A debut financial guide offers a novel approach to wealth creation.
Reports of the demise of the middle class have led to a spate of financial and investment books targeting the “average Joe,” a label often used in this work. Clearly, Trench intends the manual for a specific audience, “the full-time median (around $50,000 per year) wage earner who has little to no initial savings but wants early financial freedom.” The author’s three-stage formula focuses on the notion that creating and building wealth is about developing a “financial runway,” or the ability to live a desired lifestyle without relying on a traditional job. But rather than promote a get-rich-quick scheme, Trench lobbies for a period of self-sacrifice followed by bulking up on savings and investing in income-producing assets. The author lays out his proposition elegantly, using a strategy that moves from zero personal wealth to an initial accumulation of $25,000, growing that to $100,000, and culminating in fiscal independence. Much of the book emphasizes a do-it-yourself mentality and disciplined practicality. Trench chides the reader to be sensible and accept less than “the best.” The finest will cost a lot more but probably not be much better than “quite good.” This goes hand in hand with the concept of living “efficiently.” These are tenets of a kind of self-reliant, pragmatic philosophy that forms a foundation for the well-constructed book. Tactics abound: when it comes to housing, for instance, the author’s solution is to start by living in an inexpensive apartment close to work and, after saving some money, become a “house hacker”—purchase a multifamily unit, live in one part, and rent out the other. This is a key to wealth creation, writes Trench, but it may not be desirable or feasible for everyone. Other unconventional ideas, such as seeking out a performance-based job to generate higher than average employment income, are provided throughout.
Cogently written and ideal for those beginning their careers who are not averse to risk; some may find this fiscal plan too audacious, but others will likely embrace its spirit and pursue it with fervor.