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November 15th, 2019 at 12:35 pm
Robert Kiyosaki wrote this book in a somewhat narrative fashion. He goes through his early business struggles and includes conversations with his “rich dad” about the elder’s financial projections for the nation.Rich Dad Radio
The book goes on to explain that there are some serious flaws in the law (Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA) that encourages an unsustainable type of investing. Non-investors are thrown into the world of stocks, but it isn’t in their best interest unless they are also trained. The government has done this because there is a serious problem: people can’t afford to retire and that makes people unhappy, which then threatens their power position. Basically, government has been trying to kick this can down the road for a few decades now, causing the problems to get bigger and bigger. It looks like it will finally be too heavy to kick this next time, but who knows? The government is very talented at pushing off the root problems.
The good news is that this book also gives you some processes that should protect you. These processes are the same ones Robert Kiyosaki always says: buy cash producing assets and let them pay themselves off, get enough of them and they’ll pay your living expenses as well. What is different about this book is: 1. A stronger urgency, even for those who currently have comfortable lifestyles. 2. He addresses character traits as much as anything else. WHO you are matters as much, or even more, than anything else.
Kiyosaki takes all these concepts and wraps them nicely into a single biblical and nautical metaphor, Noah’s ark. But unlike Noah’s ark, the ark he teaches you to build will hold you afloat even if it doesn’t rain.
Where I found it:
I had been wanting to read this book ever since I learned of its existence about 2 years ago. For some reason I didn’t see it in the library catalog then. I considered buying it on ebay, but settled down when I realized there are plenty of good financial forecasting books out there to be had for free from the library. Then, one day I visited my sister in law and we visited the library. There it was sitting on the shelf. Luckily our libraries are also sisters, so I could check it out and return it at my own branch.
I’ve heard a lot of solid reasons for a market collapse, here’s yet another angle: retirement.
Workers used to depend on a three legged retirement program: social security, pensions, and investments. As everyone knows social security is getting thin. The second leg, pensions, are becoming rare as companies shift the risk on to the employee.
Finally, by shoving everything and everyone into the stock market, people ill equipped for the risk world of investing are forced to participate. Their minds are set at ease by the word “diversify” and they dump their money into index funds. As more people blindly invest, the stocks continue to grow blindly as well. But what happens in market corrections? When the risk adverse employees see their portfolio going down, they switch out to bonds or another perceived safe haven, pushing stock prices even lower. Basically, the average employee has been duped into putting money they depend on into a non-dependable location and they don’t have the guts to make that work.
Maybe the employees aren’t as panicky as predicted. Maybe they have been properly indoctrinated to “invest for the long term” (even if they are retiring soon). The bad news is that there is also a built in time-bomb called “minimum distributions”. As the baby boomers reach 70 ½ years old in unprecedented numbers, they will be REQUIRED to start letting the air out of the stock market.
When all is said and done, your three legged stool is standing on a paper thin leg, and a leg that is mascaraing as two separate legs that also happens to be showered in sparks with a time bomb strapped to it. It is holding for now, but if any flames catch, your stool is toast.
It is time to take action and stop letting other people put your assets together for you. Get off the stool, and get in your boat. Choose your own cargo, strap it down carefully, and take responsibility for the steering. This book has a lot more to do with taking responsibility than following the normal “Rich Dad” method. It’s okay to build a “poor ark”, a “middle class ark”, or a “rich ark”, just don’t expect your government or job to take care of you. You are in control of your ship.
I recommend Rich Dad Prophecy to anyone who is preparing for retirement. I’m not talking about people who are 50+, but anyone who is planning their retirement whether it is next week or in 40 years. If you are still living paycheck to paycheck and retirement is undreamable, get that in line first.
This book opens your eyes to critically view the financial world around you and it motivates you to take action for your own retirement.
