Alumnus serves up financial recipes in new book

Bookmarks spotlights the personalities and published books of faculty, staff and alumni.

Today, Gordon Stein, BESc.’84, author of Cashflow Cookbook, answers questions on his ‘bookishness’ and writing.

Stein is the Senior Vice-President (Global Sales) at Pronto Forms, a Canadian software and mobile app development company. His love of writing, interest in helping others, and a collection of new ideas for financial freedom all came together in this project. He views Cashflow Cookbook as a way to teach students about financial literacy, help young people get started financially, steer people out of debt, help young families build a more secure future, move people to financial freedom, and allow retirees to get more from their savings.

Stein has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council of Western Engineering.

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What book do we find you reading tonight?

I am reading Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, an outstanding book with application to any form of thought and communication. I saw his Ted Talk some time ago and wanted to get the full narrative.

How you decide what to read? Reviews, word of mouth, maybe occasionally judge a book by its cover?

Usually word of mouth from people I find to be inspiring. I usually buy when I hear a second recommendation.

Name one book you wish you had written. And why.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, an incredible life story, a pillar of inspiration and an entire book of words as good as his lyrics.

Name one book you could never finish. And why.

Wuthering Heights. I asked someone for a summary to get me through my high school English exam. Actually, I don’t think I even owned a copy.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Lots of guitar music books – hoping for a triumph of hard work over any natural gifts.

Any genres you avoid? And why.

I tend to read more about the future than about the past. We are at the dawn of an incredible renaissance.

If you could require every university president to read one book, what would it be? And why.

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Brynjolfsson & McAfee. It’s a brilliant peek into the powerful changes that technology will bring to our lives. We need to prepare our students for massive disruptive changes ahead.

What sort of objects are must-haves in your writing environment?

My MacBook Air, a fast Internet connection and a fresh pot of perseverance.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?

Shakespeare for sure – what kind of literary dinner party would be complete without him? And he would be upset at any knave who wouldst forsake him. Joni Mitchell for her poetry and ability to paint a vivid scene with just a few words. Ayn Rand for her character development.

How do you explain what your latest book is about to them?

Cashflow Cookbook is a unique kind of personal finance book that helps people free up cashflow for increased investing contributions or reducing debt. It offers the reader 60 simple financial recipes that can help the reader add more that $2 million to their net worth. All with minimal effort or sacrifice. I see the stats on personal finance in Canada and there is definite need for help. The book and my speaking engagements are my way of giving back.

As for the writers at the dinner party, I’m not sure whether Shakespeare would get it. Joni Mitchell doesn’t strike me as an avid personal finance reader. At least Ayn Rand would admire the effort I have put in.

What is the best line you have ever written?

I am hoping for a good one later this year.

Who would you want to write your life story?

Someone with a gift of embellishment and very little time.

Cashflow Cookbook by Gordon Stein (CFCB, $19.97) is available through cashflowcookbook.com and Amazon.ca. Follow the author on Twitter at @cashflowcookbk.