Slow and Steady

Review of Mastering Personal Finance by John Gorham.

Posted on: April 18, 2009

Although I’m more interested in learning to invest, I thought that this book may give me more tips on managing my finances. It also had an introduction to investment chapter that I thought would be helpful.

The blurb says it’s for the general reader as well as students. It also states ‘this text provides a sound working knowledge in financial matters through straightforward explanations and constructive ideas, directing readers on the path to optimum personal financial health’.

There are 14 chapters in the book. The first chapter went through why you should master personal finance, and how having a clear purpose can help you in your aim to be wealthy.  The second chapter then goes into the definitions that will be used throughout the book.

The book covers tax, insurance, investments, wills, buying property, borrowing and pensions.

I dipped into the chapters of particular interest and am sad to say, I didn’t find the book interesting at all.

The information is all correct, and it is written impartially, however it’s just boring. It reads like student text book, definitely not for the general public.

The author has a habit of backing up his points by referring to different sections in the book, which gets quite annoying. Each chapter has a very long introduction where he states all his points he is going to make, and conclusion where he states the points he has made. It’s more of a dissertation than a guide book.

This book is very ‘old school’, it is very formal, and takes itself a bit too seriously in my view. The reasoning behind the book is fantastic though, Mr Gorham says he is ‘disappointed with the level of financial education offered to young people’, and I agree with him 100%.

I’m not sure those ‘young people’ would get past the first chapter though.


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