I do want to caution though, Robert Kiyosaki is the debt king. He believes in good debt (debt that someone else pays off for you such as the tenants in a rental property) like its God’s gift to investors. Sure, “good debt” is a great way to leverage your money and accelerate growth. It would be nearly impossible to get rich in one lifetime without it. However, too much good debt and you lose your margin of safety and go bankrupt at the first bump in the road (or storm on the ocean?). When Robert says something like, “you can retire with $15,000. Just go buy three $100,000 houses at 5% down, then live off the rent”, please take it with a grain of salt.
Also, note this book is old. Sure, the copyright is 2013, but most of the information is from the 1970’s to early 2000’s. Even if it were written from a 2013 perspective, that’s ancient in financial books.
What got me interested in this type of book in the first place was one of Robert’s live online events. Check out
to listen to Robert (sometimes explicit language) any time and sign up for his emails for live events (yes, they do send more emails than I wish, but they also send occasional gems).
More Financial Book Reviews by Milly
November 15th, 2019 at 12:16 pm
This book is meant as a step by step guide to begin or improve making money in real estate. It starts with general education about cashflow, how real estate has a tax advantage in investments, how real estate employs leverage to accelerate your wealth’s growth, and how to organize your personal money so that you can be ready for the investment. It then lays out the process step by step, complete with checklists and goal setting. This step by step process includes defining what you want, checklists and equations to evaluate property, adding escape routes to your contracts, efficient ways to raise your property’s value on small budgets, and how to grow a powerful team.Financial Book Reviews by Milly
Where I found it:
While reading “Rich Dad Prophecy”, I decided I wanted to read a book by Robert Kiyosaki’s Real Estate advisor. When I came across a book jointly written by his Tax Advisor and his Real Estate Advisor in my library’s catalogue, I put it on hold immediately.
Much of the beginning discussion proves points that Robert Kiyosaki has made to me through his books many times: cashflow is king, debt can be good, real estate is ideal as it employs the bank’s money as leverage, etc. I will only list my new takeaways below.
Real estate is one of the few investment opportunities that isn’t dominated by computer analysis. Yes, there are some powerful tools in Zillow and other online sites, but you don’t have computers automatically pulling up listings, running the data, and placing offers (at least not that I know of). So far, real estate has too much of a personal, human, element to automate. This means that we can actually compete and win. The “deal of a lifetime” is available about once a week. You just have to go scope enough properties out to find it.
I was also floored by all the possible tax deductions a professional real estate investor can qualify for. It is clear from the tax code that the government wants you investing in this field. For example, any of my travel could be considered a business trip. I just have to visit a property and take notes. Not hard to do since real estate is literally everywhere. Also, the law assumes a residential home is worthless after 27.5 years. That means if you buy a $250,000 house, your depreciation deduction is about $9,000 a year! Basically, if you are paying taxes on your real estate investments, you need to have a talk with a real estate tax expert.
Commercial property was particularly interesting. I had never considered (or never knew about) many of the benefits: the tenant makes their income from the property and will likely maintain or even modernize at their own expense, the tenants usually sign longer leases, the tenant usually pays property taxes and insurance, and you can invest large chunks of money in only one property, thus simplifying your portfolio. Of course, there are some drawbacks. The vacant properties often sit longer and you usually need a 40% down payment.
Something that could help you at any point of your life is the advice they give in picking out a good team to help you. First, don’t try and do anything by yourself if you can get someone who can do it better for you. For example, instead of looking at hundreds of properties, talk to a real estate agent and give them a clear picture of what you are looking for. They look at hundreds of properties already and they will work hard for your commissions, especially if you are serious enough that you are a potential return customer. You should also ask them for good lenders, and ask them and the lenders for good tax guys and lawyers, etc. The better your network, the better you’ll be able to scale your investments. It also gives good advice on asking questions: ask them if they personally invest in real estate, what would make a good/bad client for them, what processes do they use for your job, do their clients invest in real estate… and once you have them on your team ask thought provoking questions such as “how can I prevent X” or “how can I write off X as a deduction”. Just asking them “can this be a deduction” usually gets a one word answer.
