Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods

Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods

by Ryan D'Agostino

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Overview

Ryan D'Agostino, former senior editor at Money, wanted to know how the wealthiest in America got that way. So he asked. Knocking on 500 doors in some of the most affluent zip codes in America, D'Agostino met with men and women who welcomed him in and shared their most difficult financial decisions, toughest setbacks, greatest strategies, most triumphant moments, and deepest insights. In RICH LIKE THEM, he weaves together what he learned and offers maxims for achieving wealth, such as "Never Let Pride Get in the Way of Profit," and "When you fail miserably, be thankful." Filled with inspiring stories and straight-up advice, RICH LIKE THEM is a lively and practical get-rich guide that any reader can follow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316021463
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/05/2009
Pages: 247
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ryan D'Agostino is Articles Editor at Esquire magazine and former Senior Editor at Money magazine. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, New York, the Wall Street Journal, Ski, the New York Times, and Budget Living, among others.

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Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
socialchild on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey--I've used his advice to really get a handle on my family's finances. One of the things he recommends for people who want to build wealth is to talk to wealthy people and find out what their attitude toward money is. This seems to be good advice, and, according to Dave, it is advice that he followed when he went bankrupt years ago and was starting over again. I read D'Agostino's book with Ramsey's advice in the back of my mind. On the surface, it seems that was what D'Agostino was doing: finding rich people and pumping them for information about how they got rich.I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in his results. D'Agostino spent a great deal of time going from door-to-door in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, hoping to be able to talk to the people who lived in these fabulous homes in these fabulous neighborhoods and ask ho they got there. Basically, what he got was a lot of personal stories that he tried to boil down to simple lessons for those of us who want to live in these neighborhoods. These lessons include basic advice such as "keep your eyes open", and "work hard to make your own luck." Things I already knew (o at least suspected).What D'Agostino doesn't stress, however, and this seems to be true of nearly every story, is that you have to start with some money. No one started out flat broke--they moved from a position where they were making a lot of money to where they were making a whole lot of money. For the average middle-class wage earner, there is no path to fabulous wealth that doesn't include winning the lotto or borrowing lots of money.It is interesting that this book came out just as the stock market and real estate markets were heading down the toilet. I would like to see a follow up on these wealthy people, and see how they are weathering the current economic downturn.D'Agostino's style makes Rich Like Them a riveting story--it truly is fascinating hearing his tale of traveling an knocking on doors, and the people he meets are worth reading about--I'm not sure I would recommend this book to someone wanting information how to get rich like them.
re_re_98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very unique way to gather research for a book! I received this from the Early Reviewers group, but it accidentally got set aside without me adding my review.This book will not turn you into a Millionaire, but it does give you some good ideas about how to be more successful and productive. It could have been better written, as it sometimes seemed repetitive. Over all I enjoyed it.
ASBiskey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I honestly didn't finish this book. The premise sounded good, but it uninteresting quickly. I gave to my mother who, after reading it, called it "sophmoric" and that it seemed like a high school journalism project. The writing was at a level lower than it seem it should be. No new ideas for becoming "rich like them are" apparent. Inherit it, marry it, fall into it, steal it, or work hard for it.
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
D'Agostino's premise is solid and instantly relatable - to visit those that actually live in the houses we pass in wealthy neighborhoods and to simply ask them how they got there. So he looked up neighborhoods in the 100 wealthiest zip codes, threw in three neighborhoods for good measure and went knocking on doors.From there, the book is probably woefully mis-titled. This is actually not a book on getting wealthy per se. If anything, this is a book on the mindset and characteristics most of these individuals shared. It is a fast read, and if you approach it asking yourself, "how should I be thinking?" this is a decent start.Notably, D'Agostino heavily quotes and goes back to Carol Dweck and Jason Zweig's works to bolster the nuggets he was able to gather from interviews. At times, this can feel as if he read Dweck's work on having an open-mindset mentality and Zweig's on how your brain and money interact and he merely looked to connect the dots. Then again, this was how a number of the individuals managed to make their money - not by any earth-shattering revolutionary invention or innovation - but by merely connecting dots.The other frustration that can easily arise from this book is that there's nothing "ah-ha!" to be had in the advice you get. In fact, it's actually not at all about making money - the vast majority were never in this to make money. Most of them just wanted to be happy in what they did. Yes, these are folks that sometimes come from money, which can seem like a cheat until you realize that most are all to aware of the ease of losing easy money. The number of individuals that made money from real estate is almost unnerving with the current state of the market, but one can't help but wonder if his interviewees are the types that knew which way to head when everything started to turn. Then there's the obsession