Boost your money smarts in 2020 by adding these finance books to your summer reading list.
The perfect holiday read doesn’t have to be a thriller, a romance or your sporting hero’s life story..It can also be a practical book that helps make you smarter with money, or challenges your attitudes towards spending and investing.
Here’s five suggestions to help you get started.
Tales from a Financial Hot Mess
Journalist Frances Cook wrote this book for people who want to get ahead but are clueless about where their pay cheque goes each month.
Frances describes how she retrained herself to see the difference between want and need, which gave her more confidence about managing her money.
Top tip: When you’re trying to save, rotate what you cut back on each month – takeaway coffees one month; new clothes or the latest tech – so you don’t feel deprived.
Rich Enough? A Laid-back Guide for Every Kiwi
Discussing your financial life is like discussing your sex life, says Kiwi financial commentator Mary Holm. "A few close friends might know, but you tend not to tell too many people."
Mary’s out to change that with this straight-talking money guide about how to get rid of debt, curb spending, find the right KiwiSaver fund, save painlessly, buy a house or be happy not buying one, and move confidently towards retirement.
Best of all, Mary busts the myth that you need $1 million to retire.
Top tip: Diversify your money, and don’t react to what the share market is doing today because it’s likely to change tomorrow.
3 Happily Ever After: Escaping the Myth of the Perfect Life
Can money buy happiness? Yes – but only up to about $95,000. Earn more than that and your happiness levels may well go down, possibly because you’re swapping activities you enjoy, like hanging out with friends and family, to spend longer hours at the office.
In this thought-provoking book, behavioural science professor Paul Dolan challenges our assumptions about money and suggests how to live a more meaningful life.
Top tip: A high-paying, high-status job may not make you happier in the long run. That’s why florists are usually happier than lawyers.
4 Global Investing: A Guide for New Zealanders
Ryman Healthcare co-founder John Ryder looks at what caused the Global Financial Crisis and suggests how investors can avoid getting burned in the future.
John reveals how he analyses investment cycles to decide where to put his money. He also looks at the attitudes that can lead new investors to make mistakes and lose money.
Top tip: Always know where you are in an investment cycle. If everyone else is investing in an area, it may be better to wait until the timing improves and there is a reversal in the market.
5 Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
British economist Kate Raworth explains why current economic thinking doesn’t work – and says what should take its place.
Kate, who spoke at the 2019 Auckland Writers’ Festival, has created a new ‘doughnut’ economic model that she says could meet all our needs without putting the planet at risk.
She developed the model after realising that the issues she cared most about – like poverty and environmental destruction – were being overlooked by economists.
Top tip: Kate suggests we aim to create ‘generous’ businesses that give back to planet – for example, by creating more electricity than they use, or by putting cleaner water back into a river.