on August 5, 2003
I have many problems with this book. Some parts were flat-out contradicting. Through out the book, Stanley keeps telling us that Millionaires don't participate in "do-it-yourself" projects because they can just hire someone to do it for them while they use their valuable time to make money or watch their kids play. But on page 302 it says that true frugal millionaires are more likely to "mow their own lawns" and are "...involved in do-it-yourself carpentry projects". So which one is it, Tom?
Stanley's writing style is also very boring and dry to read even when it's on such a facinating subject like millionaires. I absolutely couldn't stand the socratic method he used in this book. It seemed like every 5th sentence was a question. ("How do they treat people?" Are they sincere because of their nature and upbringing? Or are they able to turn sincere only when it benefits them?") Please, spare me this dribble and just get to the point. Maybe if he cut down on these questions, the book wouldn't be 400 pages long.
I find it strange that Stanley didn't mention the other millionaires: Music Stars, Movie Stars, Media Moguls, Internet entrepreneurs, the NUMEROUS Sports athletes from the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Tennis, Golf etc. and of course, Bill Gates(billionaire, but still) Hmm...I wonder why he didn't mention them at all? Oh that's right, Stanley's surveys are seriously FLAWED. I'll have to ask Kobe Bryant one day if he resoles his shoes and buys antique furniture. (I suppose Stanley never wanted to mention these x-factors because that would be against all he has studied and compiled for most of his career)
One of the posters here pointed it out, why did Stanley mention Martin Luther King Jr.? Okay, so he was a C student in school and went on to became one of the greatest civil-rights leaders of all time...that's good and all, but I don't think MLK Jr. was a millionaire so I don't see how this was relevant.
There are some practical info in this book, but you would have to go through every 5 pages to find a good piece of advice or so. If you want to learn how to become rich, I would suggest you read "The Richest Man in Babylon", a sleek and fun book to read at only 144 pages which, ironically enough, had more interesting things to say than The Millionaire Mind.
Oh Wait - About rich athletes, Stanley did mention how millionaire basketball players only have a short career span before they are washed up and stop getting paid. But if they hold on to and invest in their money after they retire, then I don't see how this is such a big deal at all.
on July 1, 2003
First, I think "The Millionaire Next Door" is a classic. One of the reasons is the "Next Door" part - it examined the lifestyle of many millionaires who lived fairly modestly, and maybe even spent less than you do. Who else remembers the guy who said "I drink two kinds of beer - free and Budweiser!"? The combination of working both ends - reducing spending and increasing income by wisely choosing a profession - was a valuable financial lesson.
Millionaire Mind starts off differently. You can tell when the author (only one half of the Stanley/Danko team) talks about how he surveyed neighborhoods where there were going to be many millionaires only. Right off the bat, you know he's not working with the same millionaires from the first book. They're not living next door to you!
In fact, this turns out to be the case. In The Millionaire Next Door (TMND), realized income is $131K among those surveyed. In Millionaire Mind? $750K. Net worth is three times as much - close to $10M in Mind. Homes? From an average $320K in the first book (which could be in your neighborhood) to $1.4M in the second (which probably aren't.) Cars? Same thing.
So what does this mean for you, the reader? It becomes more of a Tom Peters-style book, which describes in great detail what well-heeled businessmen do but is almost entirely unhelpful. Indeed, I was struck when I opened the book and noticed that Dr. Stanley had written several books on how to target the affluent.
If you want another "Next Door", this isn't it. There are better books about running your financial life, and better books about how to be a successful businessman. Your time and money is better served with those.
on June 29, 2003
After reading and enjoying The Millionaire Next Door, I had high expectations for Stanley's next book on the subject. However, I was sorely disappointed.
The Millionaire Mind is preachy, anecdotal, and filled with feel-good, Christian-oriented pop psychology. Unfortunately, rather than using the data to illuminate apparent trends, author Thomas Stanley instead resorts to holding himself up as proof that hard work in niche markets, with a long-term spouse and re-soled shoes pretty much guarantees financial success and any other play on reality is just "big brain, no dough."
Another, perhaps more distressing flaw is that Millionaire Mind boils down "financial independence" as requiring single-minded pursuit of always paying little for everything (good defense), and only making high income (good offense) all while deliberately searching for a spouse solely in places where there are likely to be "convoys" of educated, high-earning, frugal singles who like traditional, solid wood furniture. This book ceases to analyze data and espouses living a "virtuous," calculating, and spiritual lifestyle because of the firm and anecdotal opinions of the quoted millionaires and the newly wealthy author (Stanley is weathy because we bought his books).
