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How to Be Rich Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1986

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How to Be Rich + As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty + The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth (Signet Classics)
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Editorial Reviews

How to Be Rich, by Getty, J. Paul

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jove (September 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515087378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515087376
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.Read more ›
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Naweko San-Joyz on May 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
J. Paul Getty lays a clear map for guiding yourself to richness. Early on, Getty asserts that being "rich" is not a number, but truly a state of mind. In his view, there is no magic potion, mantra or affirmation that will garner you more goodies. If you want money, get out and work for it. If you want to be rich you must work for yourself. And once you hire people, even though you bear all responsibility for what happens, encourage your competent employees to think and act as if they are running their own company.

Getty got rich because he understood the fundamentals of economics, thanks to his parents. Getty reasoned that the whole point of economic growth is to enhance your own life, as well as the lives of those around you.

Wealth and wealth seeking is made to seem loathsome in some altruistic circles. Yet, within the pages of "How To Be Rich", you find a man who consistently laid his ego aside and sweated alongside oil-workers. As his standard of living rose, so did that standard of living of numerous other people around him.

It may appear as if Getty encourages trickle-down economics. Getty worked fast and hard so as to turn any trickle into a gushing spring. If things didn't go his way, Getty maintained a "calm", and thus more productive demeanor, and found solutions. He admits to his screw-ups and delineates characteristics that promote success. In short, Getty delivers a worthwhile read for any aspiring person.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Getty brilliantly and boldly shares the attitude, ethics, backbone and independent thinking that was the key to his prosperity. Don't look merely for 'how-to-make-more-money' tips: this book transcends that. If you're looking for honest, direct insight on how to 'be' successful in any business day or age, Getty is the man!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Terry Smith on March 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How To Be Rich surprised me in many ways. J. Paul Getty offers a lot of advice to executives rising through the ranks and those looking to. There's plenty of very entertaining historical coverage of Getty's rise to legendary status starting with the first chapter, How I Made My First Billion, along with other first-hand accounts and stories of his colleges from the era interspersed throughout the book. The book's focus is on how "to be" rich, i.e. the responsibilities thereof, rather than how "to become" rich. Of course, in Getty's case he simply took the skills he learned from working with his father, went out on his own to drill a few holes in the ground, and started pumping oil. There are also chapters regarding investing on Wall Street, in real estate, and in fine art, the later being a particularly interesting chapter. The chapter Art of Individuality is a must-read for anyone who is utterly depressed by the total lack of creativity in today's corporate cubicle conformist culture.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mel Blanc on February 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
History has not been kind to this man. Perhaps it is because he was interpreted as being a "penny pincher" or maybe because he was a friend and admirer of Adolf Hitler. Whatever the reason, even though he was at one time the world's richest man, his triumph seems to have faded into the books. This book is one of them.

If I had to pick a favorite book written by a successful businessman, this has to be it. Does it tell you how to become a billionaire? No. What it does teach you is how to succeed, not only financially, but as a person.

It explores the creation of his own wealth, as well as valuable lessons from the construction of his vast oil empire. Also, it covers the things that are greater than wealth, such as health, charity, and personality. Towards the end, it also becomes a sort of social commentary, on man's degradation of morality and kindess, on the disappearance of art and classical music from the mainstream, and on his general dissatisfaction with similar affairs at that time.

It would be difficult to write a thorough review as to why you need to buy this book, because it is so unlike what you have read before. But take my word for it: you will be a better person for reading this book. It may not make you rich, but it will make you wealthy.
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