Book Giveaway: Broke Millennial Takes On Investing

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FIRECracker

FIRECracker is a world-travelling early retiree. She used to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, but instead of drowning in debt, she rejected home ownership. What resulted was a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed her and her husband to retire at 31 and travel the world. Their story has been featured on CBC, the Huffington Post, CNBC, BNN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. To date, it is the most shared story in CBC history and their viral video on CBC's On the Money has garnered 4.5 Million views.
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One of best things about early retirement is having the time to read books. Back when I was working, it used to take me a whole month to get through a single book, and even then I’d usually get so distracted I’d just quit a third of the way through. 

Now I’m able to read way more books, but what I’ve discovered is that I have a really short attention span–especially when it comes to finance books. And it’s become exceedingly rare for me to find voices in the personal finance space that I can connect to. 

Which is why it was so surprising when I read Erin Lowry’s “Broke Millennial” book. The writing grabbed me from page one:

“In the summer of 1996, a glazed Krispy Kreme donut change my life. Well okay, not just one donut: five dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.

It all began on a humid morning in North Carolina when my mom decided to engage in one of the most dangerous and cutthroat suburban activities: hosting a yard sale…”

“Wait what? This is a finance book?” was my immediate thought. Up until that point, none of the finance books I’d read had a narrative voice, so I was instantly hooked.

That morning, I dropped everything I was doing (which, for me, was basically nothing—because, you know, lazy and retired) to read her book. It’s not often I read finance books with characters and a narrative voice, but this book hooked me all the way through. From talking about “Getting Financially Naked” with your partner, to “Is Money a Tinder Date or Marriage Material”, the book was a joy to read and the exact opposite of what comes to mind when you hear the words “finance book”. I also love the fact that Erin’s so relatable and encouraging, you’ll feel like you’re hanging out with your BFF.

It’s no wonder Broke Millennial was included in the list of the best 13 finance books of the year, according to NY Magazine: http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-personal-finance-books.html

Last year, I was beyond excited to learn that I was going to be her pub-sister (meaning we were both at the same publisher) when we signed the contract with Penguin. And one of the advantages of being in the Penguin family is getting books to blurb/review before they even come out. And I’m super happy to have the privilege of reviewing Erin’s newest book, Broke Millennial Takes On Investing, that just came out last week!

If you want to become financially independent but still have student loans and/or don’t know anything about investing, this book is required reading. I wish someone had given me this book right out of college. Back I didn’t even know what “equities”, “REITs”, “index investing” meant, never mind how to build a portfolio. This book would’ve been the perfect primer to get started without intimidating me with a ton of technical jargon. 

For those of you who are just dipping your toes into the investing waters or know of someone who’s too intimidated to invest, here are 3 things in Erin’s new book that I found the most useful:

Creative style of writing

One of my favourite ways to spend money is on books but I absolutely loathe reading heavy tomes. Books are fun, those tomes are assignments. And what Erin does really well is she uses a relatable writing style to teach you concepts in a fun way. For example, in one section she even writes a “Love Letter To You from the Stock Market.” How creative is that?

Investing for Freelancers

Since Wanderer and I had full-time jobs, we’ve never talked about how to open SEP IRAs and Solo 401Ks on this blog. But since Erin works for herself, she shares useful tidbits about the logistics of opening up a Solo 401K and how to invest when you have to manage an unsteady income as a freelancer/entrepreneur. Definitely worth a read and helpful for those who are in this situation.

Given that I think automation is causing Millennials and the next generation to have “episodic careers“, you might need to know this stuff sooner rather than later. 

Robo-Advisors

Several readers have written in asking us about robo-advisors. They want to invest but don’t feel they have the time to manage the portfolio themselves. We believe you need to  learn how to invest and not rely on robo-advisors as a crutch, but for those of you experienced with our investment workshop and want to look into automation, it’s worthwhile to read this chapter to find out how robo-advisors work and evaluate whether if they are right for you.

Should You Invest if You Still have Student Loans?

One of the biggest challenges Millennials face is the increasing cost of education. On the plus side, Millennials also have the advantage of time on our side—if you’re young, you have more time in the market for your money to grow. But what if you still have student loans? Should you invest or pay off your student loans first? This book tackles this question.