I recommend this book to anyone who is on the fence or ready to cross the fence and get into real estate. It is a very easy read, leaves you motivated, and gives you first steps to follow through on your motivation. This book helps you feel ready with a plan.
I had been on the fence worrying that I could not invest in Real Estate because my location wasn’t very secure and I didn’t dare buy farther away. About 4 months later, I’m putting in my first ever offer on an investment property in a market I feel very good about (yay!).
I would also like to add a little caution. Make sure you follow the advice about different bags of money and on insurances. Make sure you have your emergency fund and several month's expenses before throwing your money into income producing assets or growth assets. Debt is powerful, but it can also bite, so make sure you “cover your assets” before you buy them.
November 14th, 2019 at 09:36 pm
Stanley wrote this book after extensive study of the American wealthy. At first, he thought he would be studying America’s upper class, but starting with his very first set of interviews, he realized that the truly wealthy do not live the lifestyle that one might imagine. This book works its way through many aspects of the lifestyle of the wealthy and contrasts it with the lifestyle of the high consumer. Private schools, car shopping, inheritance, neighborhoods, and marriage are all discussed. Everything is backed by data and/or interesting anecdotes.Financial Book Reviews by Milly
Where I found it:
It is a little silly how long it took me to get around to this book. I became an avid consumer of everything financial literature in 2016, yet here I am in 2019, finally reading the book that so many have been shaped by. I found it while browsing the “for purchase” section of my local library and picked up the hardback book for $1.
Stanley makes an interesting point about how people acquire wealth. He uses a formula as a ballpark estimator of how much wealth people usually have in life based on age and current income. Age x income x 10% = how much an average person would have accumulated. For example, if I were 30 and made $100,000 annually, I should have $300,000 in assets (30*$100,000*0.1). If I have twice that amount, than I am a “Prodigious accumulator of wealth” or PAW. If I have half, than I am an “Under Accumulator of Wealth” or UAW. Using this method, it is much easier to see who has learned to grow wealth. Of course, there are some major flaws. For example, if someone lost their job and had to settle for a lower salary, they would look very good on this continuum when compared to someone who just got promoted to a fat salary.
I was surprised by some of the stories in this book. I expected the usual, earn a good salary, but live like you don’t. This book portrayed something more extreme. It had horror stories about how assistance from rich parents trapped their children in a desperate lifestyle. It had a boss gently refuse his employee’s gift of a custom Rolls Royce because it would only cause him expenses and he couldn’t throw his fish in the backseat. This book boils all finances into two very simple statements: do what makes your net worth grow and teach your kids to stand on their own.
I’m not going to lie. Much of this book is tedious. There’s lots of tables of data and lots of redundant points. My impression was that it read like someone’s research report, but they stuck a bunch of stories in it to make it into a proper book. There were nuggets on most pages, but the read felt tedious, and that's coming from a numbers person.
I recommend this book to someone who is ready to start taking a big picture look at their net worth and see if they are growing it properly. I recommend this book to someone who is wealthy or a high income earner and is thinking about how to support their children. I recommend this book to people whose dream is to buy a status item such as a Ferrari. You’re going to have to be committed to reading though or you’ll have a hard time getting through it.
January 7th, 2019 at 12:56 pm
Hardship and Hope- America and the Great Depression walks you through day to day life as the stock market collapses, jobs are lost, welfare runs out, the government throws out experimental programs, the programs bring hope, economic hardship persists, productivity jumps to support the war, and we remember the legacy. It addresses topics on many levels such as individual entertainment, racism, unions, ideological shifts, and survival methods.Financial Book Reviews by Milly
Where I found it:
I found this book while browsing the very limited financial section of my local library.
What I learned:
Hardship and Hope was a very interesting read for me for several reasons. First, I think we are headed towards another severe depression. It was encouraging to see the human endurance. That when your surviving off the coal dropped from trains and eating mostly cabbage, you can still survive. It made me realize that humans can do anything.
