The Perfect Balance, by Hannah McQueen
(Allen & Unwin, 2012) $32.99
McQueen might just be New Zealand’s most media-savvy accountant. According to an interview with the Dominion Post, she became a chartered accountant because she learned that the majority of CEOs were initially accountants themselves. Since then, she’s been voted Young Chartered Accountant of the Year, Northern Region; appeared on TV1 series Save Our Home; and started her own financial advisory firm, EnableMe. Oh, and she’s just released this book.
There’s nothing earth-shattering here – spend less than you earn, set up an emergency fund, avoid lifestyle creep. That said, financial literacy in this country could use an overall boost, and anyone looking to address that should be applauded. She also discusses emotional aspects of money, such as financial personalities and the psychology of spending.
The most intriguing notion is her patented formula for killing off a mortgage as quickly as possible. McQueen called up Dr Jamie Sneddon, a calculus tutor at the University of Auckland, and asked if he could help work out a formula that would structure her mortgage at the lowest cost possible but still give her flexibility.
Three months later, she had an eight-page formula designed to get out of debt more quickly, the optimum setup consisting of a mix of mortgage rates and timeframes. And EnableMe was born. To experience the magic formula for yourself, you presumably need to hire McQueen or one of her staff to get the full treatment.