Thursday 6 June 2013

Book Review - From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom by Manoj Arora

Hi Friends,

Rat race to Financial freedom is not a book, it's a journey. It is my dream to attain financial freedom one day and this book brought me so much closer to my goal in terms of mentoring & guiding me to become one, the rest depends on my intent and efforts I put in to do the same. This book is definitely different from all the books I have read on this topic by various international writers but I have never felt that connected with the author ever. The experience of reading this book written by Shri Manoj Arora is amazing as the book is his journey to achieve financial freedom and sharing the same with all of us. In a nutshell, it's combination of all the knowledge collected from various sources and reproduced in a way so that a common man like me feels motivated to achieve my dream of attaining financial freedom. I am really thankful to JAICO Publishing House for printing the book and pricing the same at Rs. 299/- only. This is a must have book if you ever want to come out of rat race of jobs, stress, shortage of time etc.

In my opinion, I have never agreed more with any writer on the way, book has been progressed. This might be possible that I myself was looking for ways to be financially free or it's his style of writing. The author's style of writing is very simple so that his words reaches masses. The way he has explained financial and technical terms is really great. The whole story behind the book and the journey thereafter is written in a hopeful & motivating style. You never feel that you can't achieve the same yourself while reading the book, which I have never experienced with all the other books I have read.

Let's me review the book as per the Index and also what I have learned and where I need more help from the writer via his website – There is no fees to access this website, even if you have not purchased the book and can directly seek his advice & guidance on your way to achieve financial freedom. Also all the excel templates created by him in his financial freedom journey are also available to download for free. Due to this half the battle is won as we kept postponing things based on the amount of hardwork it requires to create several headings & sections of an excel and never satisfied with the way our excel looks or works. This is surely a sure shot path laid out by the author and I really appreciate all of his efforts.

The book is broadly divided into 8 sections.

Introduction and Overview – This section covers the idea to be financially free as and when it came in the mind of the writer and what factors motivated him to go for the same? It's his journey and the way he visualized it.

1. Wealth Myths – This is the section where writer breaks our age old myths about money and investments. The best thing he said is we don't require any fancy degrees to achieve Financial freedom but just the dream and passion to achieve the same.

2. Technical concepts in Financial Independence – This sections deals with some of the basic financial formulas and terminologies required to understand financial freedom. This section deals with calculating the returns based on your investments as per different scenarios and some investment rules like Dollar Cost Averaging and Rule of 72.

3. Financial Investment Tools –This section covers all the types of Investment opportunities available in India. He also explains the pros and cons of investing in those investment tools e.g. PF, PPF, VPF, Gold, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Real Estate etc. This section really is an eye opener to many of us as we continue to put all our money in one basket which will be taxed heavily later. He explains all of these tools with relevant examples from his own life and how to create a perfect bouquet of benefits out of all of these investment tools.

4. Principles of Wealth Accumulation – This section covers some of the knowledge which he has acquired through wide reading and from working in different environments across the Globe. He has summed up the knowledge which he has gained in all these years of his existence for us. I loved this section because it really made me jump out of my bed to make a plan for myself. I really felt resonated with all the learning as I was able to reflect it with my life. I did my engineering in 2001 but I am nowhere near financial freedom as lost some years due to learning decisions of my life and started working in 2007. 6 years is what I want to cover with the help of this book & adding on the time till 2013 which is again 6 years – I have a lot to make up for.
Reproducing some part of the Index for reader's benefit -
1. Have a strong reason
2. Decide to become Wealthy
3. Start Early
4. Unleash the power of Compounding
5. Get rid of credit cards
6. Sharpen your financial saw
7. Stop Procrastinating, get started
8. Invest regularly
9. Keep your partner informed
10. Win in the margins

These are some of the learning and all of them are explained in a unique style and you will learn them very quickly as author comes up with his life examples.

5. Financial Freedom Planning and Tracking – This section is the main part where you need to actually get down to work. This section is more about doing and execution. This is the main part of the book if you want to achieve the financial freedom. If you just want to read through and no action taken will leave you with nothing in the end. The author has divided the process in 8 simple steps but this journey takes lifelong for many of us. I had to read through this section without actually getting down to work but as soon as I post my review of the book, I am gonna spend coming weekend downloading all the excels from author's website and charting out a path for my own Financial Independence. These 70 pages section is the summary of author's many years of hard work and learning put in front of you so that you achieve your dreams. At this juncture of my review, I remember words of Swami Vivekananda, “Arise, Awake and Stop not till the Goal is reached”.

6. Saving on Taxes – This section tells you about safeguarding your income & cash flows from the teeth of tax. He tells you various ways to save some tax through different Sections of Income Tax. As Income Tax is a very big field so he has covered some of the relevant topics only.

7. Before Calling it a Day – This section helps you decide on when to say bye to your job as you are fully confident that you have achieved your goal of Financial Freedom.

8. Go For It – These section deals with the feeling and confidence it gives you once you are Financially free. Author shares his experiences and wants the same for us too.

Glossary – All the financial terms are explained as a part of this section.

I would definitely give 5/5 stars for this book as author has shared all of his knowledge & experience so that we too can achieve what we set out for! This book is definitely better than reading some International Authors which explains things as per USA or UK economies. This book is for all Indians dreaming to achieve FINANCIAL FREEDOM!!!

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