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Wealth Wise: 5 Books to Help You Take Care of Your Finances

From advice on retirement planning and saving to guides on cryptocurrency and estate planning, we take a look at some of the most helpful financial reads.  / BY Kim Honey / March 21st, 2022


The RRSP deadline is in the rear-view mirror and tax time is just around the corner. If you resolved to get a handle on your finances this year, we’ve got books with expert tips on everything from retirement planning to estate planning, plus a deep dive into cryptocurrency, the new kid on the blockchain.  Whether you’re 25 or 65, these titles will inspire you to look after your hard-earned cash. 

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image.

1Once a Bitcoin Miner: Scandal and Turmoil in the Cryptocurrency Wild WestEthan Lou

For anyone who ever wondered what Bitcoin is and how digital money works, Ethan Lou has the answers. It helps that the ex-journalist, who once covered cryptocurrency, has a reporter’s eye for the telling details. When he was an intern at the Toronto Star in 2013, Lou sank “all his savings” – he doesn’t say how much, but admits he was a millionaire by 2017 – into Bitcoin, and even gave some to his parents as a Christmas gift. He watched the value of his coins tank to a low of $200, then bought some more. Lou traces Bitcoin’s origins, its peaks ($20,000 a piece in 2017) and troughs ($2 in 2011), the main characters (like Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, which collapsed after his mysterious death in 2018) and the emergence of competing altcoins, as well as cryptocurrency scams and blockchain technology. He describes his adventures and misadventures as a spender, trader, investor and “miner” – people who own and make money off “servers,” the electricity-hogging, modified computing machines that facilitate transactions. It’s a compelling read that is part cautionary tale for schemers and part catnip for get-rich-quick dreamers.


2Executor Help: How to Settle an Estate, Pick an Executor and Avoid Family FightsDavid E. Edey

Montreal financial planner David Edey wrote this book after it took seven years, 10 court appearances and $50,000 in lawyer’s fees to settle his parents’ estate. And they had a will. “There’s the business side to being an executor, and then there’s the emotional side,” he writes. From explaining the role of an executor and what it entails (“be prepared to encounter human behaviour at its worst”) to flagging three signs that settling an estate will be a long, drawn-out process (warring siblings, second marriages and no will), Edey uses real-life cases to illustrate his points. 

Being an executor is “thankless,” because, even if all goes right, “it will be seen by the beneficiaries as having been no big deal.” He includes chapters on digital assets, handling delicate talks about estate planning with aging parents and what to do with pets, vacation properties and businesses. 

“Writing a will is difficult,” he says. “Leaving a loved one to blindly figure everything out is much worse.” 


3Balance: How to Invest and Spend for Happiness, Health and WealthAndrew Hallam

Former teacher Andrew Hallam exposes “the madness of marketing,” where acquiring stuff is seen as the epitome of success, and the quest for money keeps the hamster wheel spinning. “That’s why … the word ‘enough’ is far healthier than the words ‘rich’ and ‘more,’” he writes. In the latest book from the bestselling Canadian author of Millionaire Teacher, who built a million-dollar portfolio by his late 30s on a teacher’s salary, Hallam urges us to think of success as a four-legged table, where, in addition to “enough money,” we also need strong relationships, physical and mental health and a sense of purpose. From buying cars to investing to retirement planning, he shows us how to “get the biggest life-satisfaction buck.” Hallam urges us to ask one question before we shell out for a big-ticket item: “Would I still buy this if nobody else could see it?” Part manifesto, part self-help book, Balance uses behavioural science and real-life examples to prove money can’t buy happiness.


4Money Like You Mean It: Personal Finance Tactics for the Real WorldErica Alini

This personal finance book is for the young and the feckless, and Erica Alini, the former national online money reporter for Global News, is not afraid to tell millennials and older Gen Zers how to stop struggling and meet their financial goals. These days, the younger generations have more choice than ever – a dazzling array of credit card options, not to mention apps that allow them to buy now, pay later or even purchase stocks – but they can make costly mistakes “with a few thumb strikes.” Alini parses the many “species of debt,” goes over side hustles, Bitcoin investing and even “the pesky but oh-so-crucial subject of whether and how to accept financial help from the Bank of Mom and Dad.” As for retirement, she gives a clear-eyed overview, detailing how pensions have disappeared, how it takes longer to establish a career, how younger generations are living longer and how low interest rates make it harder to grow your money. She absolves her readers of blame or shame for failing to emulate their parents’ financial goals and, in the wake of “corona-mageddon,” advises them to use the 

book as a resource to “embrace the challenge 

and fight back.” 


5The Rule of 30: A Better Way to Save for RetirementFrederick Vettese

The latest from Frederick Vettese, the author of the 2020 bestseller, Retirement Income for Life, is for young adults who wonder how much to save for retirement. 

Vettese uses a fictional young couple, Brett and Megan, to show how 20- and 30-somethings will be set for retirement at 65 if they allocate 30 per cent of their gross pay to mortgage (or rent) expenses, retirement savings and, if they have children, daycare. 

The costs within that envelope will vary from year to year, and retirement savings will not always be the No. 1 goal. “You shouldn’t be bullied by retirement experts into saving more than you can afford,” Vettese writes. “They might believe that young people can and should bear any amount of financial deprivation, but I don’t buy it.” You should, however, buy this book for your adult children – especially if you want to drop a big hint about grandkids.


THE SCROLL

Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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