It was through The Wealthy Barber that I learned that Paying Yourself First is the way to go (and it remains to be my most important financial piece of wisdom).
I really enjoyed the Wealthy Barber because of the humor, the easy reading, the story line and I’m happy to say that The Wealthy Barber Returns doesn’t disappoint! No story line in this one, but lots of humor. I actually “laughed out loud” at a few pages and to be honest, I NEVER do that with a book, let alone a PF book. Ten years later, he still looks the same as the original book (I did a side by side comparison of course) and has not significantly older as he claims in the title of his new book.
He wrote the book because he found that the rate of savings and the financial literacy of Canadians was pretty dismal and he’s right. In this book, he focuses mainly on his insights into saving, spending, and borrowing, and says that our current society is CONSUMED with consumption (I totally agree with this- material goods don’t necessarily bring lasting happiness– I have yet to try and convince my boyfriend otherwise).
The way David writes reminds me of how I write (like its a conversation) except he writes a gazillion times better of course.
In the latter part of the book, he talks about some random thoughts on personal finance, and I liken this to the “nitty gritty”. He talks about financial advisors, what common personal finance abbreviations mean, why its a good idea to be oblivious in the stock market, and he even mentions about some great personal finance blogs you should follow (namely the Canadian personal finance gurus Preet Banjeree and Squawk Fox). In one of my favourite chapters, he acknowledges that because of the multiple registered plans available (RESP, TFSA, RRSPs) it can be difficult to “choose just one”, so he elucidates (there, word of the day!) which one might be better for you, given your specific situation.
I really liked his chapter on TFSA vs RRSPs (and I have also asked this important question, of course) and he thinks the TFSA wins hands down. You can read an excerpt of his book in the Toronto Star. He does make a good point that with the RRSP, it can be very difficult to predict your income when you withdraw from it. However, I am being optimistic and don’t think that there will be a 40% tax rate when I withdraw my RRSPs, but who knows, I might be a very wealthy pensionable 65 year old!
Another chapter (titled “A Tough Call”) I really enjoyed was about whether or not to contribute to an RESP (or contribute to an RRSP). Do you put your children first or your retirement first? He suggested that you could recruit grandparents to help with RESP contributions and that approaching this subject with your parents might be difficult but he gave an easy tip:
Get some RESP brochures and say to your parents, “Here’s the material you asked for.” When they look confused, follow up with, “Oh sorry, that was the in-laws”.
Haha that is the best trick in the book ever, if you ask me! Creating motiviational competition and guilt between inlaws is like getting two Christmas presents from your separated parents (Hey! My parents are separated so I can say that, don’t hate me 😉 )
The coolest part of this book is that he actually gives his real number in the book and I am tempted to call it to see if it is really him. Judging by his friendly, personable personality, I am taking a guess that it really is his phone number listed in the book. Anyone want to test it and see? When I emailed him (or so I thought his publisher) to ask for a review copy of his book, I was surprised that he replied back himself!
Readers, what are your thoughts on The Wealthy Barber Returns? Have you tried calling his number? Here’s his website if you want to have a visit: The Wealthy Barber Returns. You can also follow him on twitter: @wealthy_barber.