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Being a HUUUGE fan of financial novels (hellooooo, Wealthy Barber anyone?) I was super excited to review Findependence Day (thanks Brighter Life!). I'm even more excited to give it away to a lucky Youngandthrifty.ca reader, because it's so GOOD I want to share it with you!
It's written by Jonathan Chevreau, a personal finance columnist for the Financial Post.
They say that the best way to learn something and become engaged with the content you are learning is to listen to a story. This is the story of Jaime and Sheena Morelli, a young couple who got married, moved from a small cramped condo to a huge suburban large Keepin' up with the Jones' type house, were in major debt, and went on this TV talk show to be publicly humiliated. They went on to develop “guerrilla frugality” and called themselves Froogers. They were so frugal that they never went on any trips, paid their mortgage down in less than 15 years, and started brown bagging their lunches.
Jaime tries his best to seek multiple alternate streams of income, including creating a blog and forum for vinyl heads (that is boomer speak for people who love vinyl records), putting big money into the stock market before it crashed, and falling prey to a sleazy business partner (sleazy because he cheated on his wife, the scum bag! And he also lived beyond his means with mansions and fancy cars etc.) who he thought was his friend.
He becomes so infatuated with the idea of Findependence Day (his was age July 4 the year he turns 50) and increasing his income that he lost track of what was truly important to him- his wife and his family. He lost track of what it MEANS to be financially independent.
Throughout this process, he becomes friend with a mentor, Theo who is a fee-based financial advisor (you know, the best kind of course) who guides him (or at least tries to guide him because this Jamie character is kind of stubborn and impulsive) to make better financial decisions.
As I said on Boomer and Echo's review and comments, if you liked The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton, this is like The Wealthy Barber ON SPEED, modernized, and SOOO relevant to our current Canadian society. Canadian Capitalist and Andrew Hallam of Millionaire Teacher also reviewed the book.
There's romance, action, betrayal, anguish, and love… all in less than 200 pages of novel.
I really enjoyed it and I think that it gives you a small taste of the financial products out there (like life insurance, RESP, RRSP etc.) and doesn't go into too much depth to make it boring. The financial products and information are interwoven throughout the book to make it relevant– you won't realize that you're learning about personal finance because it's written in so naturally.
I found myself not being able to put the book down (that's always a good sign) and I kept on wanting to see what happened with Jamie and Sheena. I kept on rooting for them and was happy in the end, though it felt a bit anticlimactic. Perhaps there can be a Findependence Day sequel!
Findependence Day Book Giveaway!
To win this book, I'd love for you to share what Findependence Day means to you?
To me, being financially independent means that you can still WORK, but you don't HAVE to work. I would love to be able to work 1-2 days a week, perhaps create my own business (I always dreamed of opening up a small cafe) one day when I'm retired, and having the piece of mind to know that I don't need to worry about the future.
Even if you don't win, I highly highly recommend you get this book, especially if you like financial drama!
You can order it on Jon Chevreau's website, FindependenceDay.com it's only $16 a copy (it says $29.95 on the book cover, so I'd say that's a bargain!).
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