Sunday 14 March 2021

Work Your Money, Not your Life by Roger Ma and Jennifer Ma | Book Review & Learning Points

Hi Guys, welcome back to a brand new series that I am starting where I review books that I have read mostly on personal finance and money related. Besides learning to invest by reading up, I think it is also interesting to know the perspective of how other view money and how they make money work for them. Perception varies between individual and the way we view money can determine how we use it as well.

Today's episode will be on this book titled: Work Your Money, Not your Life. It is written by Roger Ma together with Jennifer Ma, I will be summarising the book, why you should give it a read and what have I learned from reading it. Hope you guys enjoy this new series and let me know of any feedbacks in the comment section below!

You are worth more than you think

You are not your job and also the salary you get is not your value, you need to know that you are is not just your job. It is so funny that just after school, once you start your first job, you are told to start saving for retirement. I think the main gist of the opening chapter is for you to take control of your life starting with your finances so that you can do the things you want.

What I like about this book is that it doesn't just cover the numbers/financials of your life, there is a few chapters dedicated to helping you find your career or whether your current job is worthwhile. This is really something I feel most people need, a few guiding questions can help you see clearly on what type of job suits you. For the author, he was in investment banking and although he managed to earn a huge sum of money, he felt empty but did not want to leave as it might be seen as him giving up. It was not until there was a massive layoff before he redefine what a good job means to him. In the book, he talks about the many perceptions that people have about working:

  • "Its all about money and prestige"
  • "The goal of working is to climb the corporate ladder"
  • "Everyone has one true calling"
  • "Do what you love"
  • "Work-life balance is the answer"

One of the best chapters in the book is where he talks about some qns about your job and how you can gauge your job satisfaction.

  • Are you getting value? Eg do you like doing what you do on a daily basis?
  • Are you adding value? Eg Are you making an impact?
  • Are you increasing your value in the market? Does your current role increase or decrease your future job options?
  • Does your role align with your values?
  • Do you feel valued?

Of course, it is difficult to find a job that will fulfil all questions above. There are things that certain people are willing to forgo at certain stages of your life for example, in your 20s and you are single, you might be able to sacrifice a little on the benefits to learn more and find out the direction of the career you like.

Following up on that is finding a "good job" where various factors are considered like interest VS Strength, preferences VS priorities, financial needs, geographical needs and then piecing them together to get the "good job". Moves onto a chapter where it teaches/advises on how you can tweak your current job eg to think of solutions, not problems, think win-win and how you can present it to your boss. It follows with some real life examples to supplement the points.

After figuring out your current job situation or the type of career you should be going for, it moves on to evaluate your financial report card where debts, net worth, account balances and burn rate are covered to get a overview. Then comes the investing chapter where it shows how you can put your money to good use by investing it. Eg what you need to know about investing and how you should construct your portfolio using different factors like time frame, flexibility of time frame, risk tolerance and need for returns.

Learning Points

This is one book that I enjoyed reading as simple terms were used and it was easy to digest. With it being pretty comprehensive, covering from job to money to insurance and investing, it is a great book to start with if you are trying to understand the career path that you are embarking on. I am trying to develop the habit of reading and hope to also share more on the books that I have read. Hope you guys enjoy this, do remember to subscribe and like my videos!

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