The American Dream is attainable by anyone, says a lawyer and self-taught stock investor turned multimillionaire in his debut how-to book.
“Uncle Dom” Fleming, who often adopts the tone of pleasant, rambling dinner companion, was inspired to pen this thin volume to teach his young family members how they can become rich. Many of Fleming’s ideas—e.g., save money, get a good education, spend conservatively, and invest wisely—are hardly new, but he provides several common-sense lessons, such as stressing the importance of good sleep, and provides investment tips in brief, easy-to-grasp chapters. The author began life in a “middle class neighborhood of row houses,” where he learned the value of saving when his kindergarten class opened savings accounts for the students with a local bank and the dollars he deposited grew without any effort on his part. By the time he became a lawyer, Fleming had already adopted frugal spending habits and health routines that are now part of his holistic approach, including managing time wisely to reduce stress and using no more than two pillows under his head for a restful night’s sleep. “Looking back at how I acquired financial riches convinced me that factors not directly connected to finances were as important if not more so than the factors directly related to the money,” he writes. That said, several chapters do touch upon investing. The author discusses his own stock picking strategy—he favors well-researched small-cap value stocks—and warns against overreacting to good or bad news when investing. He uses the example of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster to explain why he bought stock in that company and why he prefers buying on bad news; going with the “herd mentality,” he writes, keeps an investor in the average percentile of financial return. Another simple, useful chapter breaks down a company’s “consolidated balance sheet,” a source that contains vital information for investing in a company and can easily be obtained online. The conclusion glances at several broad ideas, such as whether money can buy happiness. Although Fleming’s “guarantee” that following his advice will amass riches is a bit far-fetched, readers will likely enjoy his book’s personal touch.
An often-engaging guide that aims to provide a little inspiration for the novice investor.