Book review: A richer you by Mary Holm

By Peter Nicholl

Most of us will have heard of Mary Holm as she has been writing a Q and A column on financial matters in the Weekend Herald for 23 years. This book is based on those columns and contains 184 Q and A situations.  Over the 23 years Mary has been doing this column, she has probably dealt with about 5000 situations, so she had lots of material to choose the 184 situations in her book from.

Mary believes the best path to a ‘richer you’ is to learn from the triumphs and mistakes of others. I agree.  I have found during my career that the best lessons are often learnt from mistakes – your own and others.

The ones chosen for the book are mostly ‘ordinary’ situations that all of us have or could experience in our normal financial dealings. They cover a wide range of issues such as different risk levels, diversification, ethical funds, loan sharks, student loans and insurance. The three areas that get the most coverage in the book are investing in housing, saving for retirement and the Kiwi Saver scheme.

Mary’s responses are always thoughtful and helpful. She is also well aware that most of these financial questions do not have a single ‘right’ answer. Her answers always take into account the questioner’s needs, motivations and current personal and financial situation.  The book is sub-titled ‘How to Make the Most of your Money’. I think everyone would find something in this book that is applicable and helpful to them in making the most of their money.

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