Now, as much as I enjoyed this book, there are a few things I disagree with (because how boring would it be if we agreed with each other all the time?)

Target-date Funds

Erin mentions that some advisors rail against target-date funds because they make you pay for services that you can do yourself (this is how we feel too). But she herself thinks they are valuable to get people started in investing, even if the fees drag down your portfolio, because it’s better to get started than miss out due to analysis paralysis.

Even though I agree with her on some level, as with robo-advisors, I think you need to understand exactly what’s going on with your portfolio because if you don’t, you run the risk of losing money due to ignorance. It’s always better to DIY from the ground up when you first start. If you’re not willing to put in the time to learn exactly how investing works and just blindly let others figure it out for you, investing’s probably not for you.

Retirement accounts

Erin talks about withdrawing from your retirement accounts before 59.5 and how you’ll get hit with tax penalties, which is true, but there are ways around this (namely the Roth IRA conversion ladder that we explained here). She mentions that rules change all the time, so she doesn’t like to mention loopholes. This is fair, but I still would’ve liked some mention of this, just so readers are aware and can decide for themselves whether they want to use it.

But overall, these are just nit-picks. If you’re beginner to investing and have no idea where to start, this book is the perfect reference! While this isn’t a FIRE book and more of a general finance book, I’d recommend it as mandatory reading before you read any FIRE books so you can understand what the investing terms mean.

Now, given how international our readers are, one of the questions you might be wondering is “What if I’m not American? Does this book still apply to me?”

Although it talks about 401Ks instead of RRSPs, Superannuation accounts, CPFs, or RIESTER plans, you can still glean a lot of information about the stock market and investing from this beginner’s guide. Erin gives you a thorough overview of what you need to know to get started, and once you are familiar with the terms, you can adapt the advice to your own country and situation.

And guess what? No matter where you are in the world, you can enter to win one of 3 copies of Erin’s book!

Simply do one of (or all of ) the following:

  1. comment below and let me know why you want to win a copy of this book.
  2. tweet this message: “Want to learn how to invest and level up your money? Read Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: https://tinyurl.com/y542asdj”
  3. subscribe to the MR mailing list using the opt-in bar at the top of this page

You get 1 entry per action above. Enter them into the Rafflecopter tool below and at the end of the week, I’ll randomly draw 3 winners and e-mail you instructions on how to claim your prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: For Americans, you’re entering to win 1 physical copy of Erin’s book Broke Millennial Takes On Investing. For international readers, you’re entering to win an e-copy.

***

UPDATE: 

The 3 winners have been drawn and they are…. *drum roll* :

  1. Quoc. D
  2. Sarah. M
  3. Karen

Check your e-mails and I will have your prizes sent shortly! Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered!

For those who didn’t win and really want a copy of this book, you can buy Erin’s book here!

Happy reading!


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63 thoughts on “Book Giveaway: Broke Millennial Takes On Investing”

  1. I am 59 years old and have always been frugal and this has resulted in a very comfortable retirement situation. Unfortunately, like many others, this has not been passed on to my daughters who are not hip to saving. I would love to obtain a copy of this book to give to them so that they may gain financial independence (they are in their 20’s) before it to late and they become debt slaves.

  2. saving is a game I want to play…but how to get my littles to get on board?? This book sounds like it’d be a hit with my sisters/cousins! Sharing is caring!

  3. Ya, I had this great comment on my tablet … but screwed up the submission. Then I went on my desktop, to try again, but … blew it by submitting an empty comment field. *sigh*
    That is what I get for being an elderly, non tech retiree. LOL

    It’s a LOT of work for this Baby Boomer to keep up with all these Millennials and their new fangled gadgets!

    1. me too. I couldn’t figure out how to submit! So you can imagine how confused I am when it comes to investing. I need this book. It is the only way I can influence my husband to get on board.

  4. I want a copy FC!!! Thanks for sharing your insights on this book that seems to be a great read. Looking forward to putting my hands on a copy !

