Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review: The Richest Man in Town: the Twelve Commandments of Wealth by W. Randall Jones

Review of The Richest Man In Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth by W. Randall Jones


W. Randall Jones, founder of Worth Magazine, identified and interviewed the Richest Man in Towns (RMITs) in one hundred American towns and cities. Jones selected self-made types who found their own paths to success through hard work and their creativity. While members of this select group span a range of companies and industries, they share certain traits. Jones calls these traits the Twelve Commandments of Wealth.

Here are the first few:

1. Seek Money for Money's Sake and Ye Shall Not Find.
- Wealth comes from a contribution of real value

2. Find your perfect pitch
- Know your own unique strengths and talents and match them with your personal passion.

3. BYOB: Be your own boss
- Don't work for someone else, found your own enterprise. Choose partners carefully - only those who bring something critical to your success.

The bulk of the book is devoted to describing these Twelve Commandments of Wealth and sharing how successful men demonstrated these traits. Anecdotes come from a diverse group of successful folk. Here are just a few: Michael Dell, Stephen King, Sam Zell, Fred Smith, Carl Icahn, John McAfee, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison.

Aside from describing the traits, Jones offers exercises to help us find our strengths and individual paths to wealth. For instance, when describing the need to look for more than money, he suggests writing your own obituary to visualize your lifetime goals.


I found The Richest Man in Town: the Twelve Commandments of Wealth to be an interesting and absorbing read largely because of the wealth of stories shared by his sources.

Some of the quotes are particularly memorable and here are a few that I can't resist sharing:

"I always tell young people there is no substitute for hard work and diligence. It takes eight hours a day of hard work to be a success, but it takes most people twelve or thirteen hours a day to do eight hours of good work."
- Joe Taylor, former CEO of Southland Log Homes and secretary of commerce for SC

"Everyone should have at least one silent goal. This is a goal that is known only by you. It's a reach goal, one that is extremely hard to attain, but potentially life altering, even world changing. These kinds of world-changing golas are realized by only very few people. If you don't reach them, you certainly won't be judged by others-it's your well-kept personal secret."
-Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., co-founder of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the largest for-profit hospital management company

As I read, my copy slowly filled up with post-it tabs and notes. I highly recommend the book for those interested in business books and personal finance and for their loved ones who might need personal finance tips.

Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (May 4, 2009), 256 pages.
Courtesy of Hatchette Book Group.

About the Author, courtesy of Hatchette Books Group:

Randall Jones has spent 25 years in the magazine and media business. He is the founder of Worth magazine, the financial lifestyle magazine for active wealthy investors, and is also the founder of The American Benefactor magazine, the first magazine about philanthropy from the donor's perspective. He was recently honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America as "Philanthropist of the Year."

Here's a video of Randall Jones Welcome to The Richest Man in Town
Shared via AddThis

To learn more, visit Randall Jones's website at http://www.richestmanintown.com/
Listen to an excerpt of the audio book or read an excerpt at http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446537834.htm#

**Enter the contest for The Richest Man in Town at

A big thanks to Valerie at Hatchette Books Group for the opportunity to review this book!


  1. Does one of the commandments also say: Thou shalt not steal? These days, it's needed :)

  2. ching ching, another book sold by Starting Fresh. Great choice of quotes and I don't think I've ever read a more balanced and informative review.

  3. I debated picking this one up. I could use some wealth tips, but I have been trying to read down the collection that I have amassed in my own library a little bit first.