I’m not sure if you have ever had this option in your life, but if you have ever spent a hour or two just talking about money to someone who is knowledgeable and excited about the topic the time can just fly by. This is more or less what reading The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton feels like. The mans knows his stuff and it is quick and easy to understand book and it also has lots of humor.
In some regards I do feel sorry for David, since after his first book became almost a bible to most personal finance geeks (not surprising since it sold over two million copies in Canada), his second was almost doomed to disappoint somewhat because he couldn’t live up to the hype surrounding the book no matter how hard he tried. I don’t mean to say the book sucked or anything like that, but rather the expectations could easily be set far too high for the book.
I personally somewhat had this issue. Why? Well if you have to know the very first person finance book I ever read was The Wealthy Barber. So like it or not, that book defined a lot of ideas in my head early on in life about saving in general. So I did try to rein in my enthusiasm for the book, but I didn’t do that great of a job. It was rather like Christmas when my copy arrived.
David himself manages to echo a lot of standard advice that you have already likely heard: spend less than you earn, be careful with how much credit you use and for the love of God save something! Hardly earth shattering advice, but David does have a point about repeating it: the advice hasn’t sunk in yet for the majority of people. Thus this book is aim squarely at the majority of clueless Canadians who rather talk about almost anything else other than their money, despite the fact a large amount of their problems stem from their lack of knowledge about their money.
So while I did enjoy David’s humour and his explanations of everything, I didn’t learn anything new out of the book. Which is hardly surprising since if you look at the number of book reviews on this site and realize that is only a fraction of what I have read it becomes obvious I’m a personal finance geek from my toes to the tips of my hair that is standing straight up.
In the end I do think this is a great book for the majority of people to read, especially if they feel the topic of money is a dry and boring one. Yet if you have already read a lot on personal finance you likely won’t learn much, but you will still enjoy the funny parts.
So did you read David’s new book? If so, did you like it?