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Review: The Maui Millionaires by David Finkel and Diane Kennedy

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The introduction of The Maui Millionaires by David Finkel and Diane Kennedy, CPA read like a sales pitch. This turned me off immediately. I felt like I was sitting in one of those free seminars with one of those energetic, motivational speakers, whose goal was nothing more than to sell me some abstract concepts and more future seminars. Seminars, like this book’s introduction, are all about the “up-sell.” If I were to give in, this would be quite expensive…

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In this case, they authors want me to drop $30,000 on a retreat at which I can network with other businesspeople who follow the techniques mentioned in the book. I was happy to finish the completely unnecessary, self-congratulatory introduction and move on to the meat.

Like most wealth programs, this book starts out with a first step of changing mindset. I do agree that if you want extraordinary results from your life, you have to be able to conceive extraordinary ideas. The other part of changing mindset is reconditioning, in which ideas are repeated until they become part of a person’s inherent philosophy. The Maui Millionaires approach reconditioning as “upgrading your wealth operating system.” This is the first of several metaphors I enjoyed throughout the book, although I could do without the trademark symbol (™) which appeared after every Clever Phrase™.

The book contains mental exercises in every chapter, and the authors claim that the exercises must be completed in order to receive the full benefit of the text. There are frequent references to the book’s website, where the reader can complete the exercises online and access other “special offers.”

Here are the six steps to the “fourth dimension of wealth,” detailed in the book.

Step 1. Upgrade your wealth operating system. As I mentioned before, this is the step in which one begins thinking differently about wealth. It’s not a bad thing to have money. During this step, the prospective Maui Millionaire rids the brain of negative thoughts that stand in the way of success.

Step 2. Dream big. As we’re busy with life, trying to make a living, it’s easy to forget about the big dreams. The authors have seven categories of dreams: health, financial, relationship, self-development, adventure, spirituality, and sharing. The message is that your big dreams are attainable, if you follow the authors’ advice.

Step 3. Mastermind your way to millions. The Maui Millionaires is all about networking, especially at the $30,000 retreats. The authors suggest associating reguarly with a group of like-minded individuals who can function as mentors to and with each other.

Step 4. Build level three wealth and enjoy a Maui lifestyle. What does this mean? Well, Level Three Wealth is the state of being financially free and being able to pay for an extraordinary life through truly passive income. This is the promise that pulls people in.

Step 5. Tap into Maui giving to create a legacy. Giving and social responsibility is a big part of the authors’ philosophy, and I like that. A major reason Maui Millionaires desire to increase their personal wealth is to have more to give away. What I really like is the authors’ ability to speak about responsibility to give back to the community without evoking religion-based beliefs. Some examples they provide involve church, but divine declaration is not cited as a reason for sharing wealth with the world.

Step 6. Connect with the Maui wealth-building community. The last step is awarded the shortest section of the book, because it is nothing more than the instruction to pay $30,000 to register for the Maui Millionaire wealth retreat.

If you get past the “sell, sell, sell” attitude of the book, you will find some quality pieces of advice. I particularly like some of the ratios they describe to be used for evaluating your financial position. Beyond measuring just net worth and income, they authors introduce the trademarked R-Score, an individual’s net passive income divided by total net worth. For example, if you have a net worth of $500,000 and you generate $10,000 in passive income each year, your R-Score&treade; is 2%. They also stress the importance of trending; you want that R-Score™ to increase each year.

Obviously, this is just a measurement device, and not an actual suggestion for establishing passive income. The book is a little short on practical money-making techniques, relying heavily on mindset and networking. Examples from several self-professed Maui Millionaires are peppered throughout the book, and most of their wealth comes from real estate, as one would guess.

The Maui Millionaires claims to allow the reader to “discover the secrets behind the world’s most exclusive wealth retreat and become financially free.” The book likely covers the basics of the $30,000 retreat, but doesn’t capture the important part, the networking and mentoring. It is a huge advantage to be able to surround yourself with like-minded people when you’re involved in any endeavor. The price tag is a bit hefty in this case.

I’d like to see how many retreat attendees end up not becoming wealthy by their own description. $30,000 is a big investment for most people, and is a lot to spend on a dream without any real guarantees. It seems to me the money making scheme here isn’t what is in the book, but it is the book and seminar.

If you’re interested in seeing what’s inside the book for yourself, stay tuned. I’ll be giving away my copy in the next few days.

Updated October 21, 2015 and originally published January 17, 2007.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Diane Kennedy has co-authored a number of Robert Kiyosaki books. So, it comes as not surprise that the book follows Kiyosaki’s formula (change mindset, dream big, upsell reader…)

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avatar 2 Anonymous

I caught that Kiyodaki connection too, I’ve read several of his books.

According to some quick calculations, my R-Score (TM) is negative infinity. Wheeee!

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I flipped through this book at Barnes and Nobles. I didn’t spend much time on it, basically looking for the meat and potatos to see it it had any worth. I can to the same basic conclusion that Flexo reported. I would venture to say that this book was even worse than Kiyosaki’s. Selling dreams, one retreat at a time…

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avatar 4 Anonymous

I have to tell you, this book does not sound promising. Yikes. I know now not to go out of my way to buy it or anything…

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Makes me want to puke.

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avatar 6 Anonymous






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avatar 7 Anonymous

Never better said……

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avatar 8 Anonymous

i went to a peter conti ( he wrote a book with david finkle) seminar on commercial investing.

waste of money and time. huge upsell to his $6k bootcamp and $15k mentorship programs.

thats the way to make real money. by selling education and mentorship programs!

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avatar 9 Anonymous

I can to the same basic conclusion that Flexo reported,A major reason Maui Millionaires desire to increase their personal wealth is to have more to give away. What I really like is the authors’ ability to speak about responsibility to give back to the community without evoking religion-based beliefs.

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avatar 10 Anonymous

I also went to these clown’s seminar’s (in denver) and had actually signed up for a 1 year mentorship program. The most valuable part wasn’t even provided by Finkle and Conti, it was the community of people that helped each other out by responding to posts and letting everyone know what has and has not worked for them. At the conference (this is not an exageration) they pushed the $30k trip to Maui for 3 days straight and the “high point” was when they finally “let everyone in” on the secret conference in Maui and said there were only 5 spots left!!!! and that they were conducting “interviews” to see if you were right for the group because “we won’t let just anyone in.” the interviews were to see if you had $30,000. They also announced that they would take a combination of “different credit cards, cash, checks, bonds, stock certificates, equity in property at 40% of it’s current value and 10% of the cost could be in the form of a promisary note if secured by your property at 20% interest to incent you to pay it off quickly” because they “weren’t interested in putting you in debt.” People were doing all of these things, and I am not kidding you, PUSHING each other out of the way to sign up. They were also taking 50% NON-REFUNDABLE deposits on the next year’s event. This is disgusting and appalling behavior. If these guys know the secrets why are they wasting their time telling others how to do it 40 weeks out of the year?

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avatar 11 Anonymous

As a single mom who is looking for a way to secure her children’s future (not to mention her own) and has a dream of one day having a Maui beachfront estate (which would require millionaire status to be sure), the title “Maui Millionaire” held great appeal to me. After reading the review and posts, I think everyone would do better buying a really old, but jewel of a book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, and creating their own Mastermind group locally, using the $30K they would have spent on the seminar to fund their business ventures.

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avatar 12 Anonymous

This is a joke for a strategy. The only people that benefit are Finkel and his partners.

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