Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wealthy Barber Returns, But Should He Have?


David Chilton has returned with a sequel to his best selling personal finance novel the Wealthy Barber. The original Wealthy Barber was one of the first of its kind, telling the story of how a barber (seemingly low-income earner) ends up being financially secure by following a down to earth financial plan. The barber teaches his clients about how he ended up being in a strong financial position through diligent saving and living within ones means.

In David Chilton's sequel he no longer uses the fictional characters in his original book, but uses a more casual approach discussing personal finance, as if he were chatting to you in your living room. The good news is you can just close the book when you don't want to hear from him anymore, since it would be awkward to try to kick him out.

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of new information in this sequel. He still preaches a lot of the maxims you'll see in other personal finance books (i.e. The Automatic Millionare by Bach) such as: pay yourself first, live within your means, credit is a dangerous thing when not used properly, don't try to keep up with the jones' and always save for a rainy day/retirement. There are a couple tidbits of wisdom and it is a very quick read with very short paragraphs and chapters.

One insightful thing Chilton mentions is how income is sometimes confused with wealth. Having a high income is great but if you also live lavishly it can be difficult to save. Plus the income won't be there indefinitely especially if you plan to retire (we can't all work forever) or if you lose your job. Wealth on the other hand is something that you build over time by diligently saving and making good investments decisions. The idea of wealth is having your money work for you, the idea of income is working for money. There's a big difference and it's important not to get the two confused. I would highly recommend reading the original Wealthy Barber but would suggest passing on the the sequel.

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