Kirkus Reviews QR Code


A Guide to Financial Freedom Whether You Have Your Dream Job, Own Your Own Business, or Just Started Your First Job

by Bernard Kelly

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2420-9
Publisher: Hyperion

A McDonald’s employee saves his money and writes a financial-advice book.

Career McDonald's employee Kelly has turned an average job into a financial success, and he lays out the simple steps that have allowed him to do so. The author begins by writing of the desire for financial freedom that he first felt at the young age of 17, which led him to forgo his plans to backpack across Europe and fill out a McDonald’s application instead. There are three paths to financial security, Kelly writes, and they are all based on the assumption that one can earn a 7 percent return on investment during the first 8 years of a savings program, and 10 percent every year thereafter. There's the good option, which would require readers to stow away 10 percent of every paycheck for 8 years; the better option, which would see them banking 20 percent; and the best option, which would require readers to live on $1,430 a month, averaging 44 percent savings over 8 years. The author recognizes that the high interest rates he cites sound unrealistic, but he writes that investment in McDonald's stock can provide that type of return. This is not the only instance in which the author glorifies his employer—the entire book is rife with pro-McDonald's sentiment. Kelly’s prose is straightforward and simple, much like the book's content, and his tough-love approach to savings is particularly resonant, if a little disheartening, in the current economic climate.

One question remains: Is this a financial self-help resource or a slick McDonald’s PR campaign?