What’s Wrong with The Millionaire Next Door

I put a passing reference to The Millionaire Next Door in my post Wednesday on The Tragedy of Impulse Saving.  A commenter asked about it and actually followed up to say that he would love to hear my opinion on the book.  I can’t bring myself to write a proper review of a 13 year–old title, but on the flimsy pretense that one person who comments must represent thousands of silent readers who feel  the same way, let me share why I don’t like it.  (That’s the problem with leaving comments here, I just read what I want to.)

MND To start with, Millionaire Next Door is poorly written.  Large sections just dump information on the reader without drawing any conclusions or giving any advice.  And the authors’ choices of topics, and how much ink to use on them, is peculiar, as if they just threw together the book from notes they happened to have had lying around.  So, for example, 70 pages (of 245 in my paperback copy) are spent on giving money to your children.  36 pages cover buying cars.  There isn’t much of anything on buying houses.  There’s a big section on selecting financial advisors, but little on investing as such.

The core advice in the 70 pages on giving money to your children is that you shouldn’t give money to your children.  Not only will it make you poorer, but it is bad for the kids. They will amuse themselves by spending it and not learn to be frugal like you. The authors cite data that shows that adult children who get money from parents are in general poorer and argue that giving your kids money will have the opposite of the intended effect. Unremarkably, they do not consider the possibility that maybe those children got money from their parents because they were poorer, not the other way around.

The other reason not to give your children money, besides it being good parenting, is that if you give it to them then you will not have it anymore. And it is here that I stop being able to even relate to the message of the book. You save your money carefully throughout your life not so you can spend it on the finer things, nor even so you can spend it on the ones you love. You save it because it’s the right thing to do. This is the Scrooge McDuck school of wealth management.

The authors describe sharing their research with an audience of “affluent grandmothers.” (Yes, really.) One takes them to task.

I’m as indignant as hell. What am I supposed to do with my money? My daughter’s family is having a rough time making ends meet. Do you know about the problems with public school around here? I’m sending my grandchildren to private schools. (p. 145)

I’m with grandma on this one. Starting a statement claiming to be “indignant as hell” is not the way people, even affluent grandmothers, talk in my part of the country. But where I come from, sending your grandchildren to private school is just about the most wholesome thing you could do with your money, short of anonymous donations to charity. The authors of Millionaire Next Door have different values. Private school tuition is mentioned repeatedly in the same category as big houses, country club memberships, and, of course, luxury automobiles. (Did I mention the other day that the authors were professors of marketing at state schools?)

And their analysis of this obviously deranged old lady:

It is obvious to us that this grandmother is not completely at ease about providing economic outpatient care to her daughter’s family. The real problem is not with the public schools; it is that her daughter’s family is in a situation of economic dependency. Mother has difficulty with the fact that her daughter married someone who is unable to earn a high income. (p. 146)

Even I have trouble getting beyond the Neanderthal sexism implicit in this diagnosis. Perhaps the son-in-law does just fine but it is the daughter’s career as an aroma therapist that disappoints her mother. Or maybe daughter is a single mom.

Even if we accept that this woman is disappointed in her daughter’s choice of life partner, can it really be that the authors are blind to the fact that it is not the daughter or son-in-law who are the recipients of grandmother’s largess? It is the grandchildren who are going to private school. Perhaps Grandma wants them to have every advantage they can, something especially important given their good-for-nothing father.

Alas, these authors cannot get beyond the fact that this person is allowing her descendants to live a lifestyle beyond their means. The right course is to live well below your means. Living at your means is bad enough, but beyond it is just flat out wrong. And reading this book you come to realize that they do not mean wrong in the sense that it is fiscally unwise. They really mean immoral.

Scratch the surface of Millionaire Next Door and you find an ugly streak of class envy, or maybe class disgust. The heroes of this book are the millionaires who look and act like ordinary folks. They shop at J.C. Penney and drink two kinds of beer: “free and Budweiser.” The villains are those that have expensive tastes and spread those tastes to others. And nowhere is it suggested that those expensive high status things might actually be objectively nicer than the lower status alternatives. For the authors of this book, status is the solitary benefit you get from the country club or from sending your kids to a private school.

Millionaire Next Door has, and I use this term carefully, a Marxist view of consumer culture.  It holds that the reason that most people with steady jobs lack tidy fortunes is that they are seduced into spending all they make, and possibly more, on high status items consistent with their perceived station in life. The problem is not that you, the reader, cannot figure out how to live the lifestyle that you desire but that you desire it to begin with. The point of the millionaire living in the ordinary house next to yours is not that even somebody like you from this neighborhood can get rich. The point is that the millionaire had the good sense not to take on pretensions and move on to a nicer area.

Millionaire Next Door sold about three million copies and spent three years on the New York Times bestseller list.  I don’t think this was because the late ‘90s was a time receptive to an anti-materialism, anti-status, anti-rich message.  On the contrary, it was the surface message, that anybody could become rich if they followed the secrets in the book, that generated enthusiasm.  Readers just ignored the anti-rich stuff and the kooky advice about buying cars by the pound.  That’s the trouble with giving advice, folks just read what they want to.

No Comments

  • By ryan, March 27, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

    This is the first post where I disagree with just about every point you made. I’ll elaborate when I have more time.

  • By GPR, March 27, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    Posts like this are why I bookmarked your site. Well done, sir.

    I may have to reread the book, if I still have it. My only take-away from it was that some plumbers are rich, even if they don’t look it.

  • By abdpbt personal finance, March 27, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

    The Millionaire Next Door is the dumbed down version of The Millionaire Mind, which might explain the strange allocation of pages and poor quality writing. I have only read The Millionaire Mind, and it reads more like a statistical study of millionaires than an advice book. I’m wondering how much of these problems have to do with trying to turn a longer, slightly more academic piece into a bestseller?

  • By ObliviousInvestor, March 27, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    I don’t dislike the book as much as you do. But I agree that it isn’t among the most helpful books.

    It’s a demographic study rather than a how-to guide. And I remember feeling the same way when I read it (about 7-8 years ago now) about how much time they spent on car purchases without bothering to look at other big financial decisions.

