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I recently learned about Path To Independence, a book about FIRE, from Switzerland! There are very few interesting books from Switzerland, so when I saw a book about FIRE from Switzerland, I had to read it!
This book is about saving more money, either by spending less or by earning more. And then, the book recommends you invest the money you can save for long-term returns.
In this article, I am going to share my review of the book, Path to Independence, by Elias Noschis.
Path to Independence
Path to Independence is a book by Elias Noschis. This book is about saving and investing money in Switzerland. It is the first personal finance book I have read that is talking about Switzerland.
The author published the book himself on Amazon. The book is available on Kindle and in paper book format. I have read this book on Kindle, as usual.
Path To Independence is a short book (less than 100 pages) that is aimed at beginners. Even if you do not know anything about investing, you can already start reading this book.
The book is organized in two steps:
- Save more money by spending less or increasing your income
- Invest the money you saved
Step 1 – Save more money
In the first step, the book goes on how to save more money. it is not an in-depth tutorial on how to save money. However, it goes about several essential concepts that some people still do not follow:
- You need to spend less than you earn.
- You need to increase your income faster than inflation.
- You should never take debt for something that loses value over time (car, holidays, …).
- You should know about how money works in Switzerland.
This part of the book introduces many interesting statistics about Switzerland: For instance, average wealth, average income, and income distribution. I think it is essential to have an idea about these statistics to realize where you are in the world.
Step 2 – Invest your money
The second step is to invest your money. For this, you will need to learn about stocks, bonds, and funds.
The book goes into why you should invest instead of letting your money in a bank account. Several examples are given comparing people that invest with people that do not invest.
Then, the book goes into the subject of passive investing vs active investing. Again, it shows several good examples of the differences between these two styles of investing. The author is in favor of passive investing. It is great since this is also what I recommend for people to invest the money in.
The book also covers different strategies for getting out of the stock market. It is good to do so because many people do not consider this.
This part also introduces important personal finance metrics like savings rates and withdrawal rates. The author explains how to compute the Financial Independence Number and the number of years until you reach Financial Independence.
Several examples of Financial Independence and how to reach FI are presented in this part of the book. There are several interesting simulations as to how one could retire early and how a portfolio would grow based on compounding and saving.
Finally, the book discussed the FIRE community overall. It is interesting to note the income distribution of the FIRE community. FIRE people are earning more money than the average workers. However, many people are trying to reach FI without a substantial income.
What I liked about this book
First, let’s summarize what I liked about Path to Independence.
One great thing about this book is that the author is very honest and humble. It is great and refreshing. Too many authors are arrogant and try to come out as all-knowing. It is not the case here.
The author is very honest and does not pretend to be an expert. And at the same time, he gives quite sound advice.
Also, the book is very simple to read and easy to understand. It is essential when speaking about money to make everything simple. Most people do not talk about personal finances and investing because they think it is not easy. But it is not the case. Investing passively is quite straightforward.
The author uses a lot of examples and facts about different money situations. It is imperative to make the explanations easy to follow. And all these examples are realistic and refer to Switzerland.
I liked the fact that this book is about Switzerland. Switzerland is a tiny country where people do not like talking about money, so there are not many of them. But hopefully, this will change in the future.
What I did not like about this book
There are a few things I did not like about Path to Independence.
Overall, I think that some chapters would have deserved a little more matter. I understand this is an introduction book. But it would have been better to delve a little more in the different asset classes, for instance.
Some of the examples could be more tied to Switzerland as well. For instance, the author mentions real estate but does not mention that almost nobody pays off the mortgage in Switzerland. Another example is in the market indexes. Instead of the OMXH index (a Finland index), the author could have taken the SMI as an example.
The explanation about choosing indexes and ETFs could have been improved, in my opinion. Choosing a portfolio is an important step that should not be taken lightly.
While the concepts presented in this book are very valuable, it is not very actionable. For instance, the part about saving more money is not very actionable. The author mentions that people can either spend less or earn more, but does not mention many ways to achieve these two goals.
The same stands true for the investing part. The book is likely to convince you to invest. But you will not know how to start investing. The book does not delve much into asset allocation and how to pick a portfolio. So, you will need to complement this book with another one or with research on the internet.
Overall, Path to Independence is a good book about saving and investing money in Switzerland. It is excellent to have some books for Swiss investors.
This book teaches the value of investing in the stock market. It shows well the advantages of doing investing compared to let your money idle in your bank account.
The book also delves into Financial Independence. It will help you reach Financial Independence by following the 4% Rule.
While Path to Independence is a good book, it lacks some substance. I feel like several sections could have been completed. It is not always very actionable. It may well convince you to start investing, but you will still have a hard time choosing your portfolio and start investing.
If you are interested, Path to Independence is available on Amazon in Kindle Format or paperback format.
If you want more book reviews, I have an entire page of book reviews!
Have you ever read this book? Did you like it? Do you have another book to recommend me?