The Millionaire Next Door:
The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

By: Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko | | Rockstar Review | Categories: Mindset, Earning More, Frugality, Investing
Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue - they live next door. This bestselling book identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth.
Recommended by the following bloggers:

What Bloggers Are Saying...

"It started me on the whole money management bit. I realized that even rich people were frugal and saved a lot."
"It's a classic! And one of the best ways to get your *mind* right early on in your journey, which is what you need if you're serious about growing wealth. Parts of it can be dry at times, but most of it's jam-packed with stats and other fascinating nuggets on what millionaires *really* look like/act out there in the real world. You may be surprised!"
"One of the first books I read on the subject and it was completely eye-opening about what true wealth looks like."
"This book has a great way to think about money and growing it."
"I love this book for reinforcing all my frugal tendencies. The basic premise is that wealth isn’t about spending up a storm and owning loads of fancy possessions. Instead, even people on average incomes can become wealthy, if they cut back on consumption to stash some cash and start investing. Sounds eminently sensible to me, and a lot more likely than winning a lottery jackpot!"
"Gives a good overview of what it takes to become a millionaire."
"A real picture of what a millionaire actually is. This wakes people up from the rap videos to the real life plumber next door."
"This is probably the most representative of the normal person making something with their life without becoming flashy"
"This book helps remind me to stay within my means and not worry about appearances since the truly rich don't care either."
"Reminds me to not keep up with the Jones as a doctor."
"Because it hammers home the fact that most millionaires are simple people. It is usually the ones living the highest life that have the lowest net worth."
"This was the first book on the subject that made sense. It's also the book that encouraged me to try my hand at running a side business, because many millionaires are business owners."
"I love books that give you an inside look how millionaires live. It was an eye opener for me when I was young and naive because it wasn't what I expected it to be."
"The book is about the habits of millionaire. what they do? What they shop? Where they invest? What they learn?"
"It's really hard to pick just one book, but this is the first one that comes to mind. It was the first personal finance book that I read and it was eye-opening to me. It taught me actual steps and practices I needed to follow if I wanted to essentially become a millionaire. I also like that the book as easy to read for the average person."
"It's chock full of short, simple, powerful observations about the principles that lead to wealth - which, incidentally, are principles of good stewardship. If everyone lived that way, and then gave generously, too, the world could be a different place."
"It shows that living for material things => greater cost and less happiness in your life. Focus on the important things and enjoy the fruits of that focus."
"Most people seem to have a skewed idea of what the average millionaire looks like and how they live. This book is VERY enlightening, and empowering. Observe people who've achieved success then do what they do."
"It dispels the preconceived notions and fantasies we all have in our minds about wealth. It promotes the steady and honest building of wealth through hard work, productivity, a plan, and simplicity."
"Up until just a few years ago two prevailing thoughts influenced how my husband and I dealt with money: 1. You can tell the people who are wealthy by the amount of stuff they have. 2. People are either born rich or born poor: you have no influence over the matter. The Millionaire Next Door showed me that I was completely wrong on both fronts, and we are now crushing our debt and building wealth because of what we learned from this phenomenal book."
"The book is old but it's principles still hold true today. I love how it challenged my pre-conceived notion of wealth."
"I found it very interesting to compare with my own behaviors and spending / saving habits. This is a quick read that can help you improve your financial habits or general views on life. It is always so fascinating to see how normal wage earners like plumbers and teachers can reach financial freedom and retire early."
"I love the The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley because it opens your eyes to how the wealthy are actually living, and gives insight into the behaviors that actually got them there. It helps you to realize that not all that glitters is gold. Far too often those who are driving luxury cars, are highly leveraged. Those who are consumers of luxury items are often not wealthy. The wealthy appreciate value, buy quality and engage in behaviors that help them to accumulate wealth.Very eye opening."
"It reveals the hidden habits of individuals that have attained a net worth of $1 million. Those that are struggling with increasing their net worth know that becoming a millionaire is reachable."
"Simple and to the point: invest your earnings and don't live a flashy lifestyle. I think that captures the essence of the FIRE movement."
"It's one of the first finance books I read and despite the fact that it's a bit out dated in terms of data, it's still a classic book with an important message."
"I love the simple concepts in this book and how easily attainable it is if you follow basic principles like spending less than you earn and the importance of patience and time."
"It crashes all the myths of how a billionaire should live."
"Shows that growing wealth is far more meaningful than showing wealth."
"I'm sure this book shows up on most people's lists and for good reason. This book helps shatter any preconceived notions of what a millionaire is. Everyone needs to read this book because it will reshape you and help you get out of the sometimes delusional world that we live in. I know I changed some of my habits and goals after reading this book."
