any responsibility for their own situation. It’s a lot easier to say you’ll never be rich because you didn’t inherit your wealth than it is to get out there and make it.

    I think that’s also behind the vilification of the wealthy for some people too. It’s a psychology phenomono, often refrred to as sour grapes:

    “I don’t want to be rich anyway, because you need to be corrupt and soulless to be rich. I’d rather be a decent human instead”

  10. Poor to Rich a Day at a Time

    Rob a Bank, dig up a chest of money someone burried and forget where it was or died, Find a money tree, get a sugar daddy…………….LOL yeah yeah and wait for pennies to drop from heaven……..

    1. iam1percent

      Robbing a bank is a viable alternative, but I guess I should’ve asked for legal ways to be a 1 percenter!

  11. Call Me What You Want Even Heap

    Create the next big online game, or app.

  12. Liquid

    Direct a movie like The Avengers. I mean How hard can it be? Even better, once released, make a sequel.

  13. eemusings

    Not sure about the US, but here doing a few tours of Iraq as military would set you up pretty well.

  14. Tie the Money Knot

    Here are things one can collectively do, taken together can get you there:

    Get an advanced degree

    Work hard

    Work smart

    Be efficient

    Save a high % of your income

    Marry someone who doesn’t like to spend money

    Admittedly, I’m not 1%:)

    However, but I know a few folks from VERY modest backgrounds that have done these things and are now doing VERY well. Better to learn from people who succeed that complain endlessly, I think.

  15. Nick

    Haha! I’ve tried a few of these. On my way!

  16. ImpulseSave

    Love this list – it’s interesting to see just all the ways that so many people can become 1%-ers. It’s not all the stereotypical “entitled” or whatever the media says. So many hard working, blessed, or just plain lucky people make it to the 1% and there are so many ways to get there!

  17. Financial Samurai

    Be a big blogga!

  18. gp

    Purchase a whole life policy with a paid up additions rider and use it to stash your cash. Some companies are paying up to 7%, mine is 7.401%. Borrow from your cash value to invest in MLPs, REITs, high yield stocks, they do exist. As your cash value grows each year, you can use it as your own personal bank. Borrow from it and pay yourself back…

  19. TR

    Become a pirate. Get a parrot and find burried treasure.


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