Book Review: EVERYDAY MILLIONAIRES by Chris Hogan
I might be unusual in the fact that I couldn’t wait for this book to arrive. Who else do you know that is excited about reading a book that would fall into the ‘personal finance’ section of the bookstore? But this book had been touted as a best seller, before it even went on sale, offering an inside view into the way “ordinary people built extraordinary wealth” and how I could do it too. And I wanted to know how to do that! Even though that sounded like a cliched gimmick touted by the booksellers!
From time to time I listen to The Dave Ramsey Show podcast (I like his no nonsense advice) and from time to time he invites people to phone in who have a net worth over $1,000,000 and he asks them HOW they did it. And it’s really fascinating to hear how normal people created their wealth! Watch his Top 10 Millionaire Calls
Chis Hogan, who they call a “Ramsey Personality” (did I mention this is a VERY American show) works with Dave Ramsey and he lead “the largest study EVER conducted” where they surveyed 10,000 U.S. net worth millionaires and found that building wealth had nothing to do with having a huge salary, getting an inheritance, leveraging to buy property or where you came from.
According to their study, you are a net worth millionaire when you total up everything you own; including your house, car, investments, bank accounts and any other assets and then minus all of your liabilities or debts. The leftover number is your net worth.
The book is an easy read and follows a logical path to the end and throughout the book they have short excerpts from “Everyday Millionaires” about how they achieved their wealth. If you think you might get this book so you can work out how to become RICH, then don’t bother, no flashy schemes on offer here, but if you want to learn from others about how to BUILD WEALTH in a long term and sustainable way, then read on. He wipes away any beliefs you might hold that you have to inherit money, or win Lotto, take big risks with money, leverage your way to wealth or come from a wealthy family and shows many examples of how many of the millionaires they spoke to started out dirt poor but over time worked their way into financial independence.
And despite the fact that this is an American study it’s very relatable here and as I read through it I was able to think “yep, I’m doing that” and “I think I need to work on this aspect a bit more” and although I had personally already worked out that anyone in New Zealand had it within THEMSELVES to become a millionaire, this book just confirmed it and showed what the key characteristics are to help you do it. I found it very motivating and comforting that Jonny and I are absolutely on the right track.
The book is peppered with statistical facts that were generated from the study like:
8 out of 10 millionaires come from families at or below the middle-class income level
The top two contributing factors to becoming wealthy are discipline and consistency
The number one contributing factor to millionaires high net worth is investing in retirement plans
Only 15% of millionaires were in senior leadership positions, meaning the bulk of them were just working their normal jobs
90% of millionaires have never taken out a business loan
Millionaires don’t use leverage, they especially avoid lending money against their home i.e a second mortgage
Wealthy people avoid debt
93% of millionaires say they got there by hard work rather than big salaries
They enjoy their jobs, get up early and exercise regularly
The majority of millionaires (97%) knew that it was up to THEM to make a success of things. 85% said their parents were savers
Most millionaires budget and save up for big expenses and very few millionaires use debt or leverage to get ahead
73% have never carried a credit card balance in their lives
85% go shopping with a grocery list
The average millionaire drives a four year old car
70% of millionaires saved more than 10% of their income throughout their working lives
It took the average millionaire 10.2 years to pay off their home and they don’t move house that much either
99% of millionaires said their friends and family would describe them as hard workers
And my final fun fact for this review is that the average age for becoming a millionaire is 49!
The entire book is full of these facts and they made really interesting reading.
The key points of the book were:
Invest in “boring” company retirement plans - even if you think you can’t afford it
Build your wealth slowly and steadily over time
Pay off your house
Live intentionally by budgeting and avoiding debt
Go to (or send your kids to) tertiary study without any student loan debt
Take responsibility for yourself
Set - and achieve - goals for yourself
Work hard. Really hard
Get advice from investing professionals as you go
Leave a financial legacy
Practice outrageous generosity
Who should read this book?
This is the book I wish I had read at 16. Although truth be told, it probably would not have held my interest at that age BUT the information inside of it would have set me on a different journey, of THAT I am sure. But this is the stuff that people need to know, so do what I do, read it yourself and slip some facts into the conversation around the dinner table! The book is for anybody at any stage of life who is pondering the question of HOW. How do you get started, how do you get out of debt, how do you work out the next step once you have, how much do you need to retire and how do you work out why you should even think about this stuff?
I LOVED IT, it’s cemented my financial journey even more and it’s let me know that I’m a weirdo and am doing things differently than a lot of Kiwis. In a good way! Our investment plan is simple and steady and somewhat boring but over time it’s going to deliver. And in case my mother reads this and thinks me a shallow person, it’s not just about the money, it’s actually more about the peace of mind and complete lack of financial stress that comes from knowing I have a good financial plan in place.
If you would like to buy this book, it is a little hard to find here in New Zealand but if you are patient and can wait a couple of weeks for delivery you can buy it here on BOOK DEPOSITORY. I got my copy from here. Or maybe contact your local library and ask them to buy it in for you? And as always, if you are local to me here in Alexandra, I’m happy to lend you my copy.