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Van Dieu

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Brilliant all-encompassing look at building wealth

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-09-19

Andrew Craig's book is the perfect antidote to most of the overly simplistic (but highly rated) "level-1" books which dominate the personal finance space. It's clear that the author has a keen interest in not just personal finance, but economics and is sympathetic to the principles of the Austrian school (even if he does quote JM Keynes).

This book teaches the reader how to understand the large macroeconomic forces at work, the workings of the monetary system, the implications of these trends, and then how to assess fair value of ALL the major asset classes, not just the common ones which most other books seem to overly focus on.

The core theme of this book is that Personal Finance does not just happen in a vaccum. Nothing works well all of the time. No single asset is "the best" investment. There is a time and a place for everything, and the more you increase your understanding of the world the more you can make use of the different options available to you.

I have read many personal finance/investing/FI books and for this this book is the best entry point to understanding what is really going on in the world and how to position yourself accordingly.

1 person found this helpful

Brilliantly insightful - Mind absolutely blown.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-09-19

there are very few books that I award a top 5 star rating, but this is definitely one of them. Why do we do what we do, and what motivates us? This is an advanced look into the human psyche which crosses the boundaries of the tradtional social sciences. It's absolutely paradigm-shifting.

Deserves a place in your Library

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-19

This book, along with Millionaire Next Door are the two classic "pre-FIRE" FIRE manuals that deserve the praise they have widely received, and ironically its because they were written in an era where the now over-simplified and uncontested cornerstones of FIRE weren't yet clearly established.
Robins' book holds up well and the underlying message about identifying your values and freedom as tradeoffs for material wealth is timeless.

Approach with caution

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-19

JL Collins is a hero to the FIRE community, and his book is responsible for instilling in the community some unviolable axioms:

- Stocks are the best place for your money
- Index investing beats everything else
- Dump it all in Vanguard
- Simplify (it's in the title, duh)
- Don't time the market, don't cost-average
- Forget about it, the market always goes back up

Unfortunately these lines of thinking have become the orthodoxy in the community to the point where anything else is scorned and considered sub-optimal. I personally hate the book for this reason. As a more sophisticated investor who is fascinated by economics and finance I recognise this book is not primarily aimed at me, but I take issues with basically all of the steadfast principles of this book. His idea of risk management is a 10% sliver to bonds. It's breathtakingly negligent, but of course this is how bull markets develop and subsequently die.

5 people found this helpful

Worthy of its Reputation in FI circles

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-06-19

TMND often appears on recommended reading lists on many personal finance blogs, and having listened to it, it's easy to understand why.

It's a serious study into how those in the $1-$10m net worth range amassed their wealth, and the commonalities they share. There's probably no real secrets here if you are already into this topic: maximize earnings, minimize your lifestyle, invest your money, invest in yourself, minimize your taxes, and do it for a long time.

This book was written well before the current FIRE movement took hold, but it is not at all dated, and always encourages you to think in terms of ratios and percentages rather than outright amounts.

1 person found this helpful

Not what I was expecting...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-19

This is probably one of the most difficult books I've attempted to assess. I've listened through twice, and suspect that I need to do so at least another couple of times, as the book itself says that it is not a book that you that fully sinks in without multiple readings/listenings.
This book is far, far from your average personal-development/self-help book. It covers topics such as transmutation & sex drive more than it does topics of personal finance. Is it still relevant? Arguably more so today than ever, and for that reason I give it the benefit of the doubt.

Solid advice, but narrow

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-19

They keys takeaways from this book are:
- buy index funds; over 95% of active mutual fund managers underperform the market over a 10yr span
- minimize costs, even small fractions of a percent will result in significant differences over a lifetime of compounding

That is solid advice, but it is also very narrow. Robbins & Buffett (ironically) have become responsible for the rise of the cult of Vanguard and the army of brainwashed investors who robotically repeat this manta over and over, and any attempt to engage them on the finer points of investment are met with these canned responses that you can't time the market and time in the market is more important than timing the market.

One of the better efforts

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-19

This is one of Nightingale Conant's better personal development books that I have listened to, perhaps just as well as it is by the founder himself. Longer isn't always better; my feeling is that it could probably be condensed a bit, but many listeners will appreciate the long form format.

Are you kidding me?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-19

I was not impressed with this at all. How on earth is this outdated, social moralising, cringey salesman so highly rated? I hated just about everything in this whole book. Ziglar's message is simple, but his style and personal views is woefully outdated, and doesn't fit in well in any modern Western society. I listened to Jim Rohn before I came here who I can't recommend highly enough, but in my view coming here after listening to Jim is a waste of time.

A LOT of waffle

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-19

I wanted to like this more, but this Les Brown is just not my cup of tea. He's a high energy motivational speak. He addresses his audiences at 100mph, gets them going and whips them them into a frenzy. He tells his story.. difficult childhood, poverty, all the usual speil. And that's it. His story is his selling point. "Look at how successful I became because I have the gift of the gab." My brain works differently - it needs to be presented with concepts, logically and critically reasoned with. IMO the best speakers on personal development do this and I class them as Teachers, but Les Brown is more of a feel good storyteller. It's high on word count and low on principles. Some people will enjoy it, no doubt, but I personally need books to appeal to the logical side.

1 person found this helpful