Book Review: How to Get Rich

by Dual Income No Kids on October 18, 2009 · 0 comments

Hi All,

In a sea of cruddy personal finance books, Felix Dennis’ How to Get Rich is a remarkable standout. The author Dennis is a multimillionaire and owner of Dennis Publishing, Inc. He’s known most famously in the U.S. for being the owner of Stuff and Maxim Magazines – young men’s publications famous for scantily clad models and electronic gadgets. More importantly for you, Dennis is really, really wealthy and he’s written about how he made his dough.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve worked through How To Get Rich and am happy to recommend it to you. Dennis has the authority of authorship of a self made millionaire with the quality of writing of a poet and magazine editor. Its an engrossing, pleasant and informative read.

What makes How to Get Rich different and better than most of the junk on building wealth out there, Dennis spends a lot of time trying to talk people out of getting rich. In reading his book, he makes several points that most other authors don’t. None of them are particularly pleasant.

First, its hard to get rich. Dennis writes about the UK and notes that only .000016 of 60 million British citizens are substantially rich. That means one’s chances of obtaining real wealth are something like 1 in a million. The odds are tremendously stacked against you.

Second, Dennis argues that the reality of wealth is less peachy that most people think. Having larger amounts of wealth means that tendencies to misbehave can be magnified. For example, rich people purchase big houses, servants, and spend excessive amounts of money frivolously on parties and interior decorating. Some wealthy people also fall victim to illicit substance abuse and use of sex workers. According to Dennis other downsides to becoming wealthy are the fact that its difficult to trust people, the wealthy have to worry about theft, and maintaining old friendships requires a surprising amount of work.

Third, Dennis’ method of getting rich requires time and effort. Felix is known primarily for owning and running publishing companies. This method requires a fair amount of work which not everyone has the skills or desire for this. Second, the process of generating wealth often means that family and friends get neglected. Also, Dennis argues there aren’t any quick fixes to building wealth – you can’t just cut back to on your expenses and save a little money at to become rich. Instead you’ll have to be starting and selling companies.

If you really want to get rich, and are willing to put in the effort, How to Get Rich argues there are 8 things you need to do:

1. Analyze your need. Desire is insufficient. Compulsion is mandatory.

2. Cut loose from negative influences. Never give in. Stay the course.

3. Ignore “great ideas”. Concentrate on great execution.

4. Focus. Keep your eye on the ball marked “The Money is Here”.

5. Hire talent smarter than you. Delegate. Share the annual pie.

6. Ownership is the real “secret”. Hold onto every percentage point you can.

7. Sell before you need to, or when bored. Empty your mind when negotiating.

8. Fear nothing and no one. Get rich. Remember to give it all away.

Dennis is somewhat controversial – at one point he admitted killing someone. Dennis is also a self reported cocaine user, but the book is worth reading regardless. How To Get Rich can be found online for 13 bucks. Click here to give it a read.



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