RESET: A book review

I’ve read many of the classic personal finance books that are thrown around in the FI arena, including Rich Dad Poor Dad and The Millionaire Next Door, so I’m well versed in the literature that’s currently available.

Recently, David Sawyer reached out and asked if I’d like to review his book ‘RESET…’ and I jumped at the chance.  The book has early retirement right in the title, so I was hooked already!

The book really is built for the UK individual at its core, which is far too rare and a refreshing perspective.

The book has a real flow to it that makes it feel less intimidating and more like a good friend bestowing their wisdom upon you. Its liberal smattering of inspirational quotes and anecdotes throughout gets you thinking in a way a blog post never could. It addresses the major questions that beginners will have and pushes the agenda that FI is not for the already wealthy, but it is something accessible to anyone that has the time or effort to wish to bother with.

Personally, I like that it isn’t a preachy text. It is more an exploratory device and will definitely get you reflecting on things. It will ask probing questions and make you think about how happy you are now and how much happier you could be a year from now.

I’ve read a book that takes a treads a similar path called ‘The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind’ but this is significantly different. There are no cringe-inducing ‘talk to the mirror’ exercises in this one!

RESET: Motivates the reader to want to get more out of life and to do more with what they currently have which is a wonderfully positive message to have at its core. The fact that it addresses this all from UK standpoint is even better – as you probably notice almost everything is geared towards the US (which is what inspired me to start my blog!). Seems like great minds think alike, ey?

This book promises to transform your life through its own unique multi-step program. How does it stack up? Does it work?

The author certainly seems to think so – though I suppose most authors stand by their texts… Interestingly, I found that I personally had few changes to make in my own life to align closely with the guide; so I feel that I am almost a living proof that this book offers some genuine, well thought out and much needed advice.

It offers a light-hearted and at time humorous perspective, but gets down to the nitty gritty when it really matters. The facts are in your face, hard hitting and need to be heard by the countless apathetic masses.

The chapters are short, sharp and concise and they get to the point without frivolities. It’s a refreshing way to read and its style is perfect for either binging in one 2hr 40min marathon, or picking up and putting down a chapter at a time without losing the narrative.

RESET is chock full of references to useful extra reading materials and those already in the ‘FIRE community’ will appreciate the nods to the biggest personalities and most famous FIREstarters like MMM and ERE. It’s wonderful to see these individuals mentioned and it really shows the author has done due diligence on the research front.

While the book does offer technical advice (such as what numbers you need and exactly how to crunch them) it also helps to open the mind to a more stoic, less materialistic way of thinking which I promote myself on a daily basis.

The book takes an interesting road into getting us to define not only our financial goals but our life goals. After all, what’s the point in retiring if we have nothing to retire to? I think this book fits a niche that the UK individual is missing in their library – it’s less a self-help book, more self-starter book. 

Where was this book two and a half years ago when I made my first £50 deposit into my Vanguard S&S ISA?

It would have been beyond useful to me then, smashing through jargon and clearing up the many complex concepts such as ‘SWRs’ and figuring out your stash size. This book combines many important messages and many useful tidbits of information. I personally felt like I have heard it all before, but I mean that in no negative way. For a novice or less well read individual beginning on their journey, I cannot recommend this enough. It was very interesting to see just how closely aligned my world views were with this complete stranger. Heck, even my asset allocation (that I spent months pondering over) was within a few %s of identical!

In its own words, RESET is written ‘for the salaried mid-life professional [who is] searching for a better life’ but its messages work for people ten years younger and ten years older.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has read this review. The book provides a springboard into the world of FIRE principles and a great refresher course on setting up your life for success. You will not be disappointed.

The book can be found on Amazon here if you’re interested in both physical and Kindle format.

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