78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2002
This book exposes the truth behind the great wealth generators of America. Its message however has universal application. Contrary to expectation, real accumulators of wealth don't do any of the things that popular perception would have us believe. They don't have expensive tastes, live in plush houses, drive executive cars or wear the trappings of success. Instead, they budget very carefully and live well within their means, setting aside a sizeable proportion of their income for investment. This book explodes the myth of high earners necessarily becoming rich and supports its assertions with a wealth of detailed statistics. Most millionaires are apparently frugal, well-disciplined in handling their finances and frankly, downright dull! Not the sort of people that warrant a second glance.
Easy to read and enlightening, it may not be too late to change your behaviour and to embark on becoming a Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth (PAW)
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 1999
Someone once said, "I made myself wealthy by reducing my wants." That's what this book says. Sure, the content is padded quite a bit, but the message is worth what the book costs, whether you are an shining example of this philosophy or an opponent of it: you can spend or you can have, but most of us can't do both.
I agree with other reviewers' comments that the authors found most wealth was accumulated through operating small and boring businesses in your own neighborhood, yet don't recommend this to their readers (nor do those self-made millionaires, in most cases.) And their research methodology is a bit suspect, since it seems to have presupposed that source of wealth in finding interviewees. Still, I agree with the formulas that describe whether you're building an expected amount of wealth based on your age and income.
Bill Cosby, no financial slouch himself, said "The secret of wealth is ownership." This book gives you plenty of examples to help you believe that. It's not what you spend, but what you save, that gives you real independence. It's encouraging to read (maybe in a masochistic sort of way) that lots of high-earners (doctors and athletes, for instance) blow those high earnings and have little to show for it, living (large) paycheck to paycheck. Others, far less educated and with smaller paychecks, quietly avoid wealth-losing expenses such as flashy cars, big houses, and fancy clothes, to succeed in the only true measure of personal wealth: a high net worth. It isn't what you earn, it's what you keep.
I read the book straight through, hooked on almost every word. Where else can you get inside information on people's personal finances and the decisions that led them to their particular state? Maybe the research wouldn't pass close academic muster, but the individual vignettes are fascinating anyway.
So, negatives aside, I think this book is a must-read. You may fault some aspects of it, but the message is one that everyone should consider, even if you find reasons to ignore its conclusions. And if you're a tightwad, you will rejoice in finding vindication of your choices. But then again, if you're that tight, you'll probably read it from the library anyway!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 1999
If you are a analytical sort with a measure of discipline you will immediately embrace the logic of The Millionaire Next Door. If you are the extroverted "live for today" sort it'll drive you nuts that you have to use patience to be worry free and wealthy. Time and moderation has long been touted as the remedy for many things and that is what is proved in this book as no accountant's spreadsheet ever can...real life. It's a shame so many of use have no choice when we retire and must work in non satisfying jobs to just get by. Trading today for all your tommorrow's isn't a good idea, it'll make you bitter and angry in your old age. If you lack a good measure of disipline don't bother reading the book, you will reject it out of hand. Just don't hang blame on the rest of us because you can't afford your prescriptions when your 70 years old. If you do have some discipline you can change your financial life as I did. After reading this book I climbed out of a credit card nightmare inside of 2 years and have my financial bluprint set for life. I feel back in control and that is a great feeling. Now I can live for today!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2009
This book sold so many copies because it is just a phenomenal piece of work. When people think of wealthy individuals, they might visualize Donald Trump, who lives a luxurious lifestyle. Most millionaires are not like Trump. They are frugal, they do not drive expensive cars, and they do not live in expansive mansions. Think of Warren Buffett who still lives in the house that he bought for $32,000 in 1957. Those who try to show off wealth are most likely in debt trying to impress everyone else.
Stanley is an expert on the topic of wealthy individuals. He wrote several books on the subject, but this book is phenomenal. It is well researched and easy to read. I highly recommend it.
- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2000
For those who say its how to be cheap, what a load of rubbish. Tell me, if you earn £50,000 a year and live off just £40,000 is that being cheap? If you are certain you can start a dot.com and become a multi-millionniare in 6 months fine otherwise you better read this book.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This book, changed my conception of what it was to be wealthy. I always had thought that wealth was represented by Rolls Royce's, Patek Philippe watches, expensive houses etc etc etc. This book will blow your mind, if you believe these things represent wealth.
The premise of the book, is that there are usually 3 kinds of "rich" people, the super rich that can afford the absolute luxuries without problem, the ones who look wealthy, the cars, lifestyle etc, but have nothing in the bank, they are all front, and the ones who are wealthy but live simple non dazzle lifstyles.
What this book teaches the student of wealth, is that to look wealthy is not the same as being wealthy. Looking wealthy is a falacy, that can lead you to finacial ruin. Throughout the book it gives real life examples. What would you prefer a new Rolls Royce, or a 5 year old Rolls but an addtional $50,000 in the bank from the savings you make on buying second hand? The upfront keep up with the Jones's will buy the new one, the true millionaire will buy the older car, and invest the saved capital and make money on the investment. Capital should not be spent, only intrest off the capital should be spent on depreciating luxury items.
