Tom MacWright

I read I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi on


The thing with personal finance books for millenials is that you only need to read one or two of them. I’ve already read a few, and read stuff like the Bogleheads Guide to Investing, and was thankfully raised with a good, albeit overcareful relationship to money.

This kind of book is really most useful for folks who need to course-correct from a different approach to money, who didn’t luck out, who had parents too poor or too rich to have a moderated approach to money.

In terms of the title, I’m sure workshopped to sell copies: let’s be frank. This book won’t teach you to be rich. The tips will work, and help people live, financially, better.

But even if Ramit’s very wise advice about salary negotiation and spending does its magic and increases your salary 10% and drops your spending 10%, there’s a step change between most lives and actually-real wealth that is hard to achieve.

Rich, in the view of millenials, Gen X, and boomers, is somewhere between $2.2-2.6 million dollars. That’s sort of where it is for me as well, though the increased risk and reduced reward of investing means that the number should be more like $3M.

Even with all the good advice of personal finance folks, someone absolutely maxing out a salary in most careers, and also exhibiting an incredible level of self control - say, saving 50% of a $120,000 salary - will still be on a long, long march to achieving anything resembling “rich”.