Book Review: No Worries by Jared Dillian
Jared Dillian sitting by No Worries book cover

“No Worries” by Jared Dillian Audiobook Review

For many people, money is a stressful topic they’d rather not even think about. And then, there are people like me who think about money often, while attempting to reduce anxiety about it in the process. Either way, when I saw the title of Jared Dillian’s relatively recent book No Worries: How to Live a Stress-Free Financial Life, I was immediately interested. So, I cashed in one of my last few Audible credits and gave it a listen.

No Worries by Jared Dillian book cover

Starting with the audiobook aspects, I’ll note that No Worries is not read by the author. That’s unfortunate to me as I didn’t really care for the reader standing in for Dillian. I can’t really say specifically what about the narration didn’t click with me, but it was more of the overall vibe, I suppose. But, even if it wasn’t my favorite performance, it didn’t distract me too much from the book’s material.

Moving into the material, off the bat, Dillian explains that No Worries is not a book about how to get rich. Instead, it’s about reducing financial stress. To do this, he targets what he says are the only two sources of financial stress: debt and risk.

On those matters, a major part of Dillian’s message is that it’s important for consumers to get the biggest financial decisions in their lives right. This includes buying a house, a car, and taking on student loans. Speaking of student loans, one section I found interesting sees Dillian breaking down colleges into tiers so that readers can decide if it’s worth taking on student loans to attend them. In short, he concludes that, unless you’re getting into a prestigious school, it’s not worth taking debt on for — or, in some cases, even going at all. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his contention, I thought he made some compelling points.

Another section I appreciated focused on the topic of being a bad banking customer. What does this mean? Well, it means not paying the bank interest or fees. One line in particular that made me laugh was regarding credit card debt, when Dillian pondered, “What is the dumbest thing I could be paying interest on?”

Later on, a somewhat surprising piece of advice that Dillian espouses is revealed when he states that index funds aren’t the way to invest. While Dillian acknowledges that these indices tend to go up over time, he notes that the down years can be causes of stress — and that few people actually have the discipline to continue with dollar cost averaging and keep investing during down years.

So what does he recommend instead? What he calls his “Awesome Portfolio.” This consists of five assets in equal 20% shares: stocks, bonds, cash, gold, and real estate. For each of these — despite previously stating that he prefers mutual funds to ETFs — he recommends ETFs that will give investors exposure to those assets (aside from cash, which you may have noticed the inclusion of here). For example, for stocks, there’s $VTI. For gold, $GLD. And for real estate, if you don’t have a house, he recommends investing in $VNQ.

According to Dillian, this balanced Awesome Portfolio sacrifices only a bit of upside while reducing overall risk. Yet, he admits that one of its weaknesses is rising interest rates. Thus, the Awesome Portfolio saw its worst year ever in 2022.

Finally, to wrap things up, Dillian discusses stability. Ironically, for me, this is where the book gets a little off the rails. While I can appreciate the author’s overall sentiment that people should think about money as little as possible (and that trying to extrapolate daily savings into long-term totals is largely dumb), I’m not sure I can agree with the assertion that, essentially, you don’t have a healthy relationship with money if you concern yourself with splitting a check with friends. Dillain even addresses this by saying that he often gets pushback from people saying that he doesn’t have to worry about money because he has it — what about those who don’t? His response is that “there are always ways to scramble and get money.”

That seems way too simplistic for my taste, quite honestly. And, unfortunately, it left me scratching my head just as the book came in for a landing. Similarly, his opinion that those who have more should buy things of a certain cost just because they can (and don’t want to look cheap) strikes me as silly — why not just spend what you want on what’s important to you?

Despite some ponderous points in the latter part, I still enjoyed No Worries: How to Live a Stress-Free Financial Life overall. In particular, I thought Dillian’s notes on getting the big decisions right was spot-on and I love the “being a bad banking customer” mantra. Furthermore, even in that final chapter, I completely agree with the basic idea that the place to be is in the middle rather than on the extremes. For those reasons, I still think the book is worth reading so that you can come away with your own takes.

“No Worries” Book Review
No Worries Book Review: A Nice Sentiment But Some Questionable Conclusions
3.5
Formats available
Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Release date
January 23rd, 2024
Number of pages
240
In his book “No Worries,” author Jared Dillian looks at how consumers can reduce financial stress. This not only includes getting big decisions involving debt correct but also features his recommended investment portfolio for those who want to reduce volatility (while still getting a healthy return overall). These chapters can all be helpful, but Dillian’s premise gets a bit muddled along the way as he seemingly takes aim at any level of frugality at a certain point. Yet, while I disagreed with some of Dillian’s thoughts overall, I still appreciated “No Worries” on the whole.
Pros
  • Offers some practical tips for reducing financial stress
Cons
  • Includes some takes that readers (such as me) may disagree with

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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