The New Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and Sarah Stanley Fallow

A review and summary

I found this book in the new section of the Mountain View library. I was intrigued by the title, having previously read The CEO Next Door, unaware that that book’s name was a spin on the apparently famous The Millionaire Next Door first published in the 90’s.

Overall, the book is good, but it feels diffuse. It feels diffuse in both its goal and its content.

It seems that the goal of the book seems to straddle between convincing readers that a frugal lifestyle focusing on large wealth rather than high income is a worthwhile one, one worth pursuing. I agree that it is worthwhile, but to be honest, I am not sure that the book would convince a counterfactual me who was encountering this idea for the first time. You can see that the author really tried to engage the “being-rich-is-not-okay” camp with a chapter dispelling myths about what it means to be wealthy, for example.

However, most of the book reads like a longitudinal study on the habits of “millionaires next door”. This is not a bad thing, necessarily. I am not sure where else you can find this information consolidated in one place. I feel that reading this book has given me useful “outside views” or reference sets for what is good behavior regarding various financial situations I have not encountered (like buying a car. Tip: Buy from Honda), which I am always happy to learn about.

I do wish that this book discussed what would happen to many consumer-focused companies, should interest in high-end consumer products plummet (say, because people take this book’s widsom to heart).

Those looking for a book with specific actionable advice should look elsewhere. The book does not hold your hand.

Overall, I think it was worth the few hours I put into it.