My Sentiments Exactly

Many people thought I was crazy writing a book with a title telling potential purchasers not to buy it. But once again I point to someone else’s work as vindication. A recent article in the New York Times spells out exactly why I think books like mine are a waste of time. The article is called “Get Rich Quick, Write a Millionaire Book.”

In chapter 8 of my book, a chapter which pokes fun at the many schemes that will supposedly make you rich, I write “There is an easier way [to get rich], and I’m here to tell you what it is! Write this book.”

The New York times article compares the advice of the past with the current spate of personal finacial advice: give up the little things like the pack a day smoking habit, bring your lunch from home, and save money, versus think like a millionaire and cashflow is king.

The New York Times article uses Robert Kiyosaki to represent the new financial way of thinking:

No longer is it enough to study hard at a good school and get a good job to be set for life, advice given to him by his father, the poor dad. Instead, Mr. Kiyosaki advocates the staples of late-night infomercials: investments in small stocks and distressed real estate. He argues that one has to think like a millionaire by recognizing the difference between an income-producing asset and a liability, advice given to him by a friend's father, the rich dad. The whole trick to financial success is creating passive income.

The above paragraph epitomizes what I think is the problem with the search for financial success. People look for tricks, they try to find a shortcut or an easy way to wealth, and nothing sounds easier than passive income. But while I think you should explore as many paths to wealth as possible, you can’t ignore what has been proven to work. And you can’t ignore the fact that getting rich, becoming a millionaire, is very difficult.

Gaining millionaire status is still an accomplishment…only 7 million out of 100 million American households have net assets of $1 million or more, which includes, of course, the equity built up in most people's biggest asset - their homes…That number has not changed significantly despite all the millions of books sold telling people how to join the club.

The last sentence above is one of the main reasons why I included “Don’t Buy This Book” in my title. The number of millionaires has “not changed significantly despite all the millions of books sold telling people how to join the club.” The answer to how to get rich is staring us all in the face but many people would rather seek a quick and easy solution rather than working hard and spending wisely.

The article asks the most important question: “You have to ask yourself before you buy any of these books: did my neighbors get rich because they just think differently, or because they use money more wisely?”

In my book I give a short list of really wealthy people such as Bill Gates or famous athletes or actors and go on to say “Do you really think that reading a personal finance book (no matter who the author is) is going to make you rich in that sense of the word?”

The New York Times article traces the beginning of the think like a millionaire advice to Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, authors of “The Millionaire Next Door.” With this book the two men became millionaires.

The lesson learned here? It may have been that the way to get rich is to write a book revealing the thinking of millionaires. Mr. Stanley is back with a brand extension, "The Millionaire Mind."

Another author the article highlights is David Bach author of “The Automatic Millionaire.” While the advice in the book is practical it is also aspirational to which the Times reporter writes: “You'll get the same advice reading this newspaper or any number of financial advice columnists at no additional cost, though you may not get the urge to aspire.”

In the beginning of my book I write, “This is a book about personal finance, as if there weren’t enough of them already. There will be books about personal finance in the future, too, because you, the consumer, are always hungry for information that can make you rich.”

While I think I do have important advice, my book is no different than the others. If any of these books worked, if any had the only solution then there would be no need for any more personal finance books.

The article goes on to point out that many of these books are written by the same people who make a very good living on the motivational seminar curcuit.

Their books…recycle a lot of the language and advice of those hotel ballroom talkathons; namely, you have been conditioned to think like a poor person, but you can remake yourself to think rich. Mr. Eker [author of “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”] suggests a daily affirmation in which you put hand over heart and say: ‘I am an excellent receiver. I am open and willing to receive massive amounts of money into my life.’ You then touch your head and say, ‘I have a millionaire mind!’

You haven’t “been conditioned to think like a poor person,” you’ve been conditioned to buy things, to believe that someone else has the answers that have been escaping you. You’ve been conditioned to make a fool of yourself by repeating stupid mantras that do nothing to make you any richer. I’m here to tell you that you have what it takes but it won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, and you don’t need to spend any money to learn any secrets.

The Times article ends by saying, “The bottom line is: save your money by not buying these books. At about $25 a book, buying one every year probably will not decimate your retirement fund. But if you don't, you'll have at least $2,370 more in 40 years.”

My sentiments exactly! And to learn more about my book, “If You Want to Be Rich Don’t Buy This Book” click here.