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Posted February 13, 2011
Posted March 28, 2008
Gave me a lot to think about
After reading The Middle-Class Millionaire, I have to admit that I had a lot of thinking to do about the decisions I've made about my own life. The research about how people succeed in America today made sense of what I've been seeing around me every day. I used to believe that the difference between those who made it and those who don't was more based on luck than anything else. Now, not only am I not sure, I think this book shows you exactly how to 'create' luck for yourself. I'm eager to put the ideas I read about in The Middle-Class Millionaire into practice in the workplace and in my personal life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2008
Days late, dollars short
While the dust jacket promises a well-written & researched socio-political exploration of an early 21st century phenomenon of a new wave of hard-working millionaires with middle-class values in tact, this visibly rushed through and weakly researched new comer cannot hold a candle to 'Bobos In Paradise' or 'The Millionaire Next Door.' I wish I could report otherwise-- because the authors' premise is quite alluring--but it simply does not live up to its published promise. Apart from sketchy facts and poor documentation 'more on that in a minute...', the authors end up turning what could have been a weighty and insightful sociological exploration into just another feather light self-help guide for wannabe millionaires. A bit of a disappointment. Just a couple of the more glaring inaccuracies from the book: Prince and Schiff state as fact that annual household incomes of $50,000-$80,000 are 'on the high end of the statistical middle¿ of American households.' No reference is given, but a book that came out the same time as theirs '¿The Three Trillion Dollar War¿', by none other than the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, states that the median U.S. household income, for 2006, was $70,000. By simple definition, over half of American households cannot earn less than $50,000 a year if the median household income for the same period is $70,000. Prince and Schiff do not reference their figure--while the less careless Stiglitz does: at census dot gov. They then make a case for hitching one¿s investment strategy to the ¿multitudinous many who account for surprisingly small bites of the national pie¿ by buying stock in companies that sell things to the extremely well- heeled, an idea credited to Citibank¿s Ajay Kapur but which has also appeared in financial corners such as Barron¿s ¿champagne bucket¿ portfolio: stocks like Sotheby¿s, Mandarin Oriental, Bulgari, Burberry, Tiffany and Toll Brothers. Like any other cheesy get-rich quick investment book that paint past performance as a reliable guide to future gains, Prince and Schiff note that adherence to this plutocratic investment strategy has yielded average returns of 17.8% over the period 1985- 2005. All very well and good. But the tougher¿and more relevant, one might add¿question: How have the rich people¿s caterers done since the authors¿ manuscript left the presses at Doubleday? It¿s not pretty. Sotheby¿s, Burberry, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, just to name a few, have all plunged some 50% since mid-2007. And we all know what¿s happened to luxury homebuilders like Toll Brothers: from $35 to just shy of $15 in the past year alone. The super rich clearly live in world apart, but the fact that luxury goods dealers have taken such a hit during this economic downturn suggests that many of these so-called Middle Class Millionaires may have been, like the authors of the book, been stretching themselves just a little too thin.
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