This is a book review of Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich and I am friends with Ramit, so please keep that bias in mind. I also contributed to the book in an “Advice from the Blogosphere” piece at the end of Chapter Four. I don’t have a financial interest in the book doing well but I like seeing a fellow personal finance blogger do well.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi  is a six week program that will set you up for financial success. If you have six weeks, you have enough time to establish a financial foundation that will yield benefits for decades. In fact, you won’t need six full weeks, you’ll just need a little bit of time each week to lay one brick in the foundation. When I graduated college, I had very little personal finance knowledge. It was only through years of reading, writing, and reading some more did I finally learn much of what Ramit has distilled into a 250-page book.
Here’s what you can expect to learn after six weeks:
- Week 1 will educate you about credit cards, from how to get the best card for you to how to get your fees waived;
- Week 2 covers banks and the banking industry, where to go if you want to earn a decent interest rate, what to look for when checking out banks, and how to make sure you get your money’s worth;
- Week 3 involves setting up the investment infrastructure from Roth IRAs to 401(k)s to just a plain old brokerage account, heck, you only need fifty bucks to start;
- Week 4 builds on the foundation that you’ve set by discussing “conscious spending.” The goal of the game isn’t to save every last dollar, it’s to spend it intelligently on the things you find value in, that’s conscious spending;
- Week 5 talks about how you can automate the financial foundation of banking, credit, and investing that you’ve established;
- Week 6 goes beyond the foundation and discusses the deeper concepts in investing such as the danger of listening to “experts,” how investing isn’t for just the rich, and even more pedestrian topics like mutual funds.
In addition to the six-week framework, the book goes beyond all this and discusses many other important personal finance topics. My favorite chatper is Chapter 9, a Rich Life. Setting the foundation is crucial and Ramit’s six week plan will give you that solid foundation, but Chapter 9 covers the “Now what?” conversations. It covers student loans, it covers your first house, it covers the $28,000 Question (yep, weddings, if it’s your thing), and even negotiating your salary. This chapter doesn’t tell you what Ramit thinks you should do, it merely gives you a jumping off point for you to explore on your own and arms you with some ideas to get you going. Sometimes the hardest thing is overcoming inertia, Ramit gives you a little push.
Overall, I was very impressed with this book because you can take a complete personal finance novice, give them this book, and they can set themselves up to succeed in less than six weeks. I am not the only one either, the book hit #1 on Amazon on the first day and was sold out (Ramit tells me that the publisher ordered a reprint on the first day). I can see parents buying this book for their kids, heck parents buying this book for themselves, and I’m not surprised. If you haven’t taken a look yet, here are some other reviews .