27 Year Old, Self Made Millionaire Reveals His Money Making Secrets!

Anton Ivanov is not your typical millionaire. He didn’t inherit his fortune from wealthy parents, doesn’t drive fancy fast cars and he doesn’t live in a huge estate overlooking the ocean. He is not a movie star or a professional athlete or even a celebrity of any kind, really.

He was just your typical kid growing up, with ordinary hopes and fears, but he had one thing that most kids lack: a goal that he had set at age 16 to become a millionaire. A goal that he accomplished in less than 10 years.

Just a few short months ago at the age of 26, Anton Ivanov crossed the threshold of that million dollar mark, accomplishing the goal he set 10 years earlier. But unlike most of the millionaires his age, he didn’t become so wealthy by being a teen music sensation or the most liked kid on the popular Teen Nick show.

Ivan says that his net worth by October 2014 is $1,070,969. He became a millionaire by following a few simple rules:

  • Start saving at a young age
  • Work hard and save more
  • Make wise career decisions
  • Always maximize savings contributions
  • Make smart investments
  • Keep it simple and plan ahead


Image Courtesy : Financessful.com

1. Start Young

Ivanov grew up in a moderate, middle class family where both of his parents worked. They migrated to Southern California from Russia in 2002, after living through one of the worst economical depressions in Russian history. During his younger years, Ivanov remembers thinking that people were foolish with how they spent their money.

He also realized at a young age the lack of financial education available to people his age, both from his parents and from his high school. He enjoyed reading books about building fortunes and becoming rich and wealthy. In fact, he couldn’t get enough of them.

Also, read >  0% Credit Card Offers: 5 Devastating Mistakes to Avoid

These literary “teachers” helped Ivanov set his first major goal at age 16: to one day be a millionaire.

2. Work Hard and Save More

Anton was your typical teenager in the sense that he had a regular high-school job working at a local Subway restaurant making minimum wage. But while most teenagers would quickly spend their small paychecks that they earned every couple of weeks, Anton opened a savings account and deposited 100% of every one of those paychecks for three years.

In his spare time, he didn’t play sports or instruments like other kids his age. Instead, he took on extra work as a freelance computer programmer and web designer, earning him extra money to stash away into his savings accounts.


3. Make Wise Career Decisions

When Anton Ivanov graduated high school, he had already saved up over $10,000. But while most of his classmates chose to go to college, Ivanov decided that a traditional college education was simply not worth the money it would cost to attend.

Instead, he kept working a couple more years until opting to join the United States Navy at age 20. This decision was one of the smartest ones he had made up to that point. Not only did he earn around $55,000 a year from the Navy in the form of an annual salary, along with having most of his basic needs provided to him (rent, utilities, food, etc.), but he was also able to earn that college degree while enlisted in the service, letting Uncle Sam pick up the tab for his tuition and fees.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in information technology and programming, all while serving his time in the military. During his years as a naval electronics technician, he continued to take on extra work on the side as a freelancer, allowing him to save over 60% of his naval income each year, which worked itself out to about $45,000/year into his savings.

Also, read >  10 Ways To Budget Like A Pro

4. Always Maximize Savings Contributions

On his 18th birthday, Ivanov opened his first Roth IRA account, and quickly proceeded to max it out to it’s annual contribution limit of $5,500. He then opened up a modest brokerage account where he carefully invested in low-cost stock mutual funds covering a wide variety of asset classes.

He knew that hand picking stocks wasn’t ideal for him, and preferred a much lazier approach to watching his money grow: by putting it in the right long-term investments and letting the market do the rest.

And then the financial crisis of 2008 hit….


Image Courtesy : Ivan’s Facebook Page

5. Make Smart Investments

While the stock market crash hit his bottom line pretty hard, he never lost sight of his overall goal to become a millionaire. He knew the only way to weather the storm was to hold tight and ride through the turbulent times. When the market finally hit bottom, he saved and invested even more.

Fortunately for this bright young man, the 2008 stock market crash also resulted in the housing market suffering some of its lowest numbers in years. Ivanov had insight into these trends and saw real estate as a perfect investment, buying his first piece of property in 2009. It was a nice condo in San Diego that had a bargain price tag of $400,000. He now rents this property out year round, making about $12,000 in rental income after paying his mortgage payments, and the property is now worth about $600,000 after only 5 years.

This prompted Ivanov to purchase his second property, a duplex for $430,000. He lives in one half of the property while renting out the other half for a resulting additional $12,000 in rental income after his mortgage is paid. He is not only essentially living for free, but actually earning $24,000 a year on the income from his property investments each year.

Also, read >  Why Going Green Can (Still!) Be Good for Your Small Business

6. Keep it Simple and Plan Ahead

One thing that has always remained true for this young financial genius is that the smartest financial decisions are often the simplest. While most Americans only manage to save a mere 5% of their income each year, Ivanov has committed to putting aside 60% of his earnings. How does he do it? Simple. Don’t think about it.

He has his paychecks direct deposited into savings accounts so that he never has to see the money in the first place. He also has multiple accounts set up for various financial needs and goals set far into the future. Everything from his gym membership to his wedding in 2 years has been planned out financially and his earnings are allocated accordingly.

While becoming a millionaire had been this young man’s goal since an early age, it wasn’t an easy goal to attain. But rather than earning a quick fortune by being famous, he earned his wealth the good old fashioned way: by making smart financial decisions and sticking by them. Something so simple that anyone could do it.

Have some savings but don’t know what to invest them in? Consider these wealth management companies.

Need cash in a hurry but don’t know which personal loan company you can trust? Supermoney is here to help you find the best options for all you loan needs.

Here is Ivan’s video where he talks about his journey. Courtesy : Yahoo.

He runs a personal finance blog as well – Financessful, Check it out! And he is active on Twitter, follow him.

Image Courtesy: Financessful

  • Theresa Cummings

    Man, if I only heard this story when I was 16, which points out how important it is to get information like this out there. Of course this won’t be taught at our high schools, but it is certainly something parents should share with their teenagers. Although some of them won’t give a crap, I have no doubt that there are some teenagers that would be wowed by what Ivan has accomplished at such a young age, take it to heart and get to work!

  • harrylangenberg

    Congrats Anton! Most of the young successful people i have met have incredible work ethics. The only caveat is that some of them get so caught up in their work that it takes over their life. I think its important for these folks in their 20’s to maintain a balance of work & fun/hobbies, even if it comes at the expense of their money piles.

  • DebuggingAnton


    Something doesn’t add up

    First, retirement account limits were about 5000$ during the time frame discussed so that’s about 35k$ in contributions. The statement shows Roth IRA appreciating 350% during a time frame that included the 2008 crash.

    Anton does not own his personal residence and does not spend money. How did he achieve a credit history that qualifies him to purchase income properties during a very turbulent period for real estate an real estate lenders?

    If it’s a VA Loan you can’t use it as a income property. VS Loan requires you to live there and he was in Japan at the time.

    After down payments on two income properties which very likely have negative cash flow, contributions to his Roth, Anton somehow ammased over 500k$ in cash and taxable brokerage accounts itemized as:

    Emergency fund 50k
    Savings 54k
    Brokerage 189k
    Funds for real estate 175k
    Reserves for real estate 25k

    Anton, the finance wizard has half of his net worth IN CASH if this story is to be believed.

    And the rest of his net worth is a modest Roth IRA and two leveraged rental properties.

    Then there is the question of the real estate equity. It seems high even for San Diego .


  • DebuggingAnton