SYDNEY, 19 September 2011— With continued global economic uncertainty, a new AP-CNBC poll finds that for most Australians, Americans and residents of the United Kingdom, becoming a millionaire remains purely an aspirational goal. More than seven in 10 in each nation say it is fairly or very unlikely that they will become a millionaire in the next 10 years, peaking at 91% in the U.K.
Australians are the most optimistic about their chances of eventually becoming a millionaire. Twenty-nine percent say it’s likely they’ll become a millionaire in the next decade, compared with 21% in the U.S. and a scant 8% in the U.K.
For those optimistic Aussies, the opportunity of becoming a millionaire can happen sooner than they think. With the launch of CNBC’s “Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge”, a ten-week, global fantasy stock and currency trading competition, one lucky person stands a chance to win the grand prize of US$1 million dollars. The contest has gone international for the first time and is open to permanent residents in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Details and complete rules can be found at .
The survey asked people about a million dollars/pounds in their local currency.
Key findings of the AP-CNBC poll include:
- 44 % of Aussies say their confidence in investing in the market has been shaken by the recent volatility. This sentiment is relatively equal in the U.K. (45%) and slightly higher in the U.S. where 62% of Americans are less confident in investing in stocks.
- The minimum amount one would need to retire comfortably varies greatly by country. Australians (29%) are the most apt to see a million dollars as the minimum amount a person would need to have saved. The average amount cited is AU$650,000 (approx. US$674,000), which is significantly higher than other countries.
· In the U.S., 44% of Americans believe they would need a minimum savings of $250,000 or less (approx. AU$241,000) and 22% believe the minimum is $1 million or more to retire comfortably.
· Some 44% of U.K. residents say they’d need £50,000 or less (approx. AU$76,000) to live comfortably throughout their retirement, significantly lower than other countries. This is the same share of Americans who peg the minimum savings at US$250,000 or less. By contrast, among Australians, just 25% say the minimum required savings falls below AU$250,000 (or US$259,000).
- When respondents were asked how they would spend a million dollars* if they won it, for residents of all three countries, saving or investing was the top priority.
Australians would devote more than either of the other two nations surveyed to saving or investing (29%) and buying real estate (22%) combined. On average, they would give 19% of the money to family; devote 12% to paying down debt, 11% on general spending and 8% given away to charity.
Lower-income Australians would donate more to their family than higher income earners, on average giving about a quarter of their windfall to family (24%), topping the share among higher-income Aussies (17% of medium-income; 14% of high-income).
· Americans would spend, on average, 31% on saving or investing, 17% on giving to family, 14% on spending, 13% on paying down debt, 12% on buying real estate and 11% on charitable donations.
· In the U.K. sharing with family (25%) nearly matches the average amount devoted to saving or investing (26%). Eighteen percent would be spent on real estate, 16% on general spending, 10% for donating to charity, and just 5% to pay down debt.
* The value of a million is not the same across these three areas. As of Friday, Sept. 16, US$1 million is the equivalent of about AU$964,000 and about £633,000. Going the other direction, AU$1 million is the equivalent of US$1.04 million, and £1 million equals about US$1.6 million.