I recently had the opportunity to review the book Above Average Finance: Investment Strategies to Put You Ahead of the Rest by James Pollard. You may recognize James. He is the founder of PersonalFinanceGenius.com. James provided me with a PDF copy of the book for my review.
In This Article
Philosophy behind the Book
James offers a straightforward and blunt approach to personal finance and investing. He realizes on his time as a financial advisor, working for a big bank, and years of personal finance and investing study to offer an easy to understand overview of the topics.
What I didn’t Like
The title is very fitting; James is certainly targeting above average. Calling people who take walks for exercise “loser” is not my style, but he makes his point. I enjoy a good walk with my dog or to clear my head and never felt like a loser afterwards.
What I Loved
The book is a quick, but thought proving read. It’s easy to understand and does a good job of giving you an end-to-end investment overview.
Why you should Read “Above Average Finance”
If you need a little wake-up call or motivation for your finances James Pollard’s Above Average Finance is the book for you. It will provide a great overview of personal finance and investing and keep you on your toes.
Interview with James Pollard
When did you first become financially literate?
James: I first became financially literate around the age of 13-14, which is when I first started to learn about debt, managing money, credit cards, and so on. I was a huge reader and read everything I could get my hands on about finance and investing. It changed my life forever.
What approach would you use to teach children/students about financial literacy?
James: I would love nothing more than to teach kids about financial literacy. I’ve given some serious thought on the best way to do it, and I think the way to go is classroom style, but with continuing education outside of the classroom. What I think should happen is to have kids get introduced to certain financial concepts, do some reading on the topic, watch presentations, and take tests to score their retention. I think that kids would be more apt to do their homework in a money management class because they would definitely see the value of it outside the classroom. Kids who are studying algebra aren’t as quick to see the real-world applications. I’ve been saying there should be a mandatory money course for kids for years.
Who do you think should read your book, Above Average Finance?
James: My book is perfect for the busy person who has at least some interest in finance and investing. I understand that not everyone likes to read, nor do people have the time to crank through hundreds of courses and books and hours of real-life experience like I have. Above Average Finance is a short, big-picture book. I wrote it after asking myself, “If I could only read one money book in my entire lifetime, what would it look like?” That’s why there’s such a big emphasis on goal-setting and general money management in the book. It’s just big picture content of stuff that I think everyone should know.
Brian is a Dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013. Who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt-free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. Brian is involved in his local community. As a Financial Committee Chair with the Board of Education of his local school district, he has helped successfully launch a K-12 financial literacy program in a six thousand student district.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Above Average Finance”
Glad to see that overall you liked the book Brian. I agree – sometimes it felt like when he wanted to make a point or be harsh it was a bit forced (ex. the walking example) but I thought he gave a decent overview on a lot of different topics.
Thanks Thias. Agreed a bit blunt, but still informational.
How about people in the personal finance blogosphere? Is there anything in it for us, or is it things that we will most likely already know?
I would think that you would have this material understood by now, unless you are a novice investor.
It sounds like he is a straight shooter and I like that style. Ill have to be sure to check this out. I think its funny he considers people who walk “losers”. That is a little extreme but I sort of see where he is coming from. Its kind of like saying, if you are going to do something, go big!
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