Long before J.K.Rowling and Steig Larsson became publishing phenoms, Dave Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber sold an astonishing 2 million copies in Canada alone. To put that in perspective, a book that sells a mere 5,000 copies is considered a best seller. The Wealthy Barber offered down-to-earth, simple financial advice: live within your means, pay yourself first and invest your savings wisely. Unfortunately, Dave’s message may not have sunk in fully because our debt levels are sky-high, our savings rate is very low and our investment returns are far from satisfactory.
In the two decades since its publication, Dave has met thousands of people and has taken a close look into their financial plans (If Dave is anywhere near, you’d be wise to “misplace” your financial and brokerage statements) to try to figure out where his original message went off script. He has distilled his findings into a 200-page or so book titled The Wealthy Barber Returns: Significantly Older and Marginally Wiser, Dave Chilton Offers His Unique Perspectives on the World of Money that will be hitting the store shelves this fall.
The new book is structured as a series of essays (unlike the first book’s “novel” format) allowing the reader to work their way through the book in a non-linear fashion. Dave is a gifted writer to begin with but he also revises his material numerous times after testing it out on readers. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience (I had a chance to take a sneak peek at the manuscript). More importantly, Dave offers some neat ideas that should “nudge” us to save more, spend wisely, borrow responsibly and invest better. All of this is delivered with sparking wit and peppered with numerous personal anecdotes.
The contents of the new book are under wraps but you can find the first chapter on The Wealthy Barber website. The Toronto Star published an excerpt from the book last fall on how spending begets more spending.