Book Review: Rumpelstiltskin’s Rules for Making Your Farthings Grow

Rumpelstiltskin’s Rules for Making Your Farthings Grow is a charming introduction to investing! I have long felt that I should know more about the topic but have struggled to find resources that don’t confuse me or put me to sleep. This book solved both problems! It’s an engaging resource that has empowered me to be a better steward of my limited retirement funds.”

— Sally L. Bond, President & Senior Consultant, The Program Evaluation Group, LLC, Chapel Hill, NC

Ready to get a clue about investing and take charge of your financial future?

Before you sink a single dollar into the stock market, read Rumpelstiltskin’s Rules for Making Your Farthings Grow by Susan Laubach. It’s a fun, painless, and profitable introduction to the world of investing.

If terms like broker, bonds, and venture capital cause you to break out into a sweat, fear not! Laubach teaches through entertaining, colorful retellings of fables and fairy tales you already know by heart.

You’ll learn business and investing fundamentals right alongside The Three Little Pigs, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, and more.

  • How are stocks and bonds different?
  • What causes a stock price to go up or down?
  • Why are earnings per share critical to understand?

You’ll even learn an easy-to-apply “secret formula” to discover if a stock price is a good value—or not!

Investment concepts are broken down in easy-to-understand, easy-to-remember language. Rumpelstiltskin’s seven rules will provide a foundation for all your future investments. (They’ll also equip you to sniff out the foxes and wolves selling bad investments).

These “rules” are essential for investing, served with a smile, so you can laugh while learning.

A practical summary and study guide at the back of the book further reinforces your knowledge and provides a quick refresher whenever you need it.

With Susan Laubach as your storyteller and guide, you can be sure you’re in good hands. She is a former Wall Street stockbroker and financial educator. She’s taught several levels of investment education to students aged 18 to 74. Better Investing Magazine called Laubach’s previous book “the most-well rounded source of basic stock information and education.”

Look, if Baby Bear can grow up to be a successful stock broker, then you can learn to invest, too.

Time is money, and there’s no better time to learn about investing than right now. Make Rumpelstiltskin’s Rules for Making Your Farthings Grow your first—or next—investment in your financial future. The knowledge you’ll gain will pay dividends for the rest of your life.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a great book for older children to understand the crucial concepts in finance when they are young as they would otherwise struggle to be interested in learning as they grow older. I still remember Robert Kiyosaki’s book The Rich Dad Poor Dad and that was the first exposure to financial intelligence we got growing up, and that too when we were young adults. A book like this would definitely interest young kids to start understanding money literacy and the wisdoms from the author can be passed on to them at an early age in life. I love how the author has incorporated fairy-tale-like stories to make the concepts simpler, so that the kids remain interested when learning all 7 rules in investing.

An Interview with Susan Laubach 

Susan Laubach

Susan Laubach, PhD has had a distinguished career as an author, playwright, actress and educator. She has written nine books, including The Whole Kitt & Caboodle: A Painless Journey to Investment Enlightenment, which was called “the best basic book on investing available” by the National Association of Investment Clubs, and endorsed by Economics America, as well as the National Council on Economic Education. Her plays have been performed throughout the Northeast, including at venues such as Women at Work, MamaDrama, and EAT’s Sola Voce Festival. As a member of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the League of Professional Theatre Women (LTTW), and Dramatists Guild Fund treasurer and board member, she has appeared in many plays, television and film. She has also been a popular guest on CNN-FM and CNBC’s Morning Business Show, and The Money Club.

A mother of five children, including two sets of twins, she later rose through the ranks to become the first female vice president at the oldest investment bank in the U.S., Alex, Brown & Sons – but not before her fifteen-year stint teaching investing to over a thousand students. She earned her doctorate from the University of Virginia, and later taught at the College of Notre Dame.

1. Why did you write the book? What was your motivation behind it?

I wrote the book as a series of cautionary tales because I saw a great need for them among potential and even long-time investors. My motivation was to address that need in a way that would encourage confidence and enable readers to remember the “rules” because of the story structure.

2. Who do you see as your main audience for this book and what do you hope they will get from reading your book?

My main audience is the cohort of folks who want to invest but aren’t sure if they should. This includes people who find themselves with money from an inheritance or divorce but are scared to get started investing for fear of losing $$. as well as all Gens, X, Y, Z who think trading or penny stocks will make them rich overnight. Wrong.

3. How do you see this book being relevant today?

With so many opportunities to lose money in flaky securities or overpriced securities, this book is more relevant than ever. It is, however, “wintergreen” in that the “rules” will never be irrelevant.

4. Why do you think you the right person to write this book? How do you think your qualifications or experience make this a better book?

Because of my many years as a stockbroker and simultaneously, nearly as many as an investment educator, I saw too many instances of investors failing to ask the pertinent questions (“what can go wrong?” “Is this price too high,” etc.) because they didn’t know the questions to ask. Consider me an investor’s advocate, arming readers with the most basic of ways to build confidence and knowledge about the Stockmarket. Being both an author and a playwright, I’m uniquely qualified to write readable and memorable stories which I hope will also amuse.

5. How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I came up with the idea for this book because I wanted a way for readers to remember these important “rules” and embedding them in re-told fairy tales seemed an effective way to do this.

6. Can you share a little bit about the process of writing the book? Did you keep writing once you sat down?

Once I hit on the idea of embedding investment rules in silly fairy tales, it was challenging and fun to match the rules with appropriate stories. Having been a teacher of Creative Dramatics, I also felt that kids would have a good time while learning important investment lessons if they acted out each story. This enabled me to make sure each “rules’” story had plenty of action. And yes, once I saw down, I kept on writing. No blogging and no writers’ block.