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Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence Hardcover – February 28, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0471710271 ISBN-10: 047171027X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047171027X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471710271
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The advice and concepts outlined in Automatic Wealth are best suited for those in their 30s-50s who recognize that their current job will never afford them true financial independence. Rather than encourage readers to quit their day jobs today and launch into a new scheme tomorrow, Masterson shows how to turn your skills and experience into significantly more money within seven to fifteen years. For those just getting by, he details how to get the biggest pay raises now and how to move into more lucrative ventures in the near future. For those with some savings, he offers specific advice on building equity and increasing net worth significantly and quickly. Since Masterson made his millions starting and developing small businesses, he encourages people to become entrepreneurs themselves and discusses which kinds of ventures to invest in and which ones to avoid. He also stresses the importance of developing multiple income streams, offering chapters on real estate, stocks and bonds, consulting, direct mail, and other opportunities.

In addition to concrete steps, Masterson also writes about attitude and expectations. His first step, in fact, is to take an honest and realistic assessment of your current financial situation and prepare yourself to change habits. He stresses that you must make getting rich a priority and devote the necessary time to it--act immediately and don't wait until the perfect moment to change your situation (hint: the perfect moment rarely arrives.). Clearly written and filled with informative anecdotes and examples, Automatic Wealth will not make you a millionaire overnight. It could, however, make you one in a decade, and that's a timeline most people can deal with. --Shawn Carkonen

From the Inside Flap

If you're worried about getting burned by financial programs that promise you'll get rich quick—through unlikely stock tips or high-risk trading strategies—and don't have the patience to invest in a savings plan that takes thirty or forty years to take advantage of the "miracle of compound interest," then you've picked up the right book.

In Automatic Wealth, self-made millionaire Michael Masterson draws upon his own experience and that of experts in the fields of retirement, investing, and real estate to offer you a complete program on achieving financial independence. Organized around six key principles, Automatic Wealth will show you how to develop your wealth- building skills and habits and turn yourself into an "automatic wealth-builder."

The proven program detailed throughout this book—one which incorporates nothing but strategies that have personally worked for Masterson as well as the people he's mentored—is broken down into six easy steps:

  • Facing the Facts—Here you'll discover what wealth means to you and come to a realistic conclusion about what you need to do to put yourself on a path that will allow you to live well and retire comfortably.
  • Plan to Become Wealthy—Offers simple, straightforward advice that will prepare you for your journey.
  • Develop Wealthy Habits—Illustrates how the right mind-set can translate into more money.
  • Radically Increase Your Income—Provides the framework for making the money you want through real estate, investing, and other proven financial vehicles.
  • Get Richer While You Sleep—Reveals the best ways to create a steady stream of income that will automatically flow into your pocket.
  • Retire Early—Explores proven approaches to wealth building that will allow you to retire sooner than you might have expected and still live comfortably throughout your retirement years.

Automatic Wealth follows a well-conceived plan that focuses on building income and equity simultaneously. Filled with in-depth insight and practical advice, this unique guide offers specific steps—including how to develop wealth-building habits now and how to develop a three- to fifteen-year plan to reach millionaire status—that will help you live a more fulfilling financial life.

Customer Reviews

It is very easy to read.
Christopher Glines
He is a strong believer in investing a sizable portion of income in side businesses and local real estate to build wealth over time.
L. Masonson
In this book, Masterson offers practical, achievable steps to build one's wealth automatically.
M. Fisher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Matthew A. Lewis on April 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book slightly disappointing, having read so many 5 star raving reviews of it. It is a worthwhile read, for sure. To me, the book was more of a "how I succeeded" book than I was expecting. He is very specific in recommending those things that have done well for him. He offers many strategies for making more money doing specific types of (high paying) jobs, investing in real estate, and starting or financing small businesses. There is good advice in there, and I think it is worth reading for that, since Mr. Masterson is very successful, and whose example to follow but someone successful?

The book's pitfalls to me center around specific investing advice. For instance, he recommends not investing much in the stock market because of its volatility, and talks about how much he likes investing in bonds, since if you hold them to completion you know what you are getting. This is true, but does not consider the effects of inflation, which makes that steady income worth less (whereas stock valuations and dividends tend to keep up with inflation). This is a perfect example where you have to realize he is telling you what has worked for him, but may not be the best advice for many (although I agree with him the stock market is currently overvalued). He also seems to contradict himself when he uses the stock market's historical average of 10% returns to claim you need a net worth of 10 times your living expenses to retire (or 12 times if you're more conservative). In one breath he is poo-pooing the stock market as an investment, then using its average returns in his retirement calculations.

