The Millionaire Next Door: On Living

The Millionaire Next DoorThis week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the often-lauded personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door. First published in 1996, the book has held a consistently high level of popularity for more than a decade. What valuable insights does this book contain? By the end of the week, perhaps we’ll discover its secrets.

Yesterday, we learned that the typical millionaire is often educated the hard way about money – and attempts to give similar lessons to his own family. The final portion of the book focuses on finding one’s niche – how can one find a role that will enable them to cultivate a healthy financial garden?

This final portion of the book felt very tacked-on and fell quite flat for me. It is quite brief and the content stands apart from the solid material that fills up the 90% of the book that precedes it.

In a nutshell, The Millionaire Next Door recommends that people seriously investigate service industries that cater to millionaires as a way to raise more money. They spend an entire chapter listing possible services that millionaires (as profiled in the book) are interested in or may become interested in in subsequent years.

The book closes by strongly encouraging people to become entrepreneurs. The final chapter is a lengthy pitch for starting your own business, as this is the best way to achieving great financial success. The book mostly paints a rosy picture of entrepreneurship, when in fact most small businesses fail within the first year. I feel that this again exposes an age bias in the book; most young people today are already at a level of debt that far exceeds what the baby boomers were experiencing at a similar age. This is due to the rising costs of education and the exploding housing market, both of which have aided the boomers in becoming millionaires themselves (at least the ones profiled here).

Next, in the final part of this five part series reviewing The Millionaire Next Door, I’ll give my overall thoughts on the book and give a “buy” or “don’t buy” recommendation.

You can jump quickly to the other parts of this review of The Millionaire Next Door using these links:
On Spending
On Learning
On Living
Buy or Don’t Buy?

The Millionaire Next Door is the first of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.

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