So, you want to be a millionaire? I’ve found the perfect person to help you achieve that dream.
His name is Chris Hogan and he is a protégé of Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru who has helped millions of people get out of debt and grow wealth and generosity. Hogan just published his second book, “Everyday Millionaires,” and was in Katy last week during a stop on his national book signing tour. An estimated 250 people crammed into Books-A-Million in Katy Mills Mall to see Hogan and have him sign their books.
I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Hogan prior to his appearance. As we huddled together in the backroom of the bookstore we talked about his book and his desire to help people join the millionaire club.
“People are loving the message,” he said. “People are hearing it. And I think it’s timely for people to understand the American dream is still available. But people need a plan. We just can’t just give them motivation, we need to point them in the right direction and that’s what this book does.”
The book is the culmination of two years of intensive research. Utilizing an outside research firm, Hogan and his team interviewed 10,000 of the 11 million millionaires in America and compiled their stories, strategies and other statistics into “Everyday Millionaire.” The book is a follow-up to his “Retire Inspired” and dovetails nicely into the Ramsey financial storyline.
“Looking through the process, we’ve got Financial Peace University, there’s ‘The Total Money Makeover’ – Dave’s book that really changed my financial life – and then it moves into ‘Retired Inspired’ and then ‘Everyday Millionaire.’ But here’s the reality – having been with Dave (Ramsey) for 13 years, we know without a doubt when people start working in the right direction and they do certain things over time, they have success,” he said.
The keys are time and consistency. If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick book, don’t bother picking this one up. The lesson learned from the millionaire next door is that creating wealth is akin to being the tortoise in the race with the hare.
“We’ve got to learn how to slow down. You and I grew up in a time and an age of crock pots. That tastes so much better than something that’s microwaved, and it’s slower and that’s what I want people to do. Set goals that you’re serious about but be intentional about working toward it. Yes, it’s going to take time but I promise you it’s going to be worthwhile,” he said.
I had to ask him if it’s too late for an old guy like me. I’m 53, am saddled with debt, and have no savings whatsoever.
“A lot like ‘Retire Inspired,’ a lot of people thought that book was targeted toward baby boomers – no, that book was targeted toward people. I don’t care if you’re 21 or 81 because the principles in it are firm. And so the same would be said for this ‘Everyday Millionaires’ book that regardless if you’re 23 or 53, the principles, the qualities that make people millionaires, the things that they do … they take personal responsibility, they’re intentional with their finances, they’re goal oriented, they’re hard-working, and they know that wealth-building takes time. That has no age demographic,” he said.
In his book, Hogan uses real stories and statistics to bust several myths and to provide a roadmap for real wealth building. Among the millionaire myths that he busts are: They inherited their money and didn’t earn it; they take big risks with their money; and they have expensive educations and earn high wages. Nearly 80 percent of all millionaires didn’t inherit a dime. They’re not all doctors and lawyers – in fact a high number were accountants and teachers!
The tool that 79 percent of them used to build their wealth was their employer-sponsored retirement plan, usually a 401(k), and investments in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). The average person in Hogan’s study became a millionaire at age 49 after decades of investing. Less than 5 percent did it within 10 years. Hogan wrote that 88 percent of millionaires have at least a bachelor degree with 62 percent graduating from a public state college, 8 percent from community college, and 9 percent never graduating from college.
His point is that anyone can do it.
“Now, granted, what’s the end number everyone’s after, is it a million is it $2 million, I don’t know, I just want people to know that it’s possible. Even if you’ve made financial mistakes in the past, even if you have credit card debt and student loan debt right now, I want to encourage people to attack it so they can start to move forward,” he said.
Hogan grew up in rural Kentucky and made all the financial mistakes that the average person makes – credit cards, big house, expensive car, etc. He learned from those mistakes and shares his millionaire journey along with some of those he interviewed.
“I wanted people to not only see the facts and the proof, because you can’t disagree with over 10,000 people – that’s statistically called ‘wrong’ – but from hearing how they walked through it. A lot of these people walked through some tough stuff because they’re regular everyday people, just like the people reading your column or me and the people that I’ve talked to. So we’re not talking about anyone that’s excluded from having life go on, we’re just talking about people who moved past life happening to them,” he said.
Hogan’s life is an open book in his book.
“I talk about the errors that I made, because why? Not because I want people to look and say ‘boy you were dumb,’ because I was, but more importantly I don’t want people to make those mistakes,” he said. “And also, the bigger reason, for the people that have made those mistakes, I don’t want them to think that’s the end. You see, where you are right now doesn’t have to be where you end up. We just need the right information and the right people to come around us to help us go in the right direction.”
To find that direction, look for Hogan’s “Everyday Millionaire” book and be sure to check out his website, www.chrishogan360.com.