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Bouck's Rule

Bouck's Rule

January 11, 2019
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Bouck’s Rule

By: Zachary Bouck


I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Michael Dinich about some personal finance tips and tricks that he sees success in. During this discussion I had mentioned an idea out loud. This idea is what I refer to as Bouck’s Rule. This is something I had thought about many times, but never mentioned nor shared until I sat down with Michael. Bouck’s Rule goes like this:

For every hour a person spends on some particular, daily activity; one book should be read respective to that activity every year.

For example, if you work eight hours per day, you should read eight books relevant to your field of work. Michael brought up a great statistic during our podcast: people who read at least one book related to their field of work earned something like 30% more income annually.

If you spend one hour cooking every night, you should read one book about cooking. If you watch two hours of Netflix per day, read two sci-fi books, or two non-fiction documentaries; whatever it is that you’re interested in watching.

The beauty of Bouck’s Rule is it forces continued learning. It forces you to take different views on certain subjects, which may open your eyes to trying new tactics in the workplace or in your own financial life. These may be tactics that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

According to the Annual Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Labor Department, this is how people (on average) spend their 24 hours every weekday:

8.58 hours on personal care (includes sleeping).

8.08 hours working.

3.32 hours watching TV/leisure activities.

1.09 eating and drinking.

1.13 performing household activities.


The rest of the day is spent performing various minute activities.

These results are only based on people who are employed. If you read this article from the Wall Street Journal, you can see how the results vary with unemployment included.

According to this daily breakdown, you should read eight books to improve your professional lifestyle. You should read one book to improve your diet or eating habits. Read three books that are related to the TV shows you enjoy, or the leisure activities you participate in.

With Bouck’s Rule, however, there are some exceptions. For example, if you sleep eight hours per day, there’s really no need to read eight books on your sleeping habits, granted it may be interesting to read a bit on how you can improve those habits.

If you participate in activities once per week (i.e. skiing eight hours every weekend), again, maybe read one or two books on skiing, but it’s not required.

Unfortunately, the average amount of time people spend managing their finances was not reflected by this study. It’s tricky to determine the amount of time individuals spend on their personal finances because the habits vary so much from person to person. However, the cumulative amount of time spent budgeting, meeting with your financial planner, reviewing your accounts, etc. should be reflected in your annual reading/learning.

To many people, personal finance is not the most intriguing topic to read about, but it is one of, if not the most important lifestyle topics. Therefore, mix in AT LEAST two personal finance books per year. You’re already on this personal finance blog, which means you’ve at least started a path towards improving your financial habits. If you need any book recommendations, feel free to reach out and I would be happy to recommend any of my favorites, and I’m sure Michael would do the same.

I would challenge you to adopt Bouck’s Rule into your own life. If you aren’t a reader, try easing into it. Consider reading one book for every two hours you spend on daily habits. However you choose to go about this, the main thing is that you are adopting habitual, established rules that will help you improve your lifestyle from every angle.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Providence Capital Partners, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Providence Capital Partners, Inc. and Denver Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Michael Dinich and Your Money Geek are not affiliated with LPL Financial and Denver Wealth Management.