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Book Review: Rich Like Them by Ryan D’Agostino

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Wednesday, April 15, 2009

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The economy today has everyone questioning their finances and decisions they have made or walked away from in the past.  People are looking for ways to boost their income, or at least learn tips on how to secure the money that they have.  Good advice is hard to come by, and you certainly don’t want to pass on it when it comes by.

            I recently finished reading Ryan D’Agostino’s new book called “Rich Like Them” which is a very different finance book them some may have been expecting.  He took a unique approach of getting information directly from the source to bring their stories to you.

            Ryan set out on an adventure to visit the wealthiest communities in the country, and to go up to random houses asking the owners the simple question of “how did you get to where you are?”  By determining the wealthiest zip codes in the country, he would enter each community and trek by foot from house to house hoping to find kind enough people to let him in on their personal journeys to how they became wealthy.  He talks in details of how he performed his research and understands that the sample size is small and basically random.

            Each chapter begins with a cliché line that has been heard many times before.  Although repetitive, it is a nice way to open each chapter and they fit in with the message of the individual’s story.  Clichés are there for a reason, mainly because they are true to an extent.  Some of the lessons that can be taken from the stories may seem a bit obvious, but they are good lessons regardless.  Here are a few lessons you will encounter.

  • Look for opportunities in areas that are not hot yet
  • There are creative ideas everywhere, sometimes you have to take a risk
  • Good karma can help in the long run
  • Have patience
  • Take care of customers
  • Do one things and do it well
  • Never stop being a student.

Some of the lessons counteract others in the book but the stories offer a full broad range of lessons that are meant to be interpreted by the reader, not pushed onto the reader as the end all to succeed.  The book is entertaining and amusing for a fun light and quick read.  This is not a self-help book and shouldn’t be read for advice on how to get rich fast.  The book closes with a nice chapter on humility with a lot of the people he met saying how they still have the drive to work hard even though they are rich.  I would have liked to have seen closing commentary by Ryan summing up his experience more, and tying everything together.  I would recommend this book as a fast read for anyone interested in reading personal stories, just don’t expect to become wealthy afterwards.

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