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The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich Paperback – December 27, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 521 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Despite its sensational title, David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich is not a get-rich-quick guide. Rather, the book is a straightforward march through common-sense personal financial planning that suggests readers "automate" their contributions to retirement and investment vehicles. Bach, in fact, calls his model the "tortoise approach" to becoming wealthy by retirement age.

In the early part of the book Bach builds on ideas he established in Smart Women Finish Rich and other bestselling titles. His core principle is that, to succeed, you must "Pay Yourself First." In other words, he suggests using pre-tax retirement accounts (e.g. 401(k)s or IRAs) to set aside a fixed, monthly sum of money before considering what is left for living expenses. The "automatic" part of the title comes from Bach's emphasis on using automated payroll deductions to avoid the temptation of using the money to pay today's bills.

Bach insists that "regardless of the size of your paycheck, you probably already make enough money to become rich." But his claims that his plan requires "no budget, no discipline," is a bit disingenuous. His discussion of the "The Latte Factor" shows that, to find money to start a retirement plan, a person with a modest income needs to make an up-front commitment to stop accruing debt and to reduce spending on such "wasteful" items as lattes and cigarettes.

In the end The Automatic Millionaire does not offer much that is new for readers already familiar with personal finance basics like accelerated mortgage payments, "the miracle of compound interest," and the setting up of emergency funds. But, for those just starting with financial planning, Bach provides a host of resources to put recommendations into action. He walks his readers through such fundamentals as shopping for interest rates, creating a balanced retirement portfolio, and consolidating debt. And Bach's conversational style will make this quick read highly palatable for those daunted by more detailed investment and personal finance titles. --Patrick O'Kelley

From Publishers Weekly

Bach, author of several bestsellers including Smart Women Finish Rich and Smart Couples Finish Rich, offers a simple prescriptive plan for financial security. The secret: the astonishingly vanilla "Pay Yourself First," which, in Bach's words, is "the one proven, easy way to get rich." Instead of worrying about taxes, budgeting or investing, the key, according to Bach, is to set aside between 10% and 15% of gross income for savings the equivalent of one hour's worth of income every day. While this strategy may seem obvious, many people don't take this basic step. That's why Bach says everyone should write down their "Automatic Millionaire Promise," which spells out what percentage of their income they will start saving by a certain date. To insure that people carry through on their efforts, Bach says they should have deposits automatically made to a retirement account. Then, the next step is to capitalize on the power of compounding by contributing the maximum amount to, say, an employer's 401(k) account. To help readers navigate the maze of investment choices, Bach includes contact information for a number of mutual funds and Web sites offering authoritative financial information. Bach's key principle, along with such advice as buying real estate, paying down debt and making charitable deductions, is not groundbreaking; and regrettably, it may be unrealistic for many: tens of millions of Americans are in serious credit card debt because they can't make ends meet on their salaries; how, then, are they to save so much of their gross income? However, his easygoing approach, complete with real-life examples and clever phrases such as "Latte Factor," will appeal to the many money-challenged consumers who have made a New Year's resolution to get their finances on a firmer footing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More from David Bach
Learn the secrets of achieving financial freedom with bestselling author David Bach. Visit Amazon's David Bach Page.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767923820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767923828
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Bach has helped millions of people around the world take action to live and finish rich. He is one of the most popular and prolific financial authors of our time with nine consecutive national bestsellers, including two consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, Start Late, Finish Rich and The Automatic Millionaire as well as the national and international bestsellers Fight for Your Money, Go Green, Live Rich, The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner, Smart Women Finish Rich, Smart Couples Finish Rich, The Finish Rich Workbook and The Automatic Millionaire Workbook. Bach carries the unique distinction of having had four of his books appear simultaneously on the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and USA Today bestseller lists. In addition, four of Bach's books were named to USA Today's Best Sellers of the Year list for 2004. In all, his FinishRich Books have been published in more than 15 languages, with more than seven million copies in print worldwide.

Bach's breakout book The Automatic Millionaire was the #1 Business book of 2004, according to Business Week. It spent fourteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was simultaneously number one on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Business Week, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. With over a million copies in print, this simple powerful book has been translated into 12 languages and has inspired thousands around the world to save money automatically.

Bach's newest book, Start Over Finish Rich launches in December 2009. With its ten crucial moves you must make in 2010, Start Over Finish Rich provides the essential tools for readers to get back on track financially and recapture their dreams of a richer future.

Bach is regularly featured in the media. He has appeared six times on The Oprah Winfrey Show to share his strategies for living and finishing rich along with regular appearances on NBC's Today and Weekend Today shows, CNN's Larry King Live, ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, CBS's Early Show, ABC News, Fox News, and CNBC. He has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader's Digest, Time, Financial Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, and Redbook. He has been a contributor to Redbook Magazine, Smart Money Magazine, Yahoo Finance and AOL Money. In 2009 Bach, was a regular on the Today Show Money 911 Segments and a contributor to ABC's Good Money.

David Bach is the creator of the FinishRich® Seminar series, which highlights his quick and easy-to-follow financial strategies. In just the last few years, more than half a million people have learned how to take financial action to live a life in line with their values by attending his Smart Women Finish Rich®, Smart Couples Finish Rich® , and Find The Money Seminars, which have been taught in more than 2,000 cities throughout North America by thousands of financial advisors.

