I believe in the wisdom of older people regardless of wealth or educational background. (Most) old people are precious, you can't buy their life experiences, you can only hope to share in some of them. In this book, John D. Spooner shares a series of letters that he has written to his grandchildren to prepare them for "life"
Both my grandfathers died before I was even two so I took to thinking of JD Spooner as a sort of surrogate grandfather, or papa as his grandchildren refer to him, as I read this book. I won't go into detail regarding all the examples he gave, however, I would like to share the following lessons I got from the book in the hopes that one or two might touch you. These are not exact quotes, they are just notes I took as I listened to the audiobook.
This book is a bible for the ups and downs of modern day life and it doesn't take long to read! The audio version is only five hours.
If you don't get any of the above, get the book, it will be one of the best "investments" you make all year.
Some of my thoughts:
I disagreed with his property investing strategy. He paid all cash when, I think, the genius of property investing in the developed world lies in leverage, using other people's money - but that's another blog on its own.
When he covered bonds, JD Spooner didn't cover index-linked bonds, linkers. He simply said that it is equities that keep up with the cost of living, however, Linkers also keep up with inflation. Perhaps this was taking a step too far into high finance.
In the section on staying in touch with his past, JD Spooner talked about a friend of his from high school that was a plumber in a town that he moved to. He called the guy to help him out with his plumbing. I wondered, how does he feel when he's in touch with people from his past that haven't achieved nearly as much as he has: he's a multimillionaire investment advisor and author of several bestsellers. In this book, "papa" talks about owning several million dollars of Citigroup stock before it tanked and that would only be one stock in an extensive portfolio, I expect. His friends must revere him, how does he relay to them that he's still the same old guy? This is the only query that remained outstanding by the time I finished the book.
3/5/2012 05:57:43 pm
Wow, looks like a great read! I definitely love learning from people and i've taken to reading autobiographies, when i can. Staying In touch definitely matters and while you feel that his friends may not be able to relate, I want to disagree. I think its dependent on the manner that someone chooses to interacts with someone else. I know some rich students who are are so down to earth that you dont feel that they are any different( I didnt even know they were rich until someone else mentioned it!). Its the persons attitude (if for example he talks to the friend with a sense of 'why didnt you do anything with your life? kind of apporach then, well,,,
4/5/2012 06:00:58 pm
Thanks Dali. My point isn't that he's rich but they started life off as equals. That very fact changes the dynamic of a relationship. If someone you know has always been rich finding out about their wealth or lack of it changes nothing. If you were both average wealth in school and they amass a much greater amount...the dynamic has to change.
31/5/2012 11:17:32 pm
def sounds like a good read. tempted to think that your summary of it will prob be adequate to start off from 4 some of us, i like the way it comes across. i have always thot that we all hav so much knowledge about various aspects that we could share. being a new mum am filling up baby's treasure box full of news and items that will hopefully make her journey in this world fascinating. Looks lyk this book could def make it into the collection.
5/6/2012 04:04:01 am
I definitely want to know what else has gone into this little treasure box.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
Time allowing, I love to read. If I read anything interesting, I will blog about it here.