The Complete List of CNN Money’s Millionaires in the Making

Since 2002 (best I can tell), CNN Money has been profiling the financial lives of people headed toward millions because of their saving, spending, and investing habits.

With the help of my friend Google, I’ve put together what I believe to be the comprehensive list of these future millionaire profiles (CNN Money doesn't have this on their site) dating back to 2002.

I've also developed a database of their information and over the next few days I’ll be presenting some facts, statistics, and trends, along with some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Check out the complete list of people that CNN Money says is heading toward millions because of spending, saving, and investing habits. PT has linked each person to their online profiles. Read how each one does it and what you can do to make the millionaire list.

Millionaires in the Making From 2007 Blog (now offline)

Matthew and Kristen Shifrin
Nate and Nicki Wisneski
Ryan and Hope Wells
Frank Furbeck and Trudi Morris
Justin and Emily Bergman
Tracy and David Seims
Aris and Maria Magtibay
Amy and Jesse Dickinson
Keith and Elizabeth Bevelacqua
George and Wendy Cicotte
Jeanette Courts
Jerry and Lynn Moser

2007 Millionaires in the Making

Darren Fike
Sherelle Derico

2006 Millionaires in the Making

Matt and Kristina Johnson
Sid and Divya Arora
Matt and Lori Marchbanks
Jeff and Leonora Claudio
Jeff and Jet Martin
Natalie and Greg Turner
Han-Lin and Fu-Lin Lee
Paul and Audrey Yazbeck

2005 Millionaires in the Making

Justin D'Angelo
Christopher Ortega and Alicia McDonald
Mark and Kristi Johnson
Mike Rogalski
Hai Tieu
Mark and Lori Gorney
Amy Chan Hilton and Edgar Hilton
Dave and Annie Hall
Ryan and Danielle Quilling
Jeff and Anna Briere
Megan Murray

2004 Millionaires in the Making

Gloria and Robert Randecker
Michael and Caslyn Huck
Brad and Sharon Oldham
Rick and Victoria Woods
Robert Criscuolo
Michael and Maria Beall
James and Lisa DeLaGarza
Douglas Whipp and Kathleen Kaiser
Dave Coursey and Diana Patterson
Carl and Tahana Smith
Diana and Ken Knox Wolfe
Sean Dolan and Shelly Hawk
Update on Prior Millionaires in the Making
Mike and Christina Berretta

2003 Millionaires in the Making

Brad and Lori Jarvis
Michael Wentzel
Scott and Kelly Ellman
Scot and Heather Randol
Erk and Laura Sarman
RJ and Tara Singh
Brett and Shannon Wask
Matt and Christy Shebuski
Mark and Trish Crochet
Keith and Georgina Meulemans

2002 Millionaires in the Making

Mark Merry
Tom and Mary Kemnitz
Todd French (see my interview with Todd)
Hillary and Mike Bernier
Rick and Lisa Chetram
Rich and Cathy Whalen
Steven and Erica Ploof

This list wouldn’t be complete without including the spoof from Adventure (no longer active, so I present the full article below):

Hundredaires in the Making

It’s not always easy to manage your finances when you’re working 80-100 hours a week. But the long hours haven’t kept John and Jane Spendalot from setting their sites on some lofty financial goals.

“We think by the time we’re 40 we can have a positive net worth,” says Jane, 28.

Lawyers in Love

The two met three years ago as first year associates at the prestigious Los Angeles law firm of Shall, Oh & Profligate. Law school, of course, is not cheap and the Spendalots felt the full brunt of a legal education in the pocketbooks, graduating with almost $250,000 in student loan debt combined. Thankfully, the large student loans allowed them to snare even larger salaries—John, 28, and Jane make $150,000 a year, each. Despite the large salaries, saving money isn’t as easy as one would expect, they say.

Where Does the Money Go?

The Spendalots are avid travelers. Working long hours leaves them pining for the road. Financed mostly by credit cards, the Spendalots have seen much of the world the last few years—France, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Spain, and Greece, to name a few recent jaunts.

