The Wealthy Barber
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Reviewed by Linda Wall, BA
May 20, 2021
Book Review – The Wealthy Barber
Despite being written in 1989, The Wealthy Barber: the common sense guide to successful financial planning, by David Chilton is still relevant and has lots of valuable information for today. Chilton wrote near the end of the book that it was mostly aimed at twenty-five to forty-five year olds, but anyone at any age can find a valuable nugget or two to add to their financial knowledge and financial strategy.
The Wealthy Barber may be one of the first financial planning books I’ve ever read but obviously I didn’t retain much from my first read. In preparation for this book review, I re-read the book in a matter of a few hours.
The Wealthy Barber is written more like a novel rather than a financial planning textbook, but has all the necessary information to take action in setting a new path to prosperity. Written by a Canadian former stockbroker, this information is based on Canadian financial information – especially around interest, Registered Savings Plans, Real Estate and Taxation information.
One of the most profound statements I read was, “How you handle your income and assets will determine your success.”
And it’s true that ‘our schools don’t teach money skills.’ And in my family, money, politics and sex were taboo, so I had nowhere to learn about economics, finances, financial planning, investing and savings.
The wealthy barber in this story says, “Don’t depend too much on financial planners… Learn for yourself. Nobody cares as much about your money as you do. You have to take responsibility for your own future.”
According to Mr. Chilton, one doesn’t need a lot of time or education to take control of their finances and grow their money into a stable financial future. One just has to apply a few common principles which he laid out step-by-step.
Although I don’t necessarily agree with the order some of these financial principles have been laid out, I do agree with the principle of ‘paying yourself first,’ which is to be used to invest products that provide in long-term growth with compound interest such as mutual funds.
Mr. Chilton covered such topics as: pay yourself first, put aside 10% of your income for investing, different kinds of cost/benefit analyses that were easy to grasp, the necessity of having a will & insurance in different income scenarios, mortgages, consumer debts such as credit cards, when and where to use long-term savings vs. short-term savings, how to reduce your tax bill – LEGALLY. All this explained without complicated formulas or budgeting!!
As I am within a few months of being totally debt-free, I plan to implement Chilton’s first principle of putting aside 10% of my income to be invested into some kind of mutual fund for stable growth.
I highly recommend this easy-to-read and easy-to-follow book for anyone in Canada wanting to improve their financial future.
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