Book Review – The Quiet Millionaire

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quiet millionaireThe Quiet Millionaire is a book that contains a wealth of information on personal finance topics. With forty plus years of professional experience as a personal and business financial advisor, Brett Wilder shares with us his expertise on how to accumulate and keep our wealth.

This book’s theme is tied very closely to the title of the book – The Quiet Millionaire. Instead of writing about how to be frugal or the secret to picking the right stock at the right time, this book focuses on how the average population can carefully plan and be a millionaire with time, patience and good probability.

One of the first Brett advices is to discover who the real you is and what you really want out of life, while making sure we plan for money to be our servant instead of being our master.

Next, he explains to us the seven major obstacles to Financial Success:
1. Undisciplined Spending
2. Materialistic Thinking
3. Burdensome Costly Debt
4. Taxes
5. Inflation
6. Poorly Structured Investment Portfolios
7. Unforeseen Life-Changing, Financially Devastating Events
This sets up the rest of the book where he tackles all sorts of topics such as cash flow, investing, taxes, and retirement.

Cash Flow
The key to having a positive cash flow involves knowing where our money is going. This includes creating a budget, in which personal finance software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money can help. Other tips include having a plan to determine cash flow requirements to fund future goals and objectives and paying ourselves first with automatic savings deductions.

Brett is a big advocate of low cost index funds. He believes in the long run, most people will end up leaving money on the table by trading individual stocks because many of us let our emotions get in the way. This is great advice for so many people because this totally takes the maintenance work required for stock picking out of the equation and just let the money work for us.

In order to minimize taxes paid, we should actively plan for tax reductions. This means proactively perform intelligent tax reduction to maximize our after-tax dollars throughout the entire year.

Once we retire, the primary focus should be to protect and preserve our wealth instead of trying to accumulate and grow it. One of the advices given is to establish a lifetime gift-giving program to reduce the value of his/her estate and transfer it to someone else over time without incurring taxes.

Target Audience
The book is for people who have a good income stream and would like the extra help to accumulate and keep their wealth through time. People looking for the secret to getting rich quickly are not going to find what they are looking for in this book.

Last Words
From the cover and title to the content, this book is about substance. There is nothing fancy in this book, just straight forward personal finance information that we can all benefit.

Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.

They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.

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  • Ft. Lauderdale CPA says:

    You don’t need a million dollars to be rich.

  • Steve says:

    I haven’t read the book yet. But you say the primary focus during retirement is to protect and preserve, rather than grow wealth. With retireees living 20-30 years after retirement, a certain amount of growth is probably necessary to keep pace or outpace inflation. If not, one might see their purchasing power reduced over time. Longevity is a big risk to retireees who do not invest appropriately during retirement.

  • R.V. Stein says:

    This is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read on personal finance, investing and just understanding the overall industry. I now understand why I need to do certain things and when. The advice is sound, easy to understand and I have personally found to be extremly successful. I will recommend this book to my business partners, family and friends. The college funding section was so eye opening, even though my children are past this need, I wish I would have read when they were younger it would have changed my planning. The retirement section was amazing and has changed my families life. Thank you, Thank you…a great resource and life changing book.

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