Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Podcast: How to Raise a Future Millionaire

troydunncov.jpgDo you ever wonder if you are teaching your kids the right lessons about money and how to use it wisely? Author Troy Dunn has seven kids and has taught them how to start businesses of their own. He talks with us today about his new book, Young Bucks: How to Raise a Future Millionaire.

He explains what five word phrase parents should never say to their kids when it comes to money, why college is not that important in becoming a millionaire, what businesses are good for kids, and why you should not give your kid an allowance (uh- oh).

You can listen directly -- no downloading needed -- by going right here and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. A lo-fi version, suitable for dialup, cellphones, etc. is here. And you can always subscribe via iTunes -- and why wouldn't you, since it's free?

Music is by Mobius Dick. Show archives are at

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Blogger Unknown said...

Great interview and topic Dr. H. I enjoyed the author's perspective of matching a child's talents and interests with profitable ventures (like the example provided with the teen as the "My Space sitter"). I think involved parenting and similar efforts are worth much more than the public funds and other resources funding the general entrepreneurial programs that I have observed.

7:24 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Glad you liked the podcast. I do think Mr. Dunn has some great ideas for kids and their parents on the topic of money. And who knew an allowance was such a no-no?

7:33 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger dienw said...

I think the key is teaching the child how to start a business; and the most important ellement is the confidence to do it. It is more than taking a risk - another imposrtant factor: it involves being on familiar ground.

There is a mental step that occurs: one does step into the unknown but one has to have some idea what the ground for the landing foot is like. Poorly stated, but it decribes my mental state. As an artist and self-employed tech writer, having my own business is the next step; yet, I feel the acute lack of familiar ground. I would almost say that there is lacking one of Rupert Sheldrake's organizing morphogenetic (sp?) fields.

The parent has to show in his or her life a willingness to take the risk into business; even if it means failure. If a grandparent took the risk, then the parent must provide the continuity: breaking the link stops the grandchild.

As an example: My grandfather had his own house painting business with my father. Then his father passed away, my father did not continue the business but had no confidence in his abilities and went to work under someone else; and he then waited for retirement. His sons have no internal pressure or confidence to be in their own business despite one is a Chemical engineer, one a lawyer, one company vice-president (with a business degree).

8:01 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

This is a great topic. I truly believe financial literacy is the most undertaught subject in this country.

Other books I would highly recommend are The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind, both by Thomas Stanley (the former with William Danko). These are excellent studies on the millionaire population, especially the latter.

Several myths are exploded by these books. #1 is that the three careers which have the least likelihood of making you a millionaire--that is, producing a net worth of over $1 million by retirement--are the three status careers, doctor, lawyer, professor.

Most of the millionaires in this country actually live in small towns. Over 80% built their wealth in one generation. They own their own businesses, live in houses that cost less than $200,000, drive used cars, and for entertainment go to high school football games on Friday nights. Their defining characteristic is frugality.

It's an age-old formula: minimize expenses, maximize savings, invest in income-producing properties. Live below your means, and make your money work for you.

Interestingly, many millionaires did not attend college. And those that did didn't have high SAT scores or earn a high GPA. What they learned in college was social skills, how to read and get along with people. Which certainly explains the old saying, the A students go to work for the C students.

The Millionaire Mind addresses this subject specifically. The problem with the education system and standardized testing is that it focuses too much on analytical thinking and not enough on creative thinking. The former is required for certain professions, but the latter is required for entrepreneurship.

The ability to recognize a business opportunity and the courage to pursue it are what distinguish the self-employed from the employed. Most people go to school and make good grades so they can get a job and earn a comfortable salary. They are risk avoiders. Others go to school and make average grades, but they view criticism (from teachers and counselors) as motivation to prove themselves. They are risk takers.

It isn't easy going to work for yourself. It takes discipline, courage and faith. But the financial rewards greatly exceed those from going to work for someone else.

College is not for everyone, only those who intend to pursue a professional career. Most people, especially young men, would be better served by attending trade school and earning a license--a mechanic's, a plumber's, an electrician's, an a/c repairman's, a realtor's license--then going to work for themselves. It's far cheaper, takes less time, and most importantly you can enter the workforce much sooner and start making money.

In real estate, there are three rules: location, location, location. In business success, there are also three rules: vocation, vocation, vocation. Choosing the right career--doing something you love to do--is the single most important factor in determining success.

But sadly that is not the focus of our current education system, directing students toward careers that most suit their individual talents and abilities. Rather, K-12 schools and colleges have degenerated into indoctrination factories that push a liberal, multi-cultural, socialist agenda.

The sooner the American people, especially parents, recognize that and demand educational reform from the ground up, the better off this country will be.

9:22 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


I wonder if the wave of the future for young men will be vocational school or no college at all and a rise in those young men who are self-employed. Most of the businesses mentioned in "The Millionaire Next Door" are cleaning businesses, plumbing, and other areas that do not requie a college degree. I was watching the Suzy Orman show the other day and a 32 year old guy wrote in to say that he wanted to retire from his cleaning business--he had amassed well over a million dollars and was saving $20,000 dollars a month. I think this sounds much more innovative than sitting in college for years on end to figure out some type of business to start. In addition, one has much more control over their daily life and how they want to spend thier time when they are self-employed.

9:34 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

We are raising a generation of stupendous test takers. They can't save a penny but they can memorize the definition of thousands of words and blow the lid off the SAT exam.

10:13 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger dienw said...

I just finished listening. Very impressed: I sent the link on to my brother who has two pre-teen daughters.

10:25 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

This is brilliant stuff. cham and 'ghost said pretty much everything I had in mind, except for this: I'm going and getting this book tonight! It will give a serious leg up to what I'm trying to do with my young entrepreneurs - they have the interest, and just need the guidance.

