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The Armchair Millionaire Kindle Edition

18 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While some might guess that an armchair millionaire is someone who can answer all the questions on Regis Philbin's hit TV show, is actually a Web site frequented by tens of thousands of ordinary investors. In this investment guide based on the site's philosophy, Schiff and Gerlach, two of the Web site's principals, assert that investing intelligently requires little more than common sense, discipline, patience and a goal-oriented mentality. Most members of Armchair's virtual community are neither excessively frugal nor do they have perfect credit reports, the authors maintain. Learning about the stock market, avoiding brokers who insist they have the answers and controlling debt are the keys to financial success, they say. In fact, the heart of this program is based on five simple steps max out tax-deferred savings plans, set aside money for yourself before paying your creditors, invest automatically, use the "armchair" investing policy and start today. Schiff and Gerlach's mix of anecdotes, homespun advice and investment strategies will be familiar to those who frequent the site. Uninitiated readers, on the other hand, will have to suffer through what is essentially an extensive ad campaign for the Web site to glean the book's practical benefits. (Apr.)Forecast: Given the popularity of, fans of the authors may well push this book onto some bestseller lists. Ultimately, though, Schiff and Gerlach don't offer much that's sufficiently new or insightful to distinguish their book from the many others on the overcrowded investment shelves, so the book's long-term prospects may fade.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Armchair Millionaire member "jujubee71" I can identify with anyone who has a feeling of desperation about their finances. I was in the same boat until a friend advised that I take control of my money and gave me hints on how to begin....The first revelation was that I didn't need to be as broke as I was.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2129 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743411919
  • Publisher: Atria Books (August 23, 2001)
  • Publication Date: August 23, 2001
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,053 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a well-written cross between John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds and Suze Orman's The Courage to Be Rich. Emotions are the biggest challenge that investors face. Although stocks have always gone up in the long-run historically, it is very gut-wrenching to lose money in sharp bear markets (such as the Nasdaq has been experiencing since March 2000). As a result, many people can't stand it, and sell out at low prices after horrible losses. These same people are often inspired by euphoria at high prices to buy too much.
The book seeks to solve this problem by putting you into an investment plan that you can easily follow, spend small amounts of time on, and should give you superior investing rewards compared to most alternatives. The proposal is to put all the money you can into tax-deferred savings, pay yourself with automatic deductions ten percent of your after-tax earnings and invest it monthly on an automatic basis to get cost-averaging benefits, invest the money equally in S&P 500, Russell 2000, and the Morgan Stanley EAFE index funds, and start doing this today.
I have two basic problems with the book that caused me to grade it down a little. First, that exact mix of index funds isn't perfect for everyone. If you are fairly near retirement, you should be easing into money markets (see Charles Schwab's new book). If you are quite young, you should probably favor the Russell right now over the other two. Second, we have a market that is heading south very rapidly. By waiting a few weeks, you can probably get a much better deal on stocks. Although normally you should not try to time the market, when you are in the middle of a collapse, I would suggest waiting a bit to start. Many stocks could still fall another 50 percent.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Besides the fact that the authors manage (I think successfully) to present themselves clearly and in a straightforward manner, I think what's worth appreciating about this book is what's NOT in it: It has none of the typical "my-idea-is-newer-and-better-than-yours" blather that makes up so many investing books these days.
Instead, the authors promise to keep it simple and they do just that. It's tempting to want to ask, "what's new in this book." I think what's new is the fact that it's got an easy and proven plan to build a million dollar portfolio. Proven with the author's own money!
That's pretty good stuff for a $20 book.
The authors show great restraint by not dwelling on the gobs of investing science behind the Armchair Millionaire's Five Steps to Financial Freedom. In fact, there's enough Nobel prize winning research behind their method to choke a horse. They mention it along the way but avoid the temptation to bog you down in it. Instead, they stick to their own self-imposed line and keep it simple.
The risk of this is they can be called simplistic. The value, of course, is that they provide all the tools you need--and only those tools--to do-it-yourself. In other words, they'd rather you successfully start your own portfolio than convince you that they are smarter than everyone else. Rare indeed, these days.
My recommendation is to give this book to people you care about--People who you want to succeed. There's an old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. This book is the water. It's got everything you need to build financial success for yourself. What you do with the information contained inside is up to you.
PS: This is my first book review--I finally felt I could say something that might help someone make a smart decision. Hope you like it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm a brand-new investor. I don't have a lot of money, either. I first picked up this book because I liked the title. Plus the chair looks really cozy, doesn't it? When I read the inside cover of the book, it sounded like the perfect book for me.
I like how easy it is to read. It's funny, too. I also like that it has stories about real people and money. Mostly I like that the plan is really simple. Even though I don't have a lot of money and I don't know a lot about investing yet, I can start using the plan right away. I just need to pay off some little debts first, and the book helped me figure out how to do that too.
I live in a rural area so there aren't really any investment classes nearby. Nobody I know ever really talks about money, either. This book helped me learn more without any classes. I will definitely recommend this book to some of my friends who want to learn how to invest, too.
I haven't looked at the website yet. I hope it has even more good information.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Artephius (. VINE VOICE on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was pretty impressed with this book. I would give it an A+ except for two reasons. Their strategy suggests a 100:0 asset allocation ratio of stocks to bonds regardless of the investor's age. The other reason is no mention of withdrawal strategies once you get your million dollars. Most computer simulations suggest a maximum withdrawal rate of 4% of assets with an annual inflation adjustment. For these 2 reasons I give the book an A.

As hard and complicated as Wall Street tries to make investing..... to make you think you need a broker, the steps for successful investing are very basic. This book does hit all the basic steps correctly.

#1 is to live below your means so you can save at least 10% of your gross each year and invest it. This sounds easy, but it apparently is not since the average U.S. household credit card debt is now around $8,000 saving rates are below 1%, and average household net worth is below $100K. The book should have mentioned the classic book The Richest Man in Babylon with regards to the merits of living below your means so you have money to invest.

#2 is to use automatic investment so you pay yourself first. If you set up an automatic way of investing, then you can't spend money you don't see. After all, the U.S. government adopted automatic payroll deduction to pay income taxes right after WWII because it was concerned people would not save to pay their tax bill. The government using automatic payroll deduction to assure they always get their share of your money, so why not use this method to keep some of your money for yourself? If you use automatic investment, you get the advantages of dollar cost averaging as well.

#3 is to invest your savings in stocks and use low cost index funds for your investments.
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