The Latte Factor
You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich
New York Times bestseller
Wall Street Journal bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
Los Angeles Times bestseller
Toronto Star bestseller
Southern California Independent Booksellers Association bestseller
#1 of Forbes’ “Top Money Books Books You Should Read This Summer”
“Best Books of the Week” selection, New York Post
In 2008, when my writing career was just getting started, the acclaimed personal finance author David Bach (The Automatic Millionaire, Smart Women Finish Rich) approached me about the idea of writing a parable together. It took us a decade to make it happen — but here it is!
This project has been an utter blast from start to finish. I fell in love with Zoey, Henry, Baron, Georgia, and the other characters in the book; David and I became great friends; and the result was a story I believe will help millions of people change their lives for the better. I hope it brings you as much “flat-out, unbridled joy” (to quote Henry) as it has given us!
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What if there were a way you could secure your financial future and live your dreams, without taking big risks or making drastic changes? A way that actually worked. Welcome to The Latte Factor—three timeless secrets to financial freedom that will inspire you to realize you are richer than you think.
Meet Zoey Daniels, a twenty-something professional, living and working in New York City. Zoey likes her job and she’s good at it—but no matter how hard she works, she still struggles to make ends meet under a growing burden of student loans and credit card debt. And she can’t help wondering: Is this all there is to life?
Zoey cannot see any way off her endless treadmill—until one morning, when she strikes up a conversation with Henry, the elderly barista at her favorite Brooklyn coffee shop. Over the next few days, as Henry reveals what he calls the “Three Secrets to Financial Freedom,” Zoey discovers that there is more to his life story than meets the eye—and that by following the simple, proven path he describes, she truly can create the life she’s always wanted.
From Baby Boomers who worry if they’ve saved enough for retirement, to Millennials who are drowning in student loan debt, to young Gen Zers who want to make smarter choices than the generations that have come before, The Latte Factor can help anyone, of any age, achieve financial independence. At once page turning and heartwarming, The Latte Factor is an inspiring story you can read in less than an hour, but its impact can last for a lifetime.
Foreign Language Editions
French, Hungarian, Korean, Latvian, Polish, and Spanish editions listed below. (Clicking on any book jacket will take you to a purchase link for that edition.) Chinese (complex), Chinese (simplified), Italian, Japanese, and Russian editions coming soon!
The Latte Factor Reviews
“Highly compelling and relatable … will help you live a happier, wealthier and more successful life.” — CNBC
“Accessible … quick and helpful, with easily remembered lessons.” — New York Post
“Bach’s simple yet magnifying message is that anyone can start creating a life they want and “live rich now.” Fans of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist will especially resonate with the storytelling, [which] makes the lessons instantly actionable—and most importantly, easily understandable to any reader.” — Forbes
“David Bach is the one financial expert to listen to when you’re intimidated by your finances. His powerful and easy-to-use program will show you how to spend, save, and invest your money to afford your dreams.”
—Tony Robbins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Money: Master the Game
“Let this lovely tale, laced with practical wisdom, inspire you to make a few elegantly simple changes—without budgeting—to build the wealth you need for a life you love.”
—Vicki Robin, New York Times bestselling author of Your Money or Your Life
“David Bach has a masterful ability to translate the complicated world of investing into terms we can all understand. The Latte Factor may be his simplest and most powerful message yet.”
—Simon Sinek, optimist, New York Times bestselling author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
“When I first started my career, I was deep in debt and full of shame, fear, and embarrassment about money. David Bach’s books helped me turn that around and create real financial freedom. On MarieTV we featured David and his Latte Factor challenge—and the results for our community were immediate. The Latte Factor works!”
—Marie Forleo, author of Everything Is Figureoutable, host of the award-winning show MarieTV
“The Latte Factor will completely transform your relationship with money and happiness. I read 70 to 100 books a year, and this one rocked me. It will totally flip your mindset upside-down and give you a 10X better operating system for life.”
—Benjamin P. Hardy, contributor to Inc.com
“When you control your money, you master your life—and in less than an hour this little book can become the roadmap to the life you deserve.”
—Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness
“A wonderful, fun, engaging, inspiring book! You’ll love the story so much you’ll forget that you’re actually learning life-changing lessons from a master in the field.”
—Bob Burg, bestselling coauthor of The Go-Giver and The Go-Giver Influencer
“I featured the Latte Factor principles on The Oprah Show and watched David transform tens of millions of people’s lives. And we didn’t just talk about the Latte Factor—we put it to work in our own lives!”
—Candi Carter, executive producer of The View, former producer of The Oprah Show
“The Latte Factor is a soulful journey that will inspire you to live your dreams now. Bach and Mann’s storytelling genius make this a life-changing book of our time.”
—Farnoosh Torabi, host of So Money, author of When She Makes More
“The Latte Factor is a masterpiece. David Bach’s strategies helped me become a millionaire at 30. Read this book, put it into practice, and then share it with everyone you know. It will change your life.”
—Grant Sabatier, author of Financial Freedom, creator of Millennial Money
“This great story can inspire you to take action to live your best life. You truly don’t need to be rich to start investing and go for your dreams.”