  5. Anyway … Here is my comment for the book giveaway:

    Although I am already comfortably retired, I would like to read a copy of Erin’s book (her writing style reminds me of yours) before giving it to one of my two sons, ages 37 and 35. While I am loathe to choose one son over the other, I have read almost all the Neal Stephenson books my youngest has loaned me (well, Reamde is still awaiting my eyeballs), so he should be willing to read a book that I loan to him. Although being his mother it’s debatable. I do have a number of millennial extended family members who I would be will to gift copies of the book, but obviously I would want to read the (FREE!) book before actually buying additional copies to give to family members.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and review the book when you could have been Flamenco dancing in Seville or enjoying those delicious pastel de natas in Lisbon. 😉

  6. I’d love to read this book! The narrative voice sounds intriguing, and I will likely pass the book along to a relative/friend when I’m done.

  7. You make it sound like a fun read…and I love free things! 🙂 Free things that help me get to FI cannot be bad either. Win-win.

  8. I read your 52 week workshop and it struck a cord with me as a mechanical engineer. I’ve read now over 20 titles both classic and fairly modern and I have to says they all taught me alot. I love Collins work and I have a soft spot for his work and yours in regards to leaving my family the gift of wealth. I would love a copy of this book so that I may dedicate it to her so that she can reference it for years to come. Thank you for your great body of work and I look forward to meeting you one day!

  9. aaahh this is so neat. It pretty much describes my life. Should I pay the student loans and kill it or try to put everything into an index fund. I’m more on the older sides of the millennial side but have made every mistake a millennial can make, high student loans, lifestyle inflation with a higher paycheck. Ever since I found out about FI, I started to look at things differently. It’s a roller coaster of a ride I went from target dates in my 401K, to trying to DYI, going with Robo Advisor and now trying to figure out side-hustles and career pathing. Would love to get my hands on the book as my two cousins are entering college. I hope the tips and tricks from this book can help them avoid what I did.

  10. I’m from England and struggling for inspiration to get me started towards financial independence. I feel like I’m stuck at the first hurdle (which it continuously sorting out a mountain of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years – guaranteed this earns you that little bit of the side but doesn’t go very far). So far I’ve only digested about three FI books, this would make my next good FI read.

  11. Definitely would love a copy to add to my repertoire of FI related books!! Also would love the copy to be able to gift to people in my life once I’m finished with it. I have been captivated with the fundamentals of FI for just over a year now, but still struggle with how to share the information with friends and family without getting looked at like I’m crazy! I figure this book could be a good door opener for them.

    Love the content, keep it coming!

  12. After reading it myself, I’d like to pass it on to my younger sisters in their 20’s. I think they would greatly benefit from it! Thanks ?

    1. Unfortunately, my sister is too undriven to move out of her mother’s house and live on her own. She’s had all the business opportunities. And just started a new job @ 56 years old. No pension to look forward to possibly for the next 20 years. And no college degree. No husband or kids. And hates her sibling b/c they’re doing the transformation business work out of inspiration or desperation.

  13. Based on your review of her book, I would love to get a copy and read it with my husband as we have a newborn and are on our path to FI! Every tip helps! I also find finance books boring usually so it seems like this would a great read compare to most! Would love to pay it forward give the book to our community once we are done with it!

  14. The book hooked me from the beginning too and I can always learn more about finance! Even better, if it’s from a book I enjoy reading.

  15. It is troubling that finance is a subject with insufficient emphasis in High School. SOOOO many people really don’t get it. I not talking the rocket science parts of finance, I’m saying that too many people don’t understand the basics. Maybe the book could be a good start …. I will have a better idea after reading my winning copy 🙂

  16. I’d like to win this book bc my gf is over $250k in student loan debt and one of the biggest questions we have is how to tackle this behemoth! (whilst saving to retire young, if even possible at the same time).

  17. I would graciously accept a copy of this book from you! My most significant other and I are in our first year living together and we are trying to soak up all we can with regards to money management and we consciously live a particular lifestyle in order to benefit later on with financial independence. We have a lot of questions that are not always easy to answer and so the more insight, the better at our stage of our lives.
    Excited for a new read, hope to hear from you!

  18. I am the exact target audience for this book! I’m a millennial that wants to get started on investing but have no idea how. Good thing I clicked on the email today!