  • By Andrew Stevens, March 27, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

    Ryan, I disagree with Frank all the time, for pretty much the same reason that he disagrees with regular personal finance blogs, i.e. he’s normally not nuanced enough for my tastes. (Freely granting that often times his lack of nuance is for humorous effect.) But on this post, I do have to agree with Frank on just about all of it. I liked Millionaire Next Door for the statistics, but the authors regularly assumed causation when they had only shown correlation and I definitely had the same opinion as Frank about the authors’ “Marxist” take on consumer culture. I think it was undeniably present. (Unlike Frank, I also believe it’s defensible, not that I necessarily agree with it.)

  • By ~_^, March 28, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    Thanks Frank. Interesting reading. :)

  • By Jeff Flynn, March 28, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    The Millionaire Next Door is not a personal finance book, so it is erroneous to critique it as such. What you have interpreted as “advice” (e.g. providing significant financial support to children tends to make them less financially independent) is simply the observations collected over hundreds (thousands?) of interviews. If the goal of the reader is to be rich, this research simply provides concrete examples of how certain decisions will send someone toward or away from that goal. The interpretation of their discussion as a “moral” obligation or “Marxist” is an unfortunate overreaction to the manner in which the trends are discussed and demonstrated. As covered in the case of the “indignant” grandmother, the “financial outpatient care” portion book isn’t proclaiming that it is “immoral” to make certain financial decisions. Instead, it illustrates how certain seemingly helpful decisions (e.g. to provide private school funding for grandchildren) actually create a larger burden for those being assisted because going to private school (or living in a rich neighborhood or working as a high-paid professional) often carry associated costs far beyond the basic tuition (or mortgage payment or basic business expenses). There are hundreds of How-To personal finance books. Most of them are bland but useful. Some are dangerous and ill-conceived. I found The Millionaire Next Door to be a very interesting exploration into higher level trends and consequences even if the nature of the content lends itself more to stories and demonstration rather than a How-To checklist.

  • By Frank Curmudgeon, March 28, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

    Jeff Flynn:

    I think we can only (at best) agree to disagree on the underlying moral tone that I detect in the book and that you don’t. That is ultimately only a matter of subjective interpretation.

    But it is a personal finance book. From the end of the introduction (p.5):

    If you are willing to make the necessary trade-offs of your time, energy, and consumption habits, however, you can begin building wealth and achieving financial independence. The Millionaire Next Door will start you on this journey.

    The fact that it doesn’t do a very good job of living up to this, by not actually giving much advice, is besides the point. Three million people didn’t buy it because it was an exploration into higher level trends and consequences.

  • By ryan, March 29, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    I really enjoy reading this blog because it’s uniquely more advanced than the junior varsity level of most personal finance literature (spend less than you earn, get out of debt, open a ROTH IRA, save at least 10%, don’t ever go to Starbucks).

    But the truth is that most people need to start off with the J.V. basics. Beyond the instructional mechanics that I outlined above that have been written about extensively, “Millionaire Next Door” does a great job of outlining what really is an underlying truth in American society; most of the people who would be considered affluent have gotten that way by living below their means.

    I read the book 10 years ago, so I can’t give a thorough review. On the other hand, I think the praise I have for the book is that much stronger because I remember many of the key points a decade later. One of the basic premises that the authors established was that their subjects could be classified into three categories independently of their incomes: under-accumulators of wealth, average, and prodigious accumulators of wealth.

    Honestly, that point has stuck with me for the past decade; and I’m pretty sure it’s affected to some degree many of the big financial decisions I’ve made since then, including what kind of cars to buy and how big of a mortgage to borrow. Most personal finance books can do little more than try to correct a bad situation by giving you grocery shopping tips and telling you to stop drinking lattes. This one really hits home that the only way to get rich is not to make alot of money but to save alot of money.

    I was a sophomore in college on summer break when I read it. The lessons of the book stayed with me long before I knew what an IRA or 401k was, before I had ever looked at marginal tax rates or mortgage amortization schedules, before I had ever heard of a mutual fund or a P/E ratio.

    I understand the critcisms. I remember thinking, at 19 years old, that it was a little repetetive and could get pretty cheesy. But unlike Frank, I never felt like it was lecturing me. Just the opposite in fact, it took the general approach of “This is what worked for these people. Do what you want.”

    I think the book has definitely served a great purpose for many people. Like you say, Frank, there’s a ton of misinformation out there.

    Many folks get indoctrinated with horrible ideas like “Buy the biggest house you can afford. Mortgages and student loans are good debt, never ever pay them off; you need tax deductions” etc.

    The bottom line is that if a typical, overspending, overleveraged American family asked me for a single book recommendation to help them out of their mess, this would be it.

    I love this blog for the level of thought and analysis in the writing, just like I love magazines like The New Yorker and Atlantic; at the same time, USA Today serves its readers pretty well too.

  • By Andrew Stevens, March 29, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    Ryan, okay, you’ve got me. I’ve swung from Frank’s side to yours.

    However, I do still think Frank’s take on their view of wealth accumulation is correct. The authors view wealth accumulation as virtuous for its own sake. It is not clear to me that this is really an “anti-rich” message (“anti-consumerist” granted), though I can see why someone who went to Ivy League schools might think so.

    Of course, the idea that wealth accumulation is virtuous for its own sake is not a nutty one as Frank seems to think, though I don’t agree with it. You can probably get there from a virtue ethics ethical theory. (I.e. the point isn’t to accumulate wealth, but to demonstrate those virtues which will naturally lead you to accumulate wealth, such as self-denial, shunning of status competitions, lack of pretension, etc.)

  • By drleonesse, March 30, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    Thanks for you insight. I always get a fresh perspective when I read your posts.

  • By the weakonomist, March 31, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    Frank,

    Thanks for sharing your interpretation of the book. It opened my eyes a little bit more and I appreciate your angle. Coming from an area where public schools aren’t so bad, I hadn’t considered that it might actually be worth paying for private in others.

