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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Limp Follow-On to The Millionaire Next Door, 4 Aug 2004
This review is from: The Millionaire Mind (Hardcover)
This book is very seriously flawed in its methods, writing, and conclusions.
If you want to learn more about becoming wealthier, I suggest you read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and "The Cash Flow Quadrant instead.
The author surveyed hundreds of people in a few suburban communities. 733 turned out to be millionaires. The book is based on the self-reported results and perceptions of those 733.
Because of the way the sample was selected, you won't get much variety in type of millionaire. Very few inherited-money millionaires make it into the sample. Also missing are 17-year-old models who are on the cover of every magazine, basketball players who sit on the bench for the Celtics and earn millions annually, 25 year old ex-founders of Internet companies, and so forth.
Also, the results are not segmented very much. It would have been nice to have been able to slice the data to look at oneself and see where each of us fails to match up to the standard. This might have provided some ideas about what each person needs to do differently if one wants to become wealthier.
A lot of interesting questions are missed as a result. Are different paths working better now than in the past? What takes the least effort (if one is to be self-made)? What takes the least risk? What takes the fewest number of years?
Most observers would agree that the New Economy has changed the wealth distribution in the U.S. You will look in vain for much on this subject.
Also, since we are only looking at millionaires, we can't find out what is significant if we don't see how their attitudes and lifestyles are different from similar people who are nonmillionaires. That control group is essentially missing in this case.
Finally, what are the odds of success if you do what these people did? How much does it improve your odds of success? You might find that the reported variables are not the essential ones. But the way the study was done, you can't tell.
A good example of the problem of cause and effect was the finding that the richest millionaires played the most golf. Now, was that because the richest people can afford the time and money to play more golf, or because golf contributes to becoming wealthier? You can't tell from this research.
Next, the good part. The book certainly espouses good middle class values. Work hard, stick with your spouse, watch the kids' sporting events, entertain your friends. No one will go off the deep end following this advice.
Probably the most encouraging part of the book was the assertion that millionaires were not tops in SAT scores and college grades. Anyone who has gone to a high school or a college reunion would probably have already figured that out. The key points, that millionaires are more likely to be sociable and not accept setbacks as permanent) have been reported many times before. There's nothing new there.
You should also realize that doing something different from this model does not doom you to the poor house. Some rich people do spend more time on ski vacations than with tax advisors. Some rich people do use credit cards (it's hard to travel if you don't). Some rich people have been through divorces. I can go on, but realize that your life is what you make of it. Keep improving yourself and what you do, and you can be as financially successful as you want to be.
May your progress towards the wealth you desire be irresistible and based on your values!
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