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The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy Paperback – November 16, 2010
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How can you join the ranks of America's wealthy (defined as people whose net worth is over one million dollars)? It's easy, say doctors Stanley and Danko, who have spent the last 20 years interviewing members of this elite club: you just have to follow seven simple rules. The first rule is, always live well below your means. The last rule is, choose your occupation wisely. You'll have to buy the book to find out the other five. It's only fair. The authors' conclusions are commonsensical. But, as they point out, their prescription often flies in the face of what we think wealthy people should do. There are no pop stars or athletes in this book, but plenty of wall-board manufacturers--particularly ones who take cheap, infrequent vacations! Stanley and Danko mercilessly show how wealth takes sacrifice, discipline, and hard work, qualities that are positively discouraged by our high-consumption society. "You aren't what you drive," admonish the authors. Somewhere, Benjamin Franklin is smiling. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Library Journal
In The Millionaire Next Door, read by Cotter Smith, Stanley (Marketing to the Affluent) and Danko (marketing, SUNY at Albany) summarize findings from their research into the key characteristics that explain how the elite club of millionaires have become "wealthy." Focusing on those with a net worth of at least $1 million, their surprising results reveal fundamental qualities of this group that are diametrically opposed to today's earn-and-consume culture, including living below their means, allocating funds efficiently in ways that build wealth, ignoring conspicuous consumption, being proficient in targeting marketing opportunities, and choosing the "right" occupation. It's evident that anyone can accumulate wealth, if they are disciplined enough, determined to persevere, and have the merest of luck. In The Millionaire Mind, an excellent follow-up to the highly successful first analysis of how ordinary folks can accumulate wealth, Stanley interviews many more participants in a much more comprehensive study of the characteristics of those in this economic situation. The author structures these deeper details into categories that include the key success factors that define this group, the relationship of education to their success, their approach to balancing risk, how they located themselves in their work, their choice of spouse, how they live their daily lives, and the significant differences in the truth about this group vs. the misplaced image of high spenders. Narrator Smith's solid, dead-on reading never fails to heighten the importance of these principles that most twentysomethings should be forced to listen to in toto. Highly recommended for all public libraries. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I grew up in a super-affluent suburb. My friends' lived in big houses and mansions with luxury cars and country club memberships. We lived in one of the smallest houses in the suburb. My mom was so frugal. I thought it was such a drag!! But when she died (too young), she'd saved enough so that my dad, who lived another 30-some years, was comfortable in retirement. I wonder now if any of my high school friends' parents were actually living on the edge in trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Years ago, I used to charge like crazy. Now I save like crazy, just like my mom.
My husband and I read it 10 years ago and here's what we've changed- The book heavily influenced where we bought our home and how big (or in our case, small) it is. Cable went out the window (we use digital bunny ears that cost $50 for local channels and got Netflix). Saved $2,000/year. We haven't purchased a new car since. We try (and often do) save at least 10% of our annual income and we're slowly trying to invest it- not as impressive as many in the book but it's a start. We negotiate like crazy for our annual propane purchase and save $1,800/year. I clip coupons. We buy name brand clothes but absolutely never at full price. Frequently clothes will be purchased for next season for the kids while they're on sale at the end of this season. We are surgical about turning off the lights when we leave a room and every week our menu is planned so we don't waste food. Do some of these things sound extreme? Maybe they are, but here's what we haven't changed after reading this book...
We still take great vacations, usually two a year. We go out to eat once a month but rarely more. We drive one nicer car and one beater. We like really good food so despite all the coupons, we don't compromise on the quality of meats or fruits & veggies.
In short, The Millionaire Next Door has been a defining part of our lives. Whenever I start to feel myself slip into a mode where I want to spend more we remind ourselves of the freedom financial stability provides. At our age (34) people are flashing money everywhere- Wow, hot car! Love the house upgrade- we all need 4000 sq ft right? Ohhhh, the beach house is tempting. Expensive camps for the kids. Expensive weekly dinners for the parents. A tree exploding with presents. I could go on and on and on.....
We've developed a keen eye for detecting people that we think live "The Millionaire Next Door' lifestyle....but we'll never know for sure. If nothing else, this book has taught us to be cognizant and aware of every penny we spend.
Overall, however, if you look past how dated the book is, it's a very interesting assessment and will certainly help you understand the differences between high income earners who are also hyperconsumers but with low net worths and the frugal self-employed person who squirrels away millions. The author calls the former group UAWs or under accumulators of wealth. The PAWs are prodigious accumulators of wealth and they are who this book is all about. The author breaks the myth that people that drive high-end cars and buy nice houses and clothing and houses are the "rich". He proposes that the real rich, are those that work hard, live simply and frugally, and save their money. I don't have any reason to not follow this thesis. I just have a difficult time relating the charts and graphs and data based on 15-35 year old studies to our world today. This book deserves a fresh rewrite...not just an updated preface.