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Money Wise: The Aam Aadmi's Guide to Wealth and Financial Freedom Paperback – 29 Apr 2015
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About the Author
Sharath Komarraju lives in Bengaluru, surrounded by an ever-swelling collection of books. He began his professional life as a software engineer, but has now renounced it all in favour of a writing desk and a word processor. (He's happy to report that his head has stayed above water so far, though he's flapping like crazy underneath.) His first novel, Murder in Amaravati, was longlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize 2013. His best known work is The Winds of Hastinapur, the first book in a series that attempts to tell the Mahabharata story from the viewpoints of all the prominent women characters. Sharath loves chocolates but can't have them because they make him fat. He loves cats but can't keep them because he's allergic to fur. For these two reasons he's almost always in a state of restless discontent, some of which he tries to dispel by writing stories. On occasion he succeeds. Money Wise is his first attempt at non-fiction.
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A simple, easy to understand financial guide devoid of mind-boggling financial jargons, peppered with some wonderful and simple, straight to the point examples, the book deals with the basics of personal finance and introduces the reader to the various types of assets and their importance in the economy as well as the lives of the common man. The book is an answer to many a question troubling the layman regarding the financial system, its working and how to manage his personal finances and money.
The book also gives an insight into how the layman is easily cheated. Take for example the term ‘inflation’. To him ‘inflation’ simply means rising prices. But Have do you know that inflation is actually a tax on the poor in favour of the rich? If not, open your eyes. Read what Sharath has to say on the subject. His explanation is not only interesting but believable too. It’s an eye-opener.
As we near the sun-set of our lives we worry about the future. We wonder whether the money at hand will last till w e breath our last. We are often at our wits end when it comes to planning for a rainy day or life post- retirement. We wonder how to take full advantage of our money so that it multiplies over a period of time. But maybe what we are looking for is right there in the book. Sharath has provided some truly useful tips on money-management.
Intricate subjects such as personal finance, portfolio allocation, asset classification, etc. are dealt with ease and presented keeping the layman in mind thus making it an useful and informative read.
In short, a lot of ground (financial) is covered in just a few pages and that too with ease making it light and interesting.
Language & Style: Generally the problem with financial books/ self help books is that they are either either heavily loaded with complex terms or are not able to hold the attention of the reader for a long time at a single sitting. But here we have a book where the language is simple (aam aadmi style) and conversational in nature. Peppered with nuggets of wisdom here and there, this book is anything but boring.
It is an easy to understand and comprehensive guide to the basics of finance. The book starts with a concise history of money. It gives a definition of money, its relation with value, the role of gold in the financial system and how this role has changed in the last century. This part of tells us what the gold standard was, what the Fiat system is and how the Governments’ of the world print money. It also talks about Debt generation and inflation. All of these are questions that we have all wondered about before but never knew where to look for answers. This part of the book gives us a quick understanding of the financial system we live in and how it affects us.
The next part of the book is the best part for me. It gives the reader a guide to plan their own finances. This is the first self help finance book that I have seen do so. Sharath, helps the reader calculate how much they should save for after their retirement and how to create and manage an emergency fund. The advice is very practical and easily doable. It is the kind of advice that is rarely given and should be fully followed. The next part of the book talks about the different forms of investments, Gold, Real estate, Bonds and Stocks. Each of these topics starts with a quick and crisp introduction, followed by do’s and don’ts of investment. These topics are very helpful. The last part of the book deals with developing a portfolio and managing it.
This book was very helpful for me in understanding how to better handle my finances and I would recommend it to….well practically everyone I know.
After going through the entire book, I'd say that Sharath had covered the basics of personal finance, asset allocation, portfolio management & the related psychologist aspects very well. It's an enriching & accessible book for beginners to grasp the basics.
I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get their finances in order & want a leg up to start out.
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