"A great book to help change your money mindset. It's always great to learn from other who have been successful. I'd like to learn as much as possible from stealth Millionaires."
"I love statistics"
"It pretty much destroys the false fantasy of what most millionaires look like. The story of most millionaires aren't about buying ferraris and oceanic yahts. The true story that creates the most millionaires is simple hard work, and focus on maximizing the opportunities in their daily lives. Most millionaires are usually more interested in buying a new share of stock, rather than a night out at a fancy, and expensive, resturant. It pretty bluntly shows that if you'd prefer a fancy dinner, over a share of stock, you're missing the steps to climb to being a millionaire next door."
"It works. Read it. Apply it. Become wealthy. Simple as that."
"A good mix of stats and stories about those who fit the mindset."
"It is a great look into a different mindset with money. I also love the concept of stealth wealth and how it can lead to a much more fulfilling life. There is also an aspect of minimalism, and buying what you value. This way of thinking reshaped my entire thoughts towards 'things'"
"Simple, practical advice based on real world situations. It breaks the mindset that becoming a millionaire is out of reach."
"It stripped away all the secrets to the millionaire lifestyle and totally deglamorized it. It showed us that wealth could be achieved by starting a business and having a high savings rate. The research, statistics, and the interviews are still incredible insights. We've read all of the books in the MND franchise."
"It was eye opening to see being a millionaire isn't about showing off your wealth. When I read this early on, I quickly saw a path to becoming wealthy that didn't revolve around material possessions."
"Demystified the idea of millionaires and how it's about saving money and super boring... and not about getting lucky or winning the lottery."
"The authors have dissected the behavior of millionaires across America and distilled it to simple habits that anyone can practice.  Thought-provoking and easy to read, Millionaire Next Door shatters myths about how wealthy people act in their daily lives."
"Seeing how millionaires actually live versus what most people think helps keep priorities in line."
"I find it interesting to see how the wealthy stay wealthy and the mindset they hold to stay wealthy."
"Growing up with a father who thought wealth was shown in status symbols, this book changed my perspective and whole approach to money. It's a simple read and the perfect motivator for anyone who believes wealth can only be developed by those with high incomes."
"This is the top personal finance book for me-I read it about a decade ago and it had a huge impact on how I viewed being wealthy and wealth accumulation. People who act rich often aren't-and most real millionaires don't act rich."
"Let’s face it you and I have been conditioned to think of millionaires in terms of the conspicuous consumption we’ve seen from movie, music, and sports stars. Turns out that image is dead wrong. The majority of American millionaires live well within their means, engage in little to any conspicuous consumption, and are Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAWs). So if you are looking for inspiration to live below your means, save money, and invest, this is the book for you. Although roughly 20 years old, it is a seminal work that remains as relevant today as it ever did. This book was so successful it inspired an entire follow-on series of books from Dr. Stanley, but none of them capture the significance quite like the original."
"We think of millionaires as having these glamorous jobs, houses and toys. The reality is, most millionaires live a simple life and have average jobs. It just goes to show you that you can become a millionaire regardless of how much you make."
"Perhaps the most eye opening to realize that you likely know several millionaires and don't even realize it. A modest life can go hand in hand with a high net worth."
"One of the first books I read on the subject and it was completely eye-opening about what true wealth looks like."
"This book provided data to show how to become wealthy. The image of a multi millionaire driving a used car and living in a standard house is so different than the standard expectation of wealth. The research for the book was done scientifically but it reads very quickly and easily. I'd recommend it to anybody."
"This book is a must read for any young adult! The author's writing style and personality make this personal finance book an entertaining and informative book."
"Another excellent book for analyzing companies. Beyond this, it's great at giving you a better understanding of how businesses work."
"Nick Murray does a great job demonstrating, from both historical performance and logical analysis, why stocks are the best way to grow your investment portfolio. He also addresses the concern of market correction risk during the drawdown phase and proposes a plan to ride it out successfully."
"Very good read for anyone getting started. Teaches you to avoid living paycheck to paycheck by building assets."
"Great book for every investor to help understand the basics of investing."
"This book covers so much! Principles of tax efficient fund placement, diversification, investment fees - even mindset preparation."
"It reframed how I viewed money. I began seeing it as a tool to be used to build and move closer to dreams."
"It's simple enough for any audience to understand, but it shows the importance of investing and re-investing for your future."
"The book shows what popular culture doesn't about millionaires. It made me look at millionaires as average Americans who are responsible and others who live above their means for several reasons. I use this methodology in my daily life."
"Another favorite book on dividend paying companies. Again, we have some nice rules based investing tips with obviously a focus on dividends."