and seemingly singular-focus that can seem like a "lack of fun" until you realize that this is fun for them. Yes, ophthalmology can seem like an odd thing to obsess over, but if your passion can net you a successful career, why not? (Everyone who is a book lover should note one of his 90210 interviews involved a used book dealer who found a way to combine his love of books and movies, so it's not all medical school.) In all of this, it can seem like you're being told, "go, obsess on something and come from money you don't have to get wealthy" if you're not interested in much of what these folks do for a living. But what they do isn't the point...it's all in the attitude and caring about what drives you.For those not looking to strike out on their own, there's still plenty to take for application in general day-to-day business. This is perhaps where D'Agostino missed out - in concentrating so much on the entrepreneurial aspect of his subjects and their success, the fact that so much of this could be applied to improving your existing career is harder to unearth (but it's there).
katec9999 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For someone who doesn¿t work in a very lucrative field (I work as a librarian), I have a high interest in personal finance. I read Money magazine, never miss an episode of the Suze Orman show, and budget to the penny. So I thought that this book, Rich Like Them, looked really interesting. The author, Ryan D¿Agostino, decided to travel to some of the neighborhoods in the 100 richest zip codes in the U.S., knock on the doors of impressive homes, and ask how the owners managed to acquired such riches. Amazingly, people actually talked to him, among them an actor turned rare book store owner, a produce distributor who traded up his homes until he found himself in Beverly Hills, and a hefty spattering of CEO¿s and entrepreneurs. The advice the home owners gave was not very earth shattering, but still good advice. As I was reading it, I started to feel inspired ¿ but I also started to feel dissatisfied. Suddenly my pretty, safe neighborhood seemed shabby and pedestrian; my career non-impressive and its salary slightly pathetic. Dissatisfaction can be a great motivator, and if it works for you, then buy this book. Maybe you¿ll become rich like them. But I¿m going to keep budgeting and watching Suze.Interesting tidbit - the house on the cover is the same house on the cover of another book in my library - Present Value by Sabin Willett
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rich Like Them is not a self-help book, unless you're securely placed in upper-middle class or higher, and are financially secure. In the author's door-to-door search to find the secrets of wealth is America (paraphrase of the subtitle), the true secret is "already be wealthy."Of 500 houses in several cities across the top 100 richest zip codes, D'Agostino went door to door knocking/ringing doorbells to find out the secrets to everybody's wealth. He managed to snag 50 interviews.While I respect the goal of the book, the execution of it was flawed. About a third of the advice on making it big would appeal to many of the readers of the book.The people who made it big in this book were either already wealthy, married into wealth, started a business appealing to the wealthy, were from wealthy families, or made continual sacrifices to their families to get wealthy, by either burning the midnight oil ("Hey, it's Uncle Dad!"), or by continually relocating a family to keep getting better and better homes and by making a killing off the previous one. Oh, or you could work hard your entire life, scrimping and saving so that you could live luxuriously in your golden years (and by then, could you really enjoy it? What's the point of having an Olympic-sized swimming pool if all you can do is wade in the shallow end because of your arthritis?).Sure, there were some innovators, like the author's friend who revolutionized the credit card/shop interface, but it seemed everybody else put everything in their lives to the side except for success (granted, a better goal than money), and all we see is the good: their giant house with a wonderful view of some body of water, but we don't see their neglected families (well, one of the guys, we see, doesn't have any furniture in his multi-million dollar home).An interesting book if you liked the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or Cribs, but not really any more helpful than listening to the financial talk radio shows on the AM ("act your wage" and so forth). About the only thing it brings to the table is to be a risk taker. Here, though, "risk" is a carefully calculated thing that would put you in the poor house if it fails.Additionally, the author spends as much time interpolating his own agenda on getting rich as he does listening to the rich talk about their methods of getting rich. Oh, and he sickeningly describes every single overpriced meal he has and every lush hotel he visits as he does this project.All in all, I wouldn't recommend this book unless you have loads of money lying around and would like some tips on how to invest it. Unless you're prepared to sacrifice and work really hard, this book will give you nothing more than a little warmth on the inside. That warmth is called "heartburn."
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had to wait a bit after I finished "Rich Like Them" by Ryan D'Agostino to get my thoughts together. I was surprised by how different the book was from the ideas I got after after reading the cover blurbs. One of my pet peeves is a book that is very different from the information provided to pique my interest in reading. This book is NOT a how-to guide. When the front cover says "...the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods", I had no idea I was going to get a series of advice articles. But that's how I think of the book now. The author's idea was to isolate the wealthiest zip codes and then just go door-to-door asking to speak to the owners. Now that takes some cojones! But amazingly enough, he was successful about ten percent of the time and this book is his recounting of the advice he was given by those living the 'high life'. These aren't movie stars...they are (mostly) normal folks who earned their money (although a few did inherit). They view opportunity a bit differently and aren't afraid of risk or hard work. They were also (mostly) quite down to earth in terms of day-to-day living and seemed surprisingly willing to talk to a stranger who showed up on their doorstep...who knew?So if you're looking for a book that will give you a step-by-step primer on how to get rich...don't look here. But if you're looking for a book that will help you adjust your thinking and learn the work habits and ethics of the uber-wealthy...then this might be the book for you.
