“Stop Acting Rich” by Dr Thomas J. Stanley


I guess a lot of people might have read about this best selling  book “Millionaire Next Door” by Dr Thomas J. Stanley. Recently, I read  another great book  from him call “Stop Acting Rich”. These two books help me gain new perspectives about a real millionaire habits and lifestyle. It also ends the myth of how the rich really behaves and how are they different from all the other millionaire wannabes.

He details how many high income earners who look ostensibly rich but are not affluent in terms of networth have fallen into the elite luxury brand trap that prevents them from acquiring wealth. They are more focus on getting a bigger pay cheque in order to fund their insatiable appetite of purchasing luxury status symbols like Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz and big houses. They generally place less emphasis on educating themselves on investment and most do not take up the job of investing their own money.  Some of the higher income earners would even leave their money to hedge fund managers who charge high management fees that constantly erodes their investment returns. For that reason, Warren Buffett famously place a US$1 million bet in 2008 that an index fund (S&P 500) will beat a hedge fund over a period of 10 years. So far the index fund is currently leading with a return of 65.67% as compared to the hedge fund return of 21.87%.

Majority of the millionaires are generally frugal as they feel that there is no utility to display their wealth. Most of them are also pretty low profile and believes that it takes time to accumulate wealth as the median age of millionaires in USA is 57 years old (according to the book). These are the people who are resourceful and maximize the potential of each dollar they spend. They normally go for quality over quantity and emphasize more on needs than wants.

As for the favorite watch for millionaires, it’s a close fight between Seiko, Rolex and Timex. When measuring a millonaire’s happiness level based on what watch they wore, all three came in at around 4.2 out of 5. But the price differential is quite substantial between Rolex and Seiko/Timex. As for market share among these 3 brands, Seiko came out top, followed by Rolex and Timex. One great example is my businessman idol, Li Ka Shing who is the richest man in Asia for decades with a net worth of more than US$30 billion. He is known for being frugal and has been wearing a Seiko watch for decades before he “upgraded” to the solar powered Citizen Eco drive watch worth US$500 three years back. He cited practical reasons for owning this watch like the watch does not require long time to charge and you could swim with it.  Thus this research concludes that you could be far off happier and richer if you did not fork out the money to buy a Rolex.

Next, we shall talk about the favorite car for millionaires in term of market share. Yes! It’s TOYOTA followed by Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Ford and BMW according to the research featured in the book. Real millionaires normally go for quality and reliability of the car rather than prestiges car brands. They also own their car for a longer period of time as compare to millionaire wannabes who change their cars every few years. Toyota millionaires are the most productive in transforming their income into wealth.  Ask the average person under the age of 30 on the street about their dream car, few will say Toyota. You will hear a lot of people saying Audi, BMW or Mercedes which are the more popular brands among the prestiges car makers. The problem nowadays are that people became too brand conscious and trappings of the material world prevents most from reaching the Millionaire milestone. Even the founder of Facebook,  Mark Zuckerberg drives a Honda Accord (Acura) which he describes as safe and not ostentatious.

Most millionaires stays in less affluent estates which emphasize less on keeping up with the joneses but more on building up community with common interests. They spend more time on charitable events to raise funds within their estates as compared to those from affluent estates. They believe that giving back to society gives them a higher satisfaction in life as researchers also cited that there is a strong correlation between contributing to charitable causes and overall satisfaction with life.

After reading through this book, it helps me to put wealth in perspective and also how to live “rich” without spending more. “Rich” in this book means to lead a more fulfilling life encompass by rich life experiences and definitely not the next material purchase. This book also details why we are spending lavishly nowadays and how to stop this destructive cycle which at the same time is destroying our mother earth. It also discussed about how being “rich” means more than just big houses, prestige watches and luxury cars. A defensive strategy for tough times especially after the 2008 recession,  this book shows readers how to live a rich, happy life through accumulating more wealth and using it to achieve the type of financial freedom that will create true happiness and fulfillment. A recommended read for people who wants to find happiness in life and reach financial independence.



  1. Hi Dave, Thanks for sharing. Indeed a very nice article to read. A 100 bucks and a 10,000buck watch. Basically you are looking at the same thing. TIME


    1. You are most welcome! But a lot of people don’t see it this way like you do and they will be forever trap in the world of materialism. I hope to bring this point to more people who consume for the sake of consuming which is what the marketeers want you to believe that you really need these things.


  2. I really enjoyed this book too. Here was my take on it almost 4 years ago.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yah it’s all about frugality, simple living and smart financial decision. I’m always focus on smart financial decisions all my life until I chanced upon minimalism which kind of speed things up towards financial independence.


  3. […] have on hand. Best selling author Thomas J. Stanley captured this gap perfectly in his book ” Stop Acting Rich“. Acting like we are wealthy only lead us to more debt and despair rather than happiness. […]


  4. […] financial goals. Discipline in the form of watching your spending (self control as described by Dr Thomas J  Stanley in his book “Stop Acting Rich”) and sticking to your investing game plan by using the magical effect of compound interest. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Go Curry Cracker!

Retire Early. Travel the World.

Four Pillar Freedom

Finding Freedom Through Financial Independence

Millennial Revolution

Random thoughts and journey towards a minimalist lifestyle

Mr. Tako Escapes

Just another WordPress.com site

My Money and Me

I want to live a free life meaningfully.

Root of Good

Retired in 2013 at age 33. Life is Good.

My 15 Hour Work Week

Semi-Retirement Made Earlier and Easier

Raising Smart Savers

Family finances, parenting, and raising money-smart kids.

Dad is Cheap

Fatherhood, Money, and Everything in Between

Our Next Life

Early Retirement // Financial Independence // Adventure // Happiness

Mr. Money Mustache

Early Retirement through Badassity

Be More with Less

simplicity is love

Afford Anything

You Can Afford Anything ... Just Not Everything. What's It Gonna Be?


Financial independence and simple living

No Sidebar

Design a Simple Life

Cait Flanders

Author of The Year of Less

Rockstar Finance

- The Best of Personal Finance -

zen habits

Random thoughts and journey towards a minimalist lifestyle

Becoming Minimalist

Own less. Live more. Finding minimalism in a world of consumerism.

%d bloggers like this: