Ryan D'Agostino, former senior editor at Money, wanted to know how the wealthiest in
How do the wealthy get that way? Either they rise up the corporate ranks and then go solo. Or they simply start their own biz.
By Jeff Lippincott on Jan 01, 2009
I liked this book. It is the write-up of a research project the author undertook regarding how rich people generally get to be rich or to stay rich. 50 rich people from around the country who live among the top 50 well-to-do zip codes in the country were interviewed. They resided in one of 19 towns within 11 states. And the results of the interviews were compiled into the 5 chapters included in this book. I encourage you to take a look at the Search Inside feature Amazon provides. You can see the Table of Contents there. Sprinkled through the 5 chapters were 41 point headings that represented words of wisdom the author learned from those he interviewed. My favorites were as follows: >>Connect the people you meet >>Once you connect the dots, then follow through >>Don't deviate from your planned path to get a quick gain >>Perseverance doesn't take forever >>Do one thing and do it well >>Don't plan a career - plan a life >>Never stop being a student >>Calculate every risk - even the one you live in >>Don't worry about what other people think >>If you hate your career, um, change it >>Sometimes the biggest risk is doing nothing >>Never let pride get in the way of profit >>Be humble even if you're as rich as Brooke Astor >>Understand your limitations >>Don't be a slave to Plan A - it'll prevent you from seeing Plan B Supposedly half of those interviewed had started their own business or businesses to become wealthy. I'm not sure about the other half, but they either had high paying corporate jobs or had inherited their wealth. Of course, the author points out that those who inherit have a full time job just preserving their wealth. I thought the book could have been a little better written. Part of it seemed a little repetitive to me. The real value in the book is the 41 point headings I refer to above. But it was a fun read and quick to complete. And it was an interesting concept for a book. 4 stars!
Great idea, wasted opportunity
By James on Jan 21, 2009
Great Idea for a book. I was anticipating its release with excitement. After completing it last week, I have to say that the opportunity was wasted. He does what he says, but gets about an inch deep with the individuals, then he crams the few insights they had into whatever his outline's mantra is for that chapter (he puts words in their mouth to fit his format). Also, the author is confused about what kind of writer he is. I mean, this book isn't Old Man and the Sea, so it seems out of place when he slips in and out of wild descriptive periods and clever similes that seem like he's been waiting to use them. They feel shoe-horned into descriptions. But I don't want to just bash him here. Its an interesting read, but seems shallow for all the time he put in. He is also genuine about his interest in the subject.
I'm surprised people were this open with him, but I'm glad they were...
By Thomas Duff on Apr 19, 2009
Unique concept, but I'm still surprised that people talked to him... Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods by Ryan D'Agostino. He decided to bypass all the hyped stories of self-made millionaires and physically go door-to-door to see what people would tell him about how they got rich. In order to pull this off, he used a company called ESRI to determine the 100 wealthiest zip codes in America. His plan was to go to these particular locations, find a neighborhood or two with very nice houses ("proof" that they probably had money), introduce himself and his project, and then listen and take notes. 500 doors and 50 interviews later, he had a wide array of first-hand information about how people got themselves to their comfortable financial position in life. And not surprisingly, there's no one single way that everyone gets rich. But there are common practices and mindsets that raise your odds significantly. I personally got the most out of the chapter on obsession. Too many people try to go into a business or career with the thought of making lots of money. But if that's the main driver for someone, it won't last long term. If you're doing something you love, and there *is* money to be made in the field, the money will almost always show up automatically. While I don't consider myself "rich", there is some truth in my life to that secret. D'Agostino also had one interview that rang very true for me. If you look forward to going to work, that's a good sign that you'll do well financially. The ability to work long hours because of your passion and obsession means that you'll end up creating the opportunities that others call "luck". It was encouraging to see that I was doing some things correctly, while I found plenty of other areas where I could improve. If you're looking for a 12 step "get rich now" formula, Rich Like Them isn't the book you're looking for. The author doesn't have any secret program or agenda to push. What you end up with is, in my opinion, something far more valuable. You get advice from people who are not much different than you, except that they've worked hard to get to where they are. And long term, that's the information that is most valuable.
Go out on a limb!
By Ignacio on Mar 08, 2009
This is a pretty good book to read. No, it's not an instruction manual on how to get rich but it does give some (or should I say, a lot) of insight on how many people from different walks of life became wealthy. At first sight, by reading the title, you might think that this book talks a lot about money...and I guess it does, in a way...but that's not necessarily the main point. What I liked most about this "door-knocking" project is that it just might give you the needed push you need to get out there and start doing something you actually enjoy...maybe even something that you obsess over (in a good way). The common theme throughout the pages I kept finding over and over is that the main motivation for the people being interviewed was not money...it just happened to come along. Sure, money is an important reason and it should be important, but it should not be the ONLY reason you are working in that job. This is an inspiring book that talks about people who do what they love and are willing to take chances.
