The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning Paperback – Feb 2002
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David Chilton's popular The Wealthy Barber is a good starting point for anyone who wants to construct a personal financial plan. Many people are so scared of dealing with their money that they don't do anything at all--only to suffer for it over the long haul. Chilton shows that planning is simple and you dont have be a whiz kid to set yourself on the route to financial security. "When I finally learned the basics of financial planning, I couldn't believe how straightforward they were. It's just common sense," is the overarching message.
The Wealthy Barber takes the form of a novel, though it wouldn't win many awards for plot, setting, or characterization. The narrator, Dave, a 28-year-old school teacher and expectant father, his 30-year-old sister, Cathy, who runs a small business, and his buddy, Tom, who works in a refinery, sit around a barber shop in Sarnia, Ontario, and listen as Ray Miller, the well-to-do barber, teaches them how to get rich. The friends are at the age when most people start thinking about their future stability; among the three of them, they face almost every broad situation that can influence a financial plan. Ray, the Socrates of personal finance, isn't a pin-striped Bay Street wizard. He is a simple, down-to-earth barber dispensing homespun wisdom while he lops a little off the top. Ray's barbershop isn't the place to learn strategies for trading options and commodities. Instead, his advice covers the basics of RRSPs, mutual funds, real estate, insurance, and the like. His first and most important rule is "pay yourself first." Take 10 per cent off every pay cheque as it comes in and invest it in safe interest-bearing instruments. Through the magic of compound interest, this 10 per cent will turn into a substantial nest egg over time. This book isn't about how to get rich quick. It's about how to get rich slowly and stay that way.
Chilton's common-sense approach has obviously hit home since his book first appeared; with more than 1.5 million copies sold to date, The Wealthy Barber is the best-selling book ever of any kind in Canada. Some of the financial details have been updated in recent editions, but the story and fundamental advice are timeless. It's probably not the last book you'll want to read on the subject, but it's a good starting point for learning about financial planning. --Edward Trapunski
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Top Customer Reviews
The author covers a wide array of essential topics covering mutual funds, wills, insurance, RRSPs, home ownership, and a little bit on additional savings. It's a great primer and the author makes sure to discuss some of the complexities involved in investing and dispels a few common myths (e.g. that buying a home is ALWAYS better than renting). Just following the lessons in this book, the average person could profit greatly in the long run.
That said, there are some problems with the book. First the book is filled with overly optimistic calculations, using average returns of 12% -- which is actually considered very high in today's standard and by long-term historical returns. Even TD give averages of 8% for international mutual funds and less for domestic. Also for popularity, the author tries to minimize discussion of developing a strong budget and cutting back expenses, and fails to illustrate how much this could add to savings over a lifetime. Finally, he doesn't discuss that it may be appropriate to consider the probability of risk and how this influences insurance decisions, and that it is logical for people to consider waiving insurance depending on their personal situations, even when some liabilities exist.
Overall, the book is a pleasurable read and provides valuable principles for investing.Read more ›
On the topic of basic money management, there is some good advice in this book (pay yourself first, the 10% rule). For anyone struggling to pay down debt, or avoid living beyond their means, they may need more specific guidance and encouragement found elsewhere, perhaps in a Dave Ramsey book.
There's at least one critical flaw in this book, however. When it was written in the late 1980s, Canadians didn't have many options for low cost investment vehicles. Through the narrative of this book, Mr. Chilton advises readers to "pick a mutual fund with a good manager." The author himself has debunked this fallacy in the intervening years. Mr. Chilton does an excellent job explaining this in an interview with the Globe and Mail's Rob Carrick: [...]
Mr. Chilton fights the good fight, going toe to toe with Kevin O'Leary on CBC in an entertaining video here: [...]
I would advise potential readers to pick up a copy of this book's sequel titled "The Wealthy Barber Returns" rather than the original. Here's a link to that: The Wealthy Barber Returns : Dramatically Older and Marginally Wiser, David Chilton Offers His Unique Perspectives on the World of Money
Another book to consider would be Andrew Hallam's "Millionaire Teacher." For more advanced reading, the Canadian Financial Wiki "Finiki" and it's associated "Financial Webring Forum" will steer users toward sound investment strategies.
Most recent customer reviews
I couldn't put it down! This was one of the best books I ever read! Every person, Canadian or not, should get a copy and read it!Published 16 months ago by Kevin Young
This book is amazing. You think that you know what your doing with your money and future but chances are you really don't. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Susan Detheridge
Investment books are boring. they are long, full of confusing terminology and math, and leave you feeling puzzled. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Hudson
good product in excellent condition. i received within a few days. Thanks! Good for anyone who wants to know a little more about personnal financial planning.Published 23 months ago by Miguel
Quick shipping and packaging was just fine. This is a used book, but is in very good condition which is what they promised. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2012 by sherrid