Military Book Reviews

The No B.S. Guide to Military Life

The No B.S. Guide to Military Life: How to Build Wealth, Get Promoted and Achieve Greatness by David Pere (FMTM LLC publishing, June 1, 2021, 254 pages)

David Pere―active duty Marine, real estate investor, and host of the Military Millionaire Podcast ―has one goal in mind: to help you create a successful career in the military while building the life of your dreams after service. Service members and veterans alike will learn how to achieve financial freedom, have a successful career, maximize veteran benefits, use their VA loan, invest to build wealth, transition out of the military, and become a Military Millionaire.

Have you ever wished you embarked on your military career with a useful guide of your options for financial planning, education, training, retirement, and other life decisions related to military service and benefits? In David Pere’s newly released book, he successfully gets after the title’s namesake in creating a no-nonsense introductory volume on an exhaustive list of topics germane.

Primarily aimed at junior enlisted servicemen and women, Pere relates his own story, which many can relate to; he enlists, sees the world, spends his money, and lives paycheck to paycheck. And, he has no savings to show for his generous, steady income and benefits! It isn’t until someone gives him a copy of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that he values money and realizes his previous errant ways 

Pere methodically prioritizes how new enlistees should approach savings through earned and entitled benefits, beginning with the Thrift Savings Plan. Straightforward advice on budgeting, different military pay, the differences in pay and allowances, side hustles, insurance, and other topics of direct interest are tackled directly and smartly.

Once the financial foundation is established, Pere peels back the topics of marriage, car buying, and financing, and buying a home—big issues to navigate for people with short life experience. In my humble opinion, all this advice is sound, and Pere doesn’t push it on the reader as if his way is the only way. He provides a useful framework to consider the implications of their decisions before making them.

Pere’s framework expands into investing, how to do it, and what goals the reader wants to achieve in doing so. This section, though written plainly, can overwhelm those who are completely unfamiliar with how to use money as it goes deep into the discipline and gets complex with discussions on market factors, P/E (price to earnings) ratios, dividends, taxes, and others.

I read the book through my Veteran’s lens; I wish I had something like this to refer to while coming up the ranks. Pere’s book is valuable to all service members. He also provides links at the end of the book to free and premium services for readers to go even deeper.

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