The Simple Path To Wealth
JL Collins is one of the best financial bloggers on the web. His blog at jlcollinsnh is a “must read” for anyone interested in financial blogs, and is read by over 100,000 fans on a regular basis. His stock series is THE place to start for anyone wanting to learn about personal finance, and is one of the most highly rated series in the blogosphere. The guy writes in an easy to read style, which actually makes financial stuff interesting.
Bottom line: JL Collins is on to something. And now, he has a book!
Perhaps I “connect” with JL due to the fact that we have a bond, of sorts (though he knows nothing about it). As I’ve read his work, I see a lot of myself in his words. A common bond, in that his writing started as letters several years ago to his then late teens/early twenties year old daughter. Now, I’m coaching my 21 year old daughter on her path to financial responsibilty, and really enjoy reading his approach on the topic to his daughter in a similar situation.
Some background: As mentioned, his blog started as letters to his young daughter, who is now 24 years old and serving in the Peace Corp in Southeast Asia. His initial goal in writing was to smooth his daughter’s steps, help her learn from his mistakes, teach her how to avoid the minefields, and how to keep it simple. It’s written extremely well, and focuses on what’s worked well for him, and what hasn’t. It’s good stuff, for all of us, and especially for those starting down the path toward managing your personal finances.
As any reader with children approaching adulthood and/or “Independence” will discover, you will immediately relate to the situations and value the simple advice in his work,. You’ll also appreciate his style, with lessons taught in interesting and creative ways. Have a look at his blog, or buy his book. However you choose to do it, spend some time appreciating his excellent work.
And now….The Book:
The Simple Path To Wealth
Fortunately for us, JL’s new book just hit stores and is available at this link: “The Simple Path To Wealth”. As a financial blogger, I consider it an honor to have been given an advance copy of his manuscript, along with a request for my thoughts on the book. I’ve read it (every word), and highly recommend it to you, my reader. Wish me luck as I attempt to persuade my daughter to read it…..
My Book Review: The Simple VersionIn line with JL's simple approach, here's my simple book review on The Simple Path To Wealth Click To Tweet
If you have been struggling with a desire to manage your finances, but have felt overwhelmed at the prospect, this book is for you. JL boils down the concepts of personal finance into a very simple, yet powerful, approach. Follow his steps (trust me, anyone can follow them, if you develop the Will) and you’ll be well on your way to financial success. End of review.
My Book Review: The Less Simple Version
This post won’t get into too much detail on the specific content of the book (though it is excellent, well thought out and simplistically achievable. I highly recommend the content).
More important to me than the specific content, however, is the broader perspective of the writer. What are the concepts he’s trying to explain? What tools does he use to fashion the lessons into easily understood guidelines for introducing financial “Freshman” to key topics? All A+ material.
“Introductory Level Financial Planning 101”, but with profound implications in the way it will change your life. If you follow these guidelines, you will be financial independent at a reasonable age. This, to me, is the most important part of this review – that I believe the message, and the methods used to teach.
WIth that said, here’s a broad overview of the book:
The introduction alone is worth the price of the book, as JL outlines 20 simple guidelines to keep in mind as you live your life. Basic stuff, but invaluable. A few, to wet your appetite:
- Spend less than you earn – invest the surplus – avoid debt.
- Do simply this, and you’ll end up rich. Not just in money.
18 more of those, and you’re not even past the introduction. As I said, he has a nice style of writing, presenting key guidelines, easily understandstood, that we’d all be wise to follow.
General Topic Overview
Beyond the introduction, JL takes us on an orderly walk through key money lessons, including:
- Debt – the danger, and the costs. Get out, now.
- Money – how to think about it, how to use it.
- Investing – why you can’t beat the market.
- Simplicity – the core of the book, a simple to execute plan. Just Do It.
- Indexes – A Boglehead, and proud of it. A great lesson on low cost mutual funds.
- Retirement – withdrawal rates, social security, charity. Nice coverage of the key issues.
All condensed into a 250 page book that’s easy to read. Great lessons for those starting on the path.
(Believe it or not, I read THE ENTIRE BOOK on my iPhone during heavy business travel this month. Yes, the entire book. On A Phone!) I recommend this book via my actions alone – it’s the only book I’ve ever read it’s in entirety on a phone!
As you’ve likely figured out by now, I strongly suggest this book if you’re just starting on the path toward financial responsibility, seeking to become a DIY investor, or know anyone who is. If you want to read a bit more before you decide, I encourage you to read this summary on Amazon, or this review from Doughroller. Both provide much more eloquent overviews of the book than I could ever expect to write.
Have a look, it will start many folks (Perhaps your children, or grandchildren? Perhaps, You?) on the roadmap that both JL and I agree are sound financial planning principles from which to begin your trek toward financial independence. That, in my mind, is the most important thing you need to know about this book.