I have enjoyed revisiting the classic The Millionaire Next Door books and the gems of information within. These books basically teach a person how to become a millionaire. For me personally, this has been a pleasant trip down holiday seasons past when I discovered the book over 20 years ago.
The book came out when I was in college. What I found so fascinating about the research is that it completely went against the media cartoon stereotype we are all sold about wealth in America. We are fed many illusions and propaganda in America, this being one of them. What I discovered is that most millionaires do not drive rolls royces or live in palatial estates. In fact most of them drive gently used Toyota Camrys and live in modest upper middle class neighborhoods.
I was pleasantly surprised recently when the daughter of Dr. Stanley (author of the Millionaire books) reached out to us. I was even more pleasantly surprised when I discovered her new book that continues the work of her father! I would certainly recommend checking out The Next Millionaire Next Door. We recently did a book review here How To Be The Next Millionaire Next Door
So I was perusing the local thrift store and discovered a copy of the classic for a couple bucks. I couldn’t help but buy it, hey it was a couple bucks at a thrift store not the regular price of $15. But, I would say the book is worth every dollar given the lifetime of lessons and information.
Thrift stores, everything 90% off!
Here are some of the most important nuggets of information in my opinion as I worked through the classic:
1. Live well below their means
I grew up hearing that it is not how much you make that matters, it is how much you save. There are many high income earners that have low net worth. I do believe that one needs to make a solid salary to save and invest up to significant wealth levels. Recent surveys says earning around $75,000 a year for most people affords a stable comfortable life and allows one to save a bit.
2. Allocate time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to wealth building
This is a very powerful concept that makes me examine how I use time, energy and resources. How can these be maximized to encourage investment and living a life of work and True Wealth?
3. FI is more important than status displays of wealth
See, most people want to show off, we are herd animals. We want to live in a certain place, drive a certain car and look a certain way to display status and wealth. Many millionaires are able to shun and tame this ego driven aspect of human existence. They are more focused on wealth accumulation than on displaying “trophies” or baubles of wealth.
4. They target market opportunities
This reminds me a lot of Warren Buffett who is famous for saying when everyone is fearful, you should be greedy. What he means is that there are times when investments lose mass favor, and at that time they are on sale and cheap. A person can acquire more assets at this time because they are on sale. Know anyone that bought a house after 2010, they have now made a lot of money in appreciation because in 2010 the real estate market had tanked. We wrote about this in our article Your 3 Big Financial Opportunities This article was featured on Camp FIRE Finance because it outlined how most people will have a few big opportunities in their life to invest, the important thing is to be prepared.
I highly recommend these books to anyone interested in building wealth. They truly pull back the curtain and allow one to see the plain simple and frankly boring truth of becoming a millionaire.