I found out about this book after it was highlighted in a recent post on Get Rich Slowly
and since this is a top blog in my mind I decided to pick up a copy from my local library. In fairness to JD and his post it wasn't all about "The Millionaire Next Door" and didn't really highlight what to fully expect from this book.
My overall take is that I'd give "The Millionaire Next Door" a pass given that slugging through 250 pages of dry relatively uninspiring writing leaves you wishing you'd left this book on the shelf at the library. In fairness to Thomas Stanley and William Danko the book was authored in 1996 so some of the findings are fairly old.
Here are the key takeaways from my read of this book:
- Live within your means. A number of stories and examples from this book detail the classic example of people with high incomes that struggle to make ends meet. Why? The simple answer is the rampant consumerism that pervades North American society with the need to have a new luxury car, expensive watch, McMansion and more goods that their friends, neighbors and peers. Example after example preaches to readers that not suprisingly the inordinate focus on material goods versus a frugal approach to life.
- Economic outpatient care (EOC). I must admit this is a great term from this book that deals with the bad habit of many well off parents that begin the process of offering "one-time" support to their children that quickly turns into an on-going and negatively reinforcing cycle. The basic message here is clear be careful as to how you aid your children since it could have unintended consequences. The other great point from this section is the impact that your lifestyle and spending as a parent imparts on your children.