Great Idea - No Substance
By Sebastian J. on Feb 01, 2009
I hate to knock someone who has put in the effort to write a book and has even had a great idea for it, but after thinking about it for a couple of nights, I couldn't hold back anymore with all the good reviews floating around. I have read tons of personal finance books and this is by far the worst book I have read so far. - You actually don't find out what the rich people think but rather what the author thinks you should do and then he just pulls single sentences from "the rich" to prove his "points". - His "points" are just too general. There is no insight in there that you wouldn't have heard if you just read one other PF book. - most of what you get is a description of him walking around and knocking on doors, e.g. not enough substance and it's not exactly like Odysseus. - I just can't shake the feeling that the author thinks he is very interesting. To be honest, I just don't give a hoot about what his daddy or brother has done or what he's thinking. I bought the book on the premise that he will tell me what the richt told him and you get practically nothing of that. (Take "Millionaire Next Door" if you don't know that one yet.) I for one am going to return the book. And you shouldn't get it as it is neither informative nor fun to read.
Great book, but don't look for a success formula
By Mariusz Skonieczny on Aug 14, 2009
What a bold move to go door-to-door and interview wealthy people, and then write a book about it. Wow, I am impressed! This book may disappoint some because it does not offer a formula of how to get as rich as the interviewed individuals. They are all different and chose different paths to achieve success. I absolutely love the chapter on obsession. Many of these individuals found something that they loved. Their main goal was not money. Because of their dedication and hard work, the money was just a result. I can relate to this myself. I remember when I was working in a different industry, I hated going to work even though there was a lot of money to be made. I kept watching the clock all day long. Now that I love what I do, I don't count the hours anymore. It's just fun for me. If you like reading stories about successful people, you will also enjoy and this book, but I also recommend The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley. - Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
Rich Like Me?
By J on May 15, 2012
Maybe it sounds silly, but a part of me did buy and read this book hoping to get "Rich Like Them." Now, I'm not saying I've doubled my annual income or flipped five properties since. But that said, and a bit contrary to some other reviews I've read on here, D'Agostino's idea - of going door to door to the richest zip-codes in the U.S.A. - did in fact offer me practical and tangible means to an end. That end being success, however you wanna slice it. And it was more than just the dialogue between D'Agostino and whomever the rich guy/gal happened to be in that day's interview. It was just as much, maybe more, D'Agostino's own ideas - his own words, his own gleaning of the experience and they way he told it - that gave me new insight. Things like:"Luck Doesn't Exist," "Open Your Eyes," "The Myth of Risk." Point bein': "Rich Like Them" is not only a well-written great read told by a whip-smart sharp author, but ya just might learn a thing or two, about life, money, and ultimately success.
Bold and Interesting Book
By Kisha Mays on Apr 13, 2009
I read this book and finished it in 2 days. He was completely brave and bold to do his version of "research" and I found it to be quite enlightening. I had a chance to visit some of the locations and places mentioned in the book and they all remembered speaking with him, so I know he was on the up and up. There were some great stories from those that are wealthy and you might find some great tips to use. My question, was this book written before the bubble burst last year? If so, he should do a sequel to see how those same people are doing now.
By Savant11 on May 24, 2009
I borrowed this book from the library. But after reading one chapter I knew that I had to own a copy and bought one. It's the type of book you want to pick up as a reference. This book is quite similar to Thomas J. Stanley's 'The Millionaire Mind'. The people I have read about so far, did not have any exceptional talent or extrodinary abilties. They just worked smart, worked hard, believed in themselves. They set a goal and focused on accomplishing that goal. One of the things I liked is the people that are interviewed are pretty much regular folks. They don't put on airs, they are just very level headed and practical. The negative reviews I have read so far seem to be calling the book superficial for not providing more insight on how to get rich. I think they are missing the point. This is not a paint by numbers book on how to get rich. This is a book about the qualties of the men and women who lived in the lavish houses and how they came to be rich and successful Like anything else in life, there are no shortcuts. You have to have a vision and a goal and be prepared to work very hard to achieve that goal. You also need to believe in yourself.
By Chase Wimberly on Jan 05, 2009
A quick read with lots of good anecdotes from successful business people and entrepreneurs. More than anything, the opportunity to get into the psyches of these people and understand their motivations and what it took to become successful despite their ordinary backgrounds is inspiring to me. I appreciate their willingness to let D'Agostino capture some of that and share it with us.