Richer by the Day » Books

Richer by the Day
Ongoing ramblings about personal finance, and all related topics. If it has to do with money, it will be covered here.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Wealth

Welcome to Richer by the Day, a blog about personal finance, investing, and all things money. Take some time to read my latest blog posts, browse the categories and archive, and subscribe to my feed via RSS or Email. You can also stay up to date by following me on Twitter. If you find the information here useful, you can help support this site by visiting our advertisers and sponsors. Thanks for visiting!

The latest book review here on Richer by the Day is Thomas J. Stanley’s Stop Acting Rich … And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.  Those familiar with Stanley’s other notable books, namely The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind will see many familiar themes in Stop Acting Rich.  That’s not a criticism though, since this niche is where Stanley is at his best.  The differences between the three could be summarized as follows: The Millionaire Next Door described the typical millionaire, The Millionaire Mind revealed what they believe made them a success, and Stop Acting Rich explains why so many non-rich hyperspend and fail in their rich-emulation attempts.

Stop Acting Rich begins with an overview of the phenomenon whereby people try to emulate the rich, but fail miserably.  The problem, in simplified terms, is that they either emulate those with nearly limitless resources (whom they will never become) and/or the habits they believe the rich follow.  Unfortunately their beliefs of the rich are incorrect and so they act in many ways that are detrimental to their wealth.  The disheartening situation that many seem to find themselves in is a preference for appearing rich, rather than actually becoming rich.

Hyper-consumption and a desire to highlight our “wealth” through the showcase of status symbols

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Giveaway

Richer by the Day regulars know that I read a lot of books.  I often review relevant books here and host book giveaways as well.  In the course of those efforts, I was surprised to learn that there really isn’t a centralized place for people to collect, share, and discuss various book reviews.  There are many book review sites, but they are generally for user’s own reviews or discussions of the books themselves.  I envisioned a site where many reviews for a book could be submitted and users could vote for the best review.  Then, others considering the book could find reviews and opinions all in one place.  They could limit themselves to the best ranking review, or view them all.  Since this type of social bookmarking for book reviews didn’t seem to exist, I took it upon myself to create such a site.  The result is

The site is still in beta testing, but I’d be thrilled if any Richer by the Day readers would give it a try.  To help entice you, I’ll be hosting another giveaway to coincide with the beta testing period.  I will be giving away 5 personal finance or investing themed books from my large collection on October 1st.  All users of Book Review Mark will be eligible.  Each book review you add to the site or vote you cast for other reviews will count as an additional entry.

Thanks for your help in this effort and happy reading!

Filed under Books, Credit and Debt, Saving

I’m always intrigued by advice that goes against conventional wisdom.  That’s not to say that I’ll necessarily follow or advocate using such advice, but considering alternative points of view can either strengthen your conviction in your current course of action or open up superior alternatives.  The specifics of one’s situation can also lead to a solution that wouldn’t necessarily benefit the majority of people.

I recently picked up a few personal finance books at my library’s annual book sale.  For a dollar a bagful, I grabbed any that looked even slightly interesting.  One of the books was an older title, How to Get What You Want In Life With the Money You Already Have by Carol Keeffe.  The non-conventional advice was that you should pay the minimum on your credit cards.

It took some restraint to continue reading after seeing that advice in print, but following the author’s logic there may be cases where that is an appropriate course of action.  Her basic premise was that

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Filed under Books, Giveaway

I really enjoyed reading The Richest Man in Town and feel confident that it will become a personal finance classic.  You can read my full The Richest Man in Town Book Review.  To help spread the word about this great book, I’m pleased to announce that I have three copies that I’ll be giving away in the next week.  Take one (or many) of the following steps by 5/24/2009:

The first copy will be given to one of my email subscribers.  The second will be given to one of my Twitter followers.  The third will be given to anyone who visits Richer by the Day and leaves a non-spam comment.  Even a simple ‘Count me in’ comment on this post would suffice, though you may want to browse through the site and leave a relevant comment on any interesting posts you find.  You can use all of the entry methods to be eligible for each copy.

For those hoping to score the copy going to a twitter follower, you can get an extra chance by tweeting (or retweeting my original twitter announcement) the following:

Free book (Richest Man in Town) to a follower Follow by 5/24 RT for an extra entry #giveaway

This giveaway is a continuation of the renewed book focus I’ve taken here at Richer by the Day of late.  You may have noticed book reviews coming out nearly once a week.  I hope to continue this practice and offer as many book giveaways as possible.  So even if you aren’t selected for this giveaway, subscribe to my feed by email, follow me on twitter, and continue to visit Richer by the Day and leave comments to be eligible for future giveaways as well.

