After reading yet another mention of the book Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach the other day, I finally broke down and borrowed a copy of the Canadian Edition from my library.
Overall I liked the book as a beginner book. It provides some solid advice on some basic parts of personal finance for a beginner, yet there are a few ideas that might cause problems.
So overall here is what I liked:
- Right near the start the author deals with finding out your goals and values and then develop a plan from there. After all if you don’t know what your values are how can you decide if you want your first house more than a dinner out and which investment will work best to get you to your goal (to get an overview of this concept read this post)
- The basic file system is actually fairly complete. I liked it so much I based my own system on the one provided on the book.
- The Latte Factor is a bit over rated, but the point is valid. If you keep spending $5 to $10 several times a day you are potentially wasting a lot of cash on things you really don’t care about.
- The book is a quickly paced which provides a good basic education of personal finance in a modest 238 pages.
Here are the things I didn’t like:
- He assumed in every example that you wanted to retire at 65. Come on David, we are trying for retirement at 45 here. Work with me!
- Despite covering planning with your values/goals in the front of the book, he spends the rest of the book ignoring what he worked so hard to cover in the first place. I was expecting a theme of investing with your values and it just didn’t happen in the book.
- The author always used double digit returns when providing an example of investing. This sets up an unrealistic expectation for a beginner to have, so I thought he should of stuck with a more modest 7% return instead.
- I HATE the term Latte Factor and all the other Trade Marked terms he used in the book. The author ends up coming across as arrogant.
Overall it is worth a read (if you borrow it from the library) if you are just starting out in the world of personal finance. It gives you a few basic tools to get started, but I would highly suggest a person keep reading other books to balance out their point of view. If your a die hard personal finance geek, skip the read you won’t learn anything new here.