Weekend Reading: Millionaire Next Door Edition

Thomas J. Stanley, who co-authored The Millionaire Next Door, arguably one of the most influential personal finance books ever written, died in a car accident last week at the age of 71. Stanley’s work centered around the idea that financially successful people similar traits, namely living below their means and valuing financial independence over high status.

Ironically, as this piece by Helaine Olen points out, Stanley died while driving his Corvette, a car priced at over $50,000. Olen suggests that “the actual millionaire next door had died some time ago.”

Adam Mayers takes a less cynical view of the book, describing down-to-earth examples from Canadian icons Wayne Gretzky and David Chilton to drive home the point that you don’t need to spend big dollars to enjoy a wealthy lifestyle.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote about CRM2 – the new disclosure rules that will force the investment industry to reveal to clients the true cost of their services.

On Wednesday Marie explained the difference between being frugal and just plain being cheap.

And on Friday Marie wrapped up her two-part series on managing RRIF withdrawals.

Over on my Rewards Cards Canada blog I ranted about why credit card issuers make it so difficult to cancel a credit card.

Weekend Reading:

Maclean’s described the inheritance wars – a generation living beyond its means waiting for the biggest transfer of wealth in human history.

Apple made headlines this week as it finally unveiled its Apple Watch, a device that it hopes will transform how consumers access the internet. I’m not convinced that “wearables” will become the next big thing, certainly not a watch with 18-hour battery life that has to be paired with a smart-phone in order to function.

Personal finance blogger Martin Dasko shared a fascinating story about chasing his bold dream of becoming a professional wrestler.

Rob Carrick says he and his wife are giving their children an early inheritance in the form of a debt-free education.

This Financial Post column says that if you’re still supporting your adult children you may be ruining your own retirement.

Facebook is a big factory of envy, according to this piece by Chris Taylor who says if you want to spend less money you need to spend less time on social networks.

Steadyhand’s Tom Bradley offers some great advice for those of us who might have grown complacent with debt.

Michael James says that the trouble with annuities is that most payments aren’t indexed to inflation which means that your money loses purchasing power every year.

A lot of attention is put on Warren Buffett and his succession plan at Berkshire Hathaway, but Vanguard founder Jack Bogle is 85 and works just as hard as Buffett while advocating for low cost index investing. Is there a next Jack Bogle? Not if you ask Jack Bogle.

Dan Solin says the idea that skilled money managers even exist is the biggest scam of them all.

Rob Carrick answers a reader question – Should you tap into your TFSA to pay down your car loan?

Sheryl Smolkin describes a tale of two retirees.

Accountant Dan Wesley explains the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit.

Barry Choi lists 10 ways you’re living beyond your means.

Young and Thrifty describes a lifestyle inflation threat that’s sweeping the middle class – whether or not to get a housekeeper.

Finally, Million Dollar Journey updates his Smith Manoeuvre dividend portfolio, which took a dip after the recent oil collapse.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Michael James on March 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Maybe once I get a smart phone I’ll consider the smart watch. Thanks for the mention.

    • Echo on March 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Well, you did eventually join Twitter so never say never. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Barry @ Moneywehave on March 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the mention, fortunately I’m doing anything on my own list.

  3. Sean Cooper, Financial Journalist on March 14, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    It’s all about deriving the most joy – the biggest bang for your buck. As Chilton says, it’s about choosing stuff vs. experiences. Being minimalist, I would choose experiences any day.

  4. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on March 15, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for the mention Robb, I am curious to see how Apple shares fare over the next year as I don’t the the Apple Watch is going to take off like they think it will

  5. kcowan on March 15, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Why is David Chilton represented as a millionaire on The Dragon’s Den if he does not display his wealth? Maybe before his first book he was representative.

    Gretsky was great until he married Hollywood royalty. Then he made many of the usual mistakes. Fortunately he had enough earning power to overcome them.

    And since when does driving a Corvette make someone out of the “club”. A friend of mine owned a vintage Corvette and made good money when he sold it, i.e. a wise investment.

  6. CanTex on March 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    “Even Stanley seems to have had trouble living up to his own hype. In an irony many could not resist commenting on in recent days, the author of The Millionaire Next Door died driving a Chevrolet Corvette, a car with a list price of more than $50,000.”

    Seriously? Irony? When, pray tell, are all these folks next door allowed to spend money on themselves? 75? 85? 100? Never? I guess the author must feel people aren’t allowed to enjoy their hard-earned wealth. Ever.

    There is a time in one’s life when one transitions from Saver to Spender. Apparently 71 isn’t old enough.

  7. Justin on March 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the mention!

  8. Tawcan on March 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Interesting article about social media and spending money. It’s like Keeping up with the Joneses on steroid when it comes to social media.

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