The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

by David Bach

Audio CD(Unabridged, 5 CDs, 5 hours)

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What's the secret to becoming a millionaire?
In The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach shares that secret.
The Automatic Millionaire starts with the powerful story of an average American couple — he's a low-level manager, she's a beautician — whose joint income never exceeds $55,000 a year, who somehow manage to own two homes debt-free, put two kids through college, and retire at fifty-five with more than $1 Million in savings. Through their story you'll learn the surprising fact that you cannot get rich with a budget! You must have a plan to pay yourself first that is totally automatic, a plan that will automatically secure your future and pay for your present.
What Makes The Automatic Millionaire Unique:
• You don't need to make a lot of money
• You don't need a budget
• You don't need willpower
• You don't need to be that interested in money
• You can set up the plan in an hour
This one little audiobook has the power to secure your financial future. Do it once — the rest is automatic!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743538411
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 04/01/2004
Edition description: Unabridged, 5 CDs, 5 hours
Pages: 5
Sales rank: 320,080
Product dimensions: (w) x 5.62(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

David Bach is one of the most trusted financial experts and bestselling financial authors of our time. He has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers with over seven million copies in print, translated into nineteen languages, including two #1 New York Times bestsellers, The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich. The Automatic Millionaire was a runaway bestseller when it was first published, spending thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and appearing at number one simultaneously on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and Bloomberg Businessweek bestseller lists. In addition to his books, David has impacted millions of people over the past two decades through his seminars, speeches, newsletters, and thousands of media appearances. He is the cofounder of one of America’s fastest-growing Registered Investment Advisors, AE Wealth Management, and the founder of FinishRich Media, a company dedicated to revolutionizing the way people learn about money. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt



I'll never forget when I met my first Automatic Millionaire. I was in my mid-twenties and was teaching an investment class at a local adult-education program. Jim McIntyre, a middle-aged middle manager for a local utility company, was one of my students. He and I hadn't spoken much until one day when he came up after class to ask if he could make an appointment with me to review his and his wife's financial situation.

The request surprised me. Though I felt strongly (and still do) that just about everyone can benefit from the advice of a qualified financial planner, Jim didn't strike me as the type who would seek it out.

I told him I'd be happy to set up a meeting, but if he wanted my help, his wife would have to come too, as my group managed money only for couples who worked on their finances together.

Jim smiled. "No problem," he said. "Sue's the reason I'm here. She took your Smart Women Finish Rich seminar and told me I should sign up for your course. I've liked what you've had to say, and we both figure it's time to do some financial planning. You see, I'm planning to retire next month."

Now I was really surprised. I didn't say anything, but as I looked Jim up and down, I doubted he could be in a position to retire. From the few comments he had made in class, I knew he was in his early fifties and had worked for the same company for thirty years, never earning much more than $40,000 a year, and didn't believe in budgets. I also knew that he considered himself to be "ultraconservative," so I figured he couldn't have made a fortune in the stock market.

My Grandma Rose Bach had taught me never to judge a book by its cover. But something didn't add up. Maybe Jim had just inherited a lot of money. For his sake, I hoped so.


When the McIntyres came into my office a few days later, they looked exactly like what they were: hardworking, "average Joe" Americans. What has stuck in my mind about Jim is that he was wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt with a plastic pocket protector in his breast pocket. His wife, Sue, had a little more flair, with some seriously blond highlights. She was a beautician, a couple of years younger than Jim.

The thing was, they didn't act like middle-aged people. They were holding hands like two high school kids on a first date, bubbling with excitement. Before I could ask how I could help them, Jim started talking about his plans and what he would do with his free time. As he did, Sue kept exclaiming, "Isn't it great he can retire so young! Most people can't retire until they reach sixty-five if then, and here's Jim able to do it at fifty-two!"


After ten minutes of this, I had to interrupt. "Guys, your enthusiasm is contagious, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I've met with literally hundreds of potential retirees over the last few years, and I have to tell you--hardly any of them have been able to retire in their early fifties." I looked Jim in the eye. "Usually people come to my office to find out if they can retire," I said. "You already seem to be sure you can. What makes you so certain you can afford to?"

Jim and Sue exchanged a look. Then Jim turned back to me. "You don't think we're rich enough," he said, "do you?" The way Jim put it, it wasn't exactly a question.

"Well, that's not the way I would have phrased it," I replied, "but yes, it takes a fair amount of money to fund an early retirement, and most people your age aren't even close to having saved enough. Knowing what I do about your background, I'm truthfully curious about how you could possibly have enough money." I looked him in the eye. He gazed back at me serenely.

"Jim, you're only fifty-two." I said. "Considering that only about one in ten people can barely afford to retire at age sixty-five with a lifestyle equal to what they had when they worked, you have to admit that retiring at your age with your income would be a pretty big feat."

Jim nodded. "Fair enough," he said and handed me a sheaf of documents. They included his and Sue's tax returns as well as financial statements that listed exactly what they owned and owed.

I looked first at their tax returns. The previous year, Jim and Sue had earned a total of $53,946. Not bad. Not rich, to be sure, but a decent income.

