A few months ago I was presented an opportunity to review ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Saving & Investing for Canadians’ for review – a book written by some of the most influential and recognized Canadian bloggers. I managed to read the 101 page book in a week, which is record time for me, and I’ll honestly say that I enjoyed the read. This book is straight forward, simple and easy to understand, and most importantly it’s written in a way that it simplifies all the different topics of personal finance. Seriously, who likes reading complex jargon that leaves your head spinning?
The book – a great one – especially for beginners seeking to take charge of their financial present and future focuses on the following five main topics – which also happen to be the five easy to read chapters:
- Making a Budget – Creating a budget, importance of budgeting, net worth, repaying debt, saving money, and the importance of emergency funds.
- Where to Save Your Money – Importance of saving money, saving for retirement, RRSPs vs. Mortgages, RRSPs vs. TFSAs and what RESPs are.
- Investing Wisely – Understanding risk and return, sample portfolios, creating an investment plan and understanding your investment personality.
- Dividend Investing – Intro to dividend investing, different tax advantages, intro to ETFs, and how you can possibly live off of dividend investments.
- Insurance – Importance of insurance, types of insurance, life insurance, and amounts of insurance that might be appropriate for you.
This book is written by 5 individuals who are very much into personal finance in their own way. The thing that makes this book appealing is that it’s very down to earth, and written by some recognizable names that you’ve heard of in the past or quite possibly have even interacted with. Here’s a little about the five authors:
Krystal Yee – A personal friend and one of the most recognized female Canadian bloggers, who not only has her first book now, but also writes a very successful column for Toronto Star’s Moneyville section and runs a very entertaining blog called Give Me Back My Five Bucks – which certainly needs no introduction. Krystal covers budgeting and basic cash-flow planning to get out of debt and create savings. She fit the bill perfectly for this section – after all she managed to eliminate $20k worth of debt within a year.
Jim Yih – Owner of Retire Happy Blog – a blog dedicated to helping you save more through making the right financial decisions en route to retirement. Jim’s also a a professional financial speaker, author, syndicated columnist and financial expert who is passionate about financial education and helping people make better decisions with money.
Ram Balakrishnan – He’s been around forever and is the amazing blogger behind Canadian Capitalist. Ram recommends passive Index investing rather than actively choosing stocks. He also does a solid job of explaining the low-cost benefits of passive investing, and the importance of not allowing MERs to eat up your returns. After reading Ram’s section, you’ll come away with a clear picture on the basics of investing and how you can get started.
Frugal Trader – I had the chance to meet him at CPFC12 in Toronto some weeks ago, and aside from being an easygoing knowledgeable guy, he’s also blogger behind Million Dollar Journey – a premier Canadian blog on personal finance and investing. In his section of the book he focused on dividend investing, different tax advantages, intro into the world of ETFs, and how you can possibly live off of dividend investments.
Insurance – Also during CPFC12 in Toronto, I met Glenn, a pretty laid back guy who’s a guru on life insurance. He’s also the president of Life Insurance Canada and a licensed life insurance broker operating in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. I’m not going to lie, but life insurance and the whole insurance industry as a whole is pretty dull. However, I enjoyed reading Glenn’s view and recommendations on life insurance. Not only was is straightforward and in plain English, but it was quite intriguing as well. Most Canadians are in tune with their car insurance, but life insurance is complex for most, hence why many stay away. Glenn does a solid job simplifying life insurance, with a straightforward approach getting down to the basic insurance principles.
So that concludes my review of the book ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Saving & Investing For Canadians‘. It’s easy to read, packs a lot of punch, and most importantly it gets right to the point on all five of the above topics. A book written by some really good Canadian bloggers (now authors) that’s directed towards helping Canadians better understand their individual personal finance situations.
That being said, what’s a book review without a giveaway? Enter the contest below. Good luck!!