In The Automatic Millionaire
, author David Bach appeals to cash-strapped and time-starved readers with a simple plan for money management that can change their financial destiny. The author of bestsellers Smart Couples Finish Rich
and Smart Women Finish Rich
argues that individuals can build wealth through a few simple steps that take the guesswork and discipline out of financial management. Bach uses a conversational tone and the story of a low-level manager married to a beautician to illustrate his thesis that you don't have to make a lot of money to retire rich. The book's guiding principle is "pay yourself first." By having money whisked out of sight by your employer or financial institution before you have a chance to spend it, you can save enough over the long haul to retire rich, Bach advises.
"Make your financial plan automatic and one of the most powerful things you will get out of it is worry-free time--which ultimately means getting back more of your life." To find the extra cash you have to identify your "Latte Factor"--the one or two places where you squander a few dollars a day that could be invested. Bach's strategy won't turn all readers into automatic millionaires, but it will provide a solid financial grounding that is swift, simple, and easy to implement. --Carolyn Leitch
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From Publishers Weekly
Bach, author of several bestsellers including Smart Women Finish Rich and Smart Couples Finish Rich, offers a simple prescriptive plan for financial security. The secret: the astonishingly vanilla "Pay Yourself First," which, in Bach's words, is "the one proven, easy way to get rich." Instead of worrying about taxes, budgeting or investing, the key, according to Bach, is to set aside between 10% and 15% of gross income for savings the equivalent of one hour's worth of income every day. While this strategy may seem obvious, many people don't take this basic step. That's why Bach says everyone should write down their "Automatic Millionaire Promise," which spells out what percentage of their income they will start saving by a certain date. To insure that people carry through on their efforts, Bach says they should have deposits automatically made to a retirement account. Then, the next step is to capitalize on the power of compounding by contributing the maximum amount to, say, an employer's 401(k) account. To help readers navigate the maze of investment choices, Bach includes contact information for a number of mutual funds and Web sites offering authoritative financial information. Bach's key principle, along with such advice as buying real estate, paying down debt and making charitable deductions, is not groundbreaking; and regrettably, it may be unrealistic for many: tens of millions of Americans are in serious credit card debt because they can't make ends meet on their salaries; how, then, are they to save so much of their gross income? However, his easygoing approach, complete with real-life examples and clever phrases such as "Latte Factor," will appeal to the many money-challenged consumers who have made a New Year's resolution to get their finances on a firmer footing.
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