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Review: “The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me” by Richard Paul Evans

I was a little surprised to receive as a gift a financial planning book from an author who writes feel good, inspirational stories. Though just like everyone else, Evans has faced the same financial decisions that each of us have to make.

Richard Paul EvansA brief read, Evans focuses on five lessons that he learned as a very young man from an individual that he would not have suspected to be a millionaire. Each lesson has helped him and his wife ensure financial security.

The Five Lessons

Listed below are the five lessons from the book, none of which will some as a large surprise I’m sure.

  1. Decide to Be Wealthy
  2. Take Responsibility for Your Money
  3. Keep a Portion of Everything You Earn
  4. Win in the Margins
  5. Give Back


Evans preaches a simple and straightforward way to approaching saving and spending, though offers little that is unique or not already frequently discussed in financial planning texts. If anything though, his book is motivational and may help give you more enthusiasm to continue to be frugal.

My one issue with this book is Evans’ suggestion to begin saving by buying gold coins. I could not disagree more. The growth rate in value of gold is historically very low and you can find better returns in other relatively safe investments. Further, Evans made the suggestion to help satiate cravings to shop and buy something. Even though buying gold is better than blowing your money on stuff, this method has not changed your habits. Rather, you will have only substituted one thing for another. In my opinion, put in the effort to control spending.

Similar to Dave Ramsey, Evans has provided resources, which include forms for budgeting, in the back of his book. The section titled Winning in the Margins with Extra Income caught my attention. Basically, Evans has compiled a list of ideas to bring in extra income. I appreciated that Evans mentioned selling plasma. I sold my plasma for nearly two years to help my wife and me to finish college.

All and all, not a bad read, especially since it’s a short book. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought in the comments below.

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