Okay, next. How much did they owe?

I scanned their financial statements. I couldn't find any outstanding debts listed. "Hmm," I said, raising an eyebrow. "You have no debt?"


They exchanged another smile, and Sue squeezed Jim's hand. "The McIntyres don't do debt," she said with a chuckle.

"What about your kids?" I asked.

"What about them?" Jim answered. "They're both out of college, on their own, and God bless 'em."

"Well, all right then," I said, "let's see what you own." I turned back to the financial statement. There were two homes listed: the house where they lived (valued at $450,000) and a rental property (a second house valued at $325,000).

"Wow," I said. "Two houses and no mortgage on either?"

"Nope," Jim replied. "No mortgage."

Next came the retirement accounts. Jim's 401(k) balance currently amounted to $610,000. And there was more. Sue had two retirement accounts of her own that totaled $72,000. In addition, they owned $160,000 in municipal bonds and had $62,500 in cash in a bank savings account.

Talk about a substantial asset base. Add in some personal property (including a boat and three cars--all fully paid for) and they had a net worth approaching $2 million!

By any standard, the McIntyres were rich. It wasn't simply that they owned a lot of assets free and clear (though that in itself was pretty impressive); they also had a continuing stream of income in the form of interest and dividends from their investments and $26,000 a year in rent generated by their second house. On top of that, Jim had qualified for a small pension, and Sue liked being a beautician so much that she planned to keep working until she was sixty (even though she didn't need to). Suddenly, Jim's plan to retire at fifty-two didn't seem so crazy. In fact, it was completely realistic. More than realistic--it was exciting!


Normally, I don't get wide-eyed about people's wealth. But there was something about the McIntyres that impressed me. They didn't look rich. And they didn't seem terribly special. To the contrary, they seemed perfectly ordinary--your average, nice, hardworking couple. How could they have possibly amassed such wealth at such a relatively young age?

To put it mildly, I was confused. But I was also hooked. I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and even though I was making good money, I was still basically living paycheck to paycheck. Some months I did manage to save a little, but more often than not I'd get busy or spend too much the next month and not save a dime. Many months it seemed that instead of getting ahead, I was falling behind, working harder and harder to make ends meet.

It was embarrassing, really, and frustrating. Here I was, a financial advisor teaching others how to invest, and I was often struggling myself. Even worse, here were the McIntyres, who probably in their best year barely made half of what I was making, and yet they were millionaires, while I was falling further and further into debt.

Clearly, they knew something about taking action with their money that I needed to learn. And I was determined to find out what it was. How could such regular people have amassed such wealth? Eager to know their secret but not knowing where to begin, I finally asked them, "Did you inherit any of this?"

Jim broke out in a deep belly laugh. "Inherit?" he repeated, shaking his head. "The only thing we inherited was knowledge. Our parents taught us a few commonsense rules about handling money. We just did what they said, and sure enough it worked. The same is true for a lot of people we know. In fact, in our neighborhood, about half our friends are going to retire this year, and many of them are even better off then we are."

At this point, I was hooked. The McIntyres had come to interview me about how I could help them, but now I wanted to interview them.


"You know," I said, "every week I meet people who take my classes like you did but who are exactly the opposite of you. I mean, they look rich, but when you get into the details of what they really have, it often turns out that they are not only not rich but broke. Just this morning, I met with a man who drove up in a brand-new Porsche, wearing a gold Rolex watch. He looked loaded, but when I went through his statements I found he was actually leveraged to the hilt. A guy in his mid-fifties, living in a million-dollar home with an $800,000 mortgage. Less than $100,000 in savings, more than $75,000 in credit card debt, and he was leasing the Porsche! Plus he was paying alimony to two ex-wives."

At this point, the three of us couldn't help ourselves. We all began to laugh. "I know it's not funny," I said, "but here was this guy, looking rich and successful, and actually he's a financial and emotional wreck. He handled his finances just like he drove his Porsche: redlining all the way. Then you guys come in. You drive up in a Ford Taurus. Jim here is wearing a ten-year-old Timex--"

"Nope," Jim interrupted with a smile. "It's an eighteen-year-old Timex."

"Exactly!" I said. "An eighteen-year-old Timex. And you're rich. You guys are happy as clams, still married, two great kids you put through college, and you're retiring in your mid-fifties. So please tell me--what was your secret? You must have one, right?"

Sue looked me straight in the eye. "You really want to know?" she asked.

I nodded wordlessly. Sue looked at Jim. "You think we can spare an extra fifteen minutes to explain it to him?"

"Sure," Jim said. "What's fifteen minutes?" He turned to me. "You know, David, you already know this stuff. You teach it every day. We just lived it."

Excerpted from The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach Copyright© 2003 by David Bach. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Meeting the Automatic Millionaire

Chapter Two: The Latte Factor: Becoming an Automatic Millionaire on Just a Few Dollars a Day

Chapter Three: Learn to Pay Yourself First

Chapter Four: Now Make it Automatic

Chapter Five: Automate for a Rainy Day

Chapter Six: Automatic Debt-Free Home Ownership

Chapter Seven: The Automatic Debt-Free Lifestyle

Chapter Eight: Make a Difference with Automatic Tithing

A Final Word: Your Journey Begins Today!



