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The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  5,008 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
The Wealthy Barber takes the form of a novel, though it wouldn't win many awards for plot, setting, or characterization. The narrator, Dave, a 28-year-old school teacher and expectant father, his 30-year-old sister, Cathy, who runs a small business, and his buddy, Tom, who works in a refinery, sit around a barber shop in Sarnia, Ontario, and listen as Ray Miller, the ...more
Published February 1st 2002 by Stoddart Pub (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 04, 2015 Remidion rated it it was amazing
A must read for any friend, it approaches personal finance in a nonchalant, meaningful, practical and funny way which makes the read a breeze. I wanted to read the book for its content on personal finances, but I ended up being caught in the story and enjoying it for its storytelling.
Sep 08, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
This is the first personal finance book I've ever read, and I'm really, really happy to have done it. By presenting a boring topic in a conversational format--including lots of baseball chiding--Chilton makes personal finance accessible to anyone and everyone.

He presents a really simple system that anyone can follow, starting today, to get your finances in order. Put 10% into a "I'm going to be rich someday" fund. Put another 10%+ into retirement. Do whatever you want with the rest (essentially)
John Matsui
Aug 06, 2016 John Matsui rated it it was amazing
I was among the first to read and review this book for the finance section of an Ontario newspaper when it was first released back in 1989.
David Chilton lived in a nearby city and was pushing hard to get reviews.
I loved it because it took the dry lessons of personal finance and turned them into a parable about a barber who knew the secret to financial success.
I knew the book would be a hit and said so. The rest is history.
Maya Man
Mar 19, 2016 Maya Man rated it it was ok
finally got around to this one after much gentle, yet consistent urging of my father, The Wealthy Barber is a thinly veiled lesson in personal finance. aside from a few witty remarks from characters in between the barber's lectures, the book is plainly an essential guide to simply and properly managing your money. a very important read, but honestly not an engaging one. would recommend for educational purposes only, not enjoyment.
David Albert
Apr 13, 2015 David Albert rated it really liked it
There is some very good, general information here that just about anyone can benefit from. I did, however, hate the presentation. It's all presented in a painfully cheesy conversation between a barber, 3 30-somethings in need of knowledge, and a couple of old farts who live in the barber's shop. It made me want to slap someone.

Still, I must recommend the book for there was good information inside. It's fairly well rounded, providing value to just about anyone.
Elizabeth Mirr wysocki
Dec 17, 2015 Elizabeth Mirr wysocki rated it it was amazing
Such great advice on becoming financially literate AND a quick read
Nov 03, 2011 Leanne rated it really liked it
This book has a cult-following amongst Canadians, and now that I've read it, I know why. It was first published in 1989, and is written like a "novel", except with more dialogue than any book I've ever read.

Here's the set-up: 3 twenty-somethings go to a barber for financial advice. They go eight times (there are each time is a chapter), and have seven lessons with the Wealthy Barber, Ron, who gives them financial advice.

1. Save 10% of your income for long-term growth. Pay yourself first. He talk
Jun 11, 2014 Sean rated it it was amazing
The wealthy Barber has become a classic of Canadian financial literature for the average Joe, and for good reason. The Wealthy Barber is not your everyday boring financial planning book which instructs you on how to budget and predict the stock market. The wealthy barber does not even cover those topics as viable paths to financial prosperity as everyone who has tried a personal budget knows how hard it is to follow. Same with the stock market, it is ridiculous to believe that millions will ...more
Greg Talbot
Jan 01, 2016 Greg Talbot rated it really liked it
Thank you to Brian Preston and Bo Hanson ("The Money Guys" podcast) and their "on point" podcast about the key financial books you have to read. This is a primer, an easy read, a well-meaning story about getting financial advice that isn't going to overwhelm you. The human element seems to be what separates a great finance book from a typical pressing of finance information.

The story revolves around a young naive man Tom who goes to his local barber known for the best money tips and haircut snip
Jan 24, 2015 Frode rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second time through the book. I reread it since I am recommending it to a couple of younger fellows; thus, I am needing to be up to speed on it for our future discussions. It is readable, enjoyable, and has a number of profitable ideas. The case he makes for mutual funds is ok for many, but some will prefer to own particular stocks. While he advocates not using credit cards, their convenience combined with self discipline makes them a useful tool. Of course, they are like fire, a ...more
This one might have been better in book (versus audiobook) form. The framing device of an ongoing conversation about financial matters between (obnoxious, faux humorous) people in a barber shop was excruciating. Suddenly, Stephen King's admonitions against adverbs in On Writing made a WHOLE LOT OF SENSE. And the narrator's self-description at the beginning makes him sound like a total jerk--I didn't WANT this guy to be financially successful! However, buried in the dialogue is really good, ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Debs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was kind of "meh" when this book won our book club vote, but I'm actually really glad I read it. Even though my first thoughts were around how chauvinistic and sexist some peoples were and how I wanted to punch them in the face, I did find that it moved very well and was entertaining in a stereotypical dubbed down, must be accessible all-American-boy way. And the writing terrible.

