Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors

I recent sat down and read Smoke and Mirrors by David Trahair and I found myself a little disappointed. This little book is a mere 148 pages, so I was able to polish it off a few hours and it was not that great.

It 'exposes' five myths about retirement savings which include:

-The 70% of your current income is required in retirement
-RRSP's are the holy grail of retirement
-Don't worry about your investments, you be fine in the long run
-We have met the enemy and he is the tax collector
-Buy life insurance for financial security

Perhaps it's me reading too many personal finance books, but there were very few things of interest for me in this book. It's things we have all seen before and discussed in a much better detail in other books.

Yet there were a few things that I did like. First off he discusses the fact if you pay off your mortgage first prior to contributing to RRSP's you are buying yourself a little bit of disability insurance. If your completely debt free, you can live a lot less money and survive problems that would wipe out the average person's finances. Good point.

Also he includes a CD with some excel sheets which you might find useful, but I find he tends to go on a bit about using a computer to track your expenses. After all a note book will work if you don't want to get complicated.

So if you've read a lot of personal finance books you might want to pass on this one, but if your new to the game it could be a good short introduction.

PS: Thanks to Larry MacDonald for mentioning me in his blog last week. Also thanks to the Canadian Capitalist for featuring one of my book reviews in his latest This and That post. Also happy Family Day to all those who have it off today like me and my post Now You're In Trouble is part of the 88th Carnival of Personal Finance.


Anjo said...

Happy family day to you as well (from Saskatoon). Really enjoying the blog, keep it up.


Canadian Dream said...


Thanks! I'm having a good Family Day here. I went to brunch with the family and then I'm reading blogs/writing a bit this afternoon.