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Stop Acting Rich: ...and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,673 ratings  ·  195 reviews

A leading expert on the affluent reveals the real way to build wealth. With well over two million of his books sold, and huge praise from many media outlets, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley is a recognized and highly respected authority on the wealthy, their behavior, and their thinking. Now, in Stop Acting Rich, he details how the less affluent have fallen into the elite luxury bra

Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  1,673 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Oct 18, 2010 rated it liked it
According to this book, there are a lot of posers out there and that's one of the main reasons we got slammed by the housing crisis and (as a nation) are overcome with debt.

Most millionaire's out there don't have extravagant houses, cars, watches, shoes, suits, wine, liquor, etc. that we tend to associate with that level of wealth. Most of those high end things are really only consumed by the "glittering rich" such as high-end celebrities. The author contends that real millionaires are quite fr
Josh Steimle
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book wouldn't have nearly the power it does if it weren't so data-driven. It's one thing to say not many real millionaires drive BMWs. It's another to have the data to prove it. Want to know if you really want to be a millionaire, or you just want other people to think you are one? Read this book and by the end you'll have the knowledge you need to tell. Although what's also interesting about the book are the stories of those who are given that knowledge, but refuse to accept it, even when ...more
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book could have been 15 pages but instead he made each point, beat it do death, and then moved on to the next point. I have a feeling his publisher kept pushing for MORE FILLER! The points made were good, but much more enjoyable to read the first time he made them in, "The Millionair Next Door", which I Do recommend. ...more
John Gurney
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stop Acting Rich... and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire continues Dr. Stanley's research into what millionaires are really like. The first, and best, work, The Millionaire Next Door, was data-filled and descriptive of what the mega-rich are like. Millionaire Mind tried to help the reader understand what it takes to be financially successful by understanding what millionaires value.

The latest installment treads upon familiar territory. There are plenty of interesting and useful lessons. Whi
May 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get through it except by skimming. Same thing as his earlier The Millionaire Next Door, i.e.:

--A surprisingly high % of the country's millionaires are regular people of high-but-not-outrageously-high incomes who live below their means in modest neighborhoods and save a lot and invest conservatively.

--if you want to be wealthy but are not "glitteringly rich", you're better off emulating these everyday millionaires than the wannabes who try to keep up with the Jones's and waste all their
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT advice if you are wanting to stop acting like you have money and actually ACQUIRE money.....much of it is common sense, but clearly not alot of people depend on something so basic anymore.....I love how the book points out that the majority of millionaires do NOT drive fancy cars or live in elaborate homes, and that is exactly HOW they got to be millionaires...if your whole goal is to "look rich" then you will most likely only end up in debt, but if you want to actually BE f ...more
Igor Putina
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not the best written book, BUT – the data itself is very insightful. It's similar to The Millionaire Next Door, but it's well worth reading even if you have read the first one. ...more
David McClendon, Sr
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I believe that by now everyone has heard of the amazing bestseller The Millionaire Next Door. Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley takes what we learned in The Millionaire Next Door and goes a step further.

When I was growing up back in the 1970s in South Carolina, we had what we called ten cent millionaires. These were people who wanted to look like they had money but did not.

Stop Acting Rich tells us about these ten cent millionaires. The author ref
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: finance
Whew! I was so relieved to read that this expert on the lives of the truly rich, ie, those whose wealth is not merely reflected in luxurious lifestyles, but rather in their bank statement financial portfolios, more or less approves of my frugal lifestyle as a means of accumulating wealth. Not only is it okay for me to drive a nondescript Chevrolet and not own a second home, go on fancy vacations or send my kids to private school; but according to his research I am in good company even among the ...more
Vanessa D
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book had good information about living below your means and avoiding lifestyle creep. However, after about 100 pages I ended up skimming the rest of the book, as I found it endlessly repeated the same findings and went into too much detail. All in all, I'm glad I read the first part. ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Really didn't need to read this book as mom and dad taught me the principles
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. Fascinating book based on data that, frankly, surprised me. This book will change your outlook, debunks the myths of the wealthiest of us all and puts into perspective that hard work and following our passions (along with using common sense in our finances) are what creates wealth and happiness. Too often we believe in what the media tells us about the rich and forget that the media is only looking to sell stories, not inform us of the truth.

Excellent book. A must read
Nicole Shepard
2.7/5 stars. This book is fine. It suffers from what many self-improvement books struggle with and that is the fact that it's maybe 15% interesting information and 85% repetitive nonsense. That's a big pet peeve for me. Hence the low rating. I know this book has its roots in the 1980s, so that is part of the problem. It just seemed like everything this book has to say could have been said in a 30 minute or less interview on a podcast episode.

Here's the takeaway from this book: #1 live among peo
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fake it or make it...most likely not both.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words to live by

I have lived by these rules my whole life and can say I am a multimillionaire by age 40. He puts into words a philosophy that makes sense and makes you a happier person. Don't play the keeping up with the Joneses game. Don't buy into a wealthy neighborhood or a 5000+ sq foot home. If you have more than 10 million, you can afford those things, but if you are trying to get to your first million, those things won't make you happier.
Rachel John
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I won this through a goodreads giveaway, which makes me reluctant to rip on it, but this book was not good.