"This book put it all into perspective for me. If you can operate as an investor or a big business owner, you're going to be at a much better advantage than employees or small business owners. His simplicity makes it easy to understand and helps get your mind flowing."
"Such a classic on investing and index funds."
"This is a great book if you are ready to get down to the nuts and bolts of either early or regular retirement planning. On his website, Mr. Kirkpatrick points out that this book is not meant for people just starting their financial journey (check out his other book, Retiring Sooner, if that is you). Rather it is meant for those far enough into their journey where retirement is a real consideration. Not sure if that is you? Don’t worry he shows you how to figure that question out almost right away. From there he walks you through a thorough consideration of all the other details involved in achieving FI and retirement. Mr. Kirkpatrick keeps this book engaging from beginning to end by relating his own experiences from life and early retirement. He never gets too heavy into the math but does use it to emphasize points when necessary. The plain and accessible language of the book reminded me of The Simple Path to Wealth, although Mr. Kirkpatrick takes different views on issues like annuities than his friend JL Collins, so you are not simply repeating the lessons learned in The Simple Path. Much like The Simple Path, I now consider this book one of my essential references. This book showed me how to get serious with my retirement planning, and as a result, I was able to build a functional retirement plan."
"Hands down the best investment guide I've read. The authors do a fantastic job of laying out a solid investment plan that will work for most people. The approach is simple, easy to implement, and works."
"This book has a great way to think about money and growing it."
"It's the one book my husband read. It got him to understand better what I was blabbing about for months."
"Demystified the idea of millionaires and how it's about saving money and super boring... and not about getting lucky or winning the lottery."
"JL Collins was the first author who really showed to how to financially achieve my goals. He writes in a very clear style and the book addressed finically topics for a variety of ages."
"It's relateable without being pretentious and in your face...like me? Haha!"
"Because I believe in the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle."
"I love Dave Ramsey, and this book summarizes everything he has to say. I don't agree with him on everything, but this book started me on my financial journey, so I think it's the best first book to read on finances for anyone."
"A great book to help change your money mindset. It's always great to learn from other who have been successful. I'd like to learn as much as possible from stealth Millionaires."
"The original FI philosophy is laid out in this book!"
  - Joel @ fi180.com
"It does a great job of hammering home the message everyone needs to hear - live reasonably, save a lot, and get rich slowly."
"Easy, insightful reading. Universal time tested truths about building wealth and the people that have it. An early influence on my personal finance habits."
"Sure! My favorite is David Bach's Automatic Millionaire. Before I read that book I struggled to save consistently, even with a solid income. Bach's book focused on what was most important: paying myself first and doing it with a fool-proof system that virtually guarantees financial success. Nothing is more important in personal finance than an ability to save a big percentage of your income."
"I like the different approach here that addresses mindset, not just follow steps 1-10 to be better with money. This one stood out as a unique perspective."
"There are so many people who fake their finances. This book illustrates that even the seemingly average neighbor next door may be a millionaire."
"This book documents that wealth isn't something reserved only for trust-fund babies. It also demonstrates that conspicuous consumption isn't necessarily a sign of wealth - it's only a sign of spending."
"See my review here: http://myfamilyonabudget.com/cara-macmillan-book-review/"
"Wealthy people and celebrities - there is a difference. Consumerism can get the best of us, Millionaire Next Door helps prevent this and educate!"
"Amazing book providing transparency to the financial advisor industry"
"Most financial books are riddled with complicated industry jargon that be tedious to read. This book is refreshing because it teaches people important ways to become better investors through easy to understand verbiage and illustrations."
"This book broke the mold on how I think about money. It helped me realize that there are more millionaires driving around in 10 year-old Ford F-150 pickups than in Mercedes."
"Not exactly a financial book, but about the power of enough which is a main concept in early retirement"
"It’s a classic for a reason. Simple and hopeful, it showed me the habits it takes to actually BE a millionaire, not just look like one. I know some people don’t think it’s relevant or doable anymore, due to low wages and the high cost of housing, but that just sounds like victim-speak to me. Get off your butt and go make your life what you want it to be. That’s what TRULY wealthy people do."
"While the media is quick to portray the flashiest things money can buy, along with its' price tag, this book effectively dispels the myth that high consumption lifestyle can be equated with true wealth."
"Its great hearing all these real time stats about how the average millionaire is essentially a minimalist. They don't spend much on watches, cars, clothes etc. Working with rich clients (landscaping) I see it all the time, they drive average cars and prefer them over their previous work bmw etc. A lot of the time if we work for someone who drives expensive cars they take longer to pay the bill and can tend to be more picky."
"I felt I was proficient about money. This book introduced completely new concepts about financial independence, wealth, and investing. It’s a long book but the personal finance and investing tips alone are well worth your time."