I also wish he didn't refer to real estate investing as "flipping" real estate.
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful By L. Masonson on May 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Masterson, a self-made millionaire, puts forth a logical approach for building wealth. He believes that a person, who is willing to put in the effort and time, can amass wealth in a period of 7 to 15 years. I think that timing is a bit optimistic, but even if it takes 20 to 25 years, the end result is still the same - financial independence, more freedom and tranquility. Masterson believes one's primary goal is to accumulate enough capital to generate passive income to pay for life's necessities.

This 271-page book is divided into only six detailed chapters. Each one explains one of the six steps to achieving wealth, which are:

1. Face the facts - you won't get rich saving 10% or more in your pension plan or getting measly salary increases.

2. Plan to become wealthy - This is occurs one step at a time and requires planning.

3. Develop specific wealthy habits - work hard, good a what they do, are extraordinary savers, pay themselves first

4. Radically increase your income - to the tune of 25% to 150%

5. Get rich while you sleep - by receiving passive income

6. Retire early - to live the lifestyle you want

Masterson provides specific examples of each of his six steps, as well as personal experiences and appropriate stories. It all seems very real and makes a lot of sense. He mentions that an individual has to make getting rich a priority and be willing to focus his/her energies on building wealth. He also covers the need to have a detailed short-term and long-term written action plan with specific goals.

The author suggests that everyone choose specific lifetime goals; calculate their retirement income needs based upon an analysis of assets and liabilities, and lifestyle requirements.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By M. Dubis on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Author clearly has a strong understanding about how to build wealth long-term through focused habits and methodology of thinking, but stay away from his "stock investment" advice and his retirement withdrawal strategies - they're very misinformed. Clearly the author has never heard of Modern Portfolio Theory nor does he make any consideration to market volatility, inflation, and it's affects on withdrawal.If one thinks they can withdrawal more than 4% of their initial portfolio adjusted for inflation for the rest of their life, they'll be in a very bad situation 20+ years into retirement. The author misses the boat here big-time - dangerously so.

Advice: Buy the Book for its foundational principles of wealth building and his excellent assessment of real estate investing, but completely ignore Chapter 5's discussion on stock picking and double the amount you will need for retirement. All his advice will be flushed down the toilet if you follow those parts of the book. Instead, substitute those sections with the book, "The Four Pillars of Investing" by William Bernstein. The combination of the two books would certainly lead most logical consumers to significant wealth accumulation.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hogan VINE VOICE on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Masterson begins like few people do when writing about wealth. In a very kind way he shares with you that if you are 25 and follow the millionaire next door strategies you will indeed grow wealthy...and you will. But if you are 40...or 50 you haven't got a chance beginning with those strategies today.

Masterson then eliminates the should be obvious but never is...fact that wealth doesn't happen on accident. You'll need to plan and do. (More rare human behavior)

More good advice (it's all pretty much good advice in this book by the way) then he comes to the point. Do something that will make you rich. Doctor, dentist, engineer: You don't have to be in business. Pretty much everyone else needs to be in an entrepreneurial venture. And of course this is the only viable option for building wealth for the 40 plus who isn't one of those professions (or like them).

He shares some useful tips about passive income and indeed that is WHERE it IS all at in wealth building. If you got it, you get it, if you don' are not doing it right.

A really impressive primer on wealth building. I enjoyed it. I always pick up ideas from Masterson and I find him one of the sharpest minds in business.

Kevin Hogan

Author of The Science of Influence


The Psychology of Persuasion
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More About the Author

MICHAEL MASTERSON has developed a loyal following through his writings in Early to Rise (, an e-newsletter published by Agora, Inc. that mentors hundreds of thousands of success-oriented individuals to help them achieve their financial goals.

Masterson has been making money for himself and others for almost four decades. At one time or another, he's owned and run multi-million dollar companies that were public/private, onshore/overseas, local/international, service-/product-oriented, retail/wholesale/direct mail, and even profit/not-for-profit.

Masterson is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestsellers Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence; Automatic Wealth for Grads... and Anyone Else Just Starting Out; Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and Your Personal Life (all published by John Wiley & Sons); and Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire. His next book, Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire (John Wiley & Sons) will hit bookshelves in October of 2006.

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