Filed under Book Review, Books, Wealth

The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth by W. Randall Jones.

W. Randall Jones had a wonderful idea to explore in his research which led to this book:  by interviewing the wealthiest person in towns large and small, all throughout the United States, he hoped to uncover common trends that led to their success.  The book is split into three parts.  First, background information about the project is given.  Next, the “12 Commandments of Wealth” are described.  These are the common traits Jones consistently found among the richest man or woman in each town (RMIT).  The final section described the lifestyles of the RMIT and gave a short biography of each man or woman.

I am excited by the premise of some some books.  For others, I am pleasantly surprised, despite my preconceptions.  In The Richest Man in Town I found the rare combination of both.  The idea behind the book set my expectations quite high, yet Jones was still able to exceed my expectations by a wide margin.  I ignorantly assumed that a book by the founder of Worth magazine would be dated, stuffy, elitist, and dull.  I sincerely apologize for those assumptions.  The Richest Man in Town was none of those things, was ripe with pop culture reference from the Simpsons to Zillow, and could better be described as destined for a place among the other breakthrough books on the rich, such a The Millionaire Next Door.

A premise of the book is

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Economy

The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World by Alan Beattie.

The stated aim of False Economy is to “explain how and why countries and societies and economies got to where they are today” without succumbing to fatalism.  Analyzing the past, it is argued, often leads to improper conclusions, since the eventual outcome is already known.  As such, ’causes’ of an outcome may have had far less actual influence than hindsight allows us to credit.  To prove the point, the author uses some events in US history that might have been used as evidence of the inevitability of failure, had failure of the US actually occurred.  For example, rather than import the graceful and artistic game of soccer from Europe after our independence, as isolationists we instead created the brutal and violent game of football in its place.

Comparisons have been made between Alan Beattie and Thomas Friedman, though after reading False Economy I doubt it will receive such popular support as the works of Friedman.  That is not to say that False Economy isn’t a good book –it’s quite good — just that the appeal is

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Giveaway, Review, Taxes, Wealth

The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston.

Author David Cay Johnston followed a similar formula that brought success to Perfectly Legal when writing his next book, Free Lunch.  He again uses extensive research, a breadth of topics, and largely maintains political neutrality throughout Free Lunch, which explores the giveaways, tax breaks, and subsidies that are taking away from the majority to make the über-rich even more so.

Free Lunch covers more topics than time permits me to mention, though everything from Profession Sports Franchises to Eminent Domain, Title Insurance to Exploding Student Loan Debt and many topics in between were included.  Many titans of industry, including Buffet, Bush,

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Giveaway, Retirement, Review, Saving, Wealth

 The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is Passion Saving by Rob Bennett.

Note to Readers: I was given a complimentary copy of the book by the author, but believe that my review was not influenced by the fact in any way.

Passion Saving is billed as an alternative to the way many of us traditionally try to save, which author Rob Bennett refers to as the Sacrifice Saving method.  He contends that the spending urge is simply too great to overcome.  Rather than fight this urge, we are supposed to redirect it towards saving to achieve more desirable results.  The goal is to transform saving into as emotionally satisfying experience as spending.  Passion Saving is basically about motivation.  If you can’t get motivated to save following traditional methods, then following the Passion Saving method

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Investing, Review

The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel.

In this book, the author systematically disproves virtually all methods of predicting future stock performance.  He goes beyond discrediting both technical and fundamental analysis to include more exotic methods as well.  He shows how consistently beating the average return of the market is rare, if not impossible.  Mr. Malkiel presents a reasonable and believable case for efficient market theory.  Rather than prove that the market always sets the price correctly,

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Career, Giveaway, Review

The latest book review here at Richer by the Day is Your Money or Your Life by by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

Your Money or Your Life is one of those classic personal finance books that everyone seems to have read. After finally getting around to reading it myself, I can see why it is so popular. While there are certainly some portions of the book which are outdated, the majority of the content is as relevant today as when the book was written in the early 90s.

One of the main concepts introduced in the book is how to define “enough.” I found this information particularly useful because I’ve been feeling guilty, or at least in the minority, that I don’t want any more than I already have. I’ve been living on the “enough” peak for a while now. Understanding that after a certain point having additional possessions

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