"The first Personal Finance book I ever read and it has always stuck with me. It matches how I want to live my life, with those around me never knowing I'm the Millionaire Next Door."
"I think that this was the first book that really clicked with me on the importance of cash flow and passive income. It is stupidly simplistic and repetitive but calls out the difference in being your own boss, owning a business, versus being in a W-2 position. It just opened my eyes."
"I'll be like everyone else and throw this one out there. I'm not really interested in real estate and I realize that this book has flaws, but the concepts in here are vital for anyone who doesn't want to spend the next several decades trading time for money."
"This is hands-down the best financial book ever written. There are so many books out there about retirement planning, investment vehicles to use, how to become a millionaire, etc. But the message in The Millionaire Next Door is simple and straightforward and dispels the widely accepted notion that those people who look rich (fancy cars, huge houses) most likely aren't and are lacking behind their more modest neighbors. A true gem that has had a huge impact on my financial life and the way I approach my personal finances as well as the advise I give to family and friends."
"For many, managing their personal finances has become overwhelming based on the number of new resources and avenues they can take with their money. The Index Card reminds the reader that at its core personal finances involve only a small set of core principles and direction."
"Not inflating spending as income increases is hard. This book helps remind me that financially successful people don't overspend."
"Reading this confirmed for me the bad money habits that I was seeing around me and how to avoid them. Plus, I love facts and figures and this gave it to me by the boatloads."
"The Millionaire Next Door describes the average millionaire as a pretty normal person, someone you might see shopping at your local grocery store or eating at the next table in your favorite restaurant. Perhaps even your own neighbor is a millionaire.  However, the author also found that there are 7 specific traits most millionaires share.  The Millionaire Next Door thoroughly examines each of these traits and shows how they are the basis for most millionaire's success."
"This books adds some reality to being wealthy. It shows that average people can be wealthy."
"Shattered all perceptions I had about self-made millionaires. I read it in my mid 20s and realized I could become a millionaire (and I did at age 36)"
"This book opened my eyes up to who millionaires actually are. I'd rather spend a day hanging out with the guy who owns a Ford F150, than have an expensive dinner with the guy who drives a Maserati!"
"This book debunked so many myths about wealthy people and showed me that the typical ideas our society holds about what it means to be wealthy in actuality keep a lot of people broke."
"Shows us that rich people lead modest lives...and that’s what makes them rich"
"Tony Robbins discusses the simple rules of finance, index investing, watching fees, and has data to back it up."
"I read this book in college for a beginner finance class and it truly opened my eyes to so many truths. There are so many misconceptions regarding what the wealthy do with their money. This book shed light on the true way millionaires handle their finances. The book was also a great reminder that just because you bring in a large salary, that does not mean you will be wealthy. It is always more about how you manage your money and what financial decisions you make."
"A reflection of my life... scary!!"
"It's all in the mindset = THINK!!"
"It is written by titans of finance (Malkiel, Ellis) but a very quick, short read."
"While more of an agglomeration of observations and examples than rigorous research findings, this book illustrates how people have often accumulated significant wealth through hard work, diligent saving and investing, and a frugal/modest lifestyle. A good counterpoint to the common view that millionaires 'strike it rich' and live lavish lifestyles involving private jets and conspicuous consumption."
"It proves that not only is it possible for ordinary income earning Americans to prosper but it's actually more likely that they will be the accumulators."
"For budgeting, there's no one better than Dave Ramsey in the personal finance space. He gets to the heart of budgeting, why it's important and tells it like it is. I found his teachings on marketing particularly useful. If every high school student read this book and applied the concepts, our world would be a much different place. I also like this book because it helps spell out what you need (and don't need) in your family budget. It's a good beginners book."
"The concepts in the book were a huge mindset shift - most truly wealthy people got there through hard work, frugality, and the power of compounding over time. Outward appearances are deceiving - nice houses, cars, and clothes are usually an indicator of debt, not wealth."
"Short lessons on money management told in the form of parables makes it a timeless classic. It is easy to read and digest, and makes you think about how to apply the lessons to your own situation without force-feeding you a list of to-dos."
"It's a classic for a reason."
"The Millionaire Next Door was the first book I read that went into amazing statistical detail. I love stats and data so this book was a natural fit."
"JL is a great guy. He doesn't try to fancy up the investment world and explain $2 concepts with $10 words. This book is perfect for someone who knows zilch about investing and can provide insight for even a seasoned investor."
"Diving into the data behind every day millionaires, their habits and views is fascinating"
"Diving into the data behind every day millionaires, their habits and views is fascinating"
"It's all about living below your means and investing the difference. This is the secret recipe of financial success"
"Lots of stats"
"Not a lot of actionable if you don't like real estate"
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