Review: How to Grow Your Own Money by David Meckin
A new book is out – ‘How to Grow your Own Money’ – and it’s been written by business management and investment expert David Meckin. Here’s a quick review for you.
If you haven’t made any long term plans for your financial future then now is a good time to start thinking about them. However, many of us are confused by financial jargon, ‘guru-speak’ and the sheer volume of associated facts, figures and opinions. This is where a book like ‘How to Grow Your Own Money’ comes in – its aim is to simplify savings and investments so that the average person can understand them.
The book does this very well, using clear language and generally cutting to the chase. It leaves out extraneous detail, and occasionally uses approximations to show quick ways to evaluate certain situations. There are also various written examples, charts and diagrams to aid understanding and retention of information.
The author begins by telling you that ‘the experts’ take an awful lot of money from you when they promise to make you wealthier. So much may be taken in fees and commissions that you can even end up losing money over time, even though the funds invested in have produced a moderate profit! Therefore it stands to reason that by picking your own savings and investments, you could be far better off in the long run.
When I say ‘could be far better off’, this means that you have to make good/sensible choices most of the time about where you’re going to put your money. And ‘most of the time’ is key here too – there’s an element of risk involved wherever there are greater rewards, which is clearly explained in the book. The text helps you to make sensible, methodical evaluations which most of the time will mitigate against the risks (and you only need to be right most of the time, rather than all of it).
The rest of the book covers the core principles of savings accounts, bonds and the bond market, stocks and shares, and investing in property. For example, I now feel confident enough to buy shares in a single company as I’ve learned how to evaluate the profitability and growth potential of a business, buy shares at a point where the business is not being overvalued, and monitor progress to protect my investment. It also touches on the way inflation and taxation can affect your savings, and how these need to be taken into consideration.
One thing though, the author is based in the UK, but the book has a decidedly US feel to it with examples being given in dollars and Americanised spelling used throughout. It’s clearly been designed for sale on both sides of the Atlantic, and as such it doesn’t drill down into specific ways to deal with tax matters, such as using ISAs/NISAs, declaring capital gains, retirement provisions, and so on. It also doesn’t give examples of ways to compare bonds or buy shares in the UK, and so on. These extra pieces of information would be useful in a second edition of the book, but as it currently stands, the text gives you the basic principles rather than fully setting you up to get straight out there and get on with it.
The other issue is this – while the book gives the average person the tools to make serious investments, the average person really doesn’t have the money to make these serious investments. For example, the (sensible) advice is to buy large chunks of shares or bonds at a time to minimise the impact of fees, say, $2,000 at a time. There is also (again, sensible) advice to give your portfolio a reasonable amount of diversity to spread risk, say, shares in 20 to 30 different companies. Does the average household have that kind of money to spare? Sadly not.
However, if your income is already significantly above average, or you have a cash windfall or you’ve been saving hard for many years, this book could help you to become even more wealthy without having to turn over a large chunk of your cash to various advisers/salespeople and fund managers. The rest of us will have to content ourselves with the advice about savings accounts.
How to Grow Your Own Money by David Meckin is currently available at Amazon priced £12.99 for the paperback and £11.47 for the Kindle version.