book review

I followed-up with reader Rakesh, one of the winners of the Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money book giveaway in March, what his key takeaways from the book were. Here’s Rakesh’s response in an easy to read Q & A format –

[There were actually two winners in March. I'm still bugging the other winner to read the book and share his perspectives. I won't give up.]

Q: What are your top-5 key takeaways from the Jago Investor-book?

  • The language used is very simple and can be understood by a common man.

  • Good use of charts for depicting future goals.

  • Use of day-to-day/personal life examples make it more interesting to read.

  • More stress laid on early investment.

  • Good use of pictures make it more easier to understand.

Q: What is your overall assessment of the Jago Investor-book?

I have read the book and think it’s great. It’s a must read for anyone starting off with their finances. Those already reading Jago Investor [the blog] will find some of the articles in the book familiar but nevertheless even for people with sound knowledge in financial planning this book is a good refresher. I am going to ask my wife to read it and then pass it on to my friends.

Rakesh was good to his word, got his wife to read the book, and shared her feedback as well –

  • An excellent book for a beginner.

  • Has good knowledge about handling one’s personal finances.

  • Uses good real-life examples.


Update: A few more takeaways from the other winner, Raghu. (See…I make it a point to ensure that you really do read a book.)

Since I am new to personal finance, I found the book very interesting to read. The examples and characters used in the book make it an entertaining read. Some of my key takeaways were –

  • An Open Secret — Initial chapters focus on one of our open secrets i.e. “start investing early” and its impact on our financial life. Since managing a long-term investment is much like growing a tree, investing early lowers our burden later.

  • Compounding and Term Insurance — Ways of compounding against time through simple pictures makes the reader curious but some calculations are not clear. Buying adequate term life insurance equals peace of mind.

  • Goal-based Investing — Linking your investment with goals in life keeps you more focused and satisfied in your financial life.

Overall, as the title of the book suggests, it’s an initiative towards shaking the investor and driving them to take productive action. But at certain places the calculations were not clear thereby making the reader to rethink. The book mainly focuses on the fundamentals of personal finance which everyone must be aware so that it helps them to meet their financial objectives. Finally, this book is must read for newbies to personal finance.


For the March book giveaway, Manish Chauhan of Jago Investor fame (both the blog and the book) has been kind enough to sponsor a copy of his recently launched book on personal finance to one lucky winner. I decided to match a copy as well. Manish also asked me to post a review the book with the following caveat –

Do read the book from a novice’s or a starter’s eye else you will feel “what’s new in this book.” The book was written keeping in mind the majority of people who need to understand the basics of personal finance and I am seeing some experts saying “not much in the book for pro’s” which is obvious! Just a heads-up.

So here are my thoughts on the book –

  • Overall, I believe that “Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money” is a pretty solid book to read for someone who’s just got started on his/her personal finance journey and towards this end the book does indeed meet its stated objective.

  • Even if you’re a bit ahead on the personal finance learning curve, the book does have something to offer. For me, the introductory chapter on the principles of compounding through the excellent visualizations offered the maximum learning. I now have a completely new context for compounding. In the same chapter, Manish briefly touches upon the concept of semi-retirement and how saving-up early into your career can help you achieve that (and as regular readers know I’m a big advocate of early retirement and I wish I’d started much earlier).

  • What I did find missing in the book, however, is how do you deal with psychological nuances especially when you’re a novice when it comes to personal finances. For example, if someone had told me to save an additional Rs 5,000 per month towards early-retirement when I was 22 and into my first job, I’d have laughed them away. It’s pretty tough however for anyone to write about psychological nudges.

  • I found the chapter containing the topic of “Women and Personal Finances” exceptionally timely and relevant to my own situation as well. I’ve written before that D is least interested in personal finances and that to me is a major worry. Thanks to Manish, I’m now thinking about how easy I can make it for D to have access to all of the information that she needs and how I can put everything on auto-pilot.

  • The easy conversational tone and fictional examples/characters make the book entertaining to read. Do the action plans at the end of each chapter (and any question sets that you find in-chapter) and you will have a much better picture of your current situation, your goals, your priorities, and your future financial path to get there.

  • Manish also stresses every now and then on the importance of being fit not only with respect to your personal finances but also with respect to your health. I personally strongly believe that your success in personal finance (or just about anything else that you do in life) has good health/good physical and mental fitness as it’s foundation.

  • Things that could possibly put a novice reader off are the abrupt appearance of financial terms such as CAGR without accompanying footnote explanations. Some of the tables and illustrations early on run into pages and a reader could be lost amidst all that information. Otherwise, I can’t pinpoint anything as a flaw (Manish did inform me in advance of a minor mistake in one of the illustrations and which should already be set right in the current set of prints).

  • Finally, I think this book is a must read irrespective of your level of financial awareness. To me it was a great refresher course on the fundamentals of personal finance. I’m glad that I read this book. Thanks Manish!

And the lucky winners of the March book giveaway are — Raghu and Rakesh. Congratulations! You both win a copy each of “Jago Investor — Change Your Relationship With Money.” I will email you both separately for your mailing address. Thanks for participating.