Nina Smith

How to Make A Million Bucks by Thirty

Filed By Nina Smith | March 30, 2008 8:22 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Alan Corey, how to save money for a downpayment

"I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be a darling at it." - Dorothy Parker

If you're a personal finance blogger, you get a lot of offers from publicists to read and review their client's books. It's a nice perk. In 2007, I didn't buy a single nonfiction title, since I received about 25 for free. There was a period last summer when I was getting a book a week. I finally started declining the review copies because I couldn't keep up.

I read about half and my three personal favorites were Brazen Careerist, One Person/Multiple Careers and The Anti 9 to 5 Guide. All happened to focus on career advice and not personal finance, but if you get the work part right then typically the money follows. Or does it?

Like most twentysomethings, Alan Corey had a crap job after earning what he describes as a "useless" degree. He kept the crap job for a good portion of his twenties. Why? Because a paycheck was part of his plan. It's a not-so-secret formula that he reveals in his new book, A Million Bucks by 30 and it's a fantastic book for Generation Y.

Alan contacted me after he discovered that I interviewed Jai Rodriguez. He obviously was trolling the web looking for book reviewers. Alan was one of the original straight guys that got made-over on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. (Curbed, the New York real estate blog called him a famewhore way back in 2004.) Here's what I like about him. He found me. Not his publicist (although she has my email - since I've made my way on the global review list). He wrote a book and wasn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and work hard for some added publicity.

This pretty much sums up Alan's personality. He puts himself out there and when people do that, things happen. Even when you have a crap job.

Alan set out to be a millionaire by thirty. That's a rock star goal and not an easy one to accomplish. But he was methodical in his approach and this is what I respect about him. Alan crafts a similar tale to Robert Kiyosaki's famous, Rich Dad Poor Dad but all the famewhoring is what gives Alan's story some color. You see, the formula has already been set. It's not a secret:

Spend less. Earn more.

Alan is a master at both. Now, some might argue that Alan was at the right place at the right time. He bought real estate in Clinton Hill just as Brooklyn was being dubbed the new, affordable Manhattan. The exploding market helped jump start his plan and he admits that there was some luck involved. But isn't that the way with most success? It takes a little luck, timing and skill to thrive.

In most real estate investing books, so much emphasis is put on the buying part and leveraging what you have. But how do you get to the point of having enough for your first down payment? Alan spent half of the book talking about his thrifty ways in order to achieve this goal of buying his first apartment. His second property is an even better story. The guy wasn't living high on the hog. He continued working his crap job, saved every penny and got creative with his living arrangements. This is why the guy was a millionaire before thirty and I admire every piece of advice he dishes out to his peers.

Plus, he's a quirky story teller. Instead of using the f-word, he writes, "What the Fran Drescher was happening to me?" or "Then I made him explain how Fred Savage this was possible." I think that's funny. Or perhaps, I'm just a twentysomething guy trapped in fortysomething lesbian's body where being rich and getting laid are still a major focus in my life. Alan made me laugh and he has a great money story. Who can't learn something from that? Put it on your reading list!

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Nina blogs about money over at Queercents.


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 31, 2008 2:19 AM

I think a better read would be "The Art of Happiness" by the Dali Llama.

Actually, I'm interested. I'll check it out Nina.

(And I know what you mean by review offers. I have 5 movies and 2 books sitting here now. I ship most of them off to other contributors thankfully! LOL)

Hi Nina. Thanks for the book review. I can't wait to read this. I read "The Automatic Millionaire" and it bored me to tears. Since then, I've been really turned off to reading anything about money, even though I'd like to own my own restaurant some day. This might get me started in the right direction, so thanks. :^)