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Thomas J. Stanley quotes

American business theorist and writer, author of "The Millionaire Next Door"

A recent newspaper headline proposed that "the best way to get rich is the stock market."
Building wealth via stocks or other investments is akin to growing trees. You can't grow oak
trees if you don't have enough money to buy acorns. So, suggesting that the stock market
leads to wealth is putting the cart before the horse.
Thomas J. Stanley

Whatever your income, always live below your means.
Thomas J. Stanley

America is often referred to as the land of the free. But most people in this country are not
really free. They are tied to debt and a treadmill existence in terms of earning a living.
Thomas J. Stanley

Most self made millionaires rank high on the tenacity scale... The majority (76%) of the
millionaires I surveyed report that tenacity and hard work account for why they consistently
achieve at a high level.
Thomas J. Stanley

Disciplined people are not easily sidetracked... They could live in a French bakery and not
gain weight or they could encounter hundreds of economic opportunities and then select one
or two that are best suited to their strengths and the market's needs.
Thomas J. Stanley

You have a much better chance of becoming wealthy if you do not try to emulate the
consumption habits of those with high occupation status.
Thomas J. Stanley

Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most
of all, self-discipline.
Thomas J. Stanley

Those people whom we define as being wealthy get much more pleasure from owning
substantial amounts of appreciable assets than from displaying a high-consumption lifestyle.
Thomas J. Stanley

Most millionaire next door types are contrarians. They think and act differently. They are
savers and investors in a population of hyper consumers.
Thomas J. Stanley

Millionaires know that the more they spend, the more income they must realize. The more
they realize, the more they must allocate for income taxes. So... adhere to an important rule:
To build wealth, minimize your realized (taxable) income and maximize your unrealized income
(wealth/capital appreciation without a cash flow).
Thomas J. Stanley

The advertising industry and Hollywood have done a wonderful job conditioning us to believe 
that wealth and hyperconsumption go hand in hand.
Thomas J. Stanley

The foundation stone of wealth accumulation is defense, and this defense should be
anchored by budgeting and planning.
Thomas J. Stanley

In many ways, it is not how much one earns annually that counts: It is how one lives each
year. It is how much one saves and invests annually that really matters.
Thomas J. Stanley

People who are determined to succeed view all reversals as temporary and just as a required
step to eventual success.
Thomas J. Stanley

I am not impressed with what people own. But I'm impressed with what they achieve. I'm
proud to be a physician. Always strive to be the best in your field. Don't chase money. If you
are the best in your field, money will find you.
Thomas J. Stanley

Overspending in anticipation of future financial wealth will not make anyone rich.
Thomas J. Stanley

We asked people who were wealthy to evaluate their level of health throughout their adult
lifetime. Then we also looked at weight, male and female. What you find is that one in 10
millionaire men are over 225 pounds, and most of those people are 6'1" and over. Only 10% of
women are over 170 pounds, and most of them are 5'10" and over. So most millionaires are
disciplined not only in terms of money, but also in consumption of food... Most wealthy people
are not overweight. They are healthier than most people.
Thomas J. Stanley

It's easier to accumulate wealth if you don't live in a high-status neighborhood.
Thomas J. Stanley

If you love what you do, your productivity will be high and your creative intelligence will
emerge.
Thomas J. Stanley

How can I make sure that my children grow up to be economically productive adults? Most
millionaire next door types were raised by parents who were disciplined and frugal. Parents in
such cases typically ran their households like a well run, efficient business. More often than
not their children adopted a similar economic lifestyle.
Thomas J. Stanley

Have you ever noticed those people whom you see jogging day after day? They are the ones
who seem not to need to jog.
Thomas J. Stanley

The happiest people are the people who have substantially more money than most of the
people that live in their neighborhood. So they don't worry about keeping up with the
Joneses; they ARE the Joneses.
Thomas J. Stanley

Self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account
for two-thirds of the millionaires.
Thomas J. Stanley

Successful people and those on their way never find it ego deflating to ask questions and
gain knowledge from people who are leaders in their field.
Thomas J. Stanley

Money should never change one's values. Making money is only a report card. It's a way to
tell how you're doing.
Thomas J. Stanley

The "millionaire next door" - these people are not into status, they are not into designer
brands.
Thomas J. Stanley

Be tough... life is. In other words, there is no promise of a rose garden.
Thomas J. Stanley

Interestingly, the millionaires I interviewed in Oklahoma and Texas, for example, had the same
set of traditional American values as those whom I interviewed in New York City and Chicago.
The large majority was keenly interested in being financially independent. That's why they
lived below their means.
Thomas J. Stanley

Earning to enhance spending should not be one's ultimate goal.
Thomas J. Stanley

We live in a time when it has never been easier to act rich than to actually become rich,
even with the devastation of the financial crisis.
Thomas J. Stanley

Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except
inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth, is what your net worth should be.
Thomas J. Stanley

If you're not yet wealthy but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a 
mortgage that is more than twice your household's total annual realized income.
Thomas J. Stanley

Ownership of a business is the base upon which most people become independent.
Thomas J. Stanley

The problem is that most people that buy all that stuff are not industrial users. There's no tax
write-off, there's no benefit; it's not a capital good. They're not using it to make money. I
see people at Christmas time at four o'clock in the morning lining up in front of stores. They
wouldn't get up at four o'clock in the morning to go to work.
Thomas J. Stanley

You cannot enjoy life if you are addicted to consumption and the use of credit.
Thomas J. Stanley