Recently I recieved a copy of The Quiet Millionaire: A Guide for Accumulating and Keeping Your Wealth by Brett Wilder from a publicist. I jumped at the chance to read a new finance book, and bring the review to The Happy Rock readers.
To start, when reading a book of advice, you must take a look at the author. Brett Wilder “is a Certified Financial Planner® with over forty years of professional experience as a personal and business financial adviser. He founded the Financial Management Group, Inc. in 1989, a fee-only financial management and investment advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ” That resume looks pretty solid. Brett should know his stuff, so let’s take a look at what he knows.
The book is meant to be an inside look at the type of clients that he professionally manages. These aren’t your Donald Trump’s, but your slow wealth accumulating business owner types called “Quiet Millionaires”. The book contains 15 chapters that attempt to define the decisions that have facilitated his clients millions. It covers the basic building blocks in personal finance like exploration of your purpose and relationship to money, a personal financial review, budgeting, home ownership, business ownership, health care, insurance, borrowing, and investing. The chapters average about 25 pages, and don’t get bogged down in the minutia. It reads quickly, and is well organized and laid out.
What I liked :
1. The approach to wealth building is refreshing. It is encouraging to see more books that aren’t preaching get rich quick schemes. It is especially encouraging to think that most of his clients accumulated wealth in an ‘average’ fashion.
2. Most of the pertinent personal finance topics are covered. The chapters provide enough meat to get you asking most of the right questions on a given topic.
3. The book contains a few nice lists that grabbed my attention: 7 major obstacles to financial success and 7 investing mistakes. They were pretty spot on, and were delivered succinctly.
4. The “Quiet Millionaire Wisdom” margin notes and the chapter summaries are helpful for skimming and gleaning the authors main points.
What I didn’t like :
1. I personally know that a lot of the techniques in the book are solid, but I am not sure that a person who is new to personal finance would be convinced that this is the path to millions. I don’t think the book backs up the title by underselling the idea that these principles work. The book read much more like “The Beginner Guide to a Solid Financial Future”, rather backing up it title. This is more a knock on the title, not the content.
2. Large sections that were not that relevant. A good example would be the multiple pages describing the differing Medicare plans. I just skimmed these sections, but they may be more relevant to others.
3. Some of the sections are weak. Mr. Wilder sees that most of clients are small business owners and is a big proponent of that path. Amazingly, the chapter on business ownership was lacking. Also the coverage on what I consider junkier insurance policies like whole life was questionable.
4. The constant request to seek the proper financial professional got old and took away some of the book’s credibility.
To wrap up: if you have the basic financial concepts down and are looking for deeper knowledge or support on your quest, I would look elsewhere. Given the title I wish that it would have given a little more coverage on who Brett Wilder is and why the information is important. The fact that most of the book is based on real life millionaires that are Mr Wilder’s client is extremely important and relevant, but not given enough coverage.
In all though, I think this is a good book. If you are looking for a book that covers most of the personal finance topics reasonably well in one place, then this book is a good place to start.
Sources : The Quiet Millionaire Website