Book Review: A Million Bucks By 30

Author:  Alan Corey
Title: “A Million Bucks by 30: How to overcome a crap job, stingy parents, and a useless degree to become a millionaire before (or after) turning thirty.”
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2008

The first time I noticed the book of discussion was several months ago while sipping on my coffee.

After taking a first glance at it, I was not entirely sure if I wanted to spend Rs.500 on the book.  Besides, the book seemed to concentrate mainly on real estate  and not on investment vehicles such as equities  (which was what I was originally seeking out).  Furthermore, the book would not provide a truly Indian perspective on things.

However, the title of the book – A Million Bucks by 30 – was certainly intriguing and there were some sections while initially scanning through it that proved to be interesting.  I decided to buy it.

In my view, the book was definitely worth it.

It did not change or alter a large part of my own, personal approach to things, but it did offer some new insights on how changing some behaviors in one’s life can easily shave off some ‘time’ with respect to one’s personal finance obectives/ end- goal. That is to say, when I mention the word ‘time’, I am implying that, provided one’s goal is to retire at a younger age than the average person, books such as this one can help in reducing the time it takes to get out of the ‘rat race’. It may or may not apply to you, depending on your goals.

In addition, Alan’s ability to incorporate humor throughout almost all chapters of ‘A Million Bucks by 30’ made it an amusing read to say the least. It was comical indeed; yet, underneath all the comic relief was a man with a serious plan and proven, serious results.

Interesting features!

One of the most interesting features in his book is that of his periodic inserts of “Extreme Cheapskate Strategies”. Upon reading several of them, I quickly began to realize that this cat had surpassed many of my own methods of being thrifty with money.  I mean, I genuinely thought that I was doing exceptionally well as an above average quasi-cheapskate; that is until I finished reading the book.  Some of his cheapskate strategies include an absolute refusal of buying bottled water, as well as his ability to have complimentary food and gifts delivered to his door at no cost.

Despite that a sizeable part of my own personal strategy does not include a solid, constant process of either buying, selling, or flipping properties as exhibited by Alan’s apparent core strategy, I do nevertheless respect and admire this man’s drive and ambition, as well as the successes he attained while residing in New York. However, as with any investment decision, there are risks.  “No risk, no return” was a concept I learned quickly through post-secondary experiences.

Upon reading the last chapter, “Declaration of Independence”, Alan reveals his last and final Net Worth Update.  I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anybody that is interested in or receptive to a potentially different angle at approaching one’s financial objectives.

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, you can find out more on how to get your hands on a copy at Amazon.

Keep in mind, this is a book written by someone who really “made it”.  If anything, regardless if his approach does not fall exactly in line with your approach to wealth accumulation, he is a nevertheless a living example of someone who has achieved his major goal/milestone, and that alone is inspirational in itself.