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The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth Hardcover – January 10, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (January 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287005
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally self-published, as was his bestselling fable, The Christmas Box, Evans's pithy little financial guide lays out the five principles common to many self-made fortunes. While seemingly simple—decide to be wealthy; take responsibility for your money; keep a portion of everything you earn; win in the margins; and give back—the lessons require discipline and commitment from their practitioners. They also require curtailing spending and eliminating debt. Evans shares his lessons through poignant personal stories, a few well-placed statistics and philosophical observations such as: "freely giving of our wealth is also the only way to fully protect ourselves from our wealth." The slim book even manages to squeeze in lists of sidelines for boosting income, family budget saving tips, two financial planning forms and dozens of inspirational quotations. Thankfully, Evans forgoes the cloying, self-aggrandizing prose common to how-to-be-rich-like-me books and refrains from padding the volume with ads for tie-in ventures. Instead his friendly advice brings the secrets of wealth accumulation to common readers. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 1993, best-selling novelist Evans wrote The Christmas Box, a popular, self-published inspirational book. His new book was also self-published, but it has been picked up by a big publisher and is now being given wider exposure. By his words here, he would like readers to learn what he learned from a millionaire whom he met as a teenager; this man taught Evans, even at that tender age, how to manage a dollar or two, with the intended goal of financial independence. Evans is concerned that people accrue big bucks responsibly--that is, mindful of self-improvement and social good. To that end, he shares what the millionaire he knew years ago taught him. The first thing required is realizing that superior intelligence is not a prerequisite for being a millionaire; nor is wealth, generally speaking, the result of the luck of inheritance. The real requirement, Evans posits, is putting into practice five principles of wealth accumulation, which Evans explains and illustrates in cogent, lively terms: "Decide to Be Wealthy," "Take Responsibility for Your Money," "Keep a Portion of Everything You Earn," "Win in the Margins," and "Give Back." Librarians should be aware that the book contains several pages of blank forms for readers to fill out to keep track of their personal financial situations. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Richard Paul Evans
When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author.

Officially, he was an advertising executive, an award-winning clay animator for the American and Japanese markets, candidate for state legislature and most importantly, husband and father. The Christmas Box was written as an expression of love for his (then) two daughters. Though he often told them how much he loved them, he wanted to express his love in a way that would be timeless. In 1993, Evans reproduced 20 copies of the final story and gave them to his closest relatives and friends as Christmas presents. In the month following, those 20 copies were passed around more than 160 times, and soon word spread so widely that bookstores began calling his home with orders for it.

His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. The Emmy award-winning CBS television movie based on The Christmas Box starred Maureen O'Hara and Richard Thomas. Two more of Evans's books were produced by Hallmark and starred such well-known actors as James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Naomi Watts, Mary McDonough and Academy award winner Ellen Burstyn. He has since written 10 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and is one of the few authors in history to have hit both the fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists. He has won three awards for his children's books including the 1998 American Mothers book award and two first place Storytelling World awards. Evans's latest book, The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth, is now available.

Of his success, Evans says: "The material achievements of The Christmas Box will never convey its true success, the lives it has changed, the families brought closer together, the mothers and fathers who suddenly understand the pricelessness of their children's fleeting childhood. I share the message of this book with you in hopes that in some way, you might be, as I was, enlightened."

During the Spring of 1997, Evans founded The Christmas Box House International, an organization devoted to building shelters and providing services for abused and neglected children. Such shelters are operational in Moab, Vernal, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah and Lucre, Peru. To date, more than 16,000 children have been housed in Christmas Box House facilities.

As an acclaimed speaker, Evans has shared the podium with such notable personalities as President George W. Bush, President George and Barbara Bush, former British Prime Minister John Majors, Ron Howard, Elizabeth Dole, Deepak Chopra, Steve Allen, and Bob Hope. Evans has been featured on the Today show and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in Time, Newsweek, People, The New York Times, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, TV Guide, Reader's Digest, and Family Circle. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.

Customer Reviews

The book was very easy to read and understand.
L. Laughery
All the other books I have read on making money made me focus on acquiring money and/or things.
B. Marden
I have been married for three years and wish I had read this before we got married, great book!
brittany sandry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Janan Neilson on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of money books, and this one has nothing new to say, as the author clearly states in the beginning of the book. HOWEVER, I have never read a book that presents the five lessons in such a simple, easy to understand, way.

