In this finance-focused tale, a South African ex-athlete is led on a journey to uncover the secrets to achieving lasting wealth.
Growing up in rural South Africa, Ash has the good fortune of being skilled at sports and securing the heart of local girl Suraya. He becomes a rugby star in the big city and lives a high-spending lifestyle, dropping his hometown sweetheart. Then disaster strikes: Ash’s hamstrings go out and he’s forced out of the game. In debt and despair on a plane returning home, he meets the mysterious TK, who tells him about the “money fountain” and how there are core principles through which one can achieve and sustain financial security. Destiny intervenes once again, however, with Ash losing TK’s contact information while leaving the plane. Ash returns home, reunites with Suraya and begins to raise a family, but he soon falls prey to debilitating financial schemes. That’s all apparently part of the plan, however, with TK eventually reappearing in Ash’s life, leading him to a series of mentors who reveal the key tips—e.g., routinely save 10 percent of your income, invest in an account that compounds and rewards you with either interest or a dividend—that put Ash on track to “conscious wealth” and help him “pay it forward” to become a successful TK-like guide himself. Authors Van Eyden, an economics professor, and Wells, a South African business entrepreneur, have written a gently humorous tale that outlines rather obvious but important aspects of fiscal responsibility. Their money examples are based on South African currency, however, which may confuse some readers. Also, some of their suggestions may cause skepticism: Surely it is not so easy, for example, to find “a stock that earns 15 percent or more.” The authors’ use of fate and “Destiny” (as an actual character) also seem at odds with their philosophy that one can and should try to control the financial forces in one’s life. Still, the smooth-flowing narrative may be an effective way to present dry economic topics to general audiences.
A charming, easy-to-read fable providing useful pointers on personal finance management.