Shares Made Simple

Shares Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide to Sharemarket Success
Roger Kinsky

On the front cover of this book it states 'Simple, easy to understand strategies anyone can use for success!'.

I don’t necessarily agree with that statement.  So why am I recommending this book?

When you invest in index funds you are investing in all the companies in the share market that the index fund is following. So, for example if you invest in an Australian index fund you are investing in say the top 500 companies or all the companies represented in the Australian share market.  When you invest this way, you are not buying shares in one specific company directly. The index fund does that for you. For example, your index fund would have shares in the Commonwealth Bank so you are invested in that company but you haven’t gone out and bought the CBA shares directly.

If you want to buy shares in specific companies then more research is involved and you need to understand the language of share investing so to speak and you can learn that from this book.

If you want to understand how to read the financial news in the papers, this book will explain all the jargon for you.  For example, there are statistics available about companies to help you understand their fundamentals such as the price to earnings ratio also referred to as the PE ratio.

Understanding these statistics help us make sound investment choices when choosing shares. Personally, this kind of investing makes my eyes glaze over and my brain switch off.  I don’t want to invest in individual company shares.  I don’t want to have to research the companies and understand their fundamental and unless you are a reckless investor, this is what you need to do if you want to invest in individual companies.

Personally, I think investing in only a few companies is risky because no company is indestructible, unless of course you own shares in a lot of different companies.  However, you need a lot of money to do that. There is nothing wrong with investing in companies individually if that is your interest and you want to put the time into understanding the companies.

If you want to do that you need to understand the language of investing in shares and Roger’s book will teach you that.

For me personally, reading this book just affirmed for me that I am really happy investing in index funds and that is the best strategy for me because I don’t have the interest or the inclination to spend large amounts of time researching companies.

I want my investing to be simple, easy to understand and implement, as well as getting the best return with the least amount of fees.

Please note as an affiliate of Amazon Associates I receive a commission if you make a purchase by clicking through the Amazon links on this website.  This is at no extra cost to you.

Millionaire Teacher

Millionaire Teacher
The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School
Andrew Hallam

Obviously, being a former teacher, there is no chance I would pass up a book with the title Millionaire Teacher!

I was not disappointed.

I know a lot of people have a desire to invest in shares but have a road block because they don’t understand it or don’t have any clue as to where to start.

This book is your answer.

Millionaire Teacher is an excellent guide for learning about investing in shares. Andrew doesn’t try to teach you how to ‘beat the market’ or how to ‘pick the best shares’. This book teaches simple strategies for how to invest in the share market without having to be a financial expert. Andrew explains how the share market works and how to invest in a simple and systematic way that minimises risk and maximises returns.

There are no fancy strategies or trading going on here. In simple laymen’s terms, Andrew explains index funds, bonds and exchange traded funds (ETF) and how to invest in them.

He outlines specific strategies and funds that can be invested in, in America, Canada, Great Britain, Singapore and Australia.

What surprised me was how simple investing can be, and Andrew has such a relatable and down to earth nature.  I especially enjoyed how he uses Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as an analogy for how the stock market works.

I found this book very practical and informative. I especially appreciated the information on why it is important to invest in low cost funds and how paying higher fees can have a significant effect on the return of your investment.  Maybe I’m a little bias because of my former occupation but I love love love that Andrew was a school teacher and not only did he educate himself and take responsibility for his own finances he also went out of his way to educate others. What a guy!

Seriously ladies, if you want to learn how to invest in the share market and do it in a simple and effective way that minimises risk, get this book.

Please note as an affiliate of Amazon Associates I receive a commission if you make a purchase by clicking through the Amazon links on this website.  This is at no extra cost to you.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
The only way to guarantee your fair share of stock market returns
John C. Bogle

John C. Bogle was the founder and former chairman of the Vanguard Group. In 1975 Vanguard created the world’s first index mutual fund and still offers low cost index funds today. This is a book about investing in low cost index funds and the reason behind why this is an effective long-term investment strategy. If you don’t know what index funds are or have little or no knowledge of the basics of investing in shares this book is not quite right for you yet. I would suggest studying up on the basics firsts by visiting the ASX website and doing one of their free online courses in shares or start by reading the Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam to understand the fundamentals. I personally think investing in low cost index funds is a great strategy and Warren Buffet one of the most successful investors of all time also favours it.

Please note as an affiliate of Amazon Associates I receive a commission if you make a purchase by clicking through the Amazon links on this website.  This is at no extra cost to you.

Your Money Milestones

Your Money Milestones
A guide to making the 9 most important decisions of your life
Moshe A. Milevsky, PH.D.

I read this book very quickly. Partly because it was interesting and partly because I had to return it to the library in 3 days!

I love Milevsky’s take on human capital “The most valuable asset class for most people during their working years is their human capital.”  He presents the idea that human capital should be viewed the same as other assets such as a gold mine or oil well. When preparing a person balance sheet to define our net worth our human capital should be included. He calls it a ‘Holistic Person Balance Sheet’. You can find out your human capital investment potential by using the a calculator he created at [edit- this is the link he published in his book but it didn't work when I tried it].

I also took a lot from his chapter on tax. He likened the government to a business partner. You might not like them but you have signed a contract and they are your business partners for life. “ If you earn $100, you must share the appropriate sum with your business partner, but if you lose $100, the business partner will subsidize a portion of the loss. And so, just as your partner keeps a close eye on your activities to make sure you pay your fair share of the agreement, you must ensure that your partner is not taking too much.”

What he says about insurance: make your excess as high as possible, save the difference in a savings for insurance reserve fund. Some events like a broken phone are likely to happen but inexpensive and therefore not worth insuring for. Insure for events that are unlikely to happen but would have a significant effect on your family and standard of living for example the death of the main income earner.

Please note as an affiliate of Amazon Associates I receive a commission if you make a purchase by clicking through the Amazon links on this website.  This is at no extra cost to you.

Financial Secrets Revealed

Financial Secrets Revealed
Collective wisdom from business gurus, financial geniuses and everyday heroes
Amanda Cassar

Amanda Cassar is a financial adviser from the Gold Coast in Queensland. She is a qualifying member of the international group the Million Dollar Round Table, which is where it appears she has met many of the people she interviewed in this book.

It’s no secret that hearing about other peoples’ life journeys and how they manage their finances is of high interest to me. Hence, I found this book to offer a lot of value in that regard. She interviews a good spread of women and men, which I like and more importantly for us Aussies most of the interviewees are from Australia. No offence to other nations intended, I just find that many of the great personal finance books and personalities tend to be American which means some of the information presented is not relevant to our financial environment.

One interesting take away was David Batchelor’s ( The Wills & Trusts Group, UK) comments about learning early the benefit of personal development. He follows Jim Rohn’s advice from his book The Art of Exceptional Living. Live on 70 percent of what you earn. Break the other 30 percent into three pots: 10 percent for long-term savings, 10 percent for future financial independence and not to be touched. 5 percent to give to charity and finally the last 5 percent for spending on what ever you want.  Not a bad strategy.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

I will teach you to be rich
Ramit Sethi

Oh Ramit,

I love a no bullshit kind of guy.

I love this book.

It is a great starting point for those who want to set up some simple systems for automating their money management.   Ramit Sethi covers all the basics of good money management from saving, paying down debt, conscious spending- such a goodie, investing and how to maintain and grow your financial infrastructure.

The only downside for us Aussies is that some of the topics he covers are US specific such as the investment options for index funds they have in America that are not available to us here and credit card usage and conditions that are also different. But having said that I think he presents a great overall system that you can set up for yourself regardless of what country you live in. Just be mindful of the American-centric advice he gives.

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