Marcus Buford aims to put readers on the path to financial success in his book Bootstraps and Ladders: A Financial Outlook on Growth and Movement and the Innerspiritual Logic.
Buford, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has been through his share of financial trials while working to put himself through school. He admits he is not a “rocket scientist or business guru,” but he advances his simple philosophies and techniques in this book, hoping his experience might make someone else’s path easier. Buford outlines and explains the “W”s of the “Innerspiritual Logic”: what, why, and who. This section is confusing and the meaning of “innerspiritual logic” unclear. The author seems to be addressing the question of goals and motivation in the reader’s mind.
Once these topics are entertained, Buford goes on to discuss how to do better financially, and the remainder of the book is dominated by tables showing the monthly, biweekly, and weekly breakdowns of saving a certain amount per year. These tables show that even saving a few dollars each week can add up—a valuable lesson, but while it’s nice to have this information printed out, it’s nothing that a simple calculator couldn’t provide.
Bootstraps and Ladders appears to be aimed at young people, or those just starting to save, and Buford describes how to scrimp and save toward goals, offering helpful examples. But Bootstraps and Ladders lacks any detailed discussion about the bigger picture of finances; there are passing mentions of retirement pension plans, for example, but no details of how they work or the advantages of tax deferral.
As a result, the book is a serviceable, but limited introduction to saving money. The author promises another installment of the series soon, which could build on the framework provided here, but fewer tables, a clearer writing style and more detailed advice would have made a much better introductory book.
Also available as an ebook.