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Tuesday, 15 October 2013
So you want to get rich and become a millionaire? Perhaps this book will tell you how.

The approach taken has been to sample or survey a lot of millionaires and ask them about their lifestyles and wealth levels. The book majors a lot on a frugal lifestyle, and that millionaires are surprisingly hidden from view(and hence may be living next door).

It is filled with anecdotes about how much they spend on items like clothes, holidays, cars, etc the data is all from the USA and seems to be drawn from the 1980s and 1990s. But there is a problem in that the sample may not be unbiased and you have to assume that they are reporting the truth. The millionaires tend to be blue-collar workers who have established their own business that have done rather well. They have generally saved hard and reinvested this money over decades.

The problem is that this might not be the best way forwards for a young potential millionaire. For every millionaire dry-cleaner there are probably  tens of very poor dry-cleaners. Much depends on luck as to when and where a business is established. Careers that require higher education; teachers, accountants, lawyers, doctors may not have so many very high wealth individuals but will have fewer with none. To be fair the book does mention this, but the focus is on very wealthy rather than very comfortable people.

There is something too the idea that controlling spending is a key to wealth. It is always fascinating that many high earners seem to end up bankrupt or poor. It might say something about me that this is a book that I would prefer to read(How to Blow a Million in Five Years!) I guess that it is because they spend up to their income, and this income then disappears.
For me this book felt quite dated with the fairly obvious advise that you need to earn a lot and spend little if you want to be wealthy. It is better than a get rich quick kind of book, it is more of a get rich slowly affair really. As a read it felt quite dull with pages of statistics that didn't translate well into British 2013 prices and a quite US centric feel. Perhaps because in the UK we don't really believe that anyone can rich in quite the same way. The takeaway is that you should look to spend less than you earn makes sense.