Stankey's Millionaire Mind comes off as a "Stepford Wives" vision of financial success.
on January 30, 2003
Do not go into this book expecting it to be as good as _The Millionaire Next Door_ (which this author co-wrote). It isn't. This book is a mess and isn't even sure what it is about. Feels like everyone was so eager to follow up the smash hit as quickly as possible that they forgot all about editing. There are some interesting (and useful) new tidbits on the habits of those who have accumulated wealth, e.g., what kind of house and neighborhood does the typical millionaire live in, but most of this volume is spent moralizing about the American education system. This is where the book becomes schizo. One the one hand it shows that most of those who have gone on to become millionaires did not do well on standardized tests, and therefore did not go on to grad or pro schools, or even college (except doctors and lawyers, obviously, but most of those aren't millionaires). But then on the other hand it decries those who discourage those students who score poorly on such tests from going on to higher education, e.g., relating the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But I am left asking why this is something to bemoan. The author seems to accept that the tests are fairly accurate predictors of academic performance, so if future millionaires don't and won't do well in these settings (for whatever reasons), why not let them go and do what they do best (and better than most) as quickly as possible? And as for MLK, why is he in this book? Did he become a millionaire? Save your money (better yet, invest it in a good mutual), and go check the first book out from the library and read it again.
on July 25, 2002
Those two top "secrets" of Stanley's millionaires automatically shut out half the population from attaining his financial goals (in fact, Stanley all but blames working wives for their family's lack of millionaire status). In Stanley's world there are no glass ceilings, no boardroom shut-outs of female executives, no bank-loan gender/race discrimination, and no double standards (the same aggressive, go-getter qualities that would get a man promoted and labeled Salesman of the Year could easily get a salesWOman reprimanded and labeled Unfeminine Troublemaker). In MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR (MND), when faced with the overwhelming evidence that women professionals earn half of male professionals' salaries, Stanley chooses to put the blame on the woman's parents for bailing her out of financial problems rather than on institutionalized sexism in the business and financial world. Stanley also neglects to mention the studies that show that male high-school dropouts with mediocre grades (his pet demographic for self-made millionaires) make better money right off the bat than female college graduates with honors degrees. He praises the frugality of teachers and professors (MND), but neglects to mention the terrible salaries paid to those professionals which necessitate their frugality; Stanley prefers to attribute their frugality to their "morality" rather than call attention to our society's contempt for the life of the mind (personified in Stanley's own visible anti-intellectualism in the MM chapter "School Days"). It's too bad that female enterpreneurs can't simply marry a Stanley "wife" too -- a stay-at-home unpaid financial assistant, childcare provider, and housekeeper whose job is to make sure The Spouse never has to deal with domestic turmoil while acquiring wealth.
on October 3, 2001
I was eager to read the book 'millionaire mind' after the
author's first book "millionaire next door" .. A disappointment.
If you have read his first book, 'millionaire next door', skip
this book (wiser to read the first book again than reading
this one) .
Although it is more than a year since I read the first book,
there are lots of contradicting 'millionaire behaviors'
between both the books.
In his first book , Author says that millionaires prefer to
live in neighbourhoods that are not rich and buy modest
houses. However in the second book, he claims that the average
price of the millionaire's houses are several hundred thousand
Another example : in his first book, only one millionaire had
a 'rado' watch and that was a gift.in the second book,
millionaires bought expensive furnitures.
I do not have the first book to compare,but the message in the
first book was authentic,while this book is not.
Still it is about money.
If you are reading his books for the first time, it is five stars.if not it is only 2 stars.
on September 19, 2001
What a disappointment! After reading "The Millionaire Next Door," I was eager to read this book. "The Millionaire Mind" is based more on Stanley's subjective ideas about who the average millionaire is than on any actual data. I became very tired of reading story after story about how people who screw up in high school and college become successful millionaires and how millionaire wives make the best homemakers in the world. If his data supported these views, it would be fascinating; however, his data actually shows that most millionaires did complete a college education. Who knows if the wife thing is true or just the way Stanley would like things to be. In the book, Stanley discusses how integrity is a quality of most millionaires. Then, he proceeds to tell stories about successful millionaires who admit to lying about their credentials or who play slight of hand with their customers. In one story, Stanley tells how a salesman changes the size on some jeans (to a smaller size) and gives them to the wife of a potential client. How disgusting and underhanded is that? Not to mention, it's pandering of the worst kind. If you're interested in the topic of millionaires, read the first book. Don't waste your money on "The Millionaire Mind."
