Building Wealth And Being Happy: A Practical Guide To Financial Independence (Volume 1) 1st Edition
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First up, it's poorly written and poorly edited. The grammar is sloppy (the author ought not use a semi-colon ever again -- at least not until he understands how to do so properly), the flow of the book is disjointed (it jumps from topic to topic), and it's filled with sweeping generalizations without supporting citations. (The book does cite some sources, but not as often as it should.)
This book bills itself as "a practical guide to financial independence", but there's little actual discussion of what this concept means. There's a cursory discussion, but that's it. Nor is there much useful information about how to actually achieve financial independence. The author spends a lot of time rambling about investing, and that's great, but investing is only a small part of the larger picture.
I feel like the author's heart is in the right place, but that doesn't make this a good book. There are many better options out there, including Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt and The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.
Top international reviews
This book is a great introduction to the concept of financial independence. It's easy to read and has lots of real world examples that show how to implement these changes.
There were quite a few typos, but considering the author was giving the book away for free in a promotion, I have no complaints.
While Graeme touches on a number of subjects I'm particularly fond of his section on how one's savings rate is of enormous importance in determining how quickly one will accumulate a nest egg that'll support them for retirement, whenever that happens to be. Always interesting how that shockingly simple math works out.
Very good summary of the various ingredients that go into making up an investment portfolio, the importance(and power) of diversification, rebalancing, etc... Asset allocation of course, but also a section on asset location(a topic skipped over in many other books!) are discussed, from both a US and also a Canadian perspective.
If your bookshelf already contains a shelf or two of personal finance and sensible long-term investment books, you're probably not going to be learning something new on every page. If you are just getting started? Heard something about FIRE and want to learn a bit more? This would be a very good choice of a primer. Also a good refresher for those of us who DO have a couple shelves of personal finance and investing books already :) Graeme has a very friendly and stress-free way of writing here. Heck, he has a favourite appendix!(Appendix B!) Which while it might not have been *my* absolute favourite, it was at least my 2nd favourite. I'm more partial to H, which is rather topical at the moment of my review.
Hopefully this book whets your appetite to learn more about building a financial future you can be happy with, and the possibility of financial independence!
Comparing it to many of the "gold standard's" for Canadian personal finance, such as The Wealthy Barber Returns , The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing , Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School , This book adds nothing new to the conversation, nor is it detailed enough to replace any other popular personal finance book. Don't get me wrong the author has a good balance of humor and makes the dry topics readable, It just does not do a better job that books that are already available.
The book's two main points are this,
1. You can manage your own investments and you would be stupid not too, unless you want to add years to your retirement
2. Don't focus too much on saving, because you should enjoy your time right now.
The book does cover other topics as well, including asset allocation, Mutual funds vs ETF vs Index Funds, real estate, Asset correlation, stock market 101, and an Intro to Financial Independence (FI). It seems the author tried to write this book for the set of individuals looking who are actively seeking FI at an early age. This is something that is important and a book dedicated to this subject could be an excellent tool to help get you there. However, this book is lacking the details to help you. For example, on the subject of side hustles / finding financial independence through your own business, there are a mere 5 pages. Hopefully, the second edition will go into further detail and provide more of a resource to those walking the FI road.
I would not recommend this book at its current edition ( edition 1), as there are many other personal finance books that do a mush better job of covering the important topics.
If you are starting down the Financial Independence Road, - The Wealthy Barber, a fun and insightful read into the value of index investing and proper budgeting.
Behavioral Finance / Psychology of a millionaire - The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy - Eye opening read about who the average millionaire actually is, how their actions led them to where they are now.
Family Wealth Management / Preparing the next generation - Build Your Family Bank: A Winning Vision for Multigenerational Wealth This book cover the human side of passing money on to the next generation. A bit pricey at list price for the size and material, however, there is no other book like it I've come across.
First time in the corporate world - Suits And Ladders - Great book to give as a graduation gift, talks about when to keep your head down and when to raise your voice, all while surviving the office politics, and the corporate latter you are expected to climb.