Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
'Everyday Millionaires' by Chris Hogan was heralded as an update of the original study on people with a million dollar or greater net worth, 'The Millionaire Next Door'. While this book has many points in its favor, it falls short of some of the promises the authors made.
The Points in Favor of 'Everyday Millionaires'
'Everyday Millionaires' starts out with the top popular myths people have about millionaires. It then breaks these stereotypes with hard facts, sometimes from their proprietary study of millionaires in 2018, sometimes from publicly available sources like the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest people in the world. In fact, they provide a full chapter to each of the myths they’re busting like 'all millionaires take big risks with money'.
'Everyday Millionaires' in the final chapter or two outlines specifically how you can become an ‘everyday millionaire’ yourself. The checklist and detailed explanations go beyond 'max out your 401K'.
While this book references Dave Ramsey’s get out of debt plan at a high level, this book doesn’t repeat that content. 'Everyday Millionaires' ends up at around 250 pages, too.
The Weaknesses of 'Everyday Millionaires'
Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan spent months hyping this book and their study of more than ten thousand millionaires. The book doesn’t have many tables, charts and graphs detailing their findings. There is surprisingly little hard data from their study for readers to analyze themselves. That was part of what made 'The Millionaire Next Door' so interesting.
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Instead, 'Everyday Millionaires' is a pep talk for saving for retirement peppered with a few facts. Only 3% of millionaires inherited a million dollars. Nearly everyone on the Forbes 400 wealthiest list was self-made, or at best, inherited modest fortune and grew it to a several billion dollar fortune. The vast majority of millionaires are married for life, and nearly all of them were raised by married parents. Most millionaires live in homes of average value and weren’t earning a fortune – they saved over a lifetime.
These tidbits are scattered throughout the book, though they’re heaviest where Chris Hogan is focused on breaking the myths people have about the wealthy. Most young people think millionaires inherited it all or were lucky. He cites stats here just enough to prove that wrong.
Dave Ramsey's organization eventually found a solution to this. They released a white paper, 'The National Study of Millionaires', that provides the thorough data analysis many were expected. The downside - you have to pay for it even if you bought the book.
Another flaw was touting the book as a follow-up to 'The Millionaire Next Door'. They don’t analyze the relevance of the original book’s rules like 'don’t buy a house worth more than three times your annual income'. They don’t address the expected net worth equation, either. Instead, Dave Ramsey’s rules are mentioned if financial rules are discussed at all.
Because Chris Hogan works so closely with Dave Ramsey, his books frequently reference Dave Ramsey’s get out of debt program. I don’t consider this a pro or a con, since we went through Dave Ramsey’s FPU program and got out of debt. When you’ve paid off your debt, you need less money to live on in retirement and can save more for long-term goals.
I give the book 'Everyday Millionaires' four stars out of five. If they’d provided more detailed information on the millionaire study they based the book on, then I’d have given it five stars. This book ended up being a follow-up to 'Retire Inspired' and can be summarized as 'how to retire with a million in retirement accounts and home equity'.
© 2019 Tamara Wilhite