This book has changed my life. I lived a life of "luxury" believing that I could afford it. This book gave me a diffrent perspective on wealth, and my competitve spending stopped, and my wealth has soared. I now live 50% under my wage, instead of 100% of my wage. I love saving and investing money, instead of spending. I know that wealth is not about lifestyle, but what is truely in the bank.
The book must be read in conjunction with, The Richest Man In Babylon, The Greatest Salesman in the World and The Science of Getting Rich.
This is a book that could be used by a marketing guru, on how to sell products to the 3 social classes mentioned, or it can be used by the aspiring rich. Used by those who aspire wealth it will show them that flash lifestyles can create finacial ruin. Prudence, sacrafice and wise investing can make a millionaire out of anyone. The keys are in this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 1997
I finished this book in one weekend -- I have to admit the topic had me absolutely mesmerized from the start! I've finally got the answer to the key financial question I've been contemplating for some time: Am I really headed in the right direction financially? And how do I compare to the folks who have already accomplished the same goals I'm pursuing?
I found that the case studies of the Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAWs) -- folks who've achieved a net worth of $1M or more -- to be quite fascinating. These people are by and large "just regular folks" -- except that they haven't concentrated on accumulating the external trappings of so-called wealth that many of the assumed "well-to-do" Americans (the vast universe of Underachievers of Wealth, or UAWs) have been chasing . The authors' message? If you work relatively hard, live below your means, and use the compounding power of time as your ally, you will eventually accumulate extensive wealth. Nothing our parents or grandparents haven't already told us -- but now, here's definite proof their soothsaying had and still has merit.
And this isn't all just some fancy economists' theory. It's backed up by extensive research provided by the selfsame folks who have accomplished their financial goals, including reams of statistics and some interesting interpretations (like buying a car "by the pound").
Unmentioned in most other reviews: The two authors have also provided an equation based on statistics gleaned from the PAWS. The equation allows a reader to find out what side of the UAW/PAW paradigm they're on.
Are these folks happy? I'm not sure. And who cares? This book lays out a roadmap to financial success; it's not SUPPOSED to be a weighty Aristotlean tome on how we're supposed to live. If you want principle-based living, read Steven Covey and the like.
I'm getting this book for my brother for the Yule. I just hope it helps him get his head out of his arse financially, stop gambling on the riverboats, and halt economic aid to his ungrateful (and unworthy) kids.
Another great gift suggestion: Send this to your friends and family members in Amway and other direct marketing "businesses." Ask them why no Amway distributors made the list of millionaires!
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 1998
How do you rate a book? One way is by the impact it has on your life. TMND gets my highest rating, because it is the kind of book that will change your whole way of life (unless you're on the author's track already).
After reading this book, I began dramatically increasing my rate of savings and reducing unnecessary expenses. I will have 5 times the savings at the end of this year that I was on track to have before reading TMND. FIVE TIMES! That's like being paid for four extra years' work in a single year!
I now look at the whole concept of buying things differently; instead of thinking that accumulating possessions is a sign of success, I now realize it's only a hindrance to the accumulation of true wealth and financial security. I am on track to buy a house (no mortgage, I mean BUY) in five years, and still have investments left over.
This book will inspire you to set ambitious financial goals, and then take the steps to reach them. Truly inspirational, it may be the best single investment you can make.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 1997
The basic premise of this book, that everyone wishes or shouldwish to accunulate wealth, is unexamined by the authors and is patently false. The methodology is equally questionable. Surveys by questionaire,when the respondents are self-selected, are always suspect, although they do allow people so inclined to construct impressive tables for that quasi-statisical look. And don't I recall the impecunious Mr. Micawber teaching the young David Copperfield the same economic lesson as this book teaches: if you spend more than you make, you will go into debt, but if you spend less than you make, you will accunulate wealth? Of course Mr. Micawber didn't put an arbitrary figure on what wealth amounted to.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2013
Having read the book about 10 years ago, I still remember sections of if quite vividly - and that, in my opinion, is the hallmark of a great book in and by itself. The book was eye-opening in many respects. The author had spent a great deal of time researching the millionaires of America and was thus able to give some excellent insights into who are the real millionaires. My take-away from the book was the fact that the truly rich are not the ones throwing around money and driving fancy cars. On the contrary, most of the time they are quite indistinguishable from your average neighbour. They drive an ordinary car, they live in an ordinary house and they have a mundane business. However these are key - they own their business and it is something decidedly unsexy like waste management or scrap metal. There are businesses where there is a lot of money to be made but that are not attractive to most people. The few who get into it, are not flashy by nature, don't mind getting their hands dirty - and can become very rich. I loved the book and if there is an updated version out there, I'll probably read it again some day.