Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

It has been 5 years ago since I began working on online projects from desks or couches of different coffee shops to different houses to bus stations to airport terminals.

I realized the ideal life I’ve written 10 years ago, to work from anywhere, manifested already at 80%.. there’s still needed tweaks but I’m looking at a bright future here..

And to move forward, I’ve been reading financial books to help me manage my money so I won’t go broke if I start that travel journey again like what happened before. Those horror reality stories where I was unfortunately the star victim should not happen again… but if just in case these unfortunate scenes should still happen, I should then go and make lemonade, lemon cake, lemon candy out of it instead :D.. go ahead, lemons pa more.

if life gives you lemons

And speaking of financial books, one of the books I just finished reading is The Millionaire Next Door. It’s a book about the study of the lifestyles of elites in the US and some revelations are very encouraging.. that anyone, with the right mindset and discipline, can indeed become a millionaire too..

This is not a get rich quick scheme though.. So if you’re in a rush, here’s a tip from me – go to Vietnam, or Myanmar, or Indonesia, your wish will automatically be granted.

Kidding aside, here’s some words of wisdom from the book:

[My] business does not look pretty. I don’t play the part . ..
don’t act it. … When my British partners first met me, they
thought I was one of our truck drivers. … They looked all
over my office, looked at everyone but me. Then the senior
guy of the group said, “Oh, we forgot we were in Texas!” I
don’t own big hats, but I have a lot of cattle.

Cows in Laos

Victor’s well-educated adult children have learned that a high level of consumption is expected of people who spend many years in college and professional schools. Today his children are under accumulators of wealth. They are the opposite of their father, the blue-collar, successful business owner.


Being frugal is the cornerstone of wealth-building. Yet far too often the big spenders are promoted and sensationalized by the popular press.

But the lavish lifestyle sells TV time and newspapers. All too often young people are indoctrinated with the belief that “those who have money spend lavishly” and “if you don’t show it, you don’t have it.” Could you imagine the media hyping the frugal lifestyle of the typical American millionaire? What would the results be? Low TV ratings and lack of readership, because most people who build wealth in America are hard working, thrifty, and not at all glamorous.


Physicians often find that there are disadvantages to living in affluent neighborhoods. People who live in expensive areas are often bombarded with solicitations from “cold-calling” investment experts. Many of these callers assume that people in upscale areas have money to invest. In reality, many people who live in luxury have little money left over after funding their high-consumption lifestyles.



For example, affluent parents often subsidize their children’s purchase of a home. The intent may be to help their children “get started on the right foot.” The parents assume that such gifts are a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Some have told us that they thought “this would be the last dollar the kids would ever need.” They assume that the recipients of their kindness will be able to “do it on their own” in the near future. Nearly half the time, they are wrong.


Gift receivers frequently are underachievers in generating income. All too often the income of the gift receiver does not increase at the same rate as his consumption. Thus, a gift of a down payment, whether full or partial, can place a recipient on a treadmill of consumption and continued dependence on the gift giver.


Affluent parents instill this “dependence” characteristic in their daughters over time with subtle cues. Thus, many affluent parents communicate messages such as the following to their daughters:

Don’t worry If you don’t want to have a career of your own, you don’t have to worry about money. We will help you out financially. … If you do have a career, . . . if you do become a big success . . . and become independent~
you will not be receiving any major financial gifts or inheritance from us.

I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed
with what they achieve… Always
strive to be the best in your field. … Don’t chase money. If
you are the best in your field, money will find you.

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