Andrew Allentuck

Friday, March 23, 2001

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Personal Finance for Canadians
By Lori M. Bamber
Prentice Hall, 329 pages

This is a personal finance guide focused on the traditional subjects of saving, investing, mutual funds, retirement and insurance. On the last topic, its treatment is relatively light, as are Ms. Bamber's discussions of, among other things, labour sponsored venture capital funds, stock-indexed guaranteed investment certificates, and RRSP overcontributions. Brevity is, of course, the cost of treating a vast field of financial information in relatively few pages. Still, the book has strengths, for she consistently empowers readers to negotiate for better deals with mutual fund salespeople and employers. For a first guide to personal finance, this is swift, readable, not complex and a step to participation. For a reader who has been put off in the past by books more dense than graceful, it's a friendly way to get into the field of personal finance.