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American Dream


“American Dream” doesn’t solely belong to financial terminology, but has a broad socio-economic interpretation. It refers to the belief that anyone, regardless of their background, can achieve prosperity and success through hard work and determination in the United States. It often associates with homeownership, financial stability, and upward socio-economic mobility.


The phonetic transcription of “American Dream” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) would be: /əˈmɛrɪkən driːm/

Key Takeaways

American Dream Main Takeaways

  1. The American Dream – The American Dream is largely considered as the opportunity and freedom for everyone, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth, to attain their personal goals and achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.
  2. Changes in the Perception of the American Dream – Over the years, the interpretation and perception of the American Dream has evolved over generations depending on the sociopolitical climate. Once focused primarily on wealth and material gain, many people now associate it with personal fulfillment, happiness, and a stable social environment.
  3. The Challenge of the American Dream – While the American Dream promotes the idea of equal opportunity for everyone, in reality, it remains unattainable for many due to factors such as socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic background, and access to resources and opportunities. This disparity exposes many of the societal and institutional inequities in the United States.


The term “American Dream” is significant in business/finance because it embodies the fundamental ethos of the U.S. economic model: the prospects of opportunity, prosperity, and success achievable through hard work in a society with few barriers. This concept motivates and supports entrepreneurial spirit, high-risk/high-reward ventures, and the economic mobility that drives key market activities. It is often a benchmark for financial success and stability such as homeownership, comfortable retirement, and opportunities for better living standards and education for subsequent generations. However, its practicality and accessibility remain subjects of ongoing discourse, influencing socioeconomic policies, market regulations, and wealth distribution strategies.


The American Dream, in the context of finance and business, is essentially the belief rooted in the ethos of American life that through hard work, resources’ optimization, and a bit of ambition, everyone has the potential to achieve economic prosperity and upward financial mobility irrespective of their social or financial beginnings. This concept is deeply ingrained in American society, being a motivational factor for many people in their pursuit of financial stability and a prosperous life. It is used as a guiding principle for many individuals, inspiring them to leverage their capabilities and available opportunities to achieve their financial and economic goals.It’s essential to note that the role of the American Dream extends to the economic sector as a whole. It functions as a fundamental driving force stimulating entrepreneurship and small business growth, which follows the tenet of the American Dream – creating wealth from nothing but determination and hard work. These small businesses, inspired by the promise of financial success, contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, and innovation. Therefore, the American Dream as a concept is key to American capitalism, offering a sense of purpose and direction for aspiring entrepreneurs and established industries alike.


1. Home Ownership: A widely-known aspect of the American Dream is owning a house. In this context, real estate agencies, mortgage lending companies, and construction firms contribute to making this dream possible. For instance, a suburban family purchasing their first home with a fixed-rate mortgage from their local bank is an excellent example of this aspect of the American Dream.2. Entrepreneurship: The belief that anyone can start their own business and achieve financial success is another key component of the American Dream. An example is the story of Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks. Despite coming from a low-income family, Schultz managed to build one of the most successful coffee companies in the world.3. Higher Education for Better Opportunities: The notion that anyone can uplift themselves and their families through education is integral to the American Dream. In this context, financial service providers, such as Sallie Mae, which offer student loans to cover the cost of higher education, contribute daily to this aspect of the Dream. An example could be a first-generation college student working through school and graduate to obtain a well-paid job, paying off their student debt on a feasible timeline – embodying the opportunity aspect of the American Dream.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the American Dream concept?

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, achievable through hard work.

Does the American Dream have anything to do with finance or business?

Yes, it does. The American Dream often involves financial success, home ownership, or running a prosperous business. It essentially ties to the idea of creating wealth and financial stability.

Who are often associated with the American Dream?

Immigrants are often associated with the American Dream as they typically move to the United States for better opportunities and the chance to establish a successful and prosperous life.

In what way does the American Dream impact businesses?

The promise of the American Dream can motivate entrepreneurs to start businesses, driving economic growth. Also, companies often use the American Dream as a marketing strategy, promising their products or services will aid in achieving it.

Has the meaning of the American Dream evolved over time?

Yes, the concept has evolved from seeking simple, personal joy and satisfaction to an aspiration for wealth, a own house, good job or successful business. Its interpretation can vary from person to person.

Can the American Dream be achieved by everyone?

While the American Dream advocates equal opportunities, the achievement of it is influenced by factors such as socio-economic background, access to resources, hard work, and sometimes luck. Hence, although the dream is theoretically available to all, it may be more challenging for some to achieve compared to others.

How can someone attain the American Dream in the finance or business world?

This varies on an individual basis, but often involves pursuing higher education, developing a strong work ethic, saving and investing wisely, owning a home or business, and climbing the corporate ladder.

Related Finance Terms

  • Home Ownership
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Career Advancement
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Independence

Sources for More Information

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