1/18/2010

Book Review: Your Money Ratios

I was recently approached to write a review on Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security, by Charles Farrell. I’ve so far seen a couple of reviews crop up already, and I must say – I’m impressed with your work! I’ve picked up and put down this book a solid half dozen times trying to read it. I wanted to be able to provide a comprehensive, thoughtful review.

Unfortunately, I am only able to share with you some basic highlights.

I found this book very hard to get into. Not that the language was difficult – it was actually very basic language – and so on the surface easy to understand, however; it was also very repetitive which made it frustrating to try to read. At times I felt like the author was speaking to someone very young, so you could say aspects of the book also felt somewhat condescending; however, that may have been just due to the repetition.

The book set out to answer five questions:
  1. How much should I be saving each year? 
  2. How much should I have saved at my age? 
  3. How much debt can I carry? 
  4. How should I invest my savings? 
  5. What type of insurance do I need? 
These questions, were meant to be answered through a variety of ratios. Basically, by age X you should have saved $X/$current salary = ratio of savings to salary. I won’t detail the progression, but I will say that the books’ message was by the time you reach retirement age you should have saved 12x your salary. The ratios themselves seem pretty easy to follow along – but I didn’t necessarily agree with the information provided – there wasn’t a solid reason behind the math, why 12X?

I’ll be the first one to say, that by the time the book got to the math, I may already have had a mental block that it wasn’t going to work. It’s hard to say at this point.

I am sad to say, that I stopped reading after the introduction to Chapter 3: Social Security. Up until that point, there was no specific mention (that I caught at least) that the book was directed to folks from the U.S. of A. I am Canadian. I said to myself, and to Jordan, maybe the concepts will still apply. Again, I tried to get through them but unfortunately the American language was so lost on me, that I gave up.

I so appreciate that this book try’s to provide guidance on answering some age old questions relating to how much and for how long someone should save – but I truly believe that every case is different and it so depends on your personal circumstances.
Reactions:

7 comments:

  1. HI Jessie, Thanks for the review. I'm sorry it wasn't for you and that you didn't like it as much as some of the other reviewers did. But we really appreciate the time and effort that you put into reading and reviewing it. Thanks so much.

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  2. @ Frugal - so glad I wasn't the only one - did you do a post on it? I didn't see it if you did

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  3. Nope.

    I missed my date, I totally forgot about it.

    Oops! ;)

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  4. Ugh, I can't stand repetition in ANYTHING. Don't think this would be for me.

    I agree with you, everyone's situation is unique and it's hard to slap a "you should be HERE by now" on it.

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  5. The Down side to many financial books is they are based on the American retirement savings system. 401ks Roth IRA all sorts of stuff we don't have in Canada.

    Regards,

    Jason

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  6. That sounds like an interesting book - maybe the author can write another one targeted to Canadians.

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