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Featured Advisor

Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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Immigrant Roots of Mega Millionaires

First and second generation Americans are well represented among the nation's mega millionaire investors. Learn more.

| BY Adriana Reyneri

First and second generation Americans make up a disproportionate share of the nation’s mega millionaire investors, according to the latest Millionaire Corner research, which tracks a high degree of upward mobility among Americans born in another country, or who have foreign-born parents.

Twelve percent of all Americans – about 36.7 million people – were born in another country, according to the most recent U.S. Census data. That share jumps to 18 percent for America’s mega millionaire investors, those with a net worth exceeding $125 million, according to our newly released study of investors with a net worth of $25 million or more.

Mega millionaire investors are also more likely than the average population to have parents who were born outside the U.S., according to our research, which shows that 28 percent of $125 million plus investors are second generation Americans. Across the entire U.S. population, 11 percent of Americans have at least one foreign-born parent, according to the U.S. Census. Thirty-eight percent of investors with $125 million or more say that their grandparents were born in another country.

More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants or their children, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. First- and second-generation Americans not only have a better-than-average chance of earning membership into the mega millionaire investors club, they are also job creators and heavy hitters in the fields of science and technology, according to a study issued in December by the American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership for a New American Economy. 

First generation Americans with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering and math creates an average of 2.62 U.S. jobs, according to the report, Immigration and American Jobs. Foreign-born inventors were contributors on more than three-fourths of the patents earned by the top 10 patent-producing universities in the U.S., according to Patent Pending, a report released this June by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Approximately 107,000 investors with $25 million or more currently live in the United States, according to our research. All have a high school degree, and 93 percent have graduated from college. They are most likely to be entrepreneurs (27 percent), senior corporate executives (15 percent), managers (7 percent), consultants (6 percent), investors (6 percent) or a doctor or dentist (6 percent). Mega millionaire investors attribute their success primarily to hard work, education, smart investing, taking risk and being in the right place at the right time. One-fourth of mega millionaire investors say they never plan to retire.