Money at 30: “Broke Millennial Takes on Investing” Book Review
There’s a common belief that, having come of age during the Great Recession, most Millennials have been turned off to investing. Well, until relatively recently, you could count me among those of my generation that were either too afraid, too uninformed, or just too broke to invest. Perhaps that’s why the second entry in Erin Lowry’s aptly titled Broke Millennial book series is dedicated to the topic. The result is Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Money.
First, as I’ve chronicled both here and on my Money@30 site, I have been dabbling in investing more and more over the past year or two. This includes buying a handful of stocks on Robinhood, making an effort to max out our Roth IRA, and most recently, researching index funds. So while I may not exactly be a “broke Millennial,” this book seemed right up my alley, leading me to pre-order it when I saw its existence.
Keeping in line with one of the unique elements of its predecessor, Broke Millennial Takes on Investing once again presents itself as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” of sorts, with Lowry devoting early chapters to diagnosing readers’ needs and prescribing them to chapters to read. In a slight deviation, however, there’s also the chance that this might not be for you just yet. That’s due to the reality that not everyone is in a financial situation where investing makes sense. Likely pleasing her publisher, Lowry stops short of suggesting those who aren’t financially ready to invest should put the book down as it’s never too early to learn about investing even if you can’t quite participate. Of course Lowry also refers readers looking to get their money on point toward her first book, Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together. On the other side of coin, Lowry does point out that the word “beginner” is in the title of this book. This is to say that, if you’re already actively investing and know your way around a brokerage account and diversified portfolio, you might not get a ton of value from her insight.
Speaking of that first book, on the whole, I’d have to say that this follow-up is far denser. Just flipping through the two titles you can see that this book features far fewer bullets and breaks in the page, instead featuring many more blocks of straight text. That said each chapter is still divided into subsections and concludes with a handy checklist, highlighting the biggest takeaways. This represents a slight change in style, but I still think it worked well. Of course it helps that Lowry’s humor and anecdotes are still intact, making even the technical talk easy to embrace.
Despite Lowry’s permission to skip a few chapters, there was only one that left me flipping. The penultimate chapter (not including the conclusion) is titled “Tactics the Wealthy Use to Make and Preserve Wealth.” Given the subject matter and the fact that its mostly made up of block quotes from various experts, you’d think this would be a home run. Unfortunately I found that I vastly preferred Lowry’s writing style to reading these transcriptions, leaving me to lose interest after a few entries. Instead, I skipped ahead to the checklist at the end for the distilled version. Aside from this, my only other minor critique is that Lowry frequently feels the need to reintroduce a person she quotes throughout and reuses the same quotes a time or two. These are surely symptoms of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept and really aren’t that big of a deal unless you’re reading the book cover to cover over the course of a weekend like yours truly.
As I mentioned in my review of her previous title, I was really looking forward to reading Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Money. Luckily that excitement was not misplaced as I truly enjoyed Lowry’s look at different financial options and her insights into investment. Although it may not leave you with an exact idea of what brokerage account to open or what funds to invest in, it will certainly give the resources and knowledge you need to make those important decisions for yourself (or at least start your due diligence). For that reason, whether you’re an actual “broke Millennial” or ready to take the next big step in your financial journey, I’d recommend checking out this one out.
Also published on Medium.