Posted by Tim Stobbs on February 26, 2007
During the weekend I finished reading How I Stopped Worrying About Retirement (without alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or other artificial stimulants) by Bruce McDougall which was an entertaining read. As you can tell by the title there is a fair amount of humour in the book which is a nice change from the typical personal finance book.
The other two thing that really sets this book apart from its peers. They are:
1) The entire book is told as a series of conversations between friends, similar to the Wealthy Barber. So it’s easy to read as compared to the typically dry reading some personal finance books can be. Perhaps what is more amazing is there is a plot to the story rather than just a nice way to present information.
2) The author uses the characters to show different points of view and allows the reader to make up their own minds. Also the characters don’t have perfect retirements. One had to cash in $50,000 of his RRSP’s to cover the legal defense for his son’s run in with the law, while another lost a pile of money with a junior mining company fraud.
As much as I enjoyed reading the book I’m left with a few problems with it. First the cast of character is large and you are dumped into a scene with all of them fairly shortly, so it’s a bit confusing in the beginning to remember who is who (For example, is Richard or Cecil the penny pincher?). The second problem is the conversational style doesn’t let the author touch on too many details for each topic so your left wanting more in some cases.
Yet despite the flaws, overall its a good read. It must be if my wife is thinking about reading it, since she almost never touches my personal finance books.