How do you know which books to trust with the overwhelming number of personal finance, retirement planning and business management out there?
On Amazon.ca, there are over 60,000 results under the personal finance category alone. Plus, trying to find ones that are explicitly focused on Canadians can be even more difficult.
To help you know where to start, we thought we’d tackle a relatively recent (2014) personal finance book aimed at Canadians.
Wealthing Like Rabbits by Robert R. Brown
Coming in at a mere 208 pages, this book is not only a fast read, but it is easily consumable. When our team member Jillian brought it home from the library, she finished it that very night.
- It doesn’t take itself too seriously. The examples throughout the book are sprinkled with a familiar cast of characters, including two brothers who are plumbers that have obtained some level of celebrity status after rescuing a princess (whoever could that be?)
- The book is intended for a Canadian audience, focusing on tax-saving vehicles that Canadians actually have access to. It’s about time we focus on those RRSP and TFSAs and not those 401(k) plans.
- The chapter that focuses on mortgages and purchasing your first home highlighted some important considerations to make. Just because you have been pre-approved for $500,000 doesn’t mean that you need to spend that much. Instead, think about purchasing a home that will meet your needs and allow you to build your retirement fund. You don’t want to put all your eggs into one basket then have nothing to spend on the things that make life fun, such as nights out or vacations.
- It does a great job of explaining the impact of personal finance decisions that individuals might make. It also breaks down some issues you should be aware of before the problem presents itself, such as holding balances on credit cards (where the interest rate is often higher than 19.99%).
- If you are well established in your life and have a good sense of money management, this book isn’t for you. This book focuses on introducing its audience to a broad range of topics and ideas without going too in-depth on any of them. Perhaps an unfair con as the book is branded as an introduction to personal finance.
- The introduction to investing is pretty limited within this short read. While the author introduces the concepts of RRSPs and TFSAs, you certainly don’t come away from it with an idea of what type of investment vehicles you should utilize within those accounts. Instead, its focus is on the power of compounding and the importance of building habits when it comes to contributions.
- At times, the book can feel a little heavy-handed with its frugality. Sure, there are benefits to not completing a renovation until you are ready to sell your home (and thus get the most value for the renovation), but sometimes people want to enjoy those renovations while they live there.
We appreciate that this isn’t a heavily technical book, given that it is intended for an introductory audience. It does provide an excellent overview of topics that you should consider early on in your life.
Honestly, this is the type of book we think should be required reading for individuals in high school or going off to college. It provides enough humour and clever cultural references (that admittedly will start getting pretty dated in a few years) to help somebody who has little to no interest in reading about personal finance reach the end!
Audience: 18 to 25
Rating: 4/5 – well worth it for its intended audience