Secondly, I learned accounts where government welfare saved people’s lives. Many New Deal programs were unconstitutional, funded by debt, and not terminated after the crisis subsided or set a bad precedent for future government programs. In the moment, Americans felt that capitalism and democracy had failed and allowed the legislative and executive branches beat out the judicial branch and have destroyed much (or even most!) of the intent of the constitution.
Despite my hard feelings for how Roosevelt dealt with the crisis by sacrificing what America is, a Harry Hopkins quote really stood out to me “People don't eat in the long run, they eat every day”. When faced with the Great Depression, the New Dealers weren’t thinking about the long run, they were trying to save the lives of families all across the nation. I guess this book helped me remember both sides of the story so that I can be better balanced when faced with proposed welfare programs that violate what America stands for.
I have a few problems with this book. For one, math people will be driven a little crazy because it compares sums to percentages and hourly wages to weekly wages. Without looking up population data or labor statistics of the day, many of their numbers are useless. Even the appropriately stated numbers are hard to put into comparison because we have no baseline for how much things were worth prior to the depression. The other problem that some of the points are presented in ways I disagree with, such as praising unions for ensuring that as profits are increased, wages are increased etc. The libertarian inside of me was definitely rubbed the wrong way at times. I thought it was healthy to see it from a new angle though. Overall, I was actually impressed at the presentation of facts without a political message. Sherrow did a pretty good job at staying neutral.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick (only 110 easy print pages) glimpse into the past so that they can live a better future. I don’t know that this particular book is any better than others on the topic though. If your library doesn’t have it, try a different one or look up some research papers. I just like that it is short and walks you through the depression fairly chronologically.
January 7th, 2019 at 12:48 pm
The Big Short is more like a biographical novel. It follows the stories of several people who spotted the signs of the oncoming 2008 financial crisis before there was any stress in the system. You get to experience their minds as they spot the absurdity, as the uncover immense moral hazards, as they struggle to find a profitable way to trade on the information, as they fight with investors who want out, as they make the victory, and how they deal with the aftermath of having bet on the demise of the financial world as they knew it. Some of the characters are very amusing, some are irritating, and some are foul. As backwards as it sounds this book captures the human element completely while at the same time discussing something as analytical as financial trading.Financial Book Reviews by Milly
Where I found it:
I found this book while browsing the very limited financial section of my library.
What I learned:
The Big Short taught me how corrupt the system can get when moral hazards are present and how blind the big companies can be.
I was amazed by the clearly immoral tricks the loan originators and repackagers played to get their pools of mortgages an AAA rating. AAA! That’s the highest rating possible and better than our current US Treasuries (S&P downgraded US Treasuries to AA+ due to the debt ceiling crisis of 2011). They took a lot of low FICO loans who would most likely default and threw them in with the loans of immigrant workers who don’t have enough history for a low FICO score and only reported the average number, which was high enough to ensure no default. They didn’t care if the pools actually went bad or not because once the pool is sold off, the risk is on the new owner. All they cared about was volume. The more mortgages they sold, the more money they made. They made so many bad mortgages that one originator company had 20% of the mortgages default AT THE FIRST PAYMENT and had to take the loss themselves.
On the other hand, the rating agencies were lost. They didn’t have a model for these mortgages, so they accepted the model they were handed by the packagers. They loved it because rating agencies get paid per security rated. With companies buying up these AAA products in a feeding frenzy, they got a lot of things to rate.
Investment banks were just as lost. They didn’t really care what gave something an AAA rating, they just knew if they filled themselves up with something that wouldn’t default and had a good return, they’d make a ton of money. They snatched these up even faster than they could be produced, so paper mortgage backed securities got invented. The paper securities were not even backed by mortgages, just construed to mimic them financially.
Basically, there was a moral hazard at the beginning of a system as originators learned to game the system. They did it so well and the people later down the chain were so blind and poorly managed that it resulted in a massive financial bloom and rot on such a scale that it put the entire global financial system out of whack.