  • By Jon @capitalistmaven.com, April 1, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    I read Millionaire Mind and not Next Door…

    One of the messages I took away from the book is that wealth tends to build upon itself. It was not so much that the people interviewed for the book were denying themselves luxuries, they just obtained them in different ways. They had nice cars but they didn’t purchase the cars brand new, instead preferring lightly used. Without a large bank balance this is hard to do, as financing for used cars is more expensive and harder to find. They had the ability to save big because of their wealth. Similarly I think the book mentioned about buying things with cash at “fire” sales. The millionaires were always on the lookout for deals on property. It’s not that they didn’t spend, it was they that didn’t pay full price. Having money tends to save money.

    In this way, I think the message from the book was more “anti-immediate consumption” than “anti-consumpton.”

  • By Scott, April 2, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    It’s been a while since I read Millionaire Mind too. But the #1 thing I took away from it was that the majority of people who earned their wealth (not inherited it) were people for whom things did not come easy. They dropped out of high school. They were fired from their job. Nothing ever came easy for them. People always said no to them. And they didn’t take no for an answer.

    Those people started their own trash hauling business and now they own a fleet of trucks across the southern US.

    People who have $5-$10 million in net worth, live in <$500K houses, drive a 6 year old car, and eat at home every night.

    I would not have ever put it into the category of “personal finanace book” in the traditional sense. It was a research study that became a best selling book.

  • By BERT, April 10, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    You may be interested in knowing one very important aspect of that book that is an “absolute truth” and that is the “frugality of the non-working spouse” has an enormous effect on the ability to accumulate wealth. It cannot be slipping out the door faster than it comes in…a non frugal spouse is the leak that prevents wealth. No matter how much one makes…the spouse has to be able to live within the means of the family and lead the charge to balance accumulation of wealth and spending “extra money” on fun and material items. BL

  • By getagrip, February 24, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    “The core advice in the 70 pages on giving money to your children is that you shouldn’t give money to your children.”

    I read that as you need to be careful in how you choose to help your children with respect to money. Just like running into the school to “save” little Johnny every time he doesn’t do well on a test, rushing in to provide financial aid every time your kid may look like they’re heading for economic trouble isn’t a good idea and makes them dependent rather than independent.

    With respect to the indignent grandmother, I’m reminded about the local schools. I’ve had people tell me they were either a) moving or b) finding some way to send their kids to private school because they didn’t want their kids going to a particular public middle school. My typical conversation with them follows this pattern:
    “Why” “The school is horrible” “Have you ever been there?” “No, it’s in a bad neighborhood.” “If you’ve never been there how do you know?” “Well, there was a stabbing at the school last year.” “There was that hazing incident at the school your suggesting, kid ended up in the hospital as I recall.” “Well, there’s too many drugs there?” “Really, the school your suggesting had the highest heroin rate of all the county schools?” “But,…”

    And it goes on. No amount of reason will beat bad press and ignorant gossip. All three kids of mine went to that school, not a problem.

    So it may be more about what the Grandparents want than what the parents want.

    My biggest take away from the book is that most people can choose to either be financially independant or act like they are. You need to pick which one is more important to you.

  • By Oz, March 12, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    I am the millionaire next door. I live in a modest home ($200K), drive a 1990 Camry, only had 1 child, won’t buy anything unless it’s on sale, and I don’t try to keep up with the Jones. I dyed my own hair, polish my own fingernails, clean my own house. I was able to send my child to a private schoool. No debt, no mortgage ! It can be done. I loved the book. I definitely related to a lot of those millionaires.

  • By The Incredible Romantic, March 12, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    I like puppies and long walks in the rain… and Millionaire Next Door.

    Blow it out your pompous rectum, Frank!

  • By rebb, March 13, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    thank you. i was revolted by the continued value judgments, and extremely sexist perspectives throughout the book. to the extent the advice was “be sensible” it is hard to quarrel with that, but that basic advice was wrapped up in such moralistic trappings that i was totally turned off by the book.

    p.s. the authors did not have a marxist perspective. i wonder if you know what that actually means?

  • By crustofthematter, March 16, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    Well, I agree with some of the content in this post and disagree with the rest…..isn’t that how every thing in life is. If you agree with something in totality that would be called religion, patriotism at its best adulation at its modest and psycophancy at its worst. I think the book is not well written but some of the case studies and the central idea of being frugal is what appeals me the most. Now remember, No where in this book its suggested that people be “cheap” vs “frugal”. If you can afford anything within your means, go for it by all means. Not doing that all the time would be to be “cheap”. But c’mon guys, who would think that saving and building wealth the way many of the people mentioned in this book have is not the way to go about your life. I don’t think that anyone would wanna be poor during the later stages of their lives. However, one thing is troubling about the investments that the millionaires in this book have committed themselves to. All those tax sheltered bonds, real estate held for appreciation and blue chip shares don’t sound very good investments advice for this age. So, as suggested in this book, head-hunt for a good investment advisor and be extra cautious about who you give your money to and where it is invested. By the way, I am one of 5 children in a millionaire household and as suggested in this book, ‘economic outpatient care’ can be as dangerous as mentioned in this book. Education, most notably is by far the biggest single expense in our household. So, I will have to agree with the author on that part.

  • By Cartoon Games, March 19, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    You write some great posts man, kudos on this.

  • By jcompton, March 25, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

    I read Millionaire Next Door and overall thought it was pretty good. I get why Frank criticizes the “saving money has absolute merit” vibe. But I don’t think the authors are nearly as obnoxious about it as, say, Eric Tyson, whose generally sound and good points were always in danger of being drowned out by his insistence that you save money by buying everything at Goodwill on markdown day.

    It seems like people seem to be saying that Mind was the better book, but I disagree. Next Door conveyed some good points in a very readable manner. Although the authors didn’t hesitate to point out how they came up with their data, the message wasn’t lost in the footnotes. Mind, on the other hand, spends way too much time on Stanley’s self-aggrandizement. It makes me wonder if Next Door’s co-author, Danko, was the one who made that book readable, as he is missing from Mind.

  • By Greg, April 13, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with your criticisms of The Millionaire Next Door (TMND), and I offer another critical observation. The author of TMND is either not sophisticated enough or not honest enough to acknowledge that the average MND is not by real money standards a millionaire at all. In 1960 dollars, using the GDP Deflator index, a person needs a liquid net worth of $5.9 million to be a “millionaire.” Perhaps this is why the lifestyles of the persons described in TMND are relatively frugal. It isn’t because they arrived at their net worths by saving, necessarily. It’s because their net worths, though they may in nominal terms be expressed in seven figures, are too low to make them wealthy.

