The Wealth Cure
|Note finger pointing at watch: "It's time.."|
Hill Harper (Gotham Books 2011, hardcover) 264 pages, bibliography, $26 msl
This is quite an interesting fusion of two concepts by Harper Hill: a personal medical crisis blended with financial advice. It seems that the well-known CSI:NY actor has intended this follow-up to his three best-selling books to be a straightforward discussion of personal financial planning. Then in 2010 he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 33 and well, that will tend to alter a man’s plans. I’ll save the reader a Google search by revealing that Hill’s surgery was successful and he has returned to health. That knowledge will not hurt appreciation of the text.
The cancer diagnosis may not have done much for Harper’s peace of mind, although he seems to have handled it ably enough. It definitely did help the book, as the author’s need to call time-out and take a few days to digest the news led him to take the Skychief train from Los Angeles to Chicago in order to reflect and write. This gives The Wealth Cure a narrative line which separates it from the warping shelf of financial self-help books that are released with every sunrise.
As I was a personal financial consultant for over four years before leaving the profession in April 2008 - right before the roof fell in as it turned out - I can vouch for Harper’s advice. The great secret of financial planning is that there are no great secrets. Pay yourself first through savings, know your tolerance to risk, budget and don’t be seduced by the siren call of what’s new, what’s hot and what’s sexy. Harper believes more in equity markets and index funds than I do at present (that roof is still unrepaired); however the tools he provides are sound and they would do well by anyone who followed them.
The narrative of the people Harper meets on the train and emails he exchanges with friends while on the journey provide the spiritual meat to the financial drink. These exchanges of opinion lend weight to the philosophy of what Wealth truly means. Money and its accumulation is not the definition of Wealth - true spiritual qualities and following a path of love are.
It’s a good book. I was impressed by the end, to the point that were I still in the financial business I’d buy a crate or two and hand them out to clients.
(Speaking of buying crates of books, to purchase The Wealth Cure, you can do so ... here)