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Book Review – A Million Bucks by 30

Alan Corey, young author and millionaire, contacted me after visiting MDJ one day.  He told me about his story/book where he set a big financial goal at the age of 22 to become a millionaire before the age of 30.  Not only did he reach his goal on average income (below average in NYC), he did it before the age of 29. 

He didn't win the lottery, have a high salary job, or an inheritance.  When it comes down to it, Alan Corey's success evolved from his frugality, bargain hunting real estate investing style and his bigger than life determination. 

Some people will finish the book and say that Alan Corey was lucky to have hit the real estate jackpot in his transactions.  It's true that luck may have had some part of it, but the sheer desire and drive to be a millionaire is what really made this young fellow succeed.

Who is Alan Corey? 

Alan Corey is a regular guy who graduated with a business degree who had big aspirations to be a millionaire before the age of 30.  He admits in the book that "he's not particularly good at anything" but he has the drive to save and make money.  I know that I'm frugal, but I spend money like Michael Jackson compared to Alan Corey.  He cut his expenses so much that he lived on 29% of his gross salary (in NYC) which was $40k at the time. 

What are the main points made by the book?

  • The book is a true story of how Alan Corey became a millionaire before his 29th birthday by simply making a goal for himself, and sticking to it regardless of the sacrifices he had make along the way.
  • Alan Corey's method of obtaining wealth is extreme frugality, investing the saved money in equities and real estate.  Most of his wealth was made from real estate transactions of his primary residences.  Alan Corey has a keen eye for "up and coming" neighborhoods, which made up a bulk of the cash he made along his journey.
  • His smartest moves in my opinion were buying houses in an up and coming neighborhoods, renting out the "good/high income" rooms while keeping the "bad/low income" room to live in himself.  

What I liked?

  • I enjoyed the frugal tips highlighted throughout the book
  • I respect that Alan Corey describes every frugal technique that he could think of to reduce his expenses to next to nothing.
  • I enjoyed reading about his challenges and the risks that he took (borrowing from family/friends) to secure his real estate transactions.  He's a model for the old saying "No Risk/No Reward".

What I didn’t like?

  • Even though Alan Corey implemented an extremely frugal lifestyle, I didn't agree with some of his highlighted frugal strategies.  For example, creating a fake magazine company just to get concert tickets isn't ethical in my books, but to each their own.

Final Thoughts:

  • I personally really enjoy reading success stories of young people achieving their goals through determination and hard work.  Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down and finished the book the same night.  I would recommend "A Million Bucks by 30" to everyone for it's entertainment and financial value.

For those who have read the book,  I've been in contact with Alan Corey recently and yes the millionaire still lives in the cramped, windowless closet he calls a bedroom.  Nope, he's not letting his cash savings go to waste, he's currently working on other real estate deals.

Stayed tuned, there's going to be a book giveaway post coming up.

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FrugalTrader About the author: FrugalTrader is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • FrugalTrader January 15, 2008, 11:17 am

    Contest will go up tomorrow morning guys.

  • Nate January 15, 2008, 7:25 pm

    I wonder a bit about this early retirement scheme. I agree with being frugal and smart about your spending. But I also want to live as much as possible and take advantage of my life.

    I’m one of the lucky few (I guess) that enjoy their jobs. My goal is to have a million or so by 35, but not retire until my 50’s. Even then, I plan to freelance and do contract work.

    After living on peanut butter sandwiches and never taking a vacation all through university. I’m willing to have that one nice trip every year if it means that I don’t reach the million dollar club until I’m in my mid 30’s.

  • FrugalTrader January 15, 2008, 8:11 pm

    Alan Corey’s lifestyle definitely isn’t for everyone. However, I think the book just goes to show that you can achieve big goals if you set your mind to it.

  • thickenmywallet January 15, 2008, 10:42 pm
  • Jordan January 15, 2008, 11:18 pm

    This is a great book, I read it all in one night too! He was very driven by his goal, and I don’t think that there are many people that could live at that level by choice for any extended length of time. Inspiring to say the least.

  • Gates VP January 17, 2008, 12:23 pm

    Hey good for Mr. Corey!

    But his goal has one obvious fundamental flaw. What do you do when you get there?
    I’ve been in contact with Alan Corey recently and yes the millionaire still lives in the cramped, windowless closet he calls a bedroom.

    The guy has 20 years of above-average income (50k) just socked away somewhere. He accomplished his dream, he wrote the book, he’s still living in a hole trying to make more money. Does he have any goals other than making money?

    Money is not some type of self-fulfilling goal. Does he talk about how much money he’ll need before buying himself a nice place and undertaking his favorite hobbies?

    FT, I read this site b/c it’s the million dollar journey, not the million dollar suffering or the million dollar list of sacrifices. You have a baby on the way, you live in a nice house, maintain a top-notch blog, work a professional 9-5 that you actually find engaging.

    Maybe it’s just me, but this review doesn’t make me want to read the book at all. I like stories of goal accomplishment, but now that he’s a millionaire, I’d really like to know what he’s doing next, b/c I’m really not a fan of the ever growing cycle of money goals.

  • Gerry January 21, 2008, 1:38 pm

    I enjoy reading about exceptional success stories. Cory’s book is typical of the genre: young person sets a seemingly unlikely goal, lives a frugal lifestyle and saves & invests like crazy, usually has a bit of luck (in this case a rising real estate market), and continues the frugal lifestyle after they have achieved their goal.

    Dreams do come true…through high goals passionately believed in and relentlessly pursued.

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