The basic financial literacy lessons underlying Findependence Day

ipad-3-concept.pngWhile Findependence Day is at one level a “novel,” complete with a multi-layered plot, characters, setting etc., it’s a hybrid creation that also attempts to weave the basic lessons of financial literacy into the story.

As indicated last post, the new US edition, including the e-books, includes a feature not present in the original North American (i.e. Canadian) edition: end-of-chapter lessons of the basic concepts learned.

In retrospect, I should have done this from the get-go since the book is first and foremost a financial literacy primer.

As I create a backgrounder for the press, I’ve gone through the exercise of extracting the 18 end-of-chapter summaries (“What Jamie & Sheena learned this chapter”) into a single document. It reinforces that if you toss out the story, there’s plenty of useful material there, so much so that I sincerely believe that if anyone took every lesson to heart, they would indeed “achieve financial independence while they’re still young enough to enjoy it.”

Those who have only the Canadian edition can view the new foreword and an example of the end-of-chapter summaries by previewing the free Amazon Kindle version here. And you can get the e-book version for $3.99 or less in most tablet and e-reader formats by clicking through the Trafford link here.

But for those who would rather not, I’ve decided I’m going to roll out the 18 summaries in this blog perhaps on a weekly basis. We’ll start with chapter 1, even though that’s already available in the sneak preview:

Chapter 1 Summary: Take it to the Limit 

Topic: Credit cards and other forms of bad debt

• You can’t start building wealth until you’ve eliminated debt.

• To save, you must stop spending.

• To stop spending, you must embrace “guerrilla frugality” and be willing to make small sacrifices.

• The foundation of Financial Independence is a paid-for home.

Findependence Day is simply a contraction of Financial Independence Day.

• The key to manifesting your Findependence Day is to pick an actual date in the future and visualize it happening.

• To reinforce the idea that saving is more important than spending, take to heart the motto “Freedom, Not Stuff!”

What the e-book has that the original edition lacks

Amazon-Kindle1If you already happen to own the original print edition of Findependence Day (now called the Canadian edition), is there any reason to also buy the new e-book edition of the just-published US edition? Perhaps there is, considering that at $3.99 or less for all but the Kindle edition, the e-books are only a quarter of the price of print editions.

The two main features in the e-book that are new are the glossary at the end, and the end-of-chapter summaries of what Jamie and Sheena learned. The latter may be useful for those who have already read the story and now just want to be reminded of the basic principles of financial literacy covered.

End-of-chapter summaries

For example, you can view the summary after Chapter 1 by clicking the sneak preview of the Amazon Kindle version here. (Amazon charges US$7.63 for it). For convenience, I’ve reposted that page below. Most of the bullet points apply to either edition, although some are focused on US-specific financial content like IRAs or Roth plans. This isn’t the case for the excerpt below, though. At some point, I will likely do an all-Canadian ebook edition but until then, readers of the original book may still find the US ebook useful.

There are also some subtle differences most wouldn’t notice unless you compared the editions side by each. The original was finished just as the financial crisis was hitting, while the new edition benefits from the insights investors have gained since 2008. There are minor changes in the technology devices: in the original, Jamie has a cell phone, in the new one, it’s an iPhone and there are more references to social media in the subplot about Jamie’s troubles with his business partner. Some names and places have been changed but the story itself and the financial lessons imparted remain pretty much the same.

Kindle, Nook, iPad & other formats

If you want the Kindle version, access the Amazon.com link shown under the Buy American edition button. For the Nook e-book, access the Barnes & Noble link under the same button or click here. For most other e-book formats, go to the Trafford.com site here, select the e-book edition and you’ll get a list of formats from which to choose.

What Jamie & Sheena learned this chapter (Chapter 1): 

• You can’t start building wealth until you’ve eliminated debt.

• To save, you must stop spending.

• To stop spending, you must embrace “guerrilla frugality” and be willing to make small sacrifices.

• The foundation of Financial Independence is a paid-for home.

Findependence Day is simply a contraction of Financial Independence Day.

• The key to manifesting your Findependence Day is to pick an actual date in the future and visualize it happening.

• To reinforce the idea that saving is more important than spending, take to heart the motto “Freedom, Not Stuff!”

News release on new edition: review copies available on request

logo_prwebThe official news release announcing the new US edition of Findependence Day has just gone up on PR Web. Click here to view. Since the publisher does not as a matter of course send out review copies to the media, any member of the press interested in reviewing the book needs to contact the publisher to formally request a copy.

The contact for this is at the top right hand of the release linked above: Marketing Services, Trafford Publishing, 888-232-4444. There’s also an email request form there. If you tried and found the process unwieldy, drop me an email at jonathan@findependenceday.com and I’ll try to expedite the request.

 

Review: Findependence Day = Financial Independence Day

cdnwalletFor some reason — perhaps because I was finalizing the new American edition of the book — I missed this The Canadian Wallet review of the Canadian edition that ran in January of this year. For those who missed it (apart from myself!), here it is.

I was intrigued by the reviewer’s suggestion for several sequels that might focus on single people or other markets. The original and the US edition are of course both oriented to couples embarking on family formation.

Anyone up for a sequel?

Of course, as soon as I completed the original Canadian edition in 2008, I had an idea for a sequel, possibly following the Michaela character (Jamie & Sheena’s daughter) forward as she enters adulthood — somewhat like my own daughter Helen, who has just graduated from university.

If there are any readers out there who think any of these sequel ideas might be promising, leave a comment here or email me at jonathan@findependenceday.com.

For now, I have my hands full with MoneySense and the US edition.

Speaking of reviews, over the past week, a handful of 4-star and 5-star reviews have appeared on Amazon.com in conjunction with the new American edition. One of them describes the book as a “bargain: where else can you get a financial plan for under $30?”

Where indeed!