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The Barefoot Investor - Book Review

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by Selina Shapland (subscribe)
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Published December 26th 2017
Take yourself out with this book on a Barefoot Investor date
The Barefoot Investor, Finance, Saving, Paying off Debt. book review
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. Image taken by Selina Shapland 2017

A couple of weeks ago, as I stood in the hot summer sun hanging my washing out, my partner came out and told me he'd been reading an article about investing which was written by this guy known as 'The Barefoot Investor.'

I smiled and nodded and listened and kept pegging my clothes on the line. I didn't think much of it. But then on my way through the city, I saw the book sitting on the shelf and then I realised Christmas was only weeks away and since my partner seemed to enjoy this Barefoot Investor's take on investing and money management, I decided to get him a copy of this book, also titled, The Barefoot Investor.

I flicked through the pages before wrapping my gift and realised this book had some excellent advice from an Aussie family man and fiercely independent investment advisor, Scott Pape.

He's up front and declares that 'The Barefoot Investor' has never taken a kickback from any of his recommendations. Never have and never will. I liked the honesty of this author and I wanted to know more. So I downloaded the audiobook via Audible and started listening in the car, on the train and while doing more housework.

I couldn't get enough of what this down-to-earth guy from Victoria had to say about managing money and before I knew it, I'd opened up several bank accounts with institutions that don't cost me money for 'account fees' and nicknamed them:

Splurge account for my money that I can blow on whatever I like
Blow account for living expenses and dealing with direct debits
Smile account for saving for my holiday to the UK which I'm going on in 2018
Fire Extinguisher account which is aimed squarely at paying off personal loans and any other debt such as credit cards, loans from others etc
Mojo account which is designed to have $2,000 in it at all times and not touched - this is the money that gives a psychological boost to the brain and tells you that you'll never have to worry about having money again

I suddenly felt in control of my finances and more conscious of what I wanted and needed to spend money on. Then I decided, after listening to the audiobook three times in a row, that I'd like to do a book review.

This isn't an unbiased book review by any stretch. Mainly because I've gained so much from it already. So keep reading if you're interested. I hope it helps you as much as it's helped me.

Scott Pape narrates the audiobook and he's funny, serious, creative and confronting too. He's Aussie through and through and relatable too. The book begins with him sitting in front of a financial counsellor after he and his family had lost their house in a bush fire. It grabbed me straight away and pulled me in. I had to know more.

The first couple of chapters are a bit confronting as Scott describes the state of his sheep and two alpaca after the bushfire and the pain he and his family went through. I felt heartsick for him and his wife and the animals too, so be prepared for that. But it does get brighter and moves away from the fire after a couple stories that are told to make a point about how to deal with a 'financial fire.'

I found that 'The Barefoot Investor' uses the fire metaphor to help prepare readers for any potential financial fires in their lives, be that divorce, the sudden death of a loved one or losing your job. Then Scott moves on to use a 'plant, grow and harvest' metaphor throughout the book that's super easy to understand and follow.

This isn't some get rich quick scheme. Scott Pape's approach isn't about making a quick buck. It's about building a strong financial foundation and inspiring his readers to know deep inside them that "I've got this" when tough times hit. You'll understand that comment when you read this ripper of a finance book.

'The Barefoot Investor' plan is pretty simple and consists of five weeks of barefoot dates with set menus and then monthly barefoot dates from then on where you tackle one particular financial topic after another. You can do your Barefoot dates as a couple or a single person - it doesn't matter. What matters is showing up and committing to making life better for yourself and those you love. On these dates, Scott Pape walks you through getting your finances sorted, getting rid of your debt, invoking your inner alpaca attitude (spoiler alert - you'll have to read Scott's anecdote on the alpacas to know what that means), buying a home and building a stable foundation for retirement.

This book will give you a financial plan you can stick to (but it may take a bit of grit to stay on course at times) and steps for the various stages of life and money, from putting money aside for your children, teaching kids about money and saving, paying for school fees, income, investments, and buying a home to outlining a retirement strategy to help people who are close to that time of their life when work winds down and expenses keep escalating.

I think, if you're looking for something to help you out financially and help you to build relationships as well as learn how to leave a legacy, then The Barefoot Investor is for you. You'll certainly pick up something of value in this book that can help you out.

I'm following the Barefoot steps and I already have more money paid off my debt and a new mindset in three short weeks than I've had for years. My partner is devouring this book and my housemate bought a copy and has started to use the steps too.

Plus there is a lot of social proof from everyday Australians who are putting the Barefoot strategy in place and reaping excellent results. I think, ultimately, it's up to the individual to put the plan in place, automate it and allow the 'tree' to flower and fruit over time.

The best thing about 'The Barefoot Investor' strategy is there isn't any budgeting down to the last cent. Who sticks to a budget that strict? I've tried and failed so many times over the years. I've saved and spent my cash because I didn't have the mindset that I'm learning from The Barefoot Investor. So it works for me. It might just work for you too.

If you're looking for a finance book for the everyday mum and dad, single professional, retiree or just need a bit of financial guidance to get you on track, maybe think about taking some time out of your busy week to read The Barefoot Investor. It might just help you turn things around and help you to channel your alpaca attitude.

Also, The Barefoot Investor has already been updated for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The tagline for this book is: "The only money guide you'll ever need," and for me, it lives up to its promise.

There's so much in this book, it'll be worth reading several times over.

You can purchase this book at any bookstore. I've even seen them at the local newsagent as well. I got my audiobook online but you can also drop into your local library and borrow a copy. There's plenty of places where you could find this book.

Once you've got a copy, why don't you go out on your very own Barefoot Date Night and spend some time reading, relaxing, eating good food (even have a glass of wine) and focus on becoming financially free?
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Why? You love reading books on financial freedom and taking action.
When: You set your own Barefoot Date night and enjoy some time with the Barefoot Investor
Where: At any bookstore, the news agent or even your local library.
Cost: Approx. $29.99, but if you go to the library it might be there for you to borrow
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