The Spendalots also recently purchased his and her Porsches. At almost $70,000 a piece, the cars weren’t cheap, but they say they expect to keep the cars for a very long time.

“At least until they’re paid off in four years,” says John. “By then the navigation system will probably be outdated. And I thought it was going to be a bit cheesy to have his and her cars, but to paraphrase Johnny Drama from Entourage:

‘We’d look like schmucks in Jettas. In Porsches, we look good.’

“Man, I love him,” says John.

Investing in a Home

After getting married last year, the Spendalots set their sites on a home in Manhattan Beach, CA. They finally settled on a five bedroom, four bath house for $1.6 million.

“My father always used to say that a home is a great investment,” says John. “And I wanted to be responsible, so I figured we should get the biggest house we could find.”

“Yeah, we don’t have any kids, so we don’t really need five bedrooms,” says Jane. “But there’s a chance one day we might decide to have kids; maybe when we’re done practicing law. Although, I guess I might be too old by that point. Maybe we’ll adopt one of those poor kids like Angelina. I love her.”

The Mortgage

When it came time to financing the home, the Spendalots selected a zero-down, 30-year mortgage, with interest only payments the first ten years.

“I was flipping through the channels one night and that Susie Gorman lady was on CNBC. She was talking about how mortgage interest is deductible,” says John. “I figured the more interest we paid, the larger our tax deduction, so we’re saving money there.”

The strategy, thus far, hasn’t worked out in the Spendalots’ favor. In the year since they purchased their home, similar houses in their neighborhood have been selling for up to 10% less. Since they didn’t put any money down on the home, the Spendalots now suspect they owe quite a bit more than their home is actually worth.

“We’re not too worried, though,” says Jane. “I expect by next year home prices will start increasing by 15-20% again. You know, like normal.”

The Future

As it stands, the Sepndalots currently have a net worth of -$600,000, a rather low amount given their earning power. They do recognize that it’s important to save for retirement and have been devising a strategy.

“We’d like to start saving, but we really want to get out of debt first,” says Jane.

“We’re making the payments on our student loans and we figure that once those are paid off—in 2034—we’re going to take the money we were paying on student loans and then put that toward our credit cards. It’s called a ‘debt snow job’ or something. Some guy on the radio was talking about it. Then, we plan to start putting away money for retirement.”

Saving Money

The Spendalots realize that the best way to get ahead is to cut back on their spending. Although she doesn’t go grocery shopping much (the couple eats out most of the time), Jane has started bringing coupons with her to the grocery store when she does go.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “I never thought I would be one to clip coupons, but I really got into it. I even bought this cute little Fendi handbag that I call my ‘Coupon Caddy’ to carry all my stuff in.”

“And the bag will look GREAT when we’re in Rome next month.”

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Last Edited: January 31, 2017 @ 8:49 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

PT uses Personal Capital to keep track of his financial life. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

PT keeps a portion of his emergency fund in Betterment, the automatic investing tool that makes investing super simple. Betterment focuses on what matters most: savings rate, time in the market, investing costs, and taxes. PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves.

All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. It would be cool to see some “where are they now” updates…

    • Philip Taylor says:

      Yeah, I had this whole thing planned to do podcasts with them and successfully did one but the others were too hard to get in touch with or didn’t want to do it.

      I think many of them were “house millionaires” and after the housing crash they took a big hit. I’m sure many have retired happily though.

  2. Reading these back in 2002 was one of the first things that got me interested in personal finance. I figured if they could do it, so could I! 🙂

  3. @Nozferatu – I don’t understand what you are not impressed with. The fact that they don’t have fancy cars?

  4. I’m not too impressed…the do nothing but save.

    The couple, who run a small company that sells industrial fasteners and other supplies, paid themselves $103,000 last year. They have no credit-card debt, have lived in the same house (worth about $300,000) for 14 years and don’t drive fancy cars. They’re so frugal compared with certain friends, in fact, that they wonder if they’re missing something. “Everybody’s passing us by,” Tracy says. “What are we doing wrong?”

    Couldn’t have said it better is passing them by…they’ll grow old, have alot of money and look back and say…[explitive]..all we did was work, chase money, and save. What a waste.