Revisiting The Millionaire Next Door

Plan the work, and work the plan to wealth.

Revisiting The Millionaire Next Door
Photo by Austin Distel / Unsplash

The other day I was cleaning up my bookshelf and I came across my copy of "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko (affiliate link). It's a classic book that explores the habits and lifestyles of millionaires in America and was written after extensive research on the habits and characteristics of millionaires.

The authors shared valuable insights on how to build wealth and achieve financial freedom by interviewing "quiet" millionaires who might live next door to you. It's something that stuck with me all these years.

The book challenges many common misconceptions about millionaires and their lifestyles. The authors found that most millionaires are not born into wealthy families or inherit their wealth. Rather, they are self-made, hardworking individuals who live modestly and invest wisely.

They're not flashy or showy, but rather live below their means and focus on building wealth over the long term.

Wealth is not income

One of the key points that the authors make is that wealth is not the same as income. Many high-income earners are not wealthy, as they spend all their money on expensive lifestyles and material possessions.

The authors found that the majority of millionaires in America are middle-class individuals who have accumulated wealth over time through saving and investing.

I like this dichotomy a lot because I live in an affluent area. So many "showy" families are one or two paychecks away from ruin. They drive BMWs and go on fancy vacations.

My partner and I save and invest. We drive good cars and are frugal when it comes to traveling. One trick we use is ensuring that whatever hotel we stay at has a free breakfast, parking, and Internet.

It's the small things that matter in the long run for wealth building.

The book also challenges the myth that millionaires are all high-powered executives or entrepreneurs. The authors found that many millionaires are small business owners or self-employed individuals who have built their wealth through hard work and disciplined saving and investing.

Living Frugally is Key

Another important point made in the book is that millionaires tend to live frugally and below their means. They do not spend money on expensive cars, designer clothes, or extravagant vacations. Rather, they focus on saving and investing their money for the long term.

My partner and I sometimes call each other penny pinchers but we're not. We watch the pennies on everyday household items. We save where we can but we're generous with our friends and family.

If you can get $2 off toilet paper, then you buy it. If your friend needs a roll of toilet paper, you give it to them.

Discipline Matters

The authors also found that millionaires tend to be highly disciplined when it comes to money management. They keep track of their expenses and budgets carefully and avoid taking on debt whenever possible. They also tend to be highly selective when it comes to investments, focusing on safe and reliable opportunities rather than taking unnecessary risks.

I adopted that investment strategy in my older years. I focus on high-quality growth and blue-chip stocks that generate good dividends. I plan to live off that passive income without touching my base nest egg.

Overall, "The Millionaire Next Door" offers valuable insights for building wealth and achieving financial freedom. The book challenges many common misconceptions about millionaires and their lifestyles and provides practical advice on how to adopt the habits and strategies of successful wealthy individuals.

Whether you are a high-income earner or a middle-class individual, "The Millionaire Next Door" can help you develop the mindset and habits necessary to build wealth over the long term. I highly recommend it!


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