—Jean Chatzky, financial editor of NBC’s Today, host of the Her Money Podcast
“David Bach is the world’s best personal finance expert and The Latte Factor shows why. He knows how to teach you to achieve financial freedom better than anyone. Best of all, the beautiful story in this book is so real, so relatable, that you’ll actually want to take these simple steps to create wealth and truly live rich. I loved every page.”
—Brendon Burchard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of High Performance Habits
“David Bach moves audiences worldwide with his message of hope and inspiration. The Latte Factor will stir your heart and uplift your soul. It is so very worth your attention, contemplation, and implementation.”
—Robin Sharma, worldwide bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The 5 AM Club
“I have known David for over a decade. His timeless principles will inspire you to live a life that goes beyond wealth, and one that embraces meaning and giving.”
—Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, New York Times bestselling author of Thirst
“A game-changer! This incredibly powerful story will change your life. Anyone from any generation or background can use this book to fuel their dreams and empower their future.”
—Sarah Jakes Roberts, author, businesswoman, and media personality
“David Bach’s advice is masterful. He takes the complicated and makes it simple—it’s literally a three-step process to financial freedom. You can do this!”
—Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus and The Power of Positive Leadership
“Every single woman in America needs to read this book. David Bach is the ultimate crusader for women’s financial empowerment—and The Latte Factor is now your guide to the financial security and freedom you deserve.”
—Dottie Herman, president & CEO of Douglas Elliman
“An instant classic, The Latte Factor is the perfect gift for people of any age who don’t like to think about finances—and are poorer and unhappier because of it. Invest one hour to read this book and reap positive returns for a lifetime!”
―Ken Blanchard, #1 bestselling coauthor of The New One Minute Manager
“Bach and Mann’s The Latte Factor will help you learn how to best identify what you value most, so you can spend, save, and invest to live a life aligned with your goals.”
—Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes on Investing
“Every college student across America and around the world needs to read this book. David’s advice is so powerful because it is so easy to implement, and the tale he shares is both heartfelt and inspirational.”
—Dr. Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business
“David Bach has never failed to amaze me with his genius for making the complex world of finances approachable to everyone and his genuine caring about making an impact in people’s lives. The Latte Factor is a book for all time!”
—Louis Barajas, author of The Latino Journey to Financial Greatness
“Iconic financial expert David Bach has inspired tens of millions of lives with his Latte Factor method. You owe it to yourself to read The Latte Factor and share it with those who matter most to you. In less than an hour you’ll learn truly how to become a financial grownup.”
—Bobbi Rebell, CFP, author of How to be a Financial Grownup, host of Financial Grownup Podcast, former Reuters Business TV anchor
“A captivating story packed with aha! moments. The Latte Factor will surprise and delight you—and it will transform the way you think about personal finances.”
—Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author of Platform and Your Best Year Ever
“Bach and Mann offer a master class in the fundamentals of personal finance and financial independence, wrapped in an engaging story of self-discovery. The Latte Factor is a gem!”
—Bob Roth, author of the New York Times bestseller Strength in Stillness
“Bach and Mann have done a startlingly good job of illustrating life’s deepest secret and most profound truth: that a genuinely rich life—a life of ‘flat-out, unbridled joy,’ as the authors put it—is available to anyone in any circumstances. Highly recommended!”
—Sally Helgesen, coauthor of How Women Rise, author of The Female Advantage
“I LOVE this book! In one fun-filled hour, you will learn how a few small, simple changes can compound into a massive transformation in your financial future. The Latte Factor is destined to be a global sensation!”
—Darren Hardy, New York Times bestselling author of The Compound Effect, former publisher/editor SUCCESS
“A great read for millennials, and a helpful reminder that little life changes can have a big impact on your financial future.”
—Jessica Moorhouse, founder of Millennial Money Meetup, host of Mo’ Money Podcast
“A game-changing little book, delivered with the wisdom, heart, and brilliant simplicity that have endeared David Bach to millions. Read, act now (it’s easier than you think), and genuine financial freedom is yours for the taking!”
—Dan Sullivan, The Strategic Coach, Inc.
“In less than an hour The Latte Factor can help you take control of your money and your life. Whether you’re just starting out in business or an employee in mid-career, or you’re in debt, or you just want to live the life you always dreamed of, The Latte Factor can help you gain financial success, freedom, and security.”
—Joe Polish, founder of Genius Network and GeniusX, president of Piranha Marketing Inc.
“Since discovering David’s Latte Factor concept in my early thirties and implementing his pay-yourself-first strategies, my wife and I have had huge leaps forward financially. We’re now millionaires, my wife was able to be a stay-at-home parent, and I was able to leave my unsatisfying corporate job to pursue passion businesses!”
—Philip “PT” Taylor, founder of FinCon and PT Money
“David Bach’s approach to personal finance will inspire a generation. Living rich can feel out of reach for many in the creator community, but David’s simple, no-BS approach balances our ability to thrive now while simultaneously preparing for a wealthy future.”