lefty33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rich Like Them is a very practical book about everyday things anyone could do to build wealth. It is not about getting rich quick. This book brings to light habits and personality characteristics common in wealthy people. It is not about celebrities, but about normal people who have worked for all they have.I appreciated that the book was so practical. Reading it, you start to believe you really can become a millionaire. Not everyone can, of course. But you can. Innovative or hard working people will enjoy this book more than others because the tips apply best to people with a little drive.
rbtanger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: A writer/reporter goes door-to-door through some of the country's richest zip codes trying to persuade local residents to share their secrets to wealth creation.Conclusion: Although the premise is interesting, this is just one more book that would have been better as a magazine article or a simple essay.As the book progressed, my impression was that the interviewees were, at the very best, only tolerating the author. D'Agostino himself comments on their toleration more than once. I would also like to point out that these were not "rags to riches" stories. These were more "somewhat rich to really rich" stories. It's not that it isn't interesting to hear how people better themselves. But, in general, poor to really rich is more impressive and interesting to read about. Character actors that become high-end booksellers just aren't as inspiring as shoe-shine men that become tycoons.Finally, these interviews, including a couple with property investors, were done between 2005-2007. So, even though the book was published in 2009, the information contained was gleaned during the height of the property and investment bubble. I would very much like to hear what these people have to say now about their investment strategies, their capital and their thoughts about the future.Overall, I felt that the writing in its styled glossiness was more appropriate to a magazine article and the content underwhelming and uninspiring. I tired very quickly of D'Agostino's continual references to his aching feet, his weariness and his less-than-stellar hotel accommodations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this book since the reviews were good, but I was disappointed. The author spends too much time talking about the the actual act of going to different locations and uses flashy, unnecessary vocabulary to describe his own feelings and the neighborhoods he visits. He does not spend enough time talking about the actual conversations that were had with the wealthy individuals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Journalist Ryan D'Agostino wore out his walking shoes compiling this breezy, unconventional look at how a random set of rich people became wealthy. He gathered his information by ringing 500 doorbells in some of the 100 wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States, and found 50 people who not only opened their doors, but also were willing to answer his questions about how they earned their money. D'Agostino asked what advice they would offer others who want to end up in similar neighborhoods. What he learned isn't particularly original, and it isn't a blueprint to certain wealth, but his approach is unusual enough to make his findings personable and valuable. Given that the book doesn't offer traditional tips for making money, it won't serve financial planners or money managers. Yet it successfully merges rich people's stories, ideas and suggestions in an easy, enjoyable read. Yes, it's pep-rally material for budding entrepreneurs or high rollers, but it's good pep-rally material. getAbstract suggests this book to business students, young businesspeople, entrepreneurs, managers and worker bees hoping to get ahead. Way ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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BobSydney More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Very easy to read. Filled with loads of great information. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.
ClaireMD More than 1 year ago
With very simple, clear, and to the point stories, D'Agostino recounts what he learned from his rich subjects. Reading the accounts reminds the reader of the power of the human mind, the power of dreaming, setting goals, and staying focused on seeing that goal or dream realized.
jjmachshev More than 1 year ago
I had to wait a bit after I finished "Rich Like Them" by Ryan D'Agostino to get my thoughts together. I was surprised by how different the book was from the ideas I got after after reading the cover blurbs. One of my pet peeves is a book that is very different from the information provided to pique my interest in reading. This book is NOT a how-to guide. When the front cover says "...the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods", I had no idea I was going to get a series of advice articles. But that's how I think of the book now.

The author's idea was to isolate the wealthiest zip codes and then just go door-to-door asking to speak to the owners. Now that takes some cojones! But amazingly enough, he was successful about ten percent of the time and this book is his recounting of the advice he was given by those living the 'high life'. These aren't movie stars...they are (mostly) normal folks who earned their money (although a few did inherit). They view opportunity a bit differently and aren't afraid of risk or hard work. They were also (mostly) quite down to earth in terms of day-to-day living and seemed surprisingly willing to talk to a stranger who showed up on their doorstep...who knew?

So if you're looking for a book that will give you a step-by-step primer on how to get rich...don't look here. But if you're looking for a book that will help you adjust your thinking and learn the work habits and ethics of the uber-wealthy...then this might be the book for you.