Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Grow Rich Singapore Style (Alfred Chia)

This book of financial planning was written by Alfred Chia. Note that the image used above is similar to that of the book. Alfred Chia is the CEO of SingCapital, a financial consultancy for individuals.  The book covers a brief understanding of money, mental habits of building wealth, convincing readers that they have the ability to plan their financial destiny and how to go about doing it, and also about Financial Consultants.

Please note that this book is a veiled endorsement of SingCapital and its services, as well as the related books and services. Does this mean that the book is a total washout? No. I was initially irritated by: 1. the magazine-paper-like page quality 2. the pages of adverts at the front and back of the book 3. slightly crude content in the first few chapters which I found distasteful in a few minor parts (probably poor phrasing). Surprisingly, I was not peeved by the sometimes not-so-subtle brand placements throughout the book. Overall, the language used was simple and the book was easy to understand with little numbers except for the bonus chapter on the Total Debt Servicing Ratio, which was still not too numerically heavy anyway. I do not see anything new in this book that other books on financial planning and building wealth haven't already covered (even local ones) except for a portion on dividing one's life into stages, CPF tactics and the bonus chapter. The division of one's life into stages to differentiate the wealth building process will be insightful to readers and the CPF tactics will help readers optimise the monies parked in the various CPF funds. However, I do not see this book being very different from other books too much except for the slant on financial planning as per the author's expertise. I did not find the examples (anecdotes throughout the book and in the case study chapter) too useful although I can see that they could be inspirational to readers who have difficulty in financial planning; the examples were mainly case studies of how SingCapital helps its clients.

The book is useful, but like most introductory books, its flaw is that it covers breadth but not depth. To have an idea on the depth of the topics, do not expect a whole chapter on equities; it is a section in one of the chapters.The book seems slightly skimpy in content compared to similar books aimed at the most green of novices and therefore I see this book as being suitable for newbies. I would say pass on this if you are well on your financial journey. Although I do recommend this book, read it critically because of the background endorsements.

Found in NLB: Yes

Recommended:  Yes

Note: I do not wish to judge on or endorse the financial competency of the author in his capacity of a Financial Consultant or any of his fellow Consultants. This post is merely to review the book's merits. Please make your own decision when seeking financial advice from anyone. I have not been compensated in any way whatsoever to review this book and have no vested interest.