10:41 AM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The majority of wealthy people did not earn it by work.

Think about this: For every wealthy person (not matter how the money was obtained), there is a spouse. Many wealthy people have made multiple (ex-)spouses wealthy (think Johnny Carson, John DeLorean ...). If you look on the Forbes list of the richest people, you see some men who earned it by work and quite a few women who married it (Ms. Quandt, Ms. Walton are high up on the list). The list is also FALSE, because some of the spouses of the wealthy people listed already have a stake in the money that puts them ahead of some wealthy people lower on the list.

Now take these spouses and add in people who have inherited their money (lots and lots) and the odd lotto winner etc.

Most people who are wealthy did not earn their money.

Statistically, the best way to amass over a million dollars in assets is to marry someone with money. Heather Mills just provided an exemplary model of how to do this.

11:43 AM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, by the way, if you can't live with the rich twirp, then simply wait the appropriate period of time until you are vested in the amount of money you want (your attorneys can help you with this) and then divorce the person.

There is no requirement to keep him around after you have obtained your objective.

11:46 AM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger mbet said...

Most people who are wealthy did not earn their money.

No, most people who are *super-wealthy* did not earn their money, or at least did not earn it all from scratch. The people you see on the lists in Forbes et al do not represent the majority of American *millionaires*. One does not have to be Paul McCartney to be considered wealthy. Go read The Millionaire Next Door if you haven't already - it specifically addresses this fallacy.

12:46 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another one who just doesn't get it. Where do they come from?

12:52 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And another one who just doesn't get it. Where do they come from?"


Snide, sound-bite comment.

I'll tell you who brokerage houses like Merrill Lynch go after: Established doctors are high on the list, but the biggest source of money and wealth is: Old ladies. The kind that were married to a rich guy, but he kicked the bucket. Now they are swimming in money.

That's where the biggest collection of wealth is, whether you know it or not. AND, as a side note, these people mostly didn't earn it themselves as I mentioned above.

12:59 PM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Now I don't have speakers on this computer, but I think it is a good topic. I was reading an article in the Reader's Digest recently and it said when kids ask you to buy something at the store, but you don't want to, you shouldn't say: "I/we don't have enough money for that" because it teaches kids to value money more than they should. The allowance prohibition is an interesting idea. Is it better to pay for chores? I don't think it would be harmful to give your kids money every once in a while if they want to go do an activity with friends.

I read two fictional books about a kid who runs his own business and I did posts on them: Henry Reed Inc and Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service.

1:11 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The usual suspects for cold-calling (small business owners, doctors etc.) usually have established relationships.

Old ladies sometimes no longer want to use the broker that the deceased husband had. They are really prime targets AND they have the money that the husband had at the peak of his wealth (before he shucked off the mortal coil from his stress heart attack).

Old ladies are the true money bags.

1:11 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, as an anecdote that may or may not be true, here are two people I knew in college:

John was getting a degree in electrical engineering and busting his butt for good grades. He got an MBA and then had the desire to move up in a company as fast as he could. He wanted to find a way to get rich.

Mary dithered around in liberal arts, but never had much interest or very good grades. Mary was very cute, though, and knew how to dress well. Mary came from a good family in the wealthy part of the state.

Guess who is far wealthier now after 20 years?


Yes, I DO get it - if your only goal is to raise your kid to get money, I honestly think the better course for a girl would be to train her in the social arts and the way to marry well. She has a much better shot at it than by using her brain.

1:16 PM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Are you reality2007 using a new name? Because you sure sound like him.

1:40 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are you reality2007 using a new name? Because you sure sound like him."


No, but you normally seem to be level-headed, so I will assume that you are right and I'm dancing out of line here.

I am serious about what I say - it's not trolling. Here's my point without being so abrasive:

There is at least an argument to be made - because some people have more than one spouse and divorce is common - that the majority of wealthy people got that way by one activity. That activity is marriage. That is the way in which the majority of wealthy people get that way. It's clear as a bell to me.

I don't understand why everyone has to turn a blind eye to that fact. If the majority of wealthy people got that way by hiking in the Rocky Mountains and finding gold, people wouldn't ignore it. I wonder why this huge elephant in the room is tromping around with no notice at all. Bizarre.

1:59 PM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Eight of the top ten billionaires are self-made. (scroll down a little bit and the list is on the right)

2:07 PM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Are you reality2007 using a new name? Because you sure sound like him.

I guess it depends if he is being sarcastic or not. I'm not sure if he is advocating that women marry into lots of money or mocking them.

2:10 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even Forbes ignores this concept.

Here's an example: In several more years, Bill Gates wife is going to have control over a certain sum of money that may be more than a billion. She will have control over that money whether she divorces or not. In any sense of the word, that is HER money.

But she won't be on a list somewhere ahead of a guy with 900 million. She won't appear on any list, although she is "vested" in more than a billion (for example). She is certainly vested in *some* amount of money. I don't think a billion is too far off since Bill has 40-50 billion or so.

And, by the way, she became a billionaire the old-fashioned way: by marrying one.

2:14 PM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure if he is advocating that women marry into lots of money or mocking them."


Probably both. I've seen some hard-core suggestions for making money, for instance devoting your life to drudgery like steam-cleaning rooms. Hard-core suggestions for training your little spawn to be a money machine, possibly at the expense of his happiness.

So for hard-core people with the sole objective of getting money, that IS the easiest way of doing it, at least for women. It doesn't quite work as well for men, and some men have even gone to jail for it (the "romancing thief").

Last point: Why are you assuming I'm a "he"? Because I'm cynical?

2:17 PM, February 20, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


My apologies for the mistake.

2:22 PM, February 20, 2008  
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