©2000 Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D.; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved, SOUND IDEAS is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
"The implication of The Millionaire Next Door is that nearly anybody with a steady job can amass a tidy fortune." (Forbes)
It was hard to imagine seeing our neighbor as a Millionaire before reading this book. Although I believe I do save enough for retirement, I still picked up great encouragement to do better. I played excellent Offense [could make a decent salary] but played terrible Defense [spend it if I have it]. From reading this book, I have put together a plan to be a millionaire in 14 years. Even if I do or don't make it, it's better to working at it with the tips given here!
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.
The book brings nothing new: if you start saving when you're young and be frugal (miser is more proper :) and have a good job all along, chances are you will accumulate wealth and be a millionaire when you retire, if any of these conditions are lacking then it will be harder to have the seven figures on your account.
This is obvious. Why save so much if you can't enjoy what your means can buy without resorting to second hand cars and mediocre neighborhoods? Beats me.
Their conclusions were obtained on research done on millionaires that accepted to be paid 100 to 200 dollars an hour to be interviewed, as mentioned on the text. Isn't it obvious that this would force any conclusion on their levels of frugality and their viewpoints to be skewed by the inherent biasing of the sample group? In other words, millionaires that are "frugal" enough to sell their time for a couple hundred bucks an hour are people that are naturally tight with their money anyway. That doesn't imply that millionaires in general behave this way, their research needs revising. Every sparrow is a bird but not every bird is a sparrow.
Apart from that, the text is repetitive and the few formulas given are mediocre at best.
The good effect of reading the book is that in a debt-crazy risk-taking America, a little serious self-examination comes in handy and the book reminds the readers of that. But don't expect the book to bring any original idea or surprising revelation.
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.
I learned alot from this book. Most importantly, how to THINK like a millionaire. You first have to change your way of thinking before you can change your wallet thickness. It made me re-evaluate what's important in life. Social status or financial independence? This is a must read (or listen) for anyone with money.
The beginning of this book really held my interest as it described the general characteristics of millionaires in America. It was difficult, however, to really think through many of the statistics that were presented because some terms are not well-defined. In a print book I would have been able to flip back and forth from definitions or go look them up elsewhere, but it's harder to do that with audiobooks.
The last third of the book drags quite a bit, and there are sections that get so preachy that I found it irritating. The book also ends very abruptly.
In general I think this book isn't well-suited to the audio format.
If you have problems saving money, and you're a high income earner, then this book may interest you. Don't get me wrong, for most people that are interested in personal finances and wealth, it will give some insight and interesting stats that you may not have thought of before. But it could be summarized in a much much shorter book. Definitely get the abridged version (and that comes from a person that hates abridged versions)
The book has lots of information on the wealth in America and how do the millionaires get there. There were too many number and statistics that they throw at you that for the first few hours, it might seem it's getting no where. The book is written like a research paper. I would have preffered that they created a summary of the major points to become wealthy, and then elaborate to prove or strengthen their points. I'm not sure for the abridged book, but for those who loves numbers and percentage and can appreciate the research style of the book, then go for it. If not, maybe you can try the abridged book(don't quote me on this because i've not listened to the abridged book). Overall, other than the organization of the book, i believe that the information is an eye opener especially in terms of how we define and maintain wealth.
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