Personal Finance Made Interesting
Most of those who are in their 20s and 30s put personal finance pretty low on their list of priorities. For them, at least, Scott Pape has penned a worthwhile, easy and entertaining read. The Barefoot Investor (John Wiley, pages 206; Rs976), is written especially to help young people realise their financial goals (if they have any) even as they quit their jobs buy a cool flat or go backpacking. The book describes Pape as someone “who writes for the young and hip who want to enjoy life now – not to wait on dead men’s shoes.” He is eminently qualified to do so. After all, he is a successful stockbroker and has a very popular radio show in Australia. And he is only 26.

The book is full of action-oriented advice and explains the smart way of achieving financial freedom through a five-point plan (five barefoot steps). It begins with a chapter on each step and ends with chapters on property and entrepreneurial skills. Chapter two has a very simple and logical exercise which helps you to better manage your daily expenses. The author translates financial jargon and what is otherwise a dry subject into something which can be easily related to, understood, and acted upon with the help of live examples, making the whole personal finance business a lot of fun. Pape illustrates non-wasteful cash management in such a way that you invest and save without the feeling of depriving yourself.

The book focuses on long-term strategies underlining time-tested approaches such as investing in assets that will grow in value over time – property, cash and shares. The book forces the readers to think about how and when they are going to implement the tips and ideas they get. It also stimulates them into wanting to take control over their finances. It highlights common forms of consumer debts and ways to get out of the debt trap. It also emphasises the importance of understanding compound interest, bank accounts, high-interest-yielding savings accounts, insurance, mutual funds and pension funds. Nothing original, but refreshing because it is filled with tips, tricks, checklists and quizzes. - Shweta Lightwalla

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