The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Planko

General Description (from
How can you join the ranks of America’s wealthy (defined as people whose net worth is over one million dollars)? It’s easy, say doctors Stanley and Danko, who have spent the last 20 years interviewing members of this elite club: you just have to follow seven simple rules. The first rule is, always live well below your means. The last rule is, choose your occupation wisely. You’ll have to buy the book to find out the other five. It’s only fair. The authors’ conclusions are commonsensical. But, as they point out, their prescription often flies in the face of what we think wealthy people should do. There are no pop stars or athletes in this book, but plenty of wall-board manufacturers–particularly ones who take cheap, infrequent vacations! Stanley and Danko mercilessly show how wealth takes sacrifice, discipline, and hard work, qualities that are positively discouraged by our high-consumption society. “You aren’t what you drive,” admonish the authors. Somewhere, Benjamin Franklin is smiling.

Why the President Should Read This Book
Although many of our politicians are rich themselves, I remain unconvinced many of them understand the basics of producing income and accumulating wealth in a free society. They certainly know how to tax both income and wealth. From what many politicians say about “the rich” it is obvious to see that they are either deliberately misstating the truth for political gain, or they do not understand who the rich are. This book does an excellent job of shining a bright light on who millionaires really are, how they got their money by helping others, and why government should allow them to keep it so they can continue helping greater numbers of people.

Personal Note
This is not a get-rich-quick book. It doesn’t tell you how to get rich. It is a research-based book that simply describes the characteristics and practices of millionaires. “But I don’t really care about being a millionaire, why should I read it?” you ask. Because it’s also a book about basic money management and how money affects relationships. If you ever plan on having more than $100 in your bank account, you should read this book.