Chen Hong-Juan, 37
Work from home
The past 12 years marked one of the best stages of my life.
In the beginning of 2000, my income at a large state-owned enterprise reached $31,750 a year, and I started to consider buying a car and a home. Three years later, I got my first car, a China-made Buick. Now, I also have my own apartment, an 860-square-foot unit located in downtown. I made a one-time payment of $66,600.
I started investing in stocks and equity funds in 2006, and received huge gains from the bull market two years later that laid a good foundation for my future.
As making money was no longer my goal, I started focusing on other parts of my life. I finished a three-year MBA in 2004, and fell in love with traveling. In the last four years, I have visited at least 1 or 2 countries each. "50 countries before my 50s" has become my lifetime dream.
In 2007, I left a job that I didn't really enjoy. Now, I'm working for myself, aiming to become a mental health counselor.
Without China's rapid economic development, I could have never imagined owning a car or an apartment, let alone living a great life simply on my own investments. I'm still single at the age of 37. In China I'm called the "leftover lady" or "3S woman" - but I have a belief that my life is always going to get better.
NEXT: My income quadrupled