This book’s first version came out at the worst possible time: autumn 2008, when global markets seemed bound for hell in a handbasket.

In hindsight, I’m lucky it merely fell through the cracks, escaping much notice as the global financial crisis wrecked markets and ended Wall Street as we knew it. The backlash over a book lauding wealth building—with tongue occasionally in cheek—at such a dark time could have been huge and harsh. “Look at old, out-of-touch Ken Fisher, fiddling with books while Wall Street crashes!” “Get rich? In this market? As if!” Most observers probably wouldn’t have cared that books have incredibly long lead times, that I did most of my writing over nights and weekends in 2007, or that the release date was scheduled months in advance, before anyone much cared about Lehman Brothers’ liquidity. Thank goodness for small mercies.

At the same time, it also made me a little sad. I’ve always liked this little book. It was a departure for me—unlike my prior books, it wasn’t a heavy exploration of capital markets. Instead, it was (and is) a detailed micro and macro inspection of how really wealthy people got that way and how you could (still can!) get there, too—with many fun stories and personal anecdotes along the way. One of my goals was to help remove the stigma around wealth. Even back then, before “income inequality” became the hottest topic in political economics, there was a growing sense that wealth was something to be ashamed ...

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