The Beginner's Guide to Wealth

Noel Whittaker
Noel Whittaker

RECENTLY my son James Whittaker and I launched our latest book The Beginner’s Guide to Wealth which has been written to help young people take control of their life and their finances at an early age.

It is a sad fact of life that many people do not excel at school, even though they may have a wealth of talent, and so develop the feeling that success is destined for other people, but out of their grasp.

In our new book we explain that life is a long journey and, irrespective of high school marks, it will still serve up many challenges and disappointments.

In our experience, the qualities that make for success in life are a good attitude, a pleasant disposition, an eagerness to build positive habits, and a commitment to ongoing learning and development. None of these require a high IQ.

Most young people I meet tell me they are unsure about what they want to do in life. This should not be a problem because many jobs that exist today were unheard of 20 years ago.

The best way to handle uncertainty is to experience as many different types of jobs as possible – this will enhance your skills and widen your circle of contacts.

Once you get a job, resolve to be the one person that the boss can trust absolutely. Then, you’ll be the one given the challenging tasks that nobody else wants and you are also most likely to be asked to relieve your supervisor when he or she is away.

The person who keeps learning and who is always prepared to give 110% will find opportunities everywhere.

We have been very humbled by the overwhelming feedback since the book launched earlier this year and we are continuing our mission to make it available to as many people as possible.

The Beginner's Guide to Wealth is currently the Book of the Month in Money magazine and is available at all good book stores or online at

Reader questions:

Question: I believe I was told by a financial services person in Centrelink that they have received notification that the Rudd Government has advised they will be discontinuing salary sacrifice at the end of this financial year. Is this correct?

Answer: There is nothing in the pipeline as far as I know regarding discontinuance of salary sacrifice but it is possible that you misunderstood what the people at Centrelink told you. There have been changes to the way eligibility for certain Centrelink benefits are assessed and it is no longer possible to use salary sacrifice to reduce your salary for Centrelink eligibility.


Question: My husband and I have been running our own small business for six years. Sadly, we have been forced to close, but have $50,000 put aside. We currently rent, and both are now in the position of finding jobs. Can you provide us with some advice on the best way to use this money to secure our future? I am 34 years of age, my husband is 40, and we have a nine month old baby daughter. We have a $3,000 personal loan debt. What is our best move?

Answer: I think it is important to put your money in a place where you cannot get easy access to it otherwise you will almost certainly find that it will start to be frittered away. In view of your relatively young age I would stay away from super but a good option might be a three month term deposit offered by one of the major banks. At the end of that time you may have jobs and could then start saving for a house. You could investigate paying off the personal loan but you may find that you do not save any interest by doing so. I assume there are no outstanding tax liabilities in regard to the sale of the business.

Noel Whittaker is a director of Whittaker Macnaught Pty Ltd. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. His email is

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