But that's not really the point here. The advice in this book is sound. I'm giving it points because
Anna Kazakova
Oct 12, 2015 Anna Kazakova rated it really liked it
Originally published

It is nicely written, and with a sense of humor. The Canadian author gives it away with the title—it does not matter what you do and how much money you earn, you have the same chances of being wealthy as anybody else. Most importantly, follow your financial plan no matter what.
David Chilton is not only a writer; he is also a successful investor. He can be seen making investment decisions at the Dragons’ Den Canada show (from 2012-prese
Dec 26, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Bad jokes and good financial advice go a long way to making me enjoy a book and this had both. By now the book is probably a little dated for some of the advice but really there are important principles that are timeless, the first being that I should have started investing ten years ago. Ah well. Really this book is a nice short read and serves well as an entertaining primer to financial planning. Probably much of the advice is common knowledge and the toughest thing is making the first step to ...more
Murray deBoer
Apr 08, 2015 Murray deBoer rated it it was amazing
Good,clean, simple financial planning to make anyone well off. Unfortunately when I read this book about 20 years ago I did not follow all of the steps and as a result am not in the secure financial position I could be. But, it's never to late to start doing things better. The book has 12 very simple basis ideas, the most important being, pay yourself 10% of every paycheck first and invest in long term savings, have the proper and right amount of life insurance, have an up to date will, maximize ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mary by: my mother
this original is probably outdated now but it still has quite a lot to offer. I read this at 21 (my mother forced me to read it). It is one of, if not the very first book that opened my eyes to the world of investments, esp. real estate. It was instrumental in helping me purchase my first home at 23, then my first investment property at 25. There are a lot of books in finance, but this one was my first real teacher. I talked about it a lot with my clients and when I spoke at seminars.

A great boo
May 14, 2016 Jonas rated it really liked it
very nice and easy to read

you might want to skip the first two chapters which don't contain anything of financial advice. The good parts start when they start visiting the Barber

I am german and sadly some thing or two only works for US Citizens. But the big picture is pretty much the same

I think this is a good start if you want to get your financial lifd around because it covers everything but doesnt go very deep on anything particular
Joshua Washburn
Sep 15, 2014 Joshua Washburn rated it liked it
Most of it is just common sense as the title would have you believe. A couple tips I didn't already know about. It seemed like it would be a great book for someone who hasn't grown up financially educated by their parents. For me almost all of it was stuff I was either doing or at least new I should do.

Overall it is a very easy read that gives a full frame work for personal finance. A little dated but still useful and largely valid.
Aug 08, 2014 Art rated it it was amazing
This personal finance book is presented in a non-threatening and easy to understand manner. The main character's father guides him to a local barber who has done well financially by following sound financial principles. The barber dispenses his knowledge to some pupils during weekly meetings in his barbershop. I highly recommend this book, especially to those new to the subject of personal finance.
Feb 15, 2016 Thibault rated it it was amazing
Although I read the revised edition before reading this one. I still enjoyed it immensely. The crux of it is saving about 10% and another 10% on retirement. He explains well the beauty of compound interest and the importance of investing on equity mutual funds... This is the book that really opened my eyes to investment. The chapter on a a dollar saved, two dollar earned was eye opening. The tips on life insurance are worthwhile.
Jodi R.
Jun 11, 2014 Jodi R. rated it really liked it
A little outdated in some ways, and the writing is cringeworthy at times (for the love of all that is good and holy - put the thesaurus away and just say "says" from time to time!), but the advice is sound and easy to understand. I am glad I read it and will likely skim it again to make sure I got some things right. Would be a very good gift (there's an updated version, I believe) for people in college/just finishing, newlyweds...
Ce livre devrait être une lecture obligatoire aux élèves du secondaire! Tout est expliqué très simplement et si tout le monde suivait les simples règles d'investissement décrites dans ce livre, personne n'aurait aucun problème à sa retraite. Personne!

Mon seul regret : ne pas avoir lu ce livre dans ma jeune vingtaine (ou avant)! Chacun de mes enfants vont avoir une copie de ce livre, c'est une promesse!
Apr 24, 2015 Sergio rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to personal finance. Though not completely up-to-date (the book was written 20 years ago), most of the information is still pretty relevant. The book is laid out in seven easy-to-read lessons, all as dialogue between a barber and his clientele.

I recommend everyone in their 20s pick up this book.
Nathan Schwartz
Dec 28, 2015 Nathan Schwartz rated it it was ok
I was disappointed on re-reading this book. I really liked this book 20 or so years ago. It’s sort of a retelling of the richest man in Babylon. Maybe this book would still work as a simple little introduction to personal finance, but I found too much of it outdated, simplistic, and some of it just wrong.
Feb 17, 2015 Jamala rated it liked it
This is good if you like the story book setting. Sometimes, though you would just like the narrator to get to the point. Overall this is a good stepping stone for financial advice, but works best if you're not in debt. It also takes the pressure off that many folks may feel about "having" to make big bucks in order to be financially grounded.
Feb 07, 2015 Nathalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once you get past the corny dad jokes it's actually pretty helpful. I read it because my dad kept recommending it to me and I have to say I'm glad I read it. Still don't understand a bunch of stuff but it inspired me to look into various savings accounts with compound interest. I think that's a start.
Big O
May 14, 2015 Big O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It's the best word I can come up with. Mr. Chilton promulgates a plan, without shilling for certain brands' funds, and best of all, he takes the very complex and makes it very simple. He teaches you using plain English.

I now have five co-workers following his advise, and I can't think of a higher compliment.
Christie Norris
Oct 16, 2015 Christie Norris rated it really liked it
This is one of the better personal finance books I've read. The principles are sound and simple and explained well. The only problem I had was that some of the information was a little outdated concerning retirement contribution limits and education saving. I'd recommend this as a great introduction to taking care of your personal finances.
Tim Sormin
Mar 15, 2012 Tim Sormin rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational
While there is some outdated information, the main principles are sound and very easily understood. The storytelling and humour are corny, but better than reading your typical monologue-textbook format. It's personal finance for dummies, but most of us are financial dummies so I'd recommend it.
Dianne Oliver
Mar 31, 2016 Dianne Oliver rated it liked it
The dialogue is annoying, (in the Rich Dad vein) but the points are viable. It is very similar to the millionaire next door, in that it makes the case for a simple, steady plan that the everyday man can accomplish. It is not a detail oriented book, as much as a concept book.
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