I’ve met Preet Banerjee in person on several occasions, heard him speak and watched him on TV countless times, and engaged with him on social media. He’s extremely personable, a natural showman, and I get the sense that he really cares about making good financial advice more accessible to the Canadian public.
So I was glad to hear that Preet had written a book aimed at the personal finance novice. While there are a TON of books on investment strategies, tax reduction, insurance, and so on, most of them start with the premise that you are already interested enough in the topic to pick up a “deeper dive” book on the subject. For those who are only beginning to realize that they should do “something” to improve their finances – but don’t know what to do or where to start – there are just a few books from which to choose.
Preet’s book, Stop Over-Thinking Your Money! The Five Simple Rules of Financial Success is divided into 2 parts, “The Five Rules” and “Beyond the Five Rules”. Preet doesn’t waste any time – he delivers his five rules on the first 2 pages of the Introduction.
And here they are:
- Disaster-proof your life
- Spend less than you earn
- Aggressively pay down high-interest debt
- Read the fine print
- Delay consumption
Preet asserts that if you just do these 5 things, you will get an “easy A” in personal financial management.
As a Money Coach, I’ve worked with numerous clients who had difficulty getting started on their finances. It can be intimidating, even overwhelming. Thankfully, Preet pretty much nails it with his straight forward advice.
Each chapter describes the steps necessary to follow the associated “rule”, with interesting and often humorous examples and anecdotes to highlight the message. The conversational style Preet uses will keep readers interested and engaged, and especially for this book’s target market, that’s a critical requirement. This isn’t a theoretical math or business text book, but a “let’s get real” guide with practical and relatable examples and analogies.
Some things I thought were particularly noteworthy:
- Investing and investment related concerns form NO part of the 5 rules. Preet does provide a primer on investing in Part 2: Beyond the Five Rules, but he makes it clear that the importance of purchasing the best investments or constructing the perfect portfolio lags far behind that of the Five Rules in the early stages of planning. If you don’t have money to invest, it doesn’t matter what kind of return you can get.
- He is perhaps the first author in Canada to recognize the existence and value of working with a money coach to help establish healthy money habits. A money coach’s job is essentially to understand your particular circumstances and money personality, and help you implement the Five Rules in your life.
- He goes into a good amount of detail with respect to choosing a financial advisor or money coach and explaining the various compensation models available, as well as providing some guidance on the profile of a client who is best suited to each model.
- Got a question? Preet’s available on Twitter @preetbanerjee. And he answers!
Given its intended market, perhaps the most significant flaw in the book is its title. This book isn’t just for those that over-think their money. It’s perhaps most valuable for those who haven’t given their money a second thought… or perhaps even a first one.
Review by Noel D’Souza, Money Coach and Financial Planner