Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door

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The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Ok, guys. Seriously now. What’s with all the hype about this book? I have been hearing about it for years as a “must read” for finance nerds like me. It’s frequently referenced and people talk about it like it’s a bible for everyday folks aspiring to financial independence. My take? This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Like worst worst. Certainly worst in the financial nerd sphere. Has anyone actually read this book, or you just hear about it and like the message?

The message is a good one: most people with a million-dollar or more net worth are ordinary folks just like you and me. Frugality trumps excessive spending every time … start a business, invest in rental properties, save your pennies, and don’t be the guy who lives in a McMansion and drives a Cadillac Escalade. This is a good message, no question. And now that you’ve read it here, you don’t need to read the book.

So what irked me so much? So many things … Continue reading Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover

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Welcome to my book club! My dreams of having a real-life financial book club have faded dramatically as many of my friends have come to have grown-up things like jobs, kids, and overseas moves. So you get me instead, and I’m hoping this will be a monthly occurrence. To kick things off, it seems right to start with Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, which was the first actual hard-copy personal finance book I read after spending a couple of years following various finance blogs online.

I was a skeptic — celebrity finance gurus (or anything “gurus”) like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey tend to raise my BS meter to the moon. My impression was that they provide one-size-fits-all advice that’s only applicable to a small segment of the population, while they make themselves a boatload of money preying on people’s fear — charging obscene sums for their workshops, courses, books, and celebrity appearances. Not my cup of chamomile, if you know what I mean.  Continue reading Book Review: The Total Money Makeover