I haven't read any other of Thomas J. Stanley's books, but I have a feeling this one doesn't really cover any new territory. Stanley references the 08-09 Financial Crisis currently going on, but not in any meaningful way. The material covered is enough for a good essay, not a book. It took me back to my college days where you have to get to a specific word count, so you keep repeating the s
Kristen Northrup
This is a decent update of the earlier books. It was published after the housing and stock markets started crashing and periodically touches on that as a warning. (Although it's pretty strange that a 2009 author would consider a cellphone a luxury item like he still does.) This edition probably wouldn't be very helpful by itself as it doesn't go back and repeat the basics in the original volume.

Like the first book, it does get redundant. But that's not such a bad thing in this context. The basi
Stanley has a decent premise--unless you are part of the elite 1% rich (those making a million+ per year), you have one of two choices. You can *act* rich, by living in large house in a wealthy neighborhood, driving a luxury car, joining a golf club, wearing designer clothes, etc. etc. or you can actually *be* rich. It's a great point, and one we should all take to heart. The problem is that Stanley turns what could be a very good college essay into a book that drags on and on. It's bogged down ...more
May 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Part of the Millionaire Next Door series, Stanley shares the results of his research into the habits/practices of the blue collar everyday rich. These are people who live so far below their means they manage to save 7 figures on a mid-5-figure salary by age 45. The earlier books in the series offered more compelling results of Stanley's research.

This book focuses solely on the actual buying habits of the glittering rich (super weathly), average millionaires and wanna-be-millionaires who are act
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wealth, nonfiction
This book explains why people who are not rich "hyper-spend on luxuries". Millionaires don't overspend on watches, alcohol, cars, haircuts, etc. This book is, essentially, a reiteration, and update, of the Millionaire Mind (that's not a compliment...).


When you trade up to a more expensive home, there is pressure for you to spend more on every conceivable product and service. "Nothing has a greater impact on your wealth and your consumption than your choice of house and neighbo
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Those who look rich...probably aren't.

Fascinating book based on data that, frankly, surprised me. This book will change your outlook. When I see a person in a gilded luxury car ( which is common in Scottsdale,Arizona) I no longer subconsciously assume that he/ she is wealthy. Actually, Professor Stanley has lifted the veil for me, and I now see these folks as statistically more probably un-wealthy. This perceptual change extends to many of the trappings, or artifacts ( As Dr. Stanley describes t
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I would have given this a 3 because it's kind of a slow read, and keeps hitting on the same idea over and over and almost beats it dead. That's why I would rate it a 3. I gave it a 4 however because although the content seems to hit the same thing over and over I think the concise ideas and information are valuable. ...more
Hyun Young
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s informative but I feel like once you read The Millionaire Next Door you got most of the important lessons that are repeated in this book. Read The Millionaire Next Door first. It’s a great book.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
More of the same from Thomas Stanley. Frugality begets Millionaires. The opening and closing chapters are the real meat of the book, while middle chapters provide detailed information about what kind of suits, wine, vodka, watches, homes, shoes, etc, that real millionaires purchase. He acknowledges that the glittering millionaires can purchase the luxury brands and often do, but details that the wanna be but aren't millionaires are making these purchases beyond their means and are not happier fo ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-finance
After I finished reading The Millionaire Next Door in 2014 I gave it three stars, chalked it up as being "okay," but didn't think it was that great, nor that it contained anything new. In the years since, I continue calling to mind some of the ideas from the book and, as it turns out, I liked the book a lot better than I originally thought!

Dr. Stanley's research on millionaires reveals that most wealthy people don't live in large houses in exclusive neighborhoods or drive expensive cars--they s
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book reads like a nagging parent sick of their kids trying to keep up with the Joneses.

The concepts here are pretty common sense and the author even goes to the extremes to reinvent accounting principles on net worth, superficial types of rich, to make his studies appear somewhat revolutionary.

All this book will do is make you obsess over you money more so than yourself. It’s money worshipping in short, when you should be working on (worshipping) yourself in order to either get a better job
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book is good if you know what to read and where.

I would suggest fully reading the first 2-3 chapters. The rest of the book contains only a detailed description of the basic concepts of these chapters supported by data. Here I would advise to just list through and stop at some paragraphs which catch your attention. With this approach, you will be able to retain all the information needed and at the same time, read the book faster without it becoming repetitive.

As for the content, I would hea
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Actually more like 3.5. A good follow up to the Millionaire next door. Lots of new data and ways of examining how people spend. At essence, his message remains that people achieve financial independence by converting income into wealth. Most people do this by allocating their spending to create surplus funds which can be invested and grow into wealth.

The wealth equation which is central to his analysis is: your net worth should be 10% of your age times your income (0.10 x age x income=expected
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the data is completely specific to the USA, and the data points used, are completely alien to people not familiar with the country or the people, thanks to my sojourn with the people it wasn't very difficult to follow.
But the brilliance of the book is in its's universality. You need not be an American to understand what Thomas Stanley was driving at. It is pretty clear. Though his doctrine of being frugal sometimes seems like ranting (the book could use a bit of rewriting, but then again
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book that uses data to prove what most of us already know...that most in America fake it. Truly wealthy people find little joy in flaunting their wealth, while those who act rich destroy their chances of ever actually becoming wealthy through their insane consumption. Huge houses, fancy cars, nice vacations, and general “keeping up with the joneses” both define and destroy most Americans.

The author also addresses topics like generosity. Those who donate at least 10% of their incomes ten
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Dr. Stanley wrote The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. These books spent more than 170 weeks combined on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list. His Millionaire Women Next Door was selected as a finalist for the business book of the year by the Independent Publishers Association and was on several business best sellers lists. Dr. Stanley’s first three books, Marketing to the Affluent ...more

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