I haven’t done a straight on book review in a while. I miss these…I should plan to do more.
Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door, reminds us that the average millionaire reads 1 nonfiction book a month. With this latest read, Million in 10 by Maarten van Lier, I feel like I’m hitting two birds with one stone (although hitting birds goes against most of what I stand for).
Maarten van Lier could be a profile taken straight from the pages of Stanley’s book. Maybe I’ll send Stanley my review…hmmm.
Maarten is a first generation millionaire. He doesn’t believe in carrying credit card debt month to month. He doesn’t live a flashy, over-indulgent lifestyle. Yet, he’s a millionaire through and through who just might happen to live next door to you.
Some of you may already be familiar with Maarten’s story from an interview on a recent podcast episode of the Midday Money Show, How to Create a $300,000 in the Bank Attitude. Maarten gave us the highlights of his goal to become a millionaire in 10 years, but there was so much more. Check out the podcast to see if you can detect his Dutch accent (I couldn’t really and I’m kind of obsessed with accents).
The hallmark of any good personal finance book has to be education. Are you wiser after spending your time (days, maybe weeks) absorbing the authors thoughts, opinions, and conjectures? With this book, I say absolutely.
Sometimes we learn by understanding an author’s perspective on hard and fast rules. Sometimes we learn by challenging commonly held positions. Sometimes we learn by disagreeing with an author’s suppositions (this can cause us to reflect more deeply about our own positions). Often we learn by gleaning insight from what to and not to do from another person’s lessons learned. All of the above apply within the pages of Million in 10.
Maarten was very generous in allowing us an inside look into the ups and downs of his journey to save a $1,000,000. He takes us through the experience growing up the Netherlands and how that impacted is financial mindset as an adult. This ex-pat European has adjusted to life in the United States with the help us his bride (they met in Paris…ooh la la) and some financial life experiences that might shake the average Joe.
Yes, his income was much higher than the average salary, but he and his wife still maintained a very reasonable lifestyle. More than his salary, which he is very open to share, I think his knack for reigning in outflow really gave him a great starting point. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping others eliminate debt and better manage the income you have. With no debt, one has more options available to set big goals and ultimately reach them.
Maarten also goes into great detail on how they reduced their expenses even more – $20,000 a year more – once they started to budget and make targeted decisions with spending. Could a few thousand dollars more a year make a difference in your desire to be debt free? Just shaving $200 a month adds up. I helping people find that start here: Find $200/month in your Budget Challenge.
A wise women (my friend’s mommy) said often that if two people agree on everything, one of them isn’t thinking. I heart that saying!
As much as I enjoyed Maarten’s book and think the knowledge within will benefit any reader – especially those interested in building wealth – I did bristle at the idea of using the stock market to house an emergency fund. I understand his point, it makes logical sense on paper. However, I personally value security over potential earnings and keeping my emergency fund in such a volatile vehicle would not be something I would do personally or suggest. I’m also not an investment guru or expert, so my lack of expertise in this area would also keep me from using that particular strategy. I’m also not a millionaire – yet. That said, I still think his investing experience and the extremely detailed and analytical way he approached his big goal overshadowed any particular disagreements I might have with one suggestion or another.
If you’re looking for a good primer on the stock market and investing for dummies – this is a great resource too. I joined an investment club in the late 90’s because I couldn’t tell a mutual fund from a hole in the wall. Sadly, I did not keep up with my investment literacy outside of the basics needed to understand our 401(k). So, I’ve been inspired to pick up in that area again with the foundational information that Maarten described quite succinctly.
This book isn’t heavy on jargon. It’s very easy to follow. It is heavy on possibilities and working your plan.
One final note. You might encounter a typo or two in Maarten’s first self-published work. I urge you not to allow an imperfection in type (I can hardly claim perfection on this blog – so I don’t) distract you from the overall value that his story provides.
The value is massive.
So I leave you with this thought, if you have a big goal (and you should) – one that will require you to stretch in order to achieve – reading about Maarten’s quest to save a Million in 10 will inspire you to better organize your plan to make that big goal a reality.
Before you go, get your FREE copy of our tips to save more money!