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The Millionaire


The camera then showed Anthony entering Tipton's presence, with Tipton frequently engaged in another one of his many wide-ranging hobbies. Anthony invariably greeted him with, "You sent for me, sir?" Tipton spoke for a moment to Anthony (always referring to him as "Mike"), chatting about his doings and explaining what prompted him to choose "our next millionaire", before he actually handed Anthony the envelope containing the check, sometimes adding, "I'll want a full report."




The Millionaire


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Exactly how Tipton chose whom to make an instant millionaire was never necessarily disclosed, although Tipton made it plain in the show's first episode exactly what his intentions were. Saying that he wanted to set up a new kind of chess game, "with human beings," Tipton told Anthony:


The series ran for 207 episodes, and Tipton made 206 millionaires. (One recipient returned the money.) However, the amount Tipton invested in his hobby was much more than $206 million, since, as Anthony told the recipient each week, "The taxes have already been paid."


During its fourth season, The Twilight Zone was expanded to an hour. Rod Serling, upset at this change, wrote an episode that season called "The Bard" about a hack television writer who was unable to come up with anything good until he inadvertently summoned the ghost of William Shakespeare. One of his bad ideas was an in-joke ... "We take The Millionaire, expand it to an hour, and call it The Multimillionaire!"


In the sitcom Cheers, the episode "How to Marry a Mailman" opens with Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin explaining The Millionaire and its premise to multi-millionaire Robin Colcord in an effort to get Colcord to give them a million dollars.


Based on extensive research and interviews with more than 120 millionaire real estate investors, Gary Keller's "how-to" guide reveals the models, strategies and fundamental truths millionaires use to become wealthy through real estate. But the New York Times bestseller isn't just about real estate. It also takes a hard look at the money myths that hold some people back from financial freedom, and the money truths that let others soar.


One of the most important attributes of the surcharge is that it would apply to all forms of taxable income because it is based on adjusted gross income (AGI). And the multimillionaires subject to the tax could not use tax preferences such as below-the-line deductions or tax credits to reduce what they would owe. Members of Congress have reportedly discussed exempting certain forms of income from the surcharge. By doing that, however, Congress would exclude not just some but most of the income received by multimillionaires. Congress should enact the surcharge without special exclusions that would slash the amount of revenue raised, privilege income from wealth compared with that from work, and encourage high-income households to game the tax code in order to avoid the surcharge.


The millionaire surcharge is sound policy that would advance the dual goals of reducing inequality and raising revenue to support investments that promote a stronger and more inclusive economy. Attempts to weaken the surcharge by carving out income that is already preferentially taxed will subvert these goals, slash the amount of revenue raised, and encourage further gaming of the tax code.


As you read that headline, you may be thinking about starting your firstcompany - or you may have your hands full with your company wantingsome time back. You may be a multi-millionaire property investor looking fora better team. Or you might be deep in debt ready to get rich quick. Youcould be comfortable in a job, but a friend recommended you take this test.Maybe you got here by accident, and are now curious as to where YOU areon the millionaire map...


"The millionaire" is Henry Clay Folger, though he wasn't always wealthy. "The bard" is that too-easy shorthand for Shakespeare as Literary God, though he was nothing so grandly poetic during his lifetime. As Mays details in a confident précis of both Shakespeare's career and the scramble to get his plays into print for posterity, he was an artist-entrepreneur who kept busy writing and performing, helping run a theater troupe, investing in a playhouse. He made his mark, to be sure, but he left the scene largely unremarked, only to be better appreciated later thanks to the colleagues behind the publication of the First Folio of his collected plays. He was a man, in short, who had much in common with Henry Clay Folger.


The fact is that anyone can become a millionaire, but not everyone will. Most people in the world would like to have a million dollars, but they lack the focus and discipline to do what it takes to get there.


The Millionaire Fastlane by M. J. Demarco is a book that will teach you how to build insane wealth. Demarco shares the secret to becoming a millionaire at any age. And it is not the kind of advice you receive from financial gurus, parents, or friends. Becoming a Fastlane millionaire has its own recipe: grow a money tree, reclaim your time, and exploit the law of effection. An excellent book on how to create insane wealth and live a great life.


The millionaires that the book discusses aren't the flashy status-symbol-laden rich people that we might imagine. The central premise of the millionaire next door is that there is a surprising amount of quiet wealth accumulated by regular people, people who use this wealth to form a secure safety net for their families during hard times or to create a comfortable, worry-free retirement.


I was initially surprised to realize that generational wealth is a major player but not the only player in the millionaire set. Stanley and Danko point out that only 19% of millionaires had received money from a trust fund or estate, and 91% never received any ownership of a family business; a substantial percentage are "self-made" millionaires.


I expected more discussion of highly paid professionals (lawyers, doctors) as high-wealth individuals, but this book really focused on the many people who built a small business to the point of retaining more than $1 million in wealth. Stanley and Danko write: "These self-employed people are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others." Of the non-retired millionaires, two-thirds of them were small business owners.


One of Stanley and Danko's refrains is summed up in the phrase from Chapter 4: You Aren't What You Drive. They state that millionaires "believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status."


Many of the millionaires that Stanley and Danko surveyed (192 out of 292, according to the results) spend a lot of time planning their financial future. They write that only the very high-income earners or heirs to their money in his sample were less likely to be planners.


Obviously, you can spend lots of time on your financial plan and not become a millionaire, but I enjoyed reading about how organized and thoughtful they were. I have noticed in my own life that my auto-pilot setting has me spending more money and saving less than my thought-out, planned setting.


While this element of the book isn't touted all the time, this 1996 release wasn't an example of the newer "Financial Independence, Retire Early" movement. Many of the millionaires were in their 50s or 60s (the original book said the average age was 57), and a big part of why they'd amassed a lot of money was that they'd had a lot of years to do it.


One way that many people reject the advice of ambitious financial-independence gurus is that they look at one number, something like saving $10,000 a year, and say, "I can't do that on my current income." This book encouraged me to say, "What can I save this year, based on what I make?" It made me feel like, even if I don't ever get to being a millionaire, it would be good to try the frugal strategies that could yield me a nest egg. It takes decades to get to the level described in this book, so patience is in order.


Since the book's release in 1996, it has encountered some criticism, mostly in the idea that their sample of millionaires is biased. Critics mention how luck isn't discussed often enough: Driving a sensible car and living in an inexpensive neighborhood are traits of those who have trouble building wealth also, and luck in the business world (or the luck of having good health or a solid educational background) could account for the difference in wealth, rather than just frugal habits.


This critique is well-taken, but the core value I gleaned from this book remains true. If millionaires are people who live below their means and work hard to step outside cultural expectations of their spending in order to only buy what they actually want and need, that is a path I can begin.


Gary Keller is a self-made multimillionaire and co-founder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams Realty International, the fifth largest and fastest-growing real estate franchise system in North America. He has 25 years of industry and investing experience, and his first book, TheMillionaire Real Estate Agent, was a national bestseller.