Here’s How Much You Needed to Invest Since 2000 to Have Become a Millionaire By Now

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2 min read

Here’s an interesting thought experiment: How much would you have needed to invest since 2000 to have become a millionaire by the start of 2018?

Let’s assume you invested all of your savings in an S&P 500 index fund. Here are the S&P 500 annual returns since 2000:

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Assuming you invest a lump sum amount at the start of each year, it turns out that you would have needed to invest $22,325 each year in the S&P 500 to accumulate $1 million by the start of 2018:

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What if you instead started investing at the start of 2001?

It turns out you would have needed to invest $23,674 in the S&P 500 at the start of each year in order to accumulate $1 million by the start of 2018:

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We can extend this thought exercise to all starting years from 2000 to 2010:

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Unsurprisingly, the later you started, the more you needed to contribute each year to achieve millionaire status by the start of 2018.

This chart represents these numbers in a slightly different way:

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Here is how much of your final $1 million would have been come from contributions vs. investment returns, based on your starting year:

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For someone who started investing in 2000, 40% of their final $1 million would have come from contributions. Contrast that with someone who started investing in 2010, who would have had 52% of their final $1 million come from contributions. 


Assumptions used in this analysis:

-All contributions were made into an S&P 500 index fund
-Contributions were made in a lump sum manner at the start of each year

-S&P 500 Annual returns come from this data source


My favorite free financial tool I’ve been using since 2015 to manage my net worth is Personal Capital. Each month I use their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track my investments and ensure that I’m on the fast track to financial freedom.

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5 Replies to “Here’s How Much You Needed to Invest Since 2000 to Have Become a Millionaire By Now”

  1. An additional table showing the total amount invested would be interesting as well.
    For example:
    year 2000-2017 at 22325*18=401850
    year 2001-2017 at 23674*17=402458
    year 2002-2017 at 25358*16=405728

    1. And for the record, I find all your charts extremely informative and am impressed at your ability to take data and consolidate it into very easy to understand graphs.

  2. Hey Zach,

    I really like this.
    So for just under $2,000 per month for 18 years and you would be a millionaire by now.
    For just $1,000 pm and you would be sitting on half a million. Still a sizeable sum.
    Very little excuse for most people to become millionaires during their working lifetimes…
    This also excludes property and businesses…

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