  • By David, September 3, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    (commentator) Is your net worth a million or more? Just curious…

  • By Hibryd, September 21, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    Greg – you touch on one of the problems I had with the book: they constantly repeat that “80% of millionaires are first-generation rich” without ever defining “rich” or saying how they got that number.

    Did they define these millionaire’s parents wealth by whether or not THEY were also millionaires? Well, then you’re ignoring that fact that inflation means you’d need a LOT less money in the bank back then then to be comparable to a millionaire now.

    Did they ask these “first-generation rich” if they grew up wealthy? Well, that will get you skewed results, because thanks to some bizarre quirk in human behavior, everyone wants to brag about how much they make or have but no one wants to admit they’re actually “rich”. And everyone likes to inflate their struggles in their own minds, so asking millionaires about their origins in a survey (which is how they collected most of their data) is going to heavily skew things towards “went-to-school-uphill-both-ways-in- the-snow-barefoot-poor”.

    This all bugs me because they (and fans of theirs like Dave Ramsey) want to emphasize how most of these millionaires “started from nothing” and made it all on their own. Well, no, if their parents were upper-class, or in a position to pay for college, or hooked them up with a first job, they had a distinct leg up and weren’t as bootstrappy as the authors want you to believe. In reality the US has lower social mobility than others – you have a better chance of making it from the lower class to the upper class in Sweden than you do here.

    Bottom line, what I don’t like about the Millionaire Next Door is that it’s a huge data dump, and it’s not even GOOD data.

    That and their inability to say the word “cars”. They kept alternating between “vehicles” “automobiles” “vehicles” “automobiles”, and after 50 pages of this I wanted to scream “JUST SAY CARS DAMMIT!”

  • By Wong, October 10, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    I come from a country in Asia and have just completed reading The Millionaire Next Door. In my opinion, the ideas and concepts derived from the research by the authors are extremely valid and helpful if one desires to maximise the likelihood of becoming financially secure, hopefully as early as possible in life. I only wish that I had come across this book much earlier in my life (my loss!). I can strongly relate to the part about Economic Outpatient Care as my eldest son presently seems to have a liking for branded stuff and expects his parents to fund this kind of lifestyle. I am now attempting to get him (19 yrs old) to read the book, and hopefully agree with most of it, so that he becomes financially smarter at an earlier age than me. I have been practising some (not all) of the ideas/concepts since the day I started working back in the early Eighties and it has helped my wife and me to have saved sufficient funds for the higher (college) education of our two sons.

  • By Dan, November 5, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    Let’s see, find the rich, ask them how they got that, copy those methods, and then expect those results. Doesn’t seem all that far fetched to me, as a matter of fact it seems down right intelligent. After all that’s how we learn EVERYTHING else from math to reading to sports, so why not making money?

    I think these principals should be instituted in every school in the nation starting in first grade.

  • By kitty, November 18, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    “Let’s see, find the rich, ask them how they got that, copy those methods, and then expect those results. Doesn’t seem all that far fetched to me, as a matter of fact it seems down right intelligent. ”
    It’s far fetched because in many cases rich people got there by having a great idea in a right time. You can’t just copy their ideas you need to come up with your own, and then it may pay off or not. It also involves taking risks: some ideas pay off, others cause you to loose your shirt. It also helps to have money to leave on while you pursue your great idea.

    Then there are rich people who got there by having a special talent e.g. music, singing. Good luck with that.

    In some cases it’s the matter of luck or timing.

    Bill Gates didn’t become rich by learning about other rich people or copying them. Now you can study what he did, but you can’t just emulate him.

  • By Hibryd, November 22, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    Dan: “Let’s see, find the rich, ask them how they got that, copy those methods, and then expect those results. Doesn’t seem all that far fetched to me, as a matter of fact it seems down right intelligent.”

    Again, you’re not accounting for Survivorship Bias. Ask most of the millionaires in this book how they got where they are today, and a lot of them will probably say “I started my own business and invested everything I had into it.” Now go down to bankruptcy court and ask people how THEY got where they are today, and a lot of them will probably also say “I started my own business and invested everything I had into it.”

    TMND does, in fact, admit that owning your own business (the source of most of their millionaires) is not a sure-fire path to success. Most millionaires are business owners, but most business owners are not millionaires. Still, this book, and one of the author’s cash-grab follow-ups, “The Millionaire Mind”, are guilty of assuming that copying their millionaires’ methods will *lead to* success, not just *improve your chances* of success.

  • By Anon, January 4, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    In no way is this Marxist. You are completely wrong. What The Millionaire Next Door does is attempt to open our eyes to the brainwashing of the machine. Corporations, Marketers, Keeping up with the Jones, Manufacturers and the Credit industry. This book is pointing out the “conservative” attitude towards money, that money isn’t something that you just spend with out thinking about the consequences. Most of America believes in your version of a consumer culture which is why so many people are in debt, why the government continues to spend even when they no longer have the tax revenue to support such spending.

    What the book subtly attempts to do is to open up our eyes to another way of being an American. That perhaps what we were lead to believe as American consumer culture is destroying our ability to create wealth but instead continue to create debt. There isn’t just one way to be an American. There are millions of ways to be an American. This book just describes a more conservative view of it. And this book wasn’t written to give “advice”. This book was more to inform and persuade the reader. Not a how to book.

  • By jovan at file califorina bankruptcy, February 1, 2011 @ 4:44 am

    It has already been clarified that Millionaire Next Door isn’t a personal finance guide. As I remember, the book stated it wanted to provide an inside look the largest research project of millionaires. When I read it I took the lesson that humility in life is helpful in growing a nest egg (and more). I think this book is a lot more helpful for finance than is Freakonomics.

  • By Yadgyu, February 12, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    Getting rich is the only noble accomplishment of mankind.

  • By Martin Hash, February 18, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    The reviewer is defensive – obviously he recognizes himself in the self-indulgent role. He’s definintely not one the millionaires profiled in this book.

