Money Advice

Book Review – The Automatic Millionaire

Last weekend I found myself in an airport shop in Salt Lake City, halfway home from San Jose with a 2 hour flight ahead of me. I had learned from the previous leg of the trip that the plane I would be flying on featured so little room that using my laptop was out of the question, so I thought I would find myself a cheap book. I wanted something fairly cheap, fairly thin, and related to personal finance.

What I found has to be one of the simplest and best personal finance books I have read in a long time. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach is not great because of any new of innovative methods for getting rich, but because it takes common sense advice that many of us have heard and presents it in an easy to read and apply format.

Automatic Millionaire

The advice is pretty simple and I am sure you have heard it before:

  1. Pay Yourself First
  2. Have an Emergency Fund
  3. Pay your mortgage bi-weekly to pay it off faster
  4. Pay off your credit cards quickly
  5. Give back to the community

There is nothing earth-shaking in Automatic Millionaire, in fact the only real twist that David Bach adds to this advice is to automate every point above by using payroll deductions and automatic withdrawals. There are no secret formulas, no get rich quick advice, no keys to buying homes with no money down. This book is full of stuff that you may have heard from your grandparents, but David Bach presents it simply, convincingly, and effectively.

The book is a nice short read at ~200 pages, and it is a quick read (if I had picked it up in San Jose at the start of my flight I would certainly have finished it in the 4 hours combined flight time). It was good to see that I knew and was applying most of what it contained to some degree, and I learned a couple of things along the way. This is a book I can certainly recommend, and one that should be required reading at the end of high school. Pick it up, you won’t regret it.

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