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Book Review: Your Money Diet By Bruce Wallace


Your Money Diet
Bruce Wallace
Only $29.95


Reviewed by Ruth McIntosh on behalf of Good Returns Bookstore

Bruce Wallace will be familiar to some readers as the presenter of the ‘Your Money’ programme on National Radio. The book is subtitled An any-age guide to getting rich, which gives us the first clue that the book is broad ranging in nature and not aimed at any one particular age group or other demographic.

Wallace writes in a very easy to understand style. The book is down to earth and very readable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t made a start at planning for his or her financial future. For people further down the financial planning route you may find the book covers what you already know. However, I would personally still recommend that you read it. Even if the book simply reinforces what you are already doing then it is good. However, it is just as likely that it will give you a new idea or two to consider.

The fact that the book is written by a New Zealander for New Zealanders is a definite bonus as far I am concerned. A lot of what is written in overseas books can be irrelevant for us. Even in Australia the tax differences, with their capital gains tax for example, means that there are distinct differences from the New Zealand market.

Your Money Diet is divided into three parts; spend less, save more, and earn more. This is a logical progression. The ability to be able to curb our spending (even if only slightly) and get our credit card debt under control must be mastered before we can start to save more, and there is not much long-term point in earning more if we simply spend it. The short spend less section (it is only 35 pages long) gives some good practical advice for spending less money, as well as recommendations of other resources to help you in this area. If you have problems with credit card debt, you should find this section particularly helpful. As stated succinctly on page 30 “Do you really need five cards? The answer has to be No.”

The ‘save more’ section includes eight chapters on a diverse range of topics. Chapter nine ‘Investing in Your Future’ is the longest chapter in this section and covers the development of an investment portfolio. It is good solid material. This section also has a short chapter on the typical young New Zealanders overseas experience ‘The OE Issue – Going Nowhere Fast’ which is bound to be a little controversial.

The final earn more section includes chapters on trading on the internet, business ownership, franchises, residential and commercial real estate. Obviously in a book of this nature these chapters are broad based and introductory in nature. However, they do cover a lot of material, in a way which is easy to understand, and helpful. By looking at the different approaches available the reader could determine what they want to investigate further.

The final chapter of the book ‘What’s the use of retiring’ deserves special mention. I never realised before that New Zealand has the biggest baby boomer generation relative to our size. This will mean we will have to see more people working past the traditional 65 age of retirement. As a result there is a definite need for more flexibility. It also implies that there is a greater need to plan for your own future. This book will help you to think and plan and take control of your own financial future.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book as an addition to your family library.

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Your Money Diet is available through the Good Returns online bookstore at www.goodreturns.co.nz/books or call 0800 345 675.

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