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This month marks the 10th Anniversary of Financial Literacy Month! Every November, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) works with organizations in Canada to promote financial literacy. In 2020, they have chosen to focus on helping Canadians gain financial confidence by providing free, practical financial tips and tools. To celebrate, I will be writing a series of posts on different topics of personal finance. Let’s learn about money!

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Business & personal finance is one of my favourite book genres (murder mystery being a comparable option). This year, I have published a number of book reviews but I thought I will consolidate all of the business and personal finance books in this post. If you are looking for the perfect winter read, look no further!

Relationship & Money

The Smart Cookies’ Guide to Couples and Money

I have to be honest and tell you I skipped about 30% of the book. It wasn’t because the content or the writing was bad, it was only because I was already quite familiar with the topics (e.g., take charge of your financial life by looking at your current financial situation, find out how much your take-home pay is etc). This was the second “couple money” book I read this year (first one was The Modern Couple’s Money Guide: 7 Smart Steps to Building Wealth Together by Lesley-Anne Scorgie). I would recommend either one of these books to people who haven’t had the money talk with their partner because I strongly believe that is essential to a healthy relationship. Either book offers solid advice on how to handle the conversation as they could sometimes be uncomfortable. However, in order to have a future together, having the money talk is inevitable.

The Modern Couple’s Money Guide: 7 Smart Steps to Building Wealth Together by Lesley-Anne Scorgie

A personal finance book for Canadians so it includes discussions about registered savings plans such as tax-free savings account (TFSA) and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) which is hard to find as most books are for Americans; the first third of the book focused on couple money management while the remaining two-thirds are on general money management / investing tips. However, the book talks about many investment techniques including leveraged investment (borrow money to invest) which I personally am not a fan of; also, because it touches on so many topics, it might seem too basic for some (however, a nice introduction to the personal finance world)

General Personal Finance

The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by David Bach

What I like about it: the “money lessons” are delivered in a story format featuring this Zoey character with dreams that she can’t attain because she lives paycheck to paycheck; I finished it in one go because the story was entertaining and the lessons were valuable

The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards

The author teaches the importance of prioritizing your financial goals based on what is important to you which I agree 100%; I also love the fact that he emphasizes the fact that there is no one plan fits all as everyone’s situation is different.

The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money by Carl Richards

Another book by one of my favourite personal finance authors; it teaches you to start a long-term financial plan uniquely for you taking into account things that are important to you; he places importance on actually recording your plan (on paper or electronically) so you don’t lose track

Enough Bull: How to Retire Well Without the Stock Market, Mutual Funds or Even an Investment Advisor, by David Trahair

I was very interested in this book as I am a believer in stock market investing and this book is advocating the opposite; David presented his idea backed up with numbers and analysis and it did encourage me to seriously consider his point of view; however, there were a few small parts of the book that were a little difficult to understand if you did not have a finance background so be prepared to do some Googling.

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

This is easily one of my all-time favourite books; the data might be a bit outdated as this book was published in 1998 but the concepts remain the same: live within your means and grow wealth slowly but surely; the author supports his facts with scientific research and are very convincing.

The Year of Less, by Cait Flanders

I enjoyed following Cait’s journey on her one-year shopping ban that she realized after was never about money, but about finding herself and her values; there is a small section at the end of the book with instruction on how to start your own shopping ban.

Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career by Nicole Lapin

I recommended this book to every girlfriend I talked to when I was reading it. It made me feel empowered just by reading what Nicole went through and accomplished. The first half of the book focused on Nicole’s journey more so than the latter half where it provided solid business advice. Every woman should read it – period.

Gems from Warren Buffett: Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders by Mark Gavagan & Warren Buffett

I have to start the review by admitting that I didn’t quite understand about 40% of the quotes. Some of them were hard to understand due to lack of context (as most quotes were only few sentences long) and some had terminologies I wasn’t familiar with. Note, I consider myself quite comfortable with business terms due to my education, work and hobby. Even then, I struggled to truly appreciate those quotes. However, the quotes (or “gems” as Mark called them) I did understand were valuable and insightful. Fun fact: Warren Buffett just turned 90 this year and a quick Google search told me he wasn’t planning on retiring ever.

Leadership

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

I had been wanting to read this book ever since Bill Gates recommended it on his blog. He went as far as basically saying this is the only other “how to run a business” book he would recommend (the other being Business Adventures by John Brooks). I don’t normally finish non-fiction books in a matter of days but I started this book one evening and finished it before the next. Robert Iger had a very successful career most of us have not even dreamed of. Some of his highlights as the CEO of Disney included the opening of the Shanghai Disney and acquiring Pixar, Marvel and 21st Century Fox. Reading this book was like reading a movie script while learning valuable business lessons.

The Go-Giver Leader, by Bob Burg & John David Mann

The leadership lessons are taught through an entertaining story about an acquisition of a close-knit family business; my favourite quote in the book was “your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

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