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The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth Hardcover – May 4, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this smug paean to extreme wealth, Jones, founder of Worth magazine, identifies the Richest Man in Town in 100 American cities and towns, and gathers their secrets of success. The profiled RMITs range from household names like Bill Gates to the lesser-known Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway; Bob Stiller, founder of Green Mountain Coffee; and Jorge Perez, real estate mogul and most successful Latino man in the country. The collected advice is organized as 12 hackneyed commandments: find your passion, be your own boss, say yes to sales and work through obstacles, with small examples throughout. Given the paucity of usable advice, it's hard to imagine who the audience would be for a book compiling the mantras of a group of people whose average net worth is $3.5 billion. This book might inspire some readers to go forth and live the American dream—as Jones points out, fully 90% of all wealth in America today is first-generation wealth, and all the subjects in the book are self-made—if they can endure the self-congratulatory tone. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Randall Jones has spent 25 years in the magazine and media business. He is the founder of Worth magazine, the financial lifestyle magazine for active wealthy investors, and is also the founder of The American Benefactor magazine, the first magazine about philanthropy from the donor's perspective. He was recently honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America as "Philanthropist of the Year."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446537837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446537834
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Have you noticed that almost no one ever seems to ask the rich about the subject they know best?

No, on the "Fiddler on the Roof" theory --- "When you're rich, they think you really know" --- the rich get to sound off on all manner of topics outside their expertise. We're regularly served their views on inheritance taxes, wars, medical research and the arts. What's harder to ferret out: what they know about becoming and staying rich.

Randy Jones --- W. Randall Jones to you, but I once worked for him when he was the publisher (and founder) of Worth Magazine --- got interested in money when he was a kid in Georgia. As far as I can tell, he has amassed piles of it. In addition to the duplex in Manhattan, there's a house in Westchester. I doubt his kids have ever been shamed by clothes from The Gap. And his wife needed an operation on her earlobes a while back, thanks to decades of wearing earrings encrusted with massive diamonds. (No. Not really. But you get the idea.)

A few years ago, Jones decided to write a book about his favorite obsession: how you make money. In 'The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth', he crisscrosses America to interview a slew of self-made millionaires. (Actually, the poorest of the people he interviews has at least $100 million.) Then he divides their knowledge into buckets --- "the twelve commandments of wealth".

It's a simple structure. It's a simple book. There's almost nothing here that you haven't read, heard or thought before.

So why aren't you rich rich rich?

For one thing, you may be confused.
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Format: Hardcover
According to The Richest Man In Town by W. Randall Jones, Stephen Bisciotti is the richest man in my hometown. Do you know who is the richest man in your hometown? If you have ever wondered you can probably discover him in Jones' new book. In addition to listing the local Donald Trumps The Richest Man In Town attempts to answer how they became so successful.

To that end Jones interviews many of the richest men, from both large and small towns, to discern the twelve commandments of wealth:
-- Seek Money for Money's Sake and Ye Shall Not Find
-- Find Your Perfect Pitch
-- Be Your Own Boss
-- Get Addicted to Ambition
-- Wake Up Early--Be Early
-- Don't Set Goals - Execute or Get Executed
-- Fail to Succeed
-- Location Doesn't Matter
-- Moor Yourself to Morals
-- Say Yes To Sales
-- Borrow from the Best - and the Worst
-- Never Retire
Many above the commandments are counter-intuitive and it was interesting to read how taking the proverbial road not taken led to their success. I also enjoyed the vignettes of various wealthy men. For example, I learned that Dell Computer wasn't Michael Dell's first business. Rather he started at age twelve by selling stamps on consignment and made $2,000! Not many twelve year olds have that drive or success. The Richest Man In Town is filled with other equally awe-inspiring stories.

As in everything in life, there is a downside to being the richest man in town. For instance, Leroy Landhuis, the richest man in Colorado Springs, confesses, "I have not been successful in my personal life the way I would have liked to be. My marriage wasn't successful and at times, I have been much too occupied with business.
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Format: Hardcover

W. Randall Jones, founder of Worth Magazine, identified and interviewed the Richest Man in Towns (RMITs) in one hundred American towns and cities. Jones selected self-made types who found their own paths to success through hard work and their creativity. While members of this select group span a range of companies and industries, they share certain traits. Jones calls these traits the Twelve Commandments of Wealth.

Here are the first few:

1. Seek Money for Money's Sake and Ye Shall Not Find.
- Wealth comes from a contribution of real value

2. Find your perfect pitch
- Know your own unique strengths and talents and match them with your personal passion.

3. BYOB: Be your own boss
- Don't work for someone else, found your own enterprise. Choose partners carefully - only those who bring something critical to your success.

The bulk of the book is devoted to describing these Twelve Commandments of Wealth and sharing how successful men demonstrated these traits. Anecdotes come from a diverse group of successful folk. Here are just a few: Michael Dell, Stephen King, Sam Zell, Fred Smith, Carl Icahn, John McAfee, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison.

Aside from describing the traits, Jones offers exercises to help us find our strengths and individual paths to wealth. For instance, when describing the need to look for more than money, he suggests writing your own obituary to visualize your lifetime goals.


I found The Richest Man in Town: the Twelve Commandments of Wealth to be an interesting and absorbing read largely because of the wealth of stories shared by his sources.
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