—Chase Jarvis, founder and CEO of CreativeLive
“David Bach’s advice is so powerful because it so easy to implement. The Latte Factor transforms complicated concepts into simple actions, laying out a three-step process that anyone at any level of income can put into practice to achieve financial freedom and a life filled with abundance and joy.”
—Jennifer Barrett, Chief Education Officer at Acorns
“The Latte Factor is a little story that packs a huge idea: that financial success, freedom, and security start with being clear on what matters most in your life.”
—Stedman Graham, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur
“Forget the lottery, Prince Charming, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—The Latte Factor will show you a path to a winning, rich life. A must-read for every woman from every background.”
—Nely Galán, Emmy-winning producer, New York Times bestselling author of Self Made, first Latina president of entertainment for a U.S. television network (Telemundo)
“The Latte Factor inspired me to start saving $5 a day, and before I knew it, I grew my savings by over $100,000 in just two years! By starting small, I started—and now I’m on the fast track to financial freedom. Money doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can do what I did. The key is to use the principles in this book and get going!”
—Sean Potter, MyMoneyWizard.com
“A must-read if you want to reach your personal financial goals!”
—Jason Dorsey, Gen Z/Millennial expert, bestselling author of Y-Size Your Business
Excerpt from The Latte Factor
Chapter 1. The Oculus
Boarding the L train to work Monday morning, as she did every day, Zoey took a sip of her double-shot latte and thought about the photograph.
She thought about it for the full forty minutes it took to travel west and then south, from Brooklyn to her last stop in Lower Manhattan, and she thought about it as she stood to exit the train along with a thousand other passengers.
What was it about that photograph?
The subway car doors opened and Zoey became a drop in the ocean of commuters as it poured through Fulton Center, the hub where nearly every subway line in Lower Manhattan converged. The wave carried her along through the gray-tiled passageway and out into the huge open space below the World Trade Center, where Zoey stopped, rooted in place, as people flowed around her. She glanced up at the cavernous ceiling. It looked like the ribs of an enormous bird cast in white steel, a phoenix risen from the ashes of 9/11.
She began moving again, feeling the hugeness of the place as she walked. Six hundred feet of pure white Italian marble. It was like being in a gigantic cathedral.
The Oculus. Gateway to one of the most famous memorials and tourist destinations in the world. Zoey passed through it every day—twice, in fact: once on the way to work and then again on the way home—yet she’d never really stopped to take it in.
She entered the white marble–lined West Concourse passageway, with its enormous LED wall display to her left, nearly a football field in length. Normally she ignored the constant rotation of advertisements and public service announcements, intent only on getting to the escalator. Today the image splashed across the big screen made Zoey stop in her tracks once more.
The picture showed a fishing boat, complete with crew and nets—very much like the boat in that photograph, the one she couldn’t get out of her mind. Only, rather than rocking in the water at dockside, this boat sat stranded in the middle of a desert.
Strange, thought Zoey. Strange, and strangely unsettling.
As she watched, giant letters scrolled across the image, spelling out a message:
If you don’t know where you’re going,
you might not like where you end up.
Moments later the image dissolved, replaced by more ads.
Zoey walked on.
Reaching the end of the passageway, she stepped onto the escalator, which carried her two stories up and into the sunlit glass atrium. She walked outside and turned back toward West Street, the sun in her eyes, to face the building where she worked. One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. This was her daily routine. She loved standing in this spot, tipping her head way back and looking straight up, trying to see the top of the enormous tower as it stretched toward the sky.
Today, though, her mind was elsewhere.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not like where you end up.
It was an ad for something—insurance company, car company, travel app, she couldn’t quite remember what. Hadn’t Jessica had something to do with that slogan? It seemed to her that this was one of Jess’s accounts, whatever it was they were advertising. Yet this morning somehow it felt like a personal message directed right at Zoey. And it gnawed at her.
Just like that photograph. The one she couldn’t get out of her mind.
She suddenly remembered the latte in her left hand and took a sip. It had gone cold.
Normally she would now cross the street, enter the building, and take the elevator up to her office on the thirty-third floor. Today she diverted from her usual path. After crossing over West Street, she took a sharp right, heading away from One World Trade, and walked toward the reflecting pools, the two enormous square fountains built on the precise footprints of the original Twin Towers, bordered by short black marble walls with an endless stretch of names carved into their top surfaces.
The 9/11 Memorial.
She stopped at the north pool and looked down at the surging water below. Felt the surface of the marble and read the first dozen names. There were so many of them. Thousands of people had died here, in those dark days of September 2001. Zoey had been in grade school then. She glanced over at the great ribbed wings of the Oculus jutting up among the skyscrapers a block away.
Why did everything look so different to her today?
If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not like where you end up.
Where exactly was it that Zoey was going? Where exactly did she expect to end up?
Had she ever really thought about that before?
A man stopped for a split second to glare at the watch on his wrist, then hurried on. Zoey stirred. She was going to be late for work.
She started to turn away to head back toward One World Trade Center—but something held her in place. Instead, she stepped over to one of the nearby concrete benches and sat down, cold latte in hand, as the stream of tourists, commuters, and locals flowed past. She spoke softly, to no one but herself:
“What am I doing with my life?”