Book Review of sorts: The Barefoot Investor

The Barefoot Investor at the time of writing is the best selling non fiction book in Australia.

I’m a big fan of Scott Pape’s financial advice so it is no surprise that I would recommend this book. The truth is though I didn’t buy this book for myself, although I fully intended to read it first. A family member had recently bought it and was singing it’s praises while discussing it with another family member who might be the most financially illiterate person I’ve ever met. That is who I intended to pass this on to. To be honest I think this is her only hope, if with this book and the help of family she can’t change her ways I’m afraid there is nothing that will everĀ get her ahead, barring a labotomy.

Soon into reading the book I decided that I’d hold onto it a little longer and use it with my wife to fine tune our banking. And reading further in I found further things we could improve. In fact there was something applicable to us from every section except for the chapter on paying off credit card debt and other consumer loans. (We have none). While we manage our money pretty well, we save, we invest, we don’t buy using credit, we pay a lot more than the minimum on our mortgage. There are still a lot of things here that can make our finances more streamlined, more goal orientated. We manage to save quite well but we have a big chunk of money sitting in an offset account and I couldn’t tell you how much of it is intended for this or that. This book will help us sort that out and gives us more direction in the future.

This book is the most practical and easily understood as well as persuasive I’ve read.

So yes I think this book is great, it should be compulsory reading for every year 10 student in the country.

There are a few things about it that I personally find annoying, but really that is mostly just me and fairly nit picky.

  1. I find his naming of “buckets”, ie; Mojo, Fire Extinguisher, etc, very juvenile. But hey just come up with your own nicknames.
  2. Several times in the book he refers to the average Australian income being around $80k. I don’t know why he does this, the majority of the people reading his book will be earning substantially less. We know incomes are not evenly distributed, that math isn’t wrong. I just don’t think it’s psychologically helpful to many readers and they varying situations they will be in.

Something funny I picked up on.

The first page in the book lists some kind words from well known people who have read the book. The last one is from Seth Godin, who you may or may not know. Who claims the book is worth the money just for the the “Apple tree story”. The apple tree story is the first page and a half of the book proper, it’s obvious that is all that he read of the book.

If you know of Seth you’d also think, “why on earth would Seth bother to read the book anyway?”.