Updated on 07.30.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Book Club Reboot Edition

Trent Hamm

After seeing the relative lack of discussion on the book club reading of What Color Is Your Parachute?, I’ve decided to check it at the door. I think the biggest problem is that the book is very introspective and thus doesn’t facilitate good discussion, a problem that the first entrant, Your Money or Your Life didn’t have. So, unless there is a strong outcry, I’m going to end this edition of the book club, take a break, and then try it again in a month or two with a much more discussion-oriented book.

Anyway, here are some personal finance resources for you to check out.

How We Increased Our Net Worth By More Than 170% In Less Than A Year Mine made a similar jump, but that’s mostly because my net worth was small at the start of the year. This year’s jump – by percentage – won’t be nearly as large. (@ gather little by little)

Record Oil and Gas Prices Got You Down? Use This Opportunity to Make Money Invest in the people making the money, natch! (@ gen x finance)

Scammers Stole All of My Grandma’s Money! Sometimes, I’m glad my grandmother is a rather introverted lady – she’d never even think of doing such a thing. (@ wise bread)

When An Active Mutual Fund Manager Beats The Market, Is It Luck? I tend to think so. I also think that if you have more than a decade of beating the market, it might be time to get out. That’s what Peter Lynch did. (@ all financial matters)

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances in 2008 A lot of very good advice consolidated into one place. (@ get rich slowly)

Do You Go To Work Sick? My supervisor makes us go home if we give even a hint of being sick. The philosophy is that the lost productivity of making the whole team sick isn’t worth the loss of productivity of one person being out of the office for a day or two. (@ the digerati life)

Make It Your Goal To Set A Goal I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve found that perhaps the best method I’ve found for getting me to take action on something is to set a tangible and reachable goal, work for it, and feel that elation when I reach the goal. (@ christian pf)

The Simple Dollar Retro: 10 Things Any College Student Can Do To Prepare For Success In Life I wish I had done half of these when I was in college – I’d be in a much better place now.

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  1. My father started investing heavily in natural resources when oil prices first started rising. His reasoning was that China and India were going to use more and more resources making the price go up dramatically. So far he has been right on the money.

  2. Jason says:

    Good luck with the Reader’s Choice award…you’ve got my vote! I agree with you on the book. All the “parachute” books are rather introspective and it is hard to get fired up to comment one way or the other.

  3. Dariaclone says:

    A couple of book club suggestions. First, a few of us suggested that the holidays was not the best time to start a book club, so you no doubt lost some participation that way.

    Second, as moderator I would suggest setting up questions so that even people who don’t read the book can participate. Rather than just a summary, I would propose you ask questions at the end: Does your current job meet these expectation? Do you agree with the petals on the flower? Which of these do you think is most negotiable? Least negotiable? Etc. As the post was written there didn’t seem to be much to contribute–either for someone who read the book (and didn’t need the summary) or someone who didn’t (but didn’t see an opening for participation).

  4. Dariaclone says:

    Or that should be new book in the book club.

  5. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    I’ve got a great idea for a book that I think will fire some people up for discussion. Good idea on the questions, though.

  6. J.D. says:

    I’ve got a great idea for a book that I think will fire some people up for discussion.

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad? :)

  7. daily walrus says:

    Good idea to cut your losses with this one. Even though I didn’t read the book last time, I followed along with the book club posts. This time I really had no interest. Looks like you learned something from “The Dip”.

  8. Elaine says:

    pfft, only 171%? I increased mine by 788% in the last three months :P

    Though to be fair, three months ago my net worth was roughly zero. heh heh.

    On a serious note though, math isn’t my strong point so how does one calculate percentage increases when going from negative to positive? In the past year my net worth has gone from about -9000 to almost $12k now. Not that it matters to me a lot, I’m just kind of curious.

  9. Chad says:

    I agree with Dariaclone, holidays was not the best to start.

    But when I bought the book and decided to read along I realized that those indepth soul searches that the book wanted were going to take more than a week or two. Especially if I really wanted to get into it.

    Plus in the past I didn’t have to completely read it to be able to post a comment or two while this book was more of a tutorial book so you had to do the exercises to have a conversation about it.

  10. Rick says:

    Elaine: this doesn’t make too much sense, but this is the way I did it when my networth was negative. I just did the calculations based on absolute values. So in your case, I would do:

    = 21000/9000
    = 233% increase.

    Yeah, it doesn’t make too much sense, but it’s the best you can do.

  11. turbogeek says:

    @Saving Freak — Agreed. Assuming we are in a long-term ascending energy cost market is pretty smart. I think I’ll follow your Dad’s lead. (Note that while our gas prices are up to ~$3/gal, the EU is around $4/gal; I would expect us to continue to drift upward until we reach equilibrium with them.)

    @Trent — You got my vote, too. Great site.

    @J.D. — I like that book as well. I’d also like any of the books by Dave Ramsey. Both are ‘just extreme enough to generate discussion, but not so extreme as to alienate people’.

    @Elaine — Excellent job! My net worth is up 17% in the last year, but progress slows the higher up the mountain you go. I’m getting close to the zone in which my net worth increase due to investments will exceed my income from my primary job… that will make it tougher to keep driving to work every day.

    @Rick — I’ll buy that math. It’s a good enough metric for those ‘crossing the zero line’.

  12. plonkee says:

    My inner maths geek says it’s undefined – there is no proper way of doing it. Informally, you could describe it as infinite.

  13. Elaine says:


  14. tarits says:

    hmm… yup, this book really gives me food for thought.

    it’s okay with me if you continue with this book for the club, okay too if you choose another one

  15. Rachel says:

    I never read the book reviews. I just don’t like them. If I want to read a book, I will. I don’t want to read cliffnotes.

  16. alison says:

    I appreciated the choice this month – I never would have started the book without you to motivate me and have found it to be practical and illuminating. Thank you.

  17. Caeli says:

    I’m really sad that you aren’t continuing with this book. I don’t have time to get to the library and I’m too broke to buy the book, so I was following along and trying to get as much as I could out of the summary. Oh well. I’ll just have to make time to get to the library.

  18. Eric says:

    I bought the book to read but never got started. I really like the book club idea and I do encourage you to continue in another series.

  19. Eric says:

    I’m late on this and it’s probably not news to most anymore, but congrats to Trent for winning both the reader’s choice and editor’s choice 2007 Performancing Blog Award for Best Business/Money blog in 2007!!

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