The Quiet Millionaire
The Quiet Millionaire, by Brett Wilder, is one of the most complete guides on personal finance that I’ve ever read. With over 400 pages covering every possible facet of finance from saving, to stock options, to starting a business; this guide has it all.
While not as flashy, exciting, or profound as some; The Quiet Millionaire is packed with practical information. This book will definitely appeal to the left-brain segment of the Genius Types reader base.
Being a creative type, I typically prefer more right-brain books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which are heavy on concepts but light on details. On the other hand, the details in The Quiet Millionaire read more like a textbook to me; but I must admit that I learned a lot.
Brett Wilder is a Certified Financial Planner with over forty years of experience working for both others and himself. As a man who’s seen it all, it’s hard to argue with with his wisdom.
His approach is very straight-forward: spend less than you make and manage the rest wisely. The book assumes you already have a sizable income stream and are looking for advice on how to manage it. Many of the examples assume you have an income of $200,000 or more.
He covers such a wide swath of personal finance, and breaks down each subject into such detail; I’ll definitely be keeping this book handy as my wealth increases and financial needs change.
Here are some of the topics he covers:
Financial Management Review
Wilder starts the book with an extremely detailed worksheet so that you can get an accurate picture of your financial position. After you do the work, you’ll be light-years ahead of most in terms of knowing yourself financially.
An entire chapter is dedicated to ways to create positive cashflow. The concept sounds simple, but it’s almost impossible to create wealth without it. I enjoyed this topic because it helps me to understand the mentality of the wealthy, which is a different mentality than I held before I became interested in personal finance.
Assets, Intelligent Borrowing, Taxes
The book goes into great detail about different types of assets, liabilities and taxes. These are the topics that we typically don’t want to think about, but can cost or save us a ton of money.
One of my favorite sections was the chapter on investing because Wilder discusses how emotional control is paramount. I’ve found that the most sophisticated investment guides discuss the psychology of investing along with the nuts and bolts.
Another really great part about this chapter is the description of the “Modern Portfolio Approach” for which Economists Harry Marcowitz and William Sharp won the Nobel Prize in 1990. The plan is a level-headed, intelligent investing system to maximize your returns in the market.
Stock Options, Insurance, Health Care
Wilder breaks down every conceivable employer or private stock, insurance, and health care plan. It’s really nice & convenient to have all of this information in one place.
College, Retirement, Estate Wealth
The book offers some really great advice on how to create a strategy to maximize your college savings, retirement income, and minimize the taxes on your estate. According to some of his examples, proper estate planning can mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Owning A Business
My favorite chapter was the one about entrepreneurship. He breaks down what he calls “The Four Transitional Stages of Business Success,” by describing the characteristics and warning of the pitfalls. Since half of all businesses die in the first year, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’re looking for a strong, detailed guide to your entire financial life, this book’s for you. If you’re a creative type with the patience of a 2-year old, you probably need this book, but you’re not going to like it. I’m glad I read it and I’ll be richer for doing so.