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Review: A Million Bucks By 30 by Alan Corey

Posted By Jim On 02/07/2008 @ 6:25 am In Personal Finance,Reviews | 23 Comments

I always enjoy books that tell a story of someone’s life and this one, A Million Bucks by 30 [3] [3], about how Alan Corey “overcame a crap job, stingy parents, and a useless degree to become a millionaire before (or after) turning thirty,” was no exception. To get a feel for the guy, I think you have to start at the dedication. You know those pages right before the title page where the author thanks a few choice people like a half second Academy Awards acceptance speech? This is what his said:

This amazingly awesome book is dedicated to my parents, Nancy and Larry. Mom, don’t worry, there shouldn’t be any embarrassing grammar mistakes. Dad, thanks for buying this before it hits the bargain bin.” (those would be the stingy parents he referred to on the cover page)

The second “dedication page” reads: “Just to be clear, this amazingly awesome book is not dedicated to my sister, Jill.” You can get a sense that the book is probably going to be an entertaining read… you wouldn’t be wrong.

So, what is this book about? Alan Corey’s life. He, like many young people, decided he was going to become a millionaire by thirty. He didn’t sit around and envision the perfect future, he didn’t wish and hope that good things would happen to him, he moved. He didn’t know what he was going to do when he got to where he was going, but he acted. This book is about all the crazy things Alan did. Some of them got him closer to his goal of a million bucks, some of them just got him to the next day, all of them are crazy stories and ridiculously entertaining to read.

Besides being a man of action, Alan is resourceful. Many of us unlearn the things we learned to survive in college, he learned to adapt them and use those skills to improve his life. In college, many people are frugal. By the time we get a five figure job and enter the real world, we think we’ve made it. We think the days of ramen are over and we can start living the high life! Not Alan, those resourcefulness skills just have more weapons to play with! Heck, the guy is making a decent wage ($40k in NYC is rough, but decent) but still plays “How Cheap Can I Go?”

So, how about these great stories? Chapter 10: Tripped Out is an awesome chapter about how he would try to get on television shows. The first story he talks about is Change of Heart. On Change of Heart, one half of a couple would go out on a date and decide whether to stick with her current boyfriend or go with the new one. Alan auditioned, got cast, and he was the new guy for this girl. He was in it for the free food and drink plus the $350 appearance fee. What’s funny is that the girl did have a change of heart, picked him, but they never saw each other again! He goes on to talk about a few other shows, how to use creativity to get on them, and other entertaining nuggets of randomness that make the book a fun read. (here’s a video montage of his appearances [4])

So, I bet now you’re burning to find out how Alan, in playing “How Cheap Can I Go?” and appearing on random television shows, reaches a million bucks? Real estate. That’s right, Alan saves up, borrows, and eventually makes his bank on real estate deals. Why do we need yet another book about real estate especially in this awful housing market? It’s because this book isn’t about real estate, it’s about how to fight and claw your way to your dreams. The difference with this book is that you get to follow Alan’s life from the beginning. You start when he graduates college and has no idea what the heck his MIS degree means to when he appears on Queer Eye (season one, gets $15k worth of free stuff!) to when he borrows money from his mom to when he starts entering the real estate world. It’s not an instruction manual on any one thing, it’s a testament to the fact that everyone’s path is different and Alan’s was merely more exciting than most.

I really enjoyed this book and Alan was kind enough to send me an extra copy, so leave a comment about your favorite game show TV moment and I’ll draw a name next week. The winner will receive a signed copy of A Million Bucks by 30.


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[3] I always enjoy books that tell a story of someone’s life and this one, A Million Bucks by 30: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=0345499727

[4] video montage of his appearances: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWyDT8dBdQw

Thank you for reading!