The overall message in the book is this: if you practice old-fashioned thrift, if you make saving as much a part of your life as spending, if you take the time to learn how to invest, and if you think in terms of wealth (that is, net worth) rather than income, then you, too, can join the ranks of the millionaires next door.
This comes from studies of real millionaires -- not the multi-billionaires of the world, but average Joes and Janes who, at retirement, are worth several million, even though they earned modest incomes during their working years. The book uses data from the study to point to the best saving and spending practices.
The unabridged book does get a bit repetitive, and the reader's slightly monotone voice doesn't help matters. However, repetition of information turned out to be an advantage while listening in the car, since I couldn't always give the book my full attention.
If you want to know how to get lots of money quick so that you can go buy lots of status toys, this is not the book for you. This book is about acquiring and keeping wealth, regardless of your income, so that you can live well and retire well. Flashy toys will only keep you from that goal.
I have always tried to become rich so I could drive a great car. This book makes it simple. The extra $10k I might spend on a luxury import will translate into $100k less I'll have 15 years from now. Yeah, I get it now.
I thought that because I ran out of money at the end of the month that I must be saving as much as I could afford at the beginning of the month. Truth is, I am spending whatever is left. Simply put more away and I will be in the same position at the end of the month, penniless but with a higher net worth.
Finally, I learned that the govt taxes earnings and not necessarily net worth. Once I calculated that I was really paying 40% of my net worth in income taxes, it became painfully obvious that simply increasing my net worth contributions will automatically reduce my income taxes and therefore burn down this 40% ratio from both ends.
I guess I always knew all this, but apparently I needed this great book to tell me knowing but not doing is just as bad as not knowing at all. So if you say to yourself,'I already know most of this stuff', then look around and ask yourself 'Am I the Millionaire Next Door?'.
To a young adult raised in a family of under-acheivers-of-wealth (UAW's)this book affirms the goals, techiniques, and saving strategies my husband and I have begun implementing in our life together. It is such a relief to hear statistical support for the benefits of saving, investing, and living below one's means. In a nation of UAW's, it is not often one comes across positive feedback for living frugally. I have watched friends, family members, and co-workers squander the income they earn, rack up high debt, and plan for the spenditure of income increases in the future. I will listen to this book again and again.
The authors need to update this book. I keep trying to adjust numbers used, like most amount ever spent on a car, as of 1995 and adjust for inflation to 2005. A $30,000 car in 1995 is not a $30,000 car in 2005. But, what is it? Is it $40,000, $35,000, or $50,000?
Other than that, a lot of good, common sence advice that is good to be reminded of. Also, it was fun to try to figure out which of my upper middle class neighbors are on EOC based on their lifestyles.
This book details the startling results of a comprehensive study on the wealthy in America. The authors fully explain key concepts about wealth-building that will help the listener identify and change their own bad financial habits. Examples: the difference between "high-income earners" and "the rich"; who the wealthy really are; the characteristics of people who are accomplished accumulators of wealth, usually with very moderate incomes; the self-destructive behaviors of people who earn high-incomes that prevent them from accumulating wealth; what to teach your children about wealth; how the wealthy plan the transfer of their wealth to their children and grandchildren. Although long and full of statistical concepts, this book should be required reading for those who truly want to learn how to increase their wealth. There's no theoretical fluff, multi-level marketing promotion or vague "Rich Dad" slogans here. Just hard data based on actual American millionaires and how they built their fortunes.
I loved it, so much in fact that I just finished "The Millionaire Mind" as well, which was also great. "Next Door" made me see the light as far as why most people don't have anything but toys & debt, and that expensive houses, new cars and fine clothes do not a rich man make, nor will they ever. Living below your means and being frugal is the key if you have good income such as a small business. Do not follow the crowds, or the hot trends, do the opposite. Much better said by he than me of course. It is not a dot-to-dot recipe for wealth, just eye opening insight based on years of research and interviews, much of which is the opposite of what you'd think. Get it!!
What an incredible book full of insights that are based on sound research. Thomas Stanley, and William Danko, have really hit a home run with this book. Best of all, there is no prieching, just what they learned from their research about how real millionaires live. This book serves as a reality check for many I am sure.
What's so interesting about this book is that unlike the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and overnight millionaire books that deluge the market, it's based on good research and interviews. This will not tell you how to flip properties or find probated estates. It will tell you how to model the behaviors of people who have been in the same situation you find yourself in and have had the same success you want. Really well done in both content and narration.
As someone with a degree in economics, I found "The Millionaire Next Door" very interesting with its various methods of evaluating how the 'wealthy' behave. The book provides some great examples of varying perceptions of utility. In fact I have used the buying cars by the pound example more than a few times. Not suprisingly, the vast majority of the millionaires studies subscribe (perhaps unwittingly) to the bathtub theory of economics... make sure that more money is coming in than going out. Unfortunately not enough people follow this sound piece of advice.
As an entepreneur the study of the small business owners were fascinating. I'm still reeling from the fact that scrap metal is the number one producer of millionaires in this country. I passionately recommend this book to anyone that is looking to start their own business. I know that I wish I had read it much sooner than I did.
I thought this book offered some very interesting insights into the "typical" millionaire and what they do in contrast to typical high-income earners. However, the book addresses several topics repeatedly, which is a waste in my opinion.