Monday, June 9, 2008

Book Review: The Rules of Wealth

The Rules of Wealth is part of Richard Templar's series of "Rules" books. Other topics in the series include life, work, management, parenting, each with a corresponding title. Judging from how often I run into this series, it seems to have been very successful. It certainly has an appealing format - essentially a series of numbered "rules" with supporting discussion for each. This structure makes the book terrific for short bursts of reading (on the bus, during commercials, in the bathroom, etc.), or for folks with short attention spans (who seem to be growing in number).

The subtitle of the book is "A personal code for prosperity", which accurately represents the theme of the book. Essentially, the rules are short statements or pointers that can supposedly help a reader to become and stay wealthy. An example of a rule (and one of the better ones, IMHO) is "Always ask what's in it for them" (#71). Most of the rules are general in nature and are not specific tactics or concrete investment strategies. There are 100 rules in all, presented in five sections - Thinking Wealthy, Getting Wealthy, Get Even Wealthier, Staying Wealthy, and Sharing Your Wealth.

The book is quite enjoyable to read - in part because of the accessible structure and in part because Templar's style is entertaining. However, it seemed to me that the essential content could have been conveyed in far fewer rules, or perhaps, as even fewer general concepts (I'm into that learning to fish thing...). In fact, the most important ideas probably could be communicated in less than 50 pages. By about halfway through the book, I felt like I had the idea and was ready to be done with it. Here's my attempt at passing on some of the most important bits:

  • you must define wealth for yourself and know why you want it

  • becoming wealthy may require a change in mindset and shedding assumptions you have about money

  • "If you don't trust someone, don't do business with them"

  • "Small economies won't make you wealthy, but they will make you miserable"

  • you need a plan

  • think long term

  • don't piss your money away (eg. don't buy stupid stuff)

  • buy quality

  • don't invest in things you don't understand

  • minimize the amount of interest you pay

  • there's a good chance you'll need to make deals, negotiate, and/or sell stuff to become wealthy

  • don't spend it unless you have it

  • nobody owes you anything

  • don't be evil

  • stay on top of your finances

In summary, I do recommend the book and I may well check out other titles in the series, but I will more than likely be skimming them, or possibly choosing the audio book version.

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Victoria, BC, Canada
This is our travel blog for our summer 2010 trip to France and the UK.