  • By dave, February 27, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    I am the millionaire next door.
    I mix with many other millionaires, most you would never recognise.

    I own two cars, one is a 12 year old luxury car which I bought 5 years ago for 25% of the original cost. The other is a 5 year old non luxury car.
    If I wanted a Ferrari or a Bugatti Veyron, I can afford it. I just dont want the hassle of insurance, scratches, kids dropping food all through it. Nobody stares at me, nobody begs for money, I have no hangers on. I live my life in anonymity. More possessions means more worry about your possessions.

    I really don’t want my life complicated by possessions.

    If you look rich, people try and take it from you.
    Thieves, some poorly chosen friends, businesses, investment advisors. They all come knocking.
    I dont have time for them, I am too busy enjoying my life without them.

    To fulfill my need for a sports car, I go down to the race track, pay $1000 and go berzerk for a day in someone elses car.

    I don’t have a boat, I dont have a holiday house.
    I just pay to use someone elses. They are left with the barnacles to scrape off, not me.

    Having money gives you the choice to live how you please. Living a simpler life is more desirable, than having a large house with things that break down and need constant maintenance and attention

    Once when you are rich enough to buy any status symbol you want, strangely you don’t want it any more. Having less simplifies your life and allows you to focus on the things that matter.
    If you are looking for happiness, spend more time with your wife and kids. Dont spend your time acquiring things.

    This is why we dont have outrageous houses, or expensive cars.

    Once when you get to the point that you can have virtually anything you want, you also realise that you don’t want it anymore.

  • By Professor Lembach, March 11, 2011 @ 12:56 am

    Jeez, dave, I guess money can’t buy happiness. You’re so paranoid that you’re afraid to even APPEAR rich is going to visit a social calamity upon you.

    Oh, and there’s a huge hole in your whole “Once when you get to the point that you can have virtually anything you want, you also realise that you don’t want it anymore” philosophy: if you’re so detached from money, why do you still need to hold on so tightly to what you have? And brag about that on someone’s blog?

  • By kaidez, March 21, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    I’ll say that with this book, the sum is greater than the parts. While it doesn’t offer the most direct advice and may not be the most well-written, it’s overall theme is “live below your means and pay attention to your investments.” For example, I’ll never lease a car and will review my investments at least an hour a week because of the book.

  • By donaldsurr, March 24, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    The Millionaire Next Door rings true to those who have lived a lifetime as PAWs (by instinct) and found that it works. It was fun to read a book about ourselves and to realize that we were not alone and of interest to someone in academia.

  • By Eric, March 25, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Jeff Flynn got it right. You sir missed the intention of the book. The book is not a personal, how-to-guide. It provided a larger scope of what many seemingly wealthy people do to mask their poor financial situation. Net worth was the thesis of this book; moreover, how does one’s income measure up to his or her net worth. Millionaires, thousandaires and less all have an assumed networth. The book proved that so many Americans are more often than not, falling short of what their networth should be.

    The habits that are promoted via the media and other forms of societal pressures are not conducive to saving and investing wisely. The recent bursting of the housing bubble is more indication of Americans’ dangerous consumption habits. The authors had it right (over a decade) ago.

  • By Leo, May 6, 2011 @ 4:40 am

    I am with Dave on this topic. Materialistic things are only desirable when you can’t quite afford them yet. However, once you reach that stage they become a lot less interesting. And his points about maintenance and upkeep ring oh so true. I drive a nice car but when I want to whip around in a Porsche I simply rent it.

  • By AM, October 3, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    I have seen the downside of economic outpatient care. My father put himself through College in the 1960′s and had five children when he graduated Med school.
    He covered every expense of his children from College, travel, cars well into their 20′s and for his boys, well beyond until his death.
    Fast forward. Three boys in their mid to late 40′s, dependent on their widowed mother for mortgage payments, dental and medical care, auto expenses and travel costs. One even hit his mother up for a loan as she was in the hospital recovering from heart failure. When mother shuts them down they go to other family members for help. Three economically crippled men from the same family? I agree that chronic economic outpatient care is destructive to a child’s financial future. You may wonder what happened to the other two? One married a wealthy man and is a housewife. The Last, myself, has been gainfully employed for over 30 years and built up a small business that grosses over 1 million a year. There is something to be said for being the “black sheep”!

  • By JK, October 7, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    I am a millionaire next door and I owe it in no small part to Stanley and Danko’s book.

    I finished college in 1995 when I was 25 and landed a job with a high paying salary. After having lived the broke life of a college kid for seven years it felt exhilarating to finally have real money. I promptly began spending my paychecks as soon as I received them. This went on for years and before long I was spending more than I was earning. By age 28 I had a car loan, maxed out credit cards, a student loan, a lease on an expensive unit and no assets to speak of. The tax department subsequently notified me that I had accumulated a large outstanding tax debt. I was under pressure and convinced that earning more money was the solution. I worked harder, chased pay raises and bonuses and, unsurprisingly, spent even more money. Then one day in 1998 something happened that changed my life – the company I worked for declared bankruptcy.

    I was completely unprepared for unemployment and it left me stunned. I had a mountain of debt, no savings and no idea what to do. It was an extremely stressful point in my life. However, and what I didn’t realize at the time, this event forced me to break an unhealthy cycle that would have otherwise stunted my financial growth for perhaps all my life.

    Upon becoming unemployed, a fellow ex-employee and I saw an opportunity to start our own business from the embers of our bankrupt employer. Irrespective of my financial woes it was a good opportunity so we went for it. It was a financial struggle in those first couple of years. Every meager penny I paid myself was gobbled up by interest and tax repayments. I watched my 30-something year old contemporaries who worked for nice big companies live it up on nice big salaries – fancy apartments, flashy cars (this was during the heady dot-com days). It made me feel like I was on the wrong track and getting nowhere. I thought to myself, “Surely they are much more successful than I since they can spend so much more money?” I came close several times to throwing the business in and getting a “real” paying job.