I loved seeing into the crisis. There were so many things to discover that I actually talked to people about it a lot while I was reading. Normally people aren’t interested in my random financial obsessions, but this one actually got some engagement. The discoveries were just so appalling that they had to be voiced and people are willing to hear reasons to blame. Not to mention, there were some pretty funny moments.
There aren’t many people I would recommend this book to. The beginning was boring, but the second half made up for it. A few parts are confusingly technical, but you can get the gist of it and move on. You don’t actually have to follow the author’s explanation of the paper mortgage securities, just know that they were cleverly construed. The biggest problem is that a few of the characters use the F word in every thought.
January 7th, 2019 at 12:37 pm
If you are in debt, this is the first place to start to get motivated and organized. It breaks down the process of going from sinking in a paycheck to paycheck (or worse) life to taking your extended family out on a cruise. The “baby steps” go as follows: 4% or less
1. Save $1,000 for a rainy day
2. Pay off all debt (except your house) using the debt snowball technique
3. Finish off your emergency savings by saving up 3-6 months’ worth of expenses
4. Invest 15% of your household income in the S&P 500 (I’d put it elsewhere)
5. Set up a tax exempt college fund for your kids
6. Pay off your house
As you knock out each baby step, the next baby steps get easier because you’ve eliminated the drag of debt or at least have the savings to avoid putting on more debt. If you ever slip a step (you had to use your emergency savings for a broken car), just pause the step you are on and go back. You’ll find yourself getting to the later steps faster and faster each time.
Where I Found It:
I think most people looking at finances have come across this book. Dave Ramsey is the recognized lead for getting out of debt. I figured I couldn’t write about finances unless I’ve read it, so I picked it up off the shelf at the library and read it in an RV on a stormy beach.
What I learned:
There was very little in this book that I didn’t already know. It had a few things in the later baby steps about taxes that I had never stopped and considered, but I’m not there yet anyways. What I LOVE about this book is how motivating it is. It made me almost wish I had more debts just for the adventure of getting out of them. He made it that exciting.
I also learned that Dave Ramsey’s method isn’t perfect. He really doesn’t have much a clue when it comes to the later steps. That’s okay though because when he tells a broke person that you can expect to get a 12% return in the S&P 500 (try
!) they’ve probably got years before it matters. Maybe it is helpful in motivating them to get out of debt faster and maybe it doesn’t matter since investing 15% is the commonly accepted responsible thing to do anyways.
This book is amazing at getting you motivated and there is a ton of wisdom in the baby steps. I got a little bored with the stories, but they are in boxes and easy to skip. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone in baby steps 1-3. There are some major problems with the later steps though.
One thing to note is the 12% he claims you should expect from the stock market is completely absurd. Get through the other baby steps first, but do more research when you get to the investment part. Please read why the S&P 500 is not a great investment
Actually, don’t trust any of Dave Ramsey’s numbers. Even his $1,000 emergency savings in baby step #1 is off. I don’t disagree with $1,000, but $1,000 in 2003 (when the Total Money Makeover was first written) is equivalent to $1,362 in 2018 if you believe government published inflation data. If you want to assume a 5% inflation (like I do), that $1,000 is actually $2,079. I’m not saying that you have to have $2k in the bank before you should look at paying down you debts. I’m saying that you have to choose for yourself what number will keep you and your family from bouncing back to the credit card with every unexpected expense. Write that number down and work towards it. Then, even though you’re only sitting on a thin cushion, start attacking that debt aggressively.
I also disagree with the children’s college saving as step #5. Sure, it would be great to have money set aside for education, but my oldest is only 5 and there is a lot of uncertainty shrouding the topic.
Ramsey talks about state programs where you pay for college early so you don’t have to worry about future price increases. What if you move across the country? Now your kid has to move far away just to go to a state college. What if state colleges are overly politicized or immorally overly politically correct by then? Speaking of politics, tuition itself has become a huge political issue. I think it is just as likely that state colleges are free in 15 years.
