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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
How to be Rich
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change

on 22 May 1998
This is not a book about how to get rich. As its title implies, it is a book about how to be rich. Accordingly, much of Getty's advice is directed toward the development of a particular state of mind rather than detailing a formula for monetary acquisition. Although Getty earned the basis of his mega-fortune as a wildcatter in the oilfields of California, Texas and Oklahoma, he was a highly-educated man. Following graduation from college in California, he attended Oxford University, earning a graduate degree there. Only after his return from England did he plunge into the enterprise of oil exploration and drilling that paid off so handsomely. Thus, Getty's book is not the one-dimensional tract so commonly written today by lesser intellects. He discusses what it means to be rich -- the attitudes, the appreciation for the cultural heritage of classical music, literature and art (The Getty museum in California, based on his original collections, is one of the largest repositories of fine art in the world today). He discusses how an individual's outlook and attitudes constitute a virtual program for either success or failure. Then he provides the intellectual tools for changing self-limiting habits and developing productive and beneficial ones. He provides practical advice and an expert evaluation of the various forms of investment. In recent years, we have seen sports figures, entertainers and lawsuit winners squander their fortunes. On the other hand, we have seen immigrants like those who escaped Castro's Cuba with nothing but their lives -- their entire life's work stolen by the communist thugs -- only to earn a second fortune in the US. Why is this? Because, having been rich, they knew how to be rich -- they had programmed themselves to be rich. Getty's book goes a long way toward imparting that information to its readers. Once in possession of Getty's guidance, however, the hard work of implementing it still lies ahead, but his book is a literary roadmap to success without peer.
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on 8 November 1999
JP Getty is an amazing bloke. I can only admire his hands on approach to his working life, preferring to work side by side with his workers and seeing for himself problems which arise and solving them with the people who count. This is not about how to be rich but how to be successful in business. This book gives you useful tips on how to manage and get the best out of your people and your business.
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on 7 November 1997
A lot of books tell you how to be rich, but they rarely work. This book is truthful and written by a man who in todays dollars would be richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined. This is the best book I have ever bought on finance. Getty doesn't cut corners on his advice. Best of all this book makes a lot of sense, and doesn't sugar coat the truth. This is something that cannot be said for many books.
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on 10 May 1999
J. Paul Getty's honesty was fascinating in my view. He made a fortune (dollarwise) yet was married many times, seeing women as another kind of wine to be enjoyed yet admitting that perhaps he would have been happier in life with perhaps a modest income and only a single mate throughout his lifetime. He distinguishes between a true entrepreneur (like himself) vs others with almost the same God-given talent who do not achieve business goals as effectively as he does. J. Paul Getty was a very thoughtful man who I believe cared, in his own imperfect way, for society and for the people who worked for him. In my view, J. Paul Getty did give back to the community some of the financial rewards he received by serving the community well with a good solid business idea. Thank you J. Paul Getty for your unique insights into the world and the world of business.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2013
This book was first published in 1965, in Playboy magazine, and it was aimed squarely at young American male executives, or those who aspired to be such. It is, nonetheless, a thoroughgoing business book, without archness or any attempt to pander to its likely audience. As other reviewers have stated, it is not about how to get rich, but to be so, through characters and behaviours that are essentially honourable and trustworthy; it is also about the self-made man and the traits that such a person needs to have or to acquire. Getty made his first million in the midwestern oilfields, working alongside the drilling teams, sharing the efforts and the same hardships as those he employed and leading from the front - very old school and very anti the culture of new management. It is, in many ways, old fashioned and one wonders if such wisdom and character that he espouses would work in the modern organisation: the answer is probably yes, wherever there is opportunity for entrepreneurship and single-mindedness that drives consensus rather than follows it. In many ways, it is refreshing to read a book such as this and glean insights into what it takes to be successful in business and work successfully with other people who will help to make it happen: I enjoyed it, for the most part, and recommend it as a book to read and learn from.
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on 14 October 2013
I really enjoy reading what Paul Getty wrote, but this book does not fully live up to its title. I understand that the title of the book implies that it is about how to "be" rich rather than how to "get rich". The first third of the book describes how Getty himself got rich, which is very interesting, especially if you have not yet read his autobiography. The second third of the book gives his tips for how businessmen should behave in order to succeed. By the way, you notice that the book was written 50 years ago, because he never considers businesswomen. Only in the last third of the book does he get down to the subject of how to "be" rich. He gives his thoughts on investing in the stock market - his advice is good but nothing new - buy stocks when they are cheap and keep them for the long term. He also gives his tips on investing in real estate and fine art. Again, nothing world breaking - accumulate, be thrifty, watch the expenses, react quickly to problems.
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on 13 October 2017
I, like a muppet, accidentally bought two of these but, nonetheless, i could have bought wo of soemthing worse. This is an interesting book that came from J.Paul Getty being asked by Playboy on multiple occasions to write for them. It is simply a book of his solid advice on how he worked his way up from nothing. I imagine this book will start to sell out once the film "All the money in the world" is released.
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on 16 June 2009
I picked up a second-hand reprint, and it was interesting but really only about half of it is worth reading, the rest being a bit outdated. The most interesting part is at the beginning about his own early history, the middle part about his recommendations for being successful in business generally remain valid today although the phrasing is not what one would find in modern business books, and the last third or so about other topics is not too interesting.

Summary: ok, but mainly for curiosity value.
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on 5 May 2014
Lovely bio on J.Paul Getty.

I loved the way the book reveals how he was at the brink of financial disaster, before he got his first break and then his simple formula for investing in stocks was a great revelation to me.
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on 23 January 2014
Very informative and enlivening. He was truly special and this book reveals unlimited insightful wealth in how he thought. You can see that he was truly misunderstood,like all great men, by people of his time. He always had the long term in mind. A must read!
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