The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, is a compelling book that offers you a different perspective of who today's millionaires are.
If you ask a person on the street, like Jay Leno in Jaywalking, and asked him or her what the portrait of a millionaire is, you'd probably hear:
Stanley and Danko go on to dispel these myths in their book.
They say that most of today's millionaires are not who you think they are. Here are some things they say are a true portrait of a millionaire in America:
Basically, The Millionaire Next Door reveals to you that you may actually live next door to a millionaire. These are normal people who aren't flashy, didn't come from money, and are very thrifty.
What I like about this book is that it gives the reader hope like Think and Grow Rich. You don't have to have the highest level of education to reach a certain economic status. You don't have to come from generations of wealth in order to be wealthy yourself.
Cornelius Vanderbilt was the Bill Gates of our time, amassing a $105 million fortune at the time of his passing. Now, that doesn't sound like a lot of money today but that was in 1877.
I found an inflation calculator and according to it, that would be worth almost $2,090,000,000.00 today.
He transferred his estate to all his children.
In 1972, 120 descendants gathered at Vanderbilt University for the first family reunion. Guess how many millionaires there were at that time in less than 100 years of his death?
Zero. All the wealth was gone. Looks like he could have used a better estate planning guide.
Inheritance and being born into money doesn't guarantee you wealth without risk.
The book tends to congratulate scarcity. I believe that budgets and planning have its place in striving for your financial goals. But, I don't believe that should be the goal.
The book keeps talking about net worth. To us, net worth isn't as important as people think it to be. If I own a one million dollar home but live on eating Ramen noodles and Totinos Pizza, what good does that do me (don't get me wrong, I love reliving the college years sometimes)?
For example, just because a person is skinny doesn't mean he or she is healthy.
Just because you have a high net worth doesn't mean you're wealthy. You may have money, but if you're not enjoying, what's the point? The wealthy enjoy their wealth.
I say, achieve financial freedom, enjoy it, and keep it growing at the same time. Do something that ignites your passion, wear whatever clothes you want, drive that nice car, live in that big house.
Take to heart The Millionaire Next Door's message in that you can become a first generation millionaire.
However, develop that millionaire mindset so you can enjoy it, grow it, and pass it on to the next generation.
Remember Be Do Have. Be the millionaire in your mind. Do what the wealthy do. The, have what they have.
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