Sunday March 14, 2010
‘I want to be a millionaire’
Stories by RASHVINJEET S.BEDI and SUMISHA NAIDU
No longer a dream but a possibility, today’s youth aspire to be rich, become a millionaire by the age of 35, and are confident that they can attain their ambition.
WITH role models like Mark Zuckerberg, 26, founder of Facebook and youngest self-made businessman worth more than a billion dollars; and Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, it is no wonder that the young think they can hit the jackpot too. The lure of being young and successful is strong – with icons that made their millions barely out of university.
In today’s world of success equals wealth, many see their paper qualification as a mere stepping stone to routes that will bring them an income beyond a simple salary.
“They are all exciting beacons of possibility for a generation looking for ‘heroes’ to emulate,” says Rajen.
“The appalling lack of political calibre we see everywhere, both inand internationally, and the flaky behaviour of some entertainers and sports personalities, have caused today’s young people to increasingly choose to look toward business icons as role models. Financial success is, naturally enough, tied to high achievement in that arena,” he adds.
Joel Neoh, the executive-director of YouthSays, is surprised that almost everyone who took the poll aspires to be a milionaire.
“What is interesting is how many would eventually become one. Many won’t be able to achieve the goal,” he opines.
He is not too sure if the term “millionaire” means having RM1mil in cash or collective assets or a combination of both.
“If it’s collective assets, it’s very possible to achieve it today. About 10 to 15 years of savings can amass to that amount (car, house, etc). However, if it is RM1mil cash, this is quite a challenge to do so before the age of 35 if one is a salaried worker. But if one is running a business, then the chances are higher,” he says.
Neoh believes there is a rise in the number of young adults working towards such a goal and attributes it to how materialistic society has become.
“Materialism is a big part of our society. Many of our parents tell us to get a good degree and good job. For many, being successful means being rich,” he says.
CEO of youth agency Summer Sands, Bernard Hor, shares that there is an increasing market for “how to get rich” courses, citing the many wealth academies and programmes available for those who want to learn how to make money.
“Many of those who go for such programmes are college students,” says Hor.
He adds that the multi-level- marketing (MLM) concept has the most active penetration in the campuses. He claims that research indicates that at least nine out of 10 students are exposed to what MLM has to offer. Hor says that six or seven students join MLM in one way or another.
“They have been sold the idea of making their millions through such marketing,” says Hor, adding that many of them aim to reach their goal before turning 30.
In fact, almost 75% of respondents agreed that being a millionaire was the single-most important thing in their life.
So what is the motivation for?
For ATCEN Founder and Group CEO Ernie Chen, being a millionaire is just sexy.
“Why wouldn’t you want to be one? Every kid I’ve met wants to have the cars and houses. They get the idea from TV shows and movies – pop culture, basically. The founders of Google were only in their 20s when they became not just millionaires, but billionaires,” says Chen who runs the Millionaire Business School.
But it is more than just being rich for glamour’s sake; saving for retirement is an important consideration too, especially with the increasing cost of living and inflation.
“We know that in order to maintain the lifestyles we’re accustomed to, we need more than just a basic job to get that million ringgit. My priority in terms of a career right now would be a first job that would broaden my horizons. I’m going to try to earn as much money as I can once I’m done with studying,” he says.
Rajen says that most Malaysians now in their 30s and 40s who hope to retire between the ages of 55 and 65 are likely to need between RM500,000 and RM5 mil, depending on their lifestyles.
“The snowballing effects of inflation will almost certainly kick in well before we retire, thus necessitating millionaire status simply to afford simple amenities in the 2040 to 2050 time period,” he says.
He believes the growing ambitions of today’s youth are also indicative of higher expectations they are willing to place on themselves.
“All this suggests that more young people are willing to pay the high price, in terms of discipline, diligence and courage, to break the bounds of conventional employment and build businesses or professional practices that will grant them their lofty desired economic outcomes,” he adds.
But while almost everyone wants to become a millionaire, not everyone will succeed in doing so.
“I’ve met young people who have huge aspirations. The reality is that some will make it, some will not. If everyone does well, the economy will get better, our country will do better,” says Chen.
source: http://thestar. com.my/news/ story.asp? file=/2010/ 3/14/focus/ 5739757&sec=focus
The Sunday Star survey “So you want to be a millionaire?” with YouthSays and polled 1,678 people below the age of 30thoughout the country.
The 96% figure is significantly higher than that expected by some financial planners.
Securities Commission-licensed financial planner Rajen Devadason said: “I’m surprised such a high proportion of respondents want to be millionaires. In my own experience, it is usually in the 60% to 70% range.”
He pointed out that most of the respondents were between 18 and 27 years and at that age, most people usually did not think too much about their future.
“They are busy living for the exciting present,” he said.
’s children and youth psychology specialist Dr Khaidzir Ismail, however, said the findings showed that those surveyed had high self-esteem.
“At least they have the motivation even if the goal is not easy to achieve,” he said. “I believe that if they are given the opportunity and shown the way, they will achieve it.”
Rajen, however, found it disturbing that 75% of the respondents said to become a millionaire was the single most important thing in their lives.
“It is soul-damaging,” he added.
Help University College vice-president and psychologist Dr Goh Chee Leong said that while a big number aspired to be millionaires, only about half agreed that it would make them happier.
Dr Goh said he was pleased that only a minority (25%) would be willing to give up ethics to be become a millionaire.
P/S- 25%???? in terms of probability, that's 1 out of 4 !!!!
source: http://thestar. com.my/news/ story.asp? file=/2010/ 3/14/nation/ 5749183&sec=nation