Book Value: What Canada’s Finance Experts are Reading

If you look at my bedside table right now you’ll find King William’s Tontines, by Moshe Milevsky, a book about a slightly macabre financing scheme invented by a seventeenth-century Italian businessman that might hold the key to retirement security for today’s workers. Fascinating stuff! My other book is an excellent crime thriller by Jim Johnson. (Both are totally engrossing—in their own way.)

But whatever book I have on the go, I’m always looking forward to my next good read. So for both your summer reading pleasure and mine I’ve asked some personal finance experts what they’re reading this summer. Enjoy!

9 must-reads for the summer

1. Jon Chevreau, personal finance writer and blogger at findependencehub.com

  • Capital, by John Lancaster. A novel set in London UK in the financial crisis, with all the characters owning houses on one particular street, with house prices soaring as they are now in Toronto and Vancouver. A good read the way he brings the different characters, including a top money guy, immigrants, etc.
  • How to speak money: What the money people say and what it really means, by John Lancaster. A primer of the language of money and entertaining explanations of key money terms, such as ‘fiscal’ and ‘monetary’, or even  “securitization.” To beef up your understanding of the evolving language of money, this book is a must.
  • New Grub Street, a Victorian novel by George Gissing. One of the best British novelists you’ve never heard of, but this book about how artists and writers are thwarted by a lack of money has been named one of the 100 greatest novels of all time.

2. Barry Choi, personal finance blogger and travel expert

  • Millionaire Teacher, Second Edition, Andrew Hallam. Choi read Andrew Hallam’s original version when it first came out several years ago and found that this updated version had so much new information, including robo-advisors and updated statistics. A must-read for anyone who wants to learn about their finances.
  • Lonely Planet’s Where to go When. Spending your money mindfully so you get a lot of pleasure from it is a good thing. Choi loves everything travel so Lonely Planet’s Where to go When serves as an inspiration. It features 30 destinations for every month and explains why it’s the perfect time to travel. It’s always fun to dream.

3. Dan Bortolotti, author, portfolio manager and creator of canadiancouchpotato.com

  • The Essential Retirement Guide: A Contrarian’s Perspective, by Frederick Vettese. As a planner who works with many clients who are (or will soon be) retired, Dan is always trying to get a better understanding of the financial and psychological challenges of life after work. Vettese (an actuary) has a refreshing and practical wisdom on the topic.
  • Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leershen. Summer is baseball season, so while the Blue Jays languish in last place Dan turned to this first-rate biography of one of the game’s greatest and most controversial players. If you know Cobb only from the movie with Tommy Lee Jones, this book will change everything you believed.

4. Evelyn Jacks, tax expert and author

  • The Clean Money Revolution:  Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism by Joel Solomon. It talks about the transformative changes our financial services are going through and how our collective social conscience can lead us to deploy the privilege of affluence in a more purposeful way.
  • Living Up to a Legend, My Adventures with Billy Bishop’s Ghost by Diana Bishop. An interesting story about the blessings and the burdens of living within the shadow of a huge icon in the family.
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