Part memoir, part self-help book, Don’t Get Mad, Get Rich counsels readers on becoming financially independent in a hard economy.
Allen has been many things–music student, high school economics teacher, Fulbright scholar, college professor, Xerox corporate executive, broker-dealer, chief executive and inventor. Here, he uses his experiences to offer advice on how to accumulate wealth, which is different from merely getting paid more. Each short chapter ends with a recap of the lessons learned, followed by a short summary. Particularly useful, however, are the questions following the summary–these guide readers to think more deeply about the lessons presented and to bring their lives and experiences into play. However, while the book is written in a straightforward manner, it tends to be repetitive in its advice. The book’s true strengths lie in Allen's personal tale. The author has led an interesting and varied life, but his advice is not earth-shattering. It includes having a vision, setting goals, finding a niche and investing in yourself. None of this is harmful, it’s just logic. But, while Allen's advice won’t necessarily guarantee fiscal security, it provides some common-sense approaches to life. One concern is that while Allen touches upon the current recession, certain parts already feel dated. For example, he suggests real-estate investments as a foolproof moneymaker, using his own sojourn into property ownership as a testament to this method, a fact that the recent housing-market meltdown dispels.
A financial how-to that is strongest when concentrating on the author’s life experiences.