Saturday, March 16, 2019

Beat the Bank

My mom recommended that I give Larry Bates' Beat the Bank a read after she heard about it on Twitter.  I had it on hold at the library, but the book was super overdue so I thought it wasn't coming back and bought it on my Kindle.  The book did end up showing up, but I just sent it to the next person who had it on hold and read the version I bought on my Kindle.

Beat the Bank is very similar to a lot of the other books I've read on personal finance.  Bates recommends investing in low-cost index ETF's rather than the much higher cost mutual funds that Canadian banks offer.  The majority of the book was dedicated to showing just how much money you lose out to what he terms "Old Bay Street" (through the fees they charge that many investors don't really understand).  For that reason it's a very informative book.  But because I've already read several other books on personal finance, nothing that he said was really new to me.

That being said, I still enjoyed reading it.  I've found personal finance books to be rather interesting to read. In the case of Beat the Bank, because it's so modern, I enjoyed reading about his breakdown of "New Bay Street" - the robo investors and other tools that have popped up with much lower fees than traditional banks.  I also really liked that he walks you through the process of buying stocks and bonds; I don't remember any of the other books I've read actually doing that.  So Beat the Bank really is a great book for beginner investors. :)

(I'd also like to note that I spoke with someone else at the library who read Beat the Bank, and they really enjoyed it.  They said that for a book on financial planning and personal finance, it isn't boring at all, so I definitely think Beat the Bank is a great place to start for beginners and people who think financial books are boring!)

Oh, and I definitely liked Bates' brief discussion on financial plans.  It isn't a long discussion, but he talks about the importance of having some sort of target that you're aiming for.  Life changes and your target may change along with it, but sitting down and coming up with something that you're working towards is always a good plan.

So that was Beat the Bank.  I'm glad I read it, because even though I'm familiar with a lot of the things he mentions, I still learned some new things. :)  I think the next financial book I'm going to read is going to be A Random Walk Down Wall Street (that was recommended to me I think in one of the other books I read), but it's going to be a bit before I get to it!

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