    Around that time, and being new to business, I read numerous books on business and building wealth. After many typical “how-to” books (you probably know them all) I came across “The Millionaire Next Door”. It was the first and only book I ever read that didn’t profess how to become wealthy but simply observed the lifestyles of wealthy people. I was fascinated by the book’s description of an “average Joe” wealthy person. It helped me change the way I looked at wealth and my picture of a wealthy person. It caused me to reassess the importance of owning flashy things. Eventually I stopped sizing up people based on how they spent money but rather how they collected wealth. Inspired, I practiced living frugally and gradually unlearned the bad spending habits I had acquired during my post college years.

    Our fledgling business grew and by age 32 we had thirty staff and the business was generating a good profit. One by one I paid of each of my debts. After paying off my last debt I bought my first house, a modest one. A couple of years later I completely paid off the mortgage. I then began acquiring rental real estate and stocks. Several years later still, the business now at one hundred staff, we were given a reward for our hard work – we started receiving good acquisition offers. Fifteen years after finishing college, our business 12 years old, we felt ready for a change.

    Today my net worth sits around 5 times what it should be for an AAW of my age. My income is largely passive and though I need not work I continue to work part-time for personal enjoyment. I live well within my means and am 100% debt free (a side effect of my post-college experience is that I am now quite debt- phobic). I live in a middle-class neighborhood and drive a second-hand American-manufactured car. I was lucky enough to marry a wonderful woman who feels as I do about spending and wealth accumulation. Thanks to twelve years of living the millionaire-next-door lifestyle I have no desire for giant houses and flashy cars and, luckily, neither does my wife.

    Though one cannot say that I owe it all to “The Millionaire Next Door”, I can safely say I wouldn’t have got to where I am without the teachings of this seminal book. I hope that my experience can inspire those beginning their wealth journey.

  • By Alison, November 10, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    I read TMND about 10 years ago and so many of the principles stuck with me. Before I read the book my husband and I were working hard at making money and spending money. Not that we were lavish but we traveled extensively and our children didn’t do without.
    Although we haven’t completely changed our ways we now no longer run out and buy a new car when the air conditioner breaks. We are both driving 10 year old cars understanding it’s way easier to fix them than to get back into car payments. Our children know the value of a dollar and are both working 2 jobs and living independently. We had to take a hard look at whether we were doing our kids any favors by spoiling them and decided after reading the book that we were hurting them by not making them work for what they got.
    I look at people differently now since the book where I may have been envious in the past of the big homes, swanky cars and lavish lifestyles I wonder how long it will be before they have to walk away from it all as so many people have that were “big hat, no cattle”. I recommend the book to any young person coming up that I see going down the path of a debt ridden life rather than a wealth accumulating life. It can be a life changer.

  • By Albert, November 17, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    This book is great. I loved every minute of reading it. The idea isn’t to not give your children money, it’s to not give your children money until you know they are mature enough to handle it. What’s the point of giving them money if they’re going to squander it and expect a higher standard of living they can’t support on their own?

  • By Tyler, January 10, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    Just got here to this blog for the first time, read this article, laughed and it will be my last time visiting. There is a reason this book is at the top of the list when recommending books on finance. Frank just isn’t and won’t ever be as successful as these people, that is my guess as to why he thinks poorly on it.

  • By Andrew, January 20, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    I’ve not read the book, but as you describe the “moral tone” it sounds uncannily like Weber’s protestant ethic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protestant_Ethic_and_the_Spirit_of_Capitalism

  • By VICTOR, January 29, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    FOR MOST PART IDO AGREE WITH THE BOOK, EXPECT WEALTH EQUATION
    WHATEVWE IS YOUR AGE OR INCOME MULTILY YOUR AGE WITH TOTAL INCOME DIVIDE BY 10 TO QUALIFT FOR UAW,PAW ETC MY SON IS 22 YRS AGE MAKING 80000 YR
    IF I MULTIPY 22TIME 80000 DIVIDE BY 10 WHICH HE DIDNT MAKE YETIS 176000 WHICH I

  • By VICTOR, January 29, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    FOR MOST PART IDO AGREE WITH THE BOOK, EXPECT WEALTH EQUATION
    WHATEVWE IS YOUR AGE OR INCOME MULTILY YOUR AGE WITH TOTAL INCOME DIVIDE BY 10 TO QUALIFT FOR UAW,PAW ETC MY SON IS 22 YRS AGE MAKING 80000 YR
    IF I MULTIPY 22TIME 80000 DIVIDE BY 10 WHICH HE DIDNT MAKE YET 176000

  • By michael.giltz, February 28, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    Am righting about the millionaire next door because i heard its a good book. this book help a lot of people becoming a millionaire and helps them with there debt

  • By Gbenga, March 28, 2012 @ 12:11 am

    TMND is all about developing investment mentality. D author’s advise & not command. It’s left 4 U 2 know ur financial state & decide what U want 2 do next. Great book on personal finance!

  • By Richard, April 24, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    I grew up in the 1950s in an extremely poor 2nd generation Italian family in New York City. There were times when my mother didn’t have enough food for dinner, so she served hot rice with milk and sugar. My uneducated father – a great guy – could barely read. My mother was hard working but had her hands full with three children in a tiny apartment. My siblings and I learned one thing: fear. Fear of poverty, fear of homelessness, and fear of others who might find out we were vulnerable. So all the children worked hard for fear of the consequences of not doing so. The book then actually reverberates with us – it’s what we did as we gradually got educations (commuting via subway), carefully selected professions (with a realistic eye towards repayment), and just plain “kept at it” knowing that for all the good intentions of government you are really the best judge of personal decisions. Remember: hundreds of thousands of people were encouraged by government (and banks) to buy homes in 2006-7 they could ill afford. Life is not a joke – you can’t laugh one’s way through it. The book is addressing, I guess, something akin to the modern Scandinavian lifestyle of frugality leading to success. In contrast, I see a propensity today towards “being happy” as a life goal among young Americans that is unrealistic (and frequently embarrassing to observe when in a foreign context). Upon its debut numerous individuals in New York City read “The Millionaire Next Door” and subsequently told me “That book changed my life”. The book simply asks us to be more thoughtful about our financial lives. When a society does not, then … well, its citizens will insist the government help them; the government is only all too willing to assist you — but on their terms, in their schools, in their housing, with their healthcare. Having said all this the book admits that America is a terrific place — the best place — that provides options for most people to be happy and become successful.

