Top positive review
Great, but tough read
January 11, 2015
I just finished reading this book and, in the end, I enjoyed it. The author, Jacob Lund Fisker, is obviously intelligent and his writing is sometimes difficult to understand. This is the third financial book I have read, the other two being The Richest Man in Babylon and most recently Your Money or Your Life.
I am not a financial expert, pretty silly about it all actually, but what I think Jacob is suggesting makes perfect sense. In this book, rather than focus on tactics, Jacob focuses on strategy and the underlying principles that guide economic behavior in a consumer-driven society.
What I like about the principles in this book is that they are scaleable. Meaning, you can be as extreme or not as you would like to be.
The idea is that more money invested early, in larger sums, will ultimately equal more interest to live off sooner. Sure, one can invest 10%-15% of their income over the course of a 30 year career, but one could also invest 75% of their income over the course of five years. How does one invest 75% of their income? By extreme living.
There are several conceptual models presented in this book that make a lot of sense. The idea of "tight coupling" resonated with me due to personal financial circumstances. I am a salary man and while I have some "slack" in my coupling, there is not much room between my salary and needs.
A complex system has many points of failure, but is also- or can be- resilient. Consider a person who has several income streams. Yes, one of them could fail, but if it does, the other streams continue.
If you can get through the first half of the book, which does seem strange at times, it all comes home in the end. Ultimately, there is a logic to what Jacob is suggesting in his book and it makes sense when you arrive. What he presents is based on sound mathematics and several graphs are provided to help with the narrative.
Anyway, I do believe this book could be better written with the common man in mind. It's a challenging read and I think one needs a reasonable intelligence to process it. I understand why several of the one star ratings rated the way they did. They did not get it, or, it did not conform to their financial strategy.
Incidentally, I think this book pairs nicely with Your Money or Your Life. YMOYL is a much easier read and in many instances shares similar content.
Succinctly, if you are reasonably sharp, oriented toward extreme living, and think like an engineer, physicist, or mathematician, I think this is a perfect book for you.