The author does not ramble on with story upon story of people who got rich like some of its neighboring books in this genre, instead he uses just enough stories to illustrate the lessons and the key points of the book.

My favorite thing about the book is that it is ethical. In these last few years we have seen some of the richest men in America put into prison because of their greed and waste. Because books like these are finding their ways into the hands of down to earth people, the rich population of America is becoming less greedy and more charitable.

Another wonderful thing about the book is its length. Although I like The Millionare Next Door, and I do recommend it, it is longer and more cumbersom to read if you are not used to this genre. The Five Lessons is very short, I read it all last night in four or five hours.

The author has his prioroties straight, he says, very plainly, that life is not about money, but that it is about God and family. He states that money does not equal joy, but that it can help you to be able to help others and to improve the world around you.

The book does ask you to contemplate your character, how you would handle wealth and the power that comes with it. It is both logical and reflective.

The only thing people might not like about the book is that it is so shockingly simple that they might not apply it.

You might remember the story of Elisha the prophet, from the Bible, who told the sick king to wash in the Jordan River in order to be healed.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Taylor on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book. But if asked by my mom, I'll deny reading it. Pretty much I just wanted to put in the 5 stars. I'm fifteen and it made a lot of sense to me. Which is saying a lot because usually I just want to spend money on movies and Abrecrombie clothes. But I do have bigger dreams than clothes that look awesome on me. And this book helped me understand why saving the money I earn will help me in really big ways later, like being independent and not needing to ask my mom and dad for money. Here's to moving out!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gwen on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book I thought to myself what is Richard Paul Evans doing writing a book about money. But I picked it up and decided I would give it a try and wow, it was great! The lessons are straight forward, easy to understand and something everyone needs to read. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about money you will learn something new. The best part about the book is the seven golden words. Those simple words have saved me thousands of dollars. I have given this book to all my children and I highly recommend it!!
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Evans provides some good background statistics, as well as some basic principles of becoming wealthy. However, he does not go far enough to make the information as useful as possible.

In '46 household debt was 22% of personal disposable income - today it's about 110%. At age 65, over 50% are wholly dependent on relatives, Social Security, and welfare.

"The Five Lessons" goes on to point out that less than 20% of millionaires inherited even a small portion of their wealth, while over 80% of those winning the lottery are bankrupt within 5 years. Thus, planning, not luck, is paramount. Evans goes on to state that millionaires do not have stellar IQ's - their average GPA was less than a B, and Warren Buffett was rejected by the Harvard Business School.

Evans' Five Lessons: 1)Decide to be wealthy. 2)Take responsibility for your money - don't delegate, pass this off to others. Know where it is coming from and going. 3)Keep a portion of everything you earn - at least 10%. Stop living on plastic, and pay the cards off. 4)Win in the margins - get extra income, and save most of it.

Considerations Before Spending Money: 1)Is the expenditure necessary; can the same effect be obtained with less money? 2)Is it contributing or taking away wealth? 3)Is this an impulse or planned purchase? Just say "No" to salesmen needing an answer "right now" - the opportunities are always still there later. 4)Do not equate spending with happiness.

The remainder of the book contains suggestions on earning extra income and sources of savings.

"The Five Lessons" would be much more valuable if it provided some additional suggestions with powerful long-term impact. These could include getting married and choosing a partner willing to earn an income (vs.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Beverly A. Qualheim on July 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by my son who is college and it was worth every minute I spent reading it.

My husband and I have 5 children, 3 of whom are grown, but we have struggled financially since day 1, starting out in college, having 3 premature babies in a row, making bad financial choices.

I feel like with this book I can finally 'get a grip' and start saving for good things in life. I can start saving so we can do more to help others.

I found the book to be very focused on doing good with the 'wealth' you accumulate. It was not a self-centered, let's get rich quick plan, but one that will help you get your life in balance so you can do good in this world in more ways, in the ways that require finances.

I have read it once and plan to re-read it- marking key passages and taking more notes in the margins. The print out forms are invaluable!
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