on June 14, 2001
I didn't read Thomas Stanley's first book, The Millionaire Next Door and as I listened to The Millionaire Mind on tape, I wondered if his earlier work was more interesting. First of all, this book needs more editing. Stanley repeats himself constantly, not only bringing up the same topics chapter after chapter but often the same sentences. He also overuses statistics, some of which are dubious, some merely banal. For example, is it really a surprise that few multimillionaires buy lotto tickets? Then Stanley works out an elaborate formula showing how, using the average millionaire salary of $300/hour, money spent on lotto would add up over the years to something like $50,000. The problem is, poor and middle class people don't make this much per hour, so the formula doesn't apply to them; it merely gives a good argument for rich people not to play lotto. Possibly even more annoying than the statistics is Stanley's love of insipid acronyms, like OPM for other people's money (and that's the least annoying of them, I can't remember most of the others). There is useful information here, such as the sound advice to live beneath your means, but it could have been compressed into a much smaller book.
on April 23, 2001
In recent months I have become very interested in personal finance and have found myself perusing the aisles of the bookstores looking for good books that avoid repeating what every other book says: save 10-15% of your earnings, invest, and look into good retirement plans. Upon locating this book, I thought surely I had stumbled upon something innovative and insightful, surely this book would put all others to shame. Well, it disappointed me entirely. The main theme for the book is live cheaply so that you can acquire wealth and then...continue to live cheaply. As many other posters pondered, what is the point of acquiring all of this wealth, only to hold on to it with a thightfist. Truly you do not gain anything when you behave like a miser. I was not impressed with the values that many of the millionaire hold in high esteem as contributing to their wealth. I see no reason not to enjoy nice things. True it is encouraging to find that many millionaires were not valedictorians and in the top SAT percentie, but how many poeple actually ejoy such success stories? Only a select few. I would also like to once again agree with another poster that the people interviewed for the book were very uninteresting and one-dimensional. The book hails the typical American values that in essence are really associated with a male-dominated culture: have a wife at home, go out and break your back, spend lots of time with your kids, and above all STAY MARRIED to avoid having to pay for a costly divorce. Perhaps all of these values and tidbits would serve as being helpful in a Dummy's guide to Living the American Dream, but in a finance book, there is no room for it. The book is repetitous and honestly does not appear to cover a broad range of millionaires, only the miserly ones. In short, I would really not recommend this book to anyone looking for sound advice on joining the ranks of millionaires.
on September 9, 2000
I wasn't a big fan of Stanley's first book, but it did contain some worthwhile advice. Most of it was just good common-sense-- don't spend beyond your means, don't waste money on status-building consumer goods, don't expect Mom and Dad to subsidize your lifestyle if you don't have the money to pull it off. None of it earth-shattering stuff, but worth hearing anyway.
This book rehashes many of the same points made in the first book, along with a few other points that I'm not sure I believe. A previous reviewer disputes the sampling method Stanley uses to pick the millionaires that he surveyed, and I have to agree. He selected neighborhoods with large concentrations of millionaires, and I don't think that's an accurate way to gather the information he wanted. I don't think its a truly represenative sample.
And the points Stanley makes often fly in the face of logic. He says that few if any millionaires inherit ANY money from their parents. Well, what do the parents do with the money? I don't think they give it all away. He also makes the point over and over that people with top grades, super SAT's, and degrees from elite universities tend NOT to become millionaires. He reports that the average undergrad GPA among his sample was 2.9, and that many either didn't get into college or flunked out. He seems to make the point that academic brilliance is an actual hindrance to becoming rich, because smart kids don't focus enough on developing people skills. I can see his point, I just don't buy it. Just because you get straight C's doesn't make you more likely to become rich than someone with straight A's and a 1600 SAT.
The book also focuses incessently on the fact that many of the millionaires sampled own their own businesses. The actual number is only one-third of the sample, yet nearly every positive example given in the book is about someone who owns their own business. While I agree that investing your time and money in your own business rather than working for someone else can be far more rewarding financially, it's also riskier. Stanely does say that these entrepreneurs saw that there was greater finanacial risk in going it alone, but he doesn't mention even once that a great number of small businesses fail, and that is an egregious omission. Just because a small percentage make it does not necessarily make it a good idea to start your own business.
For a book that is supposed to be a statistical survey, there are so many ridiculous anecdotes about millionaire behavior that it really raises doubts about the overall value of the book. They aren't supported with hard data, and so can't really be trusted. It would have helped if the book had given more information about the sampling and even published the data in an appendix or on a web site, because he's making broad statements about millionaire behavior without seeming to examine any professional athletes, media moguls, rich kids, or other niches that millionaires cluster in.
It's not that the book doesn't make some valid points, just that they could have been summarized in a magazine article. Read this book but take it with a major grain of salt. Don't go thinking that it's OK to blow off school, that buying a Mercedes is stupid, or that you're doomed if your parents leave you a tidy pile. The path to riches is convoluted, and if this book shows you how some of the kinks can be avoided, it most certainly is not a map to the pot of gold.