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The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with a previous reviewer. Bach sat with other bestselling financial books, jotted down the main points, changed the jargon a little and put a catchy title on it and now is selling it. There are no original ideas in this. The 'automatic' he speaks of is simply having savings and/or 401K money automatically deducted from your paycheck...profound, huh? He says 'don't budget',etc. because he is saying that all you have to do is automatically deduct it before you get the money. That way 'you don't have to budget because it is already taken care of.' He has no new ideas. 'Pay yourself first' is from several other books including The Richest Man in Babylon. Other ideas are basic ideas he rehashes that you can find on any basic financial website. He only states very basic information that has been around forever. Oh, he does throw in many stories as fillers. To give him his due, as the show on CNBC that he was on recently stated, he did create 'the Latte factor'. What is that, you ask? He says to cut out a latte here and there, save/invest that money, and you will be a millionaire. Amazing,huh? On that show he said to save an hour's worth of pay per day. Again, he is saying basic financial concepts, but he changes the wording so that he seems to have substance. The title is misleading. This is a very disappointing book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've purchased several finance books, even had others give me theirs hoping it would sink in.....whatever 'it' was the author was trying to say. I finally got overly tired and frustrated because their 'point' were all over the place. I didn't see a common thread, and I normally put the book down because I was confused about where to start. THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH THIS BOOK!!!! For the first time, there is a common thread....and he tells you where to start and tell you exactly what to do. I was so motivated to finish this book...I couldn't put it down. I read in 5 hours can too. I am by no means an avid reader, but I couldn't help myself because I had to continue removing the shackles and recieving all of these financial breakthroughs that putting the book down would have been a diservice. I've never finished a book before, but this one was highly significant!! I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed and highly recommend this book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very basic book. I can't believe he has made so much money off of this. Anyone reading this review could have written it. He has no original ideas. Basically it says to pay yourself first-i.e. automatically deduct contributions to 401k, auto deduct to savings, auto pay bills, do the bi-weekly mortgage payment, and stay out of credit card debt. There you have it. That's the book. I will have to admit that it did inspire me...if he can sell that many books with this content, then surely I can write a NYT bestseller!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be an easy, useful & helpful book. There were things I hadn't thought of and this book simplified things for me. I highly recommend it and now have my 19 year old reading it as well. Buy a copy. It's worth it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bach shows you a simple, automatic way to create a path to financial freedom. His examples are interesting and easy to apply to real life situations. This book prompted immediate and lasting changes to my finances.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are just graduating college or just starting out in life you must read this book. It is a very easy read and very easy to understand. I read it in 1 sitting. It explains how easy it can be to retire rich by following the few easy steps outlined in the book. By far the best book I have read on planing for retirement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After my father gave me this book, I just let it sit on my bookshelf. Until one day I picked it up and read the first few pages and ended up reading the entire thing in one night! I can't believe everything I learned from this book! I'm on my way to a secure life and retirement, thanks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Automatic Millionaire is a real 'eye opener'. After reading the Automatic Millionaire I learned practical financial advice that changed my perspective on becoming a millionaire. David Bach, along with the couple he spoke about in this book gives people like me hope. Without the knowledge of the crucial steps for becoming an automatic millionaire, it would seem that only the 'rich gets richer' and the 'poor gets poorer'. It's more than becoming a millionaire rather, it's about becoming financially independent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book kind of dissapointed me. It repeated things many books before its time stated and it was kind of annoying. The 10% idea i read in The Richest Man in Babylon, and Pay yourself first concept was from the Rich dad poor dad series. the book did have some interesting chapters though. i like the money market suggestions and the mortgage suggestions also. If you havent read many books on the subject of money before than this will be a very good read, but if you have itll just leave you a bit dissapointed. id suggest borrowing the book from a friend, which is what i did. like i said, not bad but nothing great!
fujieddo7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
everyone has got to read this book!
benbr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yes, it does seem to work. The catch is that you have wait 30-40 years. Pretty obvious in a lot of ways, and I figured out I was already doing everything he recommended. But it was encouraging, and I would totally recommend it to someone totally new to the idea of saving (like a teenager).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RenatoD More than 1 year ago
5. Excellent Book. I had read many books on Financial issues, but never a book so brilliant and honest like this one. 5 Stars.
Cristigil More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Very helpful, even being 4 years old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after reading the first few pages. The theories may not be "new" to many but the author's writing style made it easy to swallow the advice he shares. By making automatic payments to myself, understanding the advantage of pumping up my 401k contribution I have reaped the reward of watching it steadily grow over the years ....changing contribution to a percentage versus a set amount monthly has also resulted in living with my ability to increase in a few percentages every 6 months. I was in credit card debt but using the DOLP theory I was quite pleased to discover how well it worked when applied. I have since gifted my college aged son this book, and happy to report he pays himself and learning to save better, NOW. I highly highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they have no "extra" money to save.
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