Looking at the last 15 years and assuming things only accelerate, I’ve decided to pay my house off and get myself financially secure first so that I can afford whatever tuition at whatever school I’m asked in the future. Maybe that is silly since the money is very transferable and if I decide I’m really not going to use it, I can even withdraw it (taxes will apply). I just want to focus on the known first. If I have solid footing, the rest won’t matter as much.
Note: My husband actually sent money home to his family while in college and I only received financial help from mine the first year. We both graduated from college debt free.
I recommend Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” to just about anyone and especially those who don’t see how they can make it financially or are in the early “baby steps”.
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January 7th, 2019 at 12:26 pm
This is a FREE PDF
!! Read it Now! If you want to learn the 2 step lazy man's way to invest with better returns than professional investors, this one is for you. It is only 16 pages long and only takes about 20 min annually to execute. The PDF will take you through the theory, the steps, the pitfalls, and how to overcome your obstacles.
Basically, it teaches you to invest like this: Set up 3 investment funds (US stocks, foreign stocks, bonds) and fund it with a certain percentage in each (typically 1/3rd in each). Every year rebalance the ratios between your funds so that they are back to what you intended (such as 1/3rd in each). You can choose different percentages based on your aggression/risk tolerance or even have it shift towards bonds as you age. The percentages are up to you, just leave it alone except for tweaking it annually and you will do fine.
Where I found it:
I came across the PDF while surfing the BogleHeads website
What I learned:
I finally understand why balancing portfolios increases your returns. If something is going up, it is probably becoming more overvalued so you sell some off while it is high and put that money into something that still has growth ahead of it. If something goes down, it is probably becoming discounted, so sell some of your higher valued positions and put that money into scooping up the discounts. If you maintain a specific percentage of your portfolio in each category you decide to invest in (US stocks, precious metals, foreign stocks, bonds, etc.), you will naturally adjust more optimally. It just takes guts to stay the course. Don’t leave your money to grow longer in any category just because it is hot right now and don’t be afraid to “buy the dip” when things go down.
Anyone who is interested enough to have read this far is definitely interested enough to benefit. Seriously, just click the link. It’s short and it’s right here
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January 7th, 2019 at 12:05 pm
Although not strictly a financial book, I see Who Moved my Cheese? as the number one most important thing to master in times of financial change, which we will all experience in some form or another.Financial Book Reviews by Milly
The book is very short. The audio is only an hour and forty minutes long, so I imagine reading it is even quicker.
Who Moved my Cheese? tells the parable of two mouse sized men in a maze. After years of working through the maze, they have learned that cheese is deposited daily within a certain section of the maze. They moved near the cheese. They based their social life on the cheese. They measured their success in life by their cheese findings. Life was centered on that cheese and it was good. Then one day, it was gone.
The two men reacted very differently.
One man continued visiting the now cheeseless site daily only to find it repeatedly empty. He would sit and complain that life had cheated him. Every day he would ask “who moved my cheese?” Every day, he was miserable.
The other man tried for a few days, but quickly deduced that the cheese they had taken for granted all of those years had moved on so he did too. He wandered the maze for days discovering things he never knew existed. He found little bits of cheese here and there, but had to keep moving on.
Eventually, after a long hunt, he found the new cheese depository. From then on, he made sure the cheese would not catch him off guard. He continued to explore and was always ready in case the cheese moved again.
Where I found it:
My husband checked out the audio version from his work’s library.
What I learned:
Success takes both hard work and some luck. Maybe God put you in the path of a wise mentor. Maybe you got great deal. Maybe you were given a chance that people don’t normally get. Whatever it is, it is never really your efforts alone. Sometimes luck moves the other way. You might get unexpectedly laid off. You might have a medical disaster. So many possibilities are out there that it would be foolish to think any occupational or financial success will last the remainder of your life. When that happens, don’t get caught up on the injustice. Instead thank God for the gift you had, then embrace the new adventure. Choose to by happy, not miserable, and keep trying.
