I thought this was going to be an interesting inside view into the lives of millionaires....who they are....how they got there. In fairness, I suppose it has some of that but it's delivered with a level of excitement comparabe to an accounting teacher reading from an Excel spreadsheet. The book could be reduced to a pamphlet-sized document that says, "If you aren't getting rich, you're spending too much money."...... over and over and over.
Initially I was very excited about this book but it turned into a struggled to find the will power to finish it. If it weren't for the fast-forward button, I wouldn't have made it. Particularly frustrating was the authors tendency to explain a simple subject with nauseating repetition. He went on and on and on about the right and wrong way to buy a car (according to millionaires of course). After I got the point, I rode the FF button a long time to get through that section.
Besides the repetition, the authors tone was the next most irritating quality. It wasn't enough to just explain methods millionaires us to be successful....he presents it in terms of smart vs. dumb. The frugal people do everything right and the non-wealthy people do EVERYTHING wrong. It was so heavily biased that I expected him to say that non-wealthy people produce ugly babies. He gives lots of kudos for people that don't take vacations, don't buy nice things, and save every penny while those that travel the world and/or enjoy doing things that require spending money are presented as inferior. I don't want to be too hard on the author but his presentation makes me think that he would charaterize Ebenezer Scrooge as one of the "smart" people.
The book provides interesting information about the habits of wealthy people but I was left with the highly unexpected feeling that I wasn't sure I wanted to be like them. Most of them try to live as close to poverty as possible. Memories of special occasions are described by most people I know as priceless. These people appear to prefer a mizer's life of pinching every penny. No thanks.....
PS. He LOVES the word "prodigious". That word actually got stuck in my head and echoed for days after listening to this book.
If you wish to retire as a paper millionaire, the basic advice presented in this book is sound, particularly if you happen to have disposable income. Careful planning, living below one's means, adequate income and proper investing can lead to economic self sufficiency. The book provides many examples of folks who did, indeed find financial success.
But there are issues with some of the advice the authors provide. Single minded dedication to amassing wealth is often penny wise and pound foolish. Living in better neighborhoods might be more expensive, but they are often safer, provide better schools, and may generally provide a better investment in real estate. Saving money by not going on vacation deprives both you and your children potentially life changing experiences. Hoarding money by not giving to charity, or even your own children, does it's own kind of spiritual damage.
The sections involving children are especially worrisome. If one follows the advice in this book religiously, a first generation millionaire family will likely end up a third generation pauper. It is important to teach children self sufficiency, but it is equally, if not more important, to teach one's children to manage million dollar investment portfolios, and to make informed decisions on budgeting and allocations of large amounts of money. After all, a wise person would not leave a large financial legacy without the tools to use it properly.
The generation of wealth is not a goal in itself. In one example presented in the book, a woman expressed the goal to retire with five million dollars. Yet in the process of doing so, they live like paupers. This woman might never see retirement, might never enjoy all that money she carefully hoarded, might forever miss out on the joys and experiences that wealth can provide. Save for retirement of course, but never forget that we only get one life.
And in the end, that's where this book fails. Truly wealthy people certainly plan for the future, invest properly, and save much of their income. Yet they also try to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and they share their wealth as much as possible.
If you are not a millionaire but want to be, read this book. It's much of what your upper middle class parents should have taught you, but it's not everything, If money is all you care about, you will do well to follow the advice in this book. Yet if you wish to lead a rich life, the kind of life full of experiences and learning and yes, even of civil responsibility, you will do well to moderate your zeal of living the frugal life outlined in this book.
A phenomenal book worth listening to. If you want a financial paradigm shift, The Millionaire Next Door can definitely help get you there. It's eye opening!
The key point in this book is by saving money and invest wisely, even with moderate income, people can get rich. I think the writer purposely crafted his message toward the "Majority" market not only because they are the most frustrated group, but also because they are the largest group. The subtle voice of "Although you are ordinary, you can do it too!", like cheesy infomercials at 2 AM, is very irritating. If you want to be a millionaire by: Never buy a set of suit for more than 500 dollars, or Never purchase a Luxury German automobile, or Never live in a house more than 200K dollars... read the book. For me, I want to maximize my income so I can SPEND it. Why be the lady who died in a low income neighborhood with 3 million dollars net worth that no one knows about. The sad thing is, she spent her whole life saving money and clipping coupons. What is the point?
The data in this book is priceless. There are plenty of precise figures and percentages, but after a while it gets rather repetitive. Sure, the detail-oriented financial advisors, attorneys and other high-pay professionals will love the shere amount of facts and figures, but for the average but ambitious Joe, the book could have been condensed in less than a half without any significant loss.
Very interesting book and so glad I purchased it. This gives you really good insight into how millionaires actually live and operate, treat their families and what accumulating wealth really means. Being frugal and making smart decisions. The data driven facts in this book are incredible, you'll be very surprised and possibly excited.
Narration of the book is great and very understandable. The authors voice and tone are also very good, some narrators have annoying voices or perhaps read the text differently than perhaps I am accustomed to reading or listening to. This one is great and I recommend for all. It's not a waste of money or a credit. Enjoy!!!