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Do Negative Millionaires Exist?

This is the second post in a series about millionaire status. Read about the first one here: Millionaires in the Making: Pros and Cons [1].

The million dollar number is often set as a personal goal for many people. Has anyone ever gone the other way and made it to the dark side of a million? Could someone really owe $1 million? And I don’t mean holding a $1,000,000 mortgage, I mean someone who has a negative net worth of that much.

Emotions and Money

There are many instances when the emotional side and the rational side of money are confused. I’d like to say that earning, saving and investing are all just numbers, but I know better. I know that money makes you think in funny ways. For example, I will Sell Coupons on Ebay [2] for a couple dollars but won’t Sell the Car [3] to save thousands. It doesn’t make sense.

Even though emotions are present in all levels of wealth, does the $1 million number elicit more emotional attachment than other milestones? After all there are many blogs that are detailing the trip to $1 million already or in the future:

Would the same magical number hold true reaching a negative net worth of $1 million? Would it make people think differently, act differently or approach debt differently?

The Search

As you can imagine, I didn’t find anyone (excluding famous people and corporations). Which, I’m actually pleased about. What I did find is interesting:

  1. I searched networthiq [8] and found the person with the lowest net worth to be person 334442debt [9] at ($367,535). However their user id leads me to believe that their net worth has actually gone down since they joined. In addition, I noticed that the comments include a goal to get out of debt in 24 months. That sounds pretty tough.
  2. The families highlighted [10] on Oprah recently revealed only the amount of debt they had, $300,000 ($230,000 in student loans and $60,000 in cars… hmmm… that doesn’t add up), and not their net worth. Although not likely, they may actually have a positive net worth.
  3. CNN Money highlights a family [11] that has a net worth of ($445,741) and it looks like they are going to keep going backwards for the near future. This could be the family that can make the negative millionaire status. Hopefully they will provide updates! (Credit to Living Almost Large for finding the family in: Bergmans…millionaire? [12])

Here’s some bloggers in the negative that I found:

I searched up and down and found lots of people in debt, but not $1 million. Apparently it’s tough to get close to a negative $1 million. Or the credit bureaus cut them off. Maybe we won’t ever know if there is a negative millionaire out there.

And so my search continues… ideally I don’t really want to find anyone in this state, as I want everyone to succeed financially. It was a fun challenge though!

Read the third article in the millionaire series when I look at our credit cards and lines and see if we can’t hit $1 million in credit limits [15]!