Top critical review
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I knew the Millionaire Next Door...
on December 13, 2001
The book is a kind of research paper. The authors are, after all, academics. They have attempted to provide a "composite" picture, based on extensive research, of the average American Millionaire. What they have found is that such an individual is difficult to identify. In general, though, they are self-employed, hard-working, thrifty, etc. They do not drive expensive cars, live in mansions on golf courses, and wear a Rolexes.
One of the biggest contradictions in the book is this: The authors have found that most millionaires will die rich. But they have also found that most people who inherit great wealth end up as good-for-nothing parasites, rarely accomplishing much in their own lives. My tongue-in-cheek analysis, then, is that these millionaires shoud try to die broke.
The book is filled with statistical information about the habits, professions, and lifestyles of millionaires. At times, the reader will feel somewhat bored as a point is driven into the ground. Overall, though, the book is worth reading. We can all benefit by adopting some of the implied suggestions of this book. Work hard, plan for your retirement, live within your means. Just don't get carried away. Stop and smell the roses from time to time; strive to be rich in experience. When you're on your death-bed, I seriously doubt that you will say, "Gee, I sure wish I'd spent more time at the office." Ask a dying person what they would give for another year or two of life. The answer: everything they have. The sunset on Maui is beautiful. Life is short and precious; enjoy it.