A renowned motivational and financial speaker, Bach regularly presents seminars for and delivers keynote addresses to the world's leading financial service firms, Fortune 500 companies, universities, and national conferences. He is the founder and Chairman of FinishRich Media, a company dedicated to revolutionizing the way people learn about money. Prior to founding FinishRich Media, he was a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley and a partner of The Bach Group, which during his tenure (1993 to 2001) managed more than half a billion dollars for individual investors.

As part of his mission, David Bach is involved with many worthwhile causes including serving on the board for Habitat for Humanity New York and co-founding Makers of Memories, a charity organization dedicated to helping women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

David Bach lives in New York. Please visit his web site at http://www.finishrich.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Some of what Dave Bach talks about here is not new. And that should not be news to anyone who has actually read the book, not just the free stuff on the internet and wanted to write a review and state their opinion.
I had an uncle who sold insurance and he always taught us to save 10% of our money. He taught this to his kids and he taught it to his nephews and nieces too. Guess how many did it?
In The Automatic Millionaire, Bach's core principle is to pay yourself first. Stanley and Danko talk about this in The Millionaire Next Door. Givens taught this in More Wealth Without Risk and George Clason is perhaps the best known for teaching this in The Richest Man in Bablyon. Once again, it's not news, but how many people do it?
Bach suggests using pretax retirement accounts like your 401 (k), IRA, SEP-IRA, ROTH IRA, SOLO 401 (k) to set aside a fixed monthly sum of money before considering what is left for living expences.
By taking advantage of payroll deductions, money can be invested automatically and you won't even miss it. For example, employees can have money automatically going into their companies 401 (k) and through money link have money going into their IRA. Just like a bill, except you are paying yourself first.
By contributing to an IRA, you can also complete a new w-4 and claim your IRA increasing your take home pay while you increase your investments.
Thanks to Pres. Bush's plan to raise the amount that can be contributed to retirement plans and makeup provisions, Americans have the best opportunity ever to create tax deferred wealth.
The other principle that Bach talks about is his "latte factor."
Bach insists that many people are wasting money on "lattes.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The advice by David Bach may not be new, but how many people are applying it? Pay yourself first was originally covered in the classic Richest Man in Bablyon and the late Charles Givens beat it to death in his classic More Wealth Without Risk. Most people have heard about it, but again I ask, how many people are actually doing it?If you are not taking at least 10% of your paycheck and paying yourself first then you are cheating yourself.Think about it; we pay our mortgage, phone bill, telephone bill, light bill, garbage bill, credit card bill, groceries, entertainment etc. but the last person that gets paid is ourselves.Bad strategy.I also agree that most people are not taking maximum advantage of their companies 401 (k) plan and/or IRA. I know people that tell me all the time that they cannot invest in a 401 (k) or IRA but I find these same people are livin examples of what Bach talks about in his book. People who always eat out. Waste money on bottled water, coffee, donuts, cell phones, extra, unneccessary clothes and so on but have no savings, no 401 (k) and nor IRA.Bad strategy.The biweekly mortgage concept is also a great way to pay off your mortgage 5 years earlier with the same amount of money. As Bach explains, this could save you $25,000 or more. People are getting ripped off with credit card debt and the banks are certaintly no help. As Bach tells us, miss just one payment and late fees are added in and your interest rate jumps up ensuring that you will never get out of debt. Exactly what the banks want. Bach recommends making extra payments on your cards which I agree with. He also recommends cutting up your credit cards which I don't totally agree with, unless the person is just totally out of control.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
To many people, The Automatic Millonaire looks too simple to be believable. Nothing could be that simple right?Yes and No. It is simple. EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND EASY TO DO, BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE DO IT?Save 10% of what you make. Use biweekly mortgages. Make extra principal payments. Make extra payments on your credit cards. Is it really this simple? Absolutely.I am now giving this book away as an accessary gift at weddings and birthdays. Automatic Millionaire is also an easy read.
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Format: Hardcover
I am constantly amused by that JBQ shill who shows up on every website for every financial book that comes out that does better JBQ's book--which is just about everybody.
David Bach has written a very good book here. Some, you may have heard before but hey, at least it works. Better than th ose frivilous 1,000 page books written by magazine authors who don't know beans about personal finance.
Follow David Bach's advice to lead you to the Road to Wealth and learn how to true Make The Most of Your Money.
I have been following Bach's advice and it has made a tremendous difference in my financial bottom line. Great advice that really works.
I do recommend that you read everything you can about personal finance, just get a little annoyed by people who try to tear down people for no reason other than peer pressure and hate to see a very knowledgeable financial author like Bach for no reason other than he has a formula that works and that is helping other people. I guess I'm old fashioned that way.
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Format: Hardcover
I saw Dave Bach on the Ophrah show a couple of nites ago. I agree that much of what Bach says is not new but that doesn't make it a bad read.
Sometimes the best advice is what we already know. Some people need to be reminded to pay ourselves first. That it is okay to invest while you are in debt. And that simple things like a bi-weekly mortgage which you can do on own (some unscrupulous companies charge $400 or more for this service + additional fees)can save you 5 years of mortgage payments.
Bach recommends no load mutual funds (no doubt this upsets commissioned brokers and advisors)and other advice that takes money out of the pockets of sales people and puts it right back in ours.
Some of what BAch says has been covered in his other books, but again, sometime we need to be reminded and what if you didn't buy those earlier books?
I highly recommend The Automatic Millionaire. Title is very appealing and the book really works.
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