Well, I pretty much gave you the entire book, so if you are satisfied, maybe you don’t need to read it. Although, it is more powerfully told in the book. If you can afford an hour or so worth of your time to make the lessons stick, check it out. I recommend this book to anyone old enough to have cheese or seek after cheese. Mid to late teens and older? I especially recommend it to anyone who is currently in troubled times between occupations or job positions.
January 7th, 2019 at 11:57 am
Beating the Street should be required reading to all who wish to pick stocks. The author, Peter Lynch, was the widely successful manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund averaging about 30% returns for 13 years. Despite his success as a mutual fund manager, he strongly believes that individuals can outperform Wall Street fund managers if they are dedicated enough to be thorough and follow some common sense rules (numbered and in bold throughout the chapters and on this website
One thing that makes Lynch unique in his investment strategy is that there is no overarching strategy. He searches for undervalued companies in ANY sector and therefore had to become somewhat of an expert in all of them. Each chapter tackles a different type of investment (mutual funds, commodities, retail, financial, etc) and gives the formulas and sample numbers specific to that sector.
Where I found it:
It was one of the recommended readings at the end of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. I requested the book from my local library. I then went to browse the for sale books, turned around and canceled my request when I saw it sitting right there for $0.25.
What I learned:
The main thing I learned from this book is that I am not interested in stock picking. I simply do not have the time to do anything in depth consistently. I could research a few companies here and there, but not with enough depth to make solid comparisons or enough regularity to be nimble in my investments. I am very glad I learned that before working from the other direction for a few years first.
However, if I were to start stock picking, I would use this book daily. Every chapter is so well put together and despite having never read about the stock market before, I felt like I could see the picture.
I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. For a technical book on stock market analysis it had me laughing out loud quite a few times. It is full of stories and examples, some entertaining enough to share with your spouse and friends.
It is also important that you know this is a somewhat advanced book. I read it very early in my financial journey and it was extremely difficult for me to understand many parts. I didn’t even really understand what a stock was when I started. I read several sections at the computer so I could Google terms that he seemed to think were common that I had never heard before. It is impossible for me to know if I would still feel that way had I read it a few years later, but I imagine the book would be easier for someone with more prior exposure to the stock market.
That being said, I still gave the book away to my 14 year old nephew because he had the same determination I had to read it and understand it. Interest has a lot more to do with who I recommend the book to than age. If you ever consider stock picking, read Beating the Street first!
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January 7th, 2019 at 11:31 am
How to Retire the Cheapskate Way takes the opposite end to retirement planning. Instead of learning hot investing tricks or even old school strategies to maximize your nest egg, this book is all about reducing expenses. As discussed in another post, a penny saved is 1.57 pennies earned
! In it you learn to focus on what you actually want from retirement and find the cheapskate version, which can be achieved with very little money.
How to Retire the Cheapskate Way covers everything from fulfilling side jobs that can supplement retirement, to where to get less expensive medical care and how to navigate Medicare, to extreme frugal living. It is filled with cheapskate strategies ranging from the normal brown bagging your work lunch to the extremes of saving discarded calendars and giving them out as Christmas gifts when the dates line up again.
Where I found it:
I found this one while browsing the very limited financial section of my local library.
I am a cheapskate. My poor husband has to beg me to throw out everything from old underwear to tangled embroidery thread. Many sections of this book were like candy for me as I got glimpses of people doing things that I would totally do. It gave me more confidence in my cheapskateness and assurance that it is really okay to never spend money on things.
It also helped me feel much more at peace about retirement. Between a social security check and some type of “selfish” employment, I can survive without any retirement fund. It would be way nicer to have more money in retirement, but if I don’t need to have money, money gets a lot less stressful.
Don’t let a financial planner tell you what you need (unless, like Yeager, your potted plant needs a stack of papers to catch the runoff water). You have control of your spending and you don’t have to be conventional.
I recommend How to Retire the Cheapskate Way to anyone who has thought about retirement and worried if they will have enough to make it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to the extremes to benefit from this book.
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