  • By joe, May 3, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    I’m about a third of the way through this book and while I see the blogger’s points, I think the underlying value to the book is about saving, budgeting, and responsible consumerism. Of course you have to spend some money to be happy; saving and becoming a millionaire in and of itself isn’t a commendable goal. If you are a miser and die childless at 40 you probably had a miserable life. But if you can pass on something to your kids and enjoy yourself while being financially independent, it is a real nice feeling.
    Where I disagree with the author (and this reflects its copyright in the 90′s) is his emphasis on investing especially in stocks. I’m a cynic about this. If I never invested a cent in stocks I’d be hundreds of thousands of dollars wealthier. I have made money in stocks but made more in gold and in saving. I think readers would be well served at this time in our business cycle by looking at alternatives, a small amount of metals, conservative mutual funds like Vanguard, muni bond funds, and high cash value whole life in conjunction with living somewhat below your means. By that I mean enjoy yourself, eat well, but buy less house, less car, and less luxury than you need. I don’t need a $600,000 house or a Bentley, or even a BMW or loaded Ford pickup. I drive VW diesels and would love to have a smaller house and more discretionary money for travel and dining and recreation.

  • By pato, May 10, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    I have just read the book. It is very repetitive and the constant illustrations where you had to guess who was the real millionaire is tiresome. And throughout the book many of their points seem very overstated. On the other hand, this book is nearly twenty years old and it is much more evident now that pursuing the symbols of wealth can leave you very unwealthy. A lot of people who are going through tough times at the moment, (I live in Ireland), will come out of this valuing financial independence in much the way it was valued for the generation who made it through the great depression. It is for that reason that I think that this book still sends out an essential message; that you owe it to yourself and your family to live under your means, and that in our consumerist society that means saying no a lot and choosing everything that costs money carefully.

  • By Francesca, May 25, 2012 @ 2:40 am

    Hello, I’m from Italy and I started reading this book out of curiosity.
    What really strikes me it is that the authors only “allow” millionaires to be upper-middle class, at most, that is, a kind of “average American”. In other words, it looks like you have to possess millions, not in order to be comfortable, but merely to be able to survive, send your children to university, and finally retire. How much does it take to be really wealthy in America?! Millions, from the author’s point of view, look more like something to help you from ending up living in the streets, than other. It really makes American life look rather risky (I find no other word) and it makes me start thinking about our future as well. Besides, if all American people turned into prudent, thrifty consumer, I suppose American economy would suffer??? (and millionaire’s profit as well?). But in a way, I hope not to be superficial since after all I live a continent away, all the author’s points of view are very american, not at all marxist but very “protestant ethic”-like. Underneath, there is a kind of sociological theory: true Americans are those that BUILD fortunes, not those that destroy them. I understand it is the preacher-like accent that is a bit annoying.

  • By Francesca, May 25, 2012 @ 2:51 am

    Oh, and let me add: I agree with Frank, it is rather strange (at least for me) to consider costly object only as status-symbols. It makes people look very class-anxious, very insecure and… like… “jumped-up”. For instance, my grandmother was rather poor and very frugal, but she would never have saved money buyng cheap food. I venture to say that many (if not most) Italians tend to buy beautiful items (which are generally costier) because they appreciate their quality, not to impress their neigbours. Obviously, a kind of “keeping up with the Joneses” is universal, I suppose

  • By Kitten, July 3, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    I read the book when first published and was intantly impressed. It appealed to my frugal, know-it-all, condescending nature. In the years since, I realize the fundamental flaw. They only studied winners.

    What differentiates the MND from the frugal lady who lives on the other side of you is luck. That’s all. The overwhelming majority of frugal, budweiser drinking plumbers, farmers and entreprenuers will do just OK, but they won’t become exceedingly wealthy.

    I have thick long blonde hair. My thin-haired sister-in-law asked me what I did to have such nice tresses as she was trying every product imaginable. If I were in marketing (like the MND authors) I’d sell her a product. But I am a numbers girl with degrees in science. There’s no shampoo or beauty regimine to make hair grow in thicker. There are weaves, and there are silicone coatings to make it look thicker, but no OTC sweet smelling concoction it going to inspire your scalp to put out more hair follicles. The best you can try to do is not screw up what’s already there.

    Similarly, There is also no cookbook or how-to book for becoming wealthy. None. Kyosaki, Orman and all these yahoos with their best sellers and blogs are liars.

  • By R.T.C., November 13, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I don’t agree with most, if not all of what this post “What’s wrong with TMND” says.

    The book serves as a great compass (not necessarily a road map)to set one (regardless of age) in a direction that makes financial security (and yes – wealth) a reality for any able bodied/minded individual living in the US or other socio-economic country similar to ours.

    I read this book at its first publishing when I was just out of college – have lived relatively close by the principles set forth in the book, and find myself in the PAW ranks.(BTW – I have never owned my own business)

    There is obviously an age bias to the formula -since a newly employed have not had much time to save money but the AAW & PAW formulas provide a great guide to work towards in your quest for financial security/wealth.

    Don’t get me wrong I do splurge on occassion (on the smaller stuff usually) – but try to monitor the big expenses closely.

    Great book!

  • By drain, November 17, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    One of the worst articles I’ve read in a long time. Yes, the Millionaire Next Door is poorly written, but you missed the boat on everything else.

  • By Dave, November 22, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    The book was a great read… Really enjoyed.. Take whats good, leave whats not.. The same with any book..

  • By FC, January 29, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

    Frank,

    I really enjoyed many of your posts, but I disagree with this one. I read this book years ago and strongly agree with most of it. Yes, as you point out, there is some cheesiness and moralizing, but on the whole it makes a powerful point. The authors looked at data, actual numbers, of how people with a high net worth lived. In this way, the authors were not moralizing, they were simply social scientists reporting what they found. The data were clear: most people with a high net worth relative to their incomes lived a modest lifestyle, they spent far less than they earned, they drove older cars, and they didn’t let their children bleed them dry.

