Book Review - How to Get Rich: Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate by Barbara Friedberg
Too many personal finance books assume that the reader has basic knowledge of finance, especially of investing. However, for most of the general public this is not true. Personal finance is not taught in schools as it used to be, and many people don't learn about finance from their parents. For these people, many of the personal finance books on the market can be overwhelming.
However, Barbara Friedberg's new book, How to Get Rich: Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate, is meant as a beginning primer to educate people about personal finance. As a portfolio manager and a finance instructor, Friedberg has the skills to write this book. Best of all, she explains personal finance in easy to understand terminology.
This book is only 108 pages, so it is a quick read, but it's filled with great information. I read it in one sitting, but it shouldn't take more than a few sittings.
Introduction: Get Started Now
Friedberg starts the book on the right note by sharing some of her personal finance mistakes from minor--enrolling in a $300 course when she could have learned the information from free books at the library--to major. This chapter makes her relatable to the reader.
Chapter 1: Keeping the Debt Devil from Sweating You
If there is one point Friedberg wants to drive home in this book, it's that people must eliminate debt if they want to become rich. You can't get ahead if you're constantly paying interest on your purchases. While many financial experts try to make this point, Friedberg's approach to look at how much you're paying in interest will likely make most readers stop and think about how debt is truly affecting their finances.
Chapter 2: Saving--The Path to More Benjamins
Her next biggest point is that you must save. The two most important steps to becoming wealthy are paying down debt (and not incurring any more) as well as saving regularly so it becomes a habit.
Chapter 3: Spend Your Way to An Awesome Life
Friedberg is not advocating that you live like a pauper, though. She wants you to enjoy your life and the finer things, but do so intelligently. Want a luxury car? Go for it, but consider buying used instead of new and saving up for a significant down payment. Want that designer suit? Wait until the end of season clearance sale and get it for 75% off or more.
Chapter 4: Get a Cool Crib Cheap
Friedberg strongly advocates buying rather than renting because you're getting an asset for your money that may appreciate over time. However, she has suggestions for buying on a budget.
Chapter 5: Stuff Happens--Protect Yourself from Loss
Friedberg prudently recommends insurance, but she asks that people take out the minimum amount of insurance that they need to protect themselves. For instance, if you have children, yes, get life insurance, but if you're single and no one will be affected by your loss of income in the event of your death, skip the insurance until you need it.
Chapter 6: Be a Portfolio Player--I Have No Money Investing Strategy
This chapter is another one like the debt chapter that is very strong. Many people get overwhelmed when they consider investing. Friedberg breaks it down to the basics and even gives suggestions for those who don't know a great deal about investing (and don't want to learn much about it either).
Chapter 7: Secrets of the Rich
Ultimately, it's not how much you make but how much you save and how smart you spend that determines if you will be wealthy. This chapter is packed full of information about the surprising ways some millionaires live as well as stories about those who squandered away good yearly incomes and are left with very little in retirement.
Chapter 8: Short and Sweet Summary
Friedberg offers a recap of the steps to wealth and encouragement that no matter the state of your finances currently, if you take the right steps, you, too, can be wealthy.
Appendix: Great Bonus Stuff
This short section includes links to online calculators as well as investing tips and financial blogs.
Is This Book for You? If you're feeling overwhelmed by your financial position, this book should be mandatory reading. Friedberg will encourage and inspire you to take the steps you need to move onto a positive path of wealth building.
This book is available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle form. *Affiliate links used in this post. Review copy received; opinions are 100% our own.