  19. My two boys could definitely use this! They are 21 and 28. While they are pretty good with mom’s advice, having someone they can relate to help them is even better!

    1. This is very true. And having someone they can relate to about getting $ gUaP $ online and achieving future status of “side hustle millionaire” is way better than meeting women online for dating offline. L 😛 L

      Agree? 🙂

  20. Sounds like an interesting book. I wish I’d read a book like this when I just graduated (don’t we all?). I think I agree with her viewpoint on Target Date funds though. It’s a great start and a good fit for someone who’d rather spend their time doing something other than learning asset allocation tactics and rebalancing their portfolios on an annual basis. Vanguard target date funds actually have rather low fees (lower than robo-advisors).

  21. I’m entering on behalf of my classroom! We keep a small library of personal finance books in my classroom that my students read, reference, and borrow on a regular basis! We’d love to add this in to the mix too!

  22. If more personal finance books can narrate a worthwhile story instead of mind numbingly crush the average saver with facts and figures, the personal finance acumen would increase! Also I want to write a book one day too

  23. I actually enjoy reading finance books and look forward to reading one that has a narrative approach. Always looking to learn more about investing, thanks for the review!

  24. I’m really interested in the book, I’m 30 and started investing with a robo-advisor a bit over a year ago to start my trip to FI. I’m interested in opening a QuestTrade account and try my hand without the robo-advisor’s help, but haven’t taken the time to look into it properly yet

  25. I’d like to get a copy of that book as it sounds like a fun read, and I’d like to give it to my daughter who is just getting started in the working world.

  26. I WANT THIS BOOK. We just paid off over $148K in student loan debt (HECK YEAH!) and ready to start investing. Thank you!!!

  27. I can’t wait to read this book! I’m hoping to win one because my husband and I are finally about to reach our financial freedom clock after paying off over $60,000 in consumer debt and student loans. We can’t wait to switch gears from paying debt to investing!

    The hardest part of this whole process hasn’t necessarily been cutting back on vacations or not buying things just because we want them: it’s definitely been changing our mindsets permanently to accommodate the pillars of FI and maintaining moment in achieving our goals. Reading FIRE blogs, listening to FI podcasts, and always learning more through books like Erin’s is what fuels our fire (pun intended).

    If I don’t win this copy, I’ll have to go request it from our library, though I’ll probably do that anyone so more people can be exposed to the FIRE!

  28. I’d like to win a copy of this book because although I think I know everything about everything, the sad truth is that I don’t! That includes the personal finance arena, so I’d like to get this very readable book to educate me and guide me to make a few more smart choices.
    If I don’t win a freebie copy, I’d like to find a way to get an author-autographed copy!

  29. I would love to get a copy of the book because I was pretty ignorant about investing until recently and only focused on saving money. I’m now in my mid 30’s and really want to catch up. Thanks!

  30. I’d like to give this book to my millenial son so he can start to invest and think about retirement instead of me nagging him all the time.

  31. I’ve been following financial blogs for a while, but am looking to spend more time offline and appreciate financial books to read.

  32. Hmmm.

    There is so much free stuff on the interweb regarding SEP IRAs, Solo 401Ks, robo-advisers, early retirement, etc.

    Why get this book, especially if you have to pay for it?

  33. I’ve followed your investment workshop and have finally made the move to Questrade from my robo-advisor. I’m still feeling a bit hesitant finally being in full control of my investments, but am excited to learn more. I would love to read this book to help with that!

  34. Hi there! Long time listener, first time caller. I’m a big fan of the blog and am currently helping some friends and colleagues of mine get their FIRE paths started. Like any good frugalitarian, I’d love a free copy of this book to expand my knowledge and share it with others. Thank you and happy Easter to those celebrating.

  35. As a millennial myself, this book will be a great start to my FI journey. Hope to follow the footsteps of the great people who have achieved success in mastering the skill

  36. I retired a year ago at 36 🙂 but I’m still relying heavily on others to manage my money. I need a great book that will hold my attention too! ?

  37. I have two millennial children; one is still in college, the other recently graduated and is teaching in Europe. Neither know much about investing and finance and they would be more receptive to advice from a peer. This sounds like a valuable read for them. Plus, I would also enjoy it!

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