If you only read one book on personal finance, The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins is a solid guide on the mentality and skills that anyone can use to take responsible ownership of their financial future.

I had the honor of reviewing an advance copy of the manuscript and the personal finance geek in me couldn’t resist the opportunity to devour this in a single sitting.

If you don’t know JL Collins, he’s been referred to as “the Godfather of Financial Independence” especially in reference to his incredible series on investing from his blog.

With The Simple Path to Wealth, JL Collins gives an approachable, well-structured guide to understanding what money is (and is not), how to protect it, how to make it work for you, and ultimately how to make sure that you master money so it doesn’t master you.

Be the Monk

After introductions, the book opens with a parable of a monk and a minister to the king. The minister passes judgment on the monk’s life, stating “If you could learn to cater to the king, you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”

The monk replies simply: “If you could learn to live on rice and beans, you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”

Despite all the references to wealth and money, this isn’t really a book about money. It’s a book about freedom - the freedom to be your own master by escaping the traps of debt and wasteful spending and letting your money work for you.

The parable was a perfect opening and really established the end game for readers of this book: freedom.

Nuggets of Wisdom

As I read through, a few nuggets of wisdom stood out - lines or phrases that caught my attention and will undoubtedly find their way into my lexicon:

  • Put all your eggs in one basket and forget about it (in reference to the honestly simple investing strategy that is proven to beat greater than 99% of the mutual funds out there)
  • Toughen up cupcake and cure your bad behavior (reminding you that you can make smart investing decisions while everyone else around you is hitting the panic button)
  • Making a few sound choices and letting them run is the essence of success, and the soul of The Simple Path to Wealth

When it comes to the sound choices, JL Collins lays out the details on just about every question you can have on investing.

Whether you want to understand the pros/cons for each type of tax-advantaged retirement account (401k, IRA, Roth IRA) or the right balance between stocks and bonds on your investment journey, he’s got it covered.

Relatable Author

JL Collins ultimately started sharing his financial wisdom as lessons he hoped to teach his daughter.

As a father to three young daughters myself, I can relate to his intentions and attest that his heart is in this book.

He didn’t write The Simple Path to Wealth just to make a few bucks; JL Collins comes across as wanting to share what he’s learned with others so they can improve their own lives.

In addition, while much of the book is focused on facts, figures, and strategies, there’s an appealing dose of dry humor along the way to keep you going.

Take a Step

Make no mistake; this isn’t your average personal finance book. JL Collins doesn’t promise a quick or easy fix, but he delivers a truly simple strategy that everyone can harness.

Because of the clarity with which this book roadmaps how to achieve financial freedom, the only real challenge left is to decide if you’ve got the will to give it an honest shot.

I really recommend you pick up a copy of The Simple Path to Wealth. When you’ve achieved financial freedom based on using the concepts here, future you will be glad you started here!

To get your own copy, here’s a link to JL Collins’s Website