Let me be honest here—I used to get nervous about publicly discussing millionaires. The reason was simple—I didn’t want people substituting the pursuit of God’s design for money with the pursuit of wealth.
But over time, I began to view things differently. I realized that my avoiding the conversation allowed for many of the myths about millionaires to persist—who they are and who they are not. I also realized that many were chasing something that wasn’t real while others never started pursuing that which was real, assuming unattainability.
Somebody had to say something.
I’ve started speaking and writing more about millionaires, explaining what a real millionaire is—someone whose net worth (what you own minus what you owe) is one million dollars. For most people, this means a paid-off mortgage and enough saved for retirement, and often, years of hard work and wise financial decision-making to get there.
On this episode of the More Than Money Podcast, I talked to Chris Hogan about the myths of millionaires. I really recommend you give it a listen. To continue the conversation, I am providing my top books about millionaires. My hope is that these books will open your eyes to what a real millionaire looks like and inspire you to continue your journey of financial health for the sake of advancing God’s Kingdom.
1. Everyday Millionaire: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth―and How You Can Too by Chris Hogan. Sure, I appreciate that he came on the show, but even if he hadn’t, I would still recommend this book. The book shares the results of surveying over 10,000 millionaires, and the findings may surprise you.
2. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. This book was highly influential for me. It was the first book that opened my eyes to the truth about millionaires—that they look like and spend like average Joes and Judys. And this is exactly how they became millionaires.
3. The Wealthy Barber: Everyone's Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent by David Chilton. Another classic. This book shows how building wealth is over time through slow and steady financial decision-making.
4. Stop Acting Rich:...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley. The author of The Millionaire Next Door’s most recent book, Stop Acting Rich, demonstrates how many are fallen for the wealth façade and are chasing wealth symbols that ultimately hinder their ability to build wealth. This book provides new insights into the luxurious items that you assume millionaires purchase.
5. Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts by Paul David Tripp. Okay, this book won’t teach you much about millionaires, but I wanted to include it anyway. Here’s why—it teaches you about something far more important than building wealth—using your resources to advance God’s Kingdom. I love this book, and it is an excellent complement to any of the other books above.
Learn from real millionaires, those with a net worth of one million dollars. I think you will be surprised at what you find. There is a lot we can learn from them, not for the sake a hoarding wealth, but for making wise decisions that can free us up to live generously.