Friday, January 11, 2008

A Million Bucks by 30

by Frugal Trader (Million Dollar Journey)

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.