    There is a moral tone to the book, but some of it I agree with, and you probably would too. There is a moral aspect to living within your means. It is good to be self-sufficient and not expected others to support you. That is not to say that it is wrong to have social support systems or to help family when they are in need. It is, however, a moral failure to spend extravagantly on luxuries you can’t afford and then expect the government or family to bail you out.

  • By Kyle, March 25, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    IMO, the book makes a few major flaws and I think some of the commentors have as well:

    1) Having a worth of just $1 million, even back in the early 1990s, was/is nothing special, and that’s assuming it’s liquid, which for many of the people in the book, it isn’t. But that amount just barely gets you in the door. It does not at all make you “rich.”

    2) Having $1 million that is in the form of a house, in particular, does not make one rich.

    3) Having $1 million or even $15 million saved up, doesn’t make one wealthy if they do not have an income large enough to support an affluent lifestyle. It just means you are a middle-income person with a large nest egg saved up. The reason many such people do not live an affluent lifestyle is because even if they wanted to, they couldn’t. They lack the income necessary to support it. Their wealth is the result of saving up for many years and would be gone very quickly if they actually tried to live like a rich person (the “jet-set lifestyle,” if you will).

    The authors constantly confuse the wealth a person has with the income the person has coming in. If you want to have a security net in place (say a “John Q” type of situation or something), then having such wealth is fine. But otherwise, to actually be able to LIVE affluently, comfortably, requires making a large enough income to be able to support it.

    This is why so many lottery winners end up broke. Because they don’t realize that you don’t spend the principal, you spend the income you can earn from investing the principal.

    4) Why does everyone seem to think it must be either/or? That either you live way beyond your means, buy “flashy” cars, luxury homes, expensive clothing, etc…and rack up loads of debt in the process, OR, you live very frugally, drive second-hand ho-hum cars, cheap clothing, basic middle-class home, etc…has it not occurred to anyone that one can well live affluently and be very financially comfortable at the same time? That it just requires making the appropriate income to be able to pay for it is all?

    It reminds me of the assumed dichotomy that either you are unmarried and thus go to clubs and parties all the time and sleep with innumerable people, OR you “settle down” by marrying and having children. Apparently no one can be unmarried and/or single and yet be a responsible mature person, and not at all one who goes to clubs and bars and so forth, or necessarilly even who sleeps around (and not judging anyone who sleeps around and/or goes clubbing and bar-hopping either, just making an example here of the assumed dichotomy).

    5) Not everyone buys expensive goods for “status.” Some buy them just because that is what they want. They like the fact that such goods are oftentimes of a significantly higher quality than the cheaper stuff. And not every fine automobile, or fine good period, is “flashy.” That someone considers a Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, etc…”flashy” is their opinion.

    You might see a man pull up in an S-Class Mercedes wearing an expensive tailored three-piece suit. Doesn’t mean he has any interest in being “flashy,” it could just be that he likes fine clothing, appreciates nice suits, and fine automobiles.

    What messes too many people up isn’t so much buying expensive things, it’s buying expensive things when you cannot afford them.

  • By Sally, May 9, 2013 @ 5:30 am

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  • By tyson clarke, June 13, 2013 @ 12:45 am

    I’ve read Kiyosaki, De Roos, Trump, Maloney, McIntyre, and too many others.

    I found Stanley and Danko to be the missing link in how rich people live day to day.

    It could have been my personal level of development that made the book so useful to me, but the nitty gritty detailed research and appendices spoke volumes to me.

    It was kind of like back testing an entry signal for trading. The fine details are sometimes all you need for the final leap of faith… Or maybe I’m just a boring, black and white thinking moron

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  • By Rich Uncle EL, July 25, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    The book has some great insight tips on how specific millionaires attained that status. Given that it left me lacking for more just as Frank stated in this post. It’s also filled with a bunch of statistics that could be outdated and not currently relevant. It goes on to state that with frugality you will become a millionaire who will then not spend money after achieving that status and also to not give it to your adult children. So what is the millionaire to do, well give it to the Alma Mata I guess? I take it for what it is and not for what it should have been.

  • By incense sticks, July 26, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  • By Trucker, August 10, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

    I bought the book used not long after it first came out when I was in my late 20s. Since then I’ve became a millionaire a few times over (although net worth makes it look like more then it is) in trucking. A lot of folks got in this business and lost their shirt but I’ve done ok so far. I have a small team that helps me (not to mention my drivers I couldn’t live without) and after almost 20 years have done well for myself. Much better then expected.

    The point I’m trying to make is I already lived somewhat like The Millionaire Next Door before I started getting wealthy.

    My business has slowly grown over the years and I’ve survived and prospered where many cutthroats have long since went under.

    But no, I don’t have most of my wealth invested in a home or cars, instead I’ve invested in what will help me make money. Most folks that know me don’t know what I have, and I don’t want them to. I still drive my pickup I had when I started although it’s been fixed up nice over the years. I still have the same home but it has a rather large shop behind it where we repair the trucks.

    I still like to jump in a big truck every few months and run a few days, customers are surprised to see ‘the big man’ working but I enjoy it. I still get insights by doing this.

  • By dilinger, September 10, 2013 @ 7:08 am

    I have only recently read the Millionaire Next Door, and I can’t disagree with you more I have to say. I think you have approached the book from entirely the wrong premise. It is not intended to be a self help book to give you a step by step guide on how to be a millionaire. Rather it is essentially a research paper dressed up as a book to show factually what qualities a millionaire has on the average. If you don’t see much benefit in adopting those qualities for yourself, that is fine, but the book is really saying that if you take a different path to wealth, statistically speaking you will have a lower likelihood of making it.

    The chapter devoted to economic outpatient care definitely rings true for me. And what the authors did say is that some gifts to children can be beneficial if they are for the right reasons. That is if they are given for the purpose of expanding their capacity to earn (eg: education expenses) rather than going to support their lifestyle. Also it helps if the gifts are less routine and are given sparingly. When gifts are given on a regular basis and for the purpose of supporting a lifestyle then the receiver tends to regard them less as gifts and more like their normal income – that is it tends to get allocated to expenses even before it is received. That is when the gifts can become wealth destroying. And I think it is true and have observed this in some people I know.

    Anyway, to each their own. Cheers…

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