When I was reading this book, I was thinking that this should be yet another one of those personal finance books asking people to embrace financial independence. I think 70% of the book is about the general finance related themes that are often talked about in this genre of books. If you’ve read a couple of them before, you’ll realize that you’re in familiar grounds. The good thing about this book is that there are localised context (the author is based in Singapore) that makes the reading much more relatable. For once, I don’t have to read a personal finance book that talks about US treasury for bonds! Instead, there is the all familiar OCBC, Hyflux and CDL bonds. It’s rare to find personal finance books that have examples based in Singapore, but here you will find local examples peppered every now and then.
I love the way he injects his own experience in each chapter, giving examples of what happened to him and the stories he had heard, and that keeps me wanting to find out how this ‘ang moh’ (Caucasian or European) actually lives his life. I always prefer to read personal finance books that are personal. If you think this is a boring read filled with formulas and calculus, it is not. The author writes like he is writing a journal and is a very pleasant read. I finished reading this book in less than a day because it is such a page turner for a personal finance book. It’s not so much what he says but how he puts the material across to the reader, so that the readers can easily absorb the information in a very structured manner. It feels as if this book is a food tasting experience, where several dishes are laid out in small quantities for you to sample. If you like the taste, you can find out where to get more of it. As such, this book is very approachable even to a layperson with no prior knowledge regarding personal finance. I dare say this is a very good introduction to this genre.
The most interesting part of the book is found in two chapters that alone take up about 30% of the book. Reading chapters 10 and 11 is almost like reading chapters 8 and 20 of Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor. In it, the author marries his passion in economics and investing with his passion for the natural world, and came up with his framework of ethical and sustainable investing. I find myself nodding in agreement as I read. This is something that I find bugging me as I tried to navigate the investing world, but he puts the idea across much better than I could ever do.
As mentioned earlier, this book is like a buffet spread of food in small sampling quantities. It’s good enough to whet your appetite but not enough to fill your stomach. I’ll be sure to check out some of the books he referred to in the reference section to dig deeper into some of the themes the author had introduced here.
This article is contributed by La papillion a long time friend and blogger of Bully the Bear – chronicles his journey from an amateur in the stock market to where he is today.
Special thanks to the author Morten Strange for providing the book and it is available at Popular Bookstores now.