Most of us spend a disproportionate amount of our lives pursuing money–earning it or spending it. How much do we know about how money works? As the analysts like to say, make your money work for you instead of working for your money. Great! Uh, how do you do that? Do the pros have the secret to getting rich quick or not?
For those of us who have no money, it’s tempting to ignore financial advice all together. You have to have money to save money, right? The task of financial planning is daunting to say the least, and we put it off. We think that portfolios and stock trends are for the rich or that lucky gal who just won the Powerball. It turns out that many of today’s authors are (or were) on a similar page and have a thing or two to say about getting your duck dollars in a row.
The Contrarian of Finance, Stephen M. Pollan
Die Broke by Stephen M. Pollan runs contrary to what most of us have heard about the lofty pursuit of financial planning. It’s also how most of us expect to die! Pollan is a financial adviser who developed a radical four-part plan that claims to improve your lifestyle, increase your net worth and give you confidence in the world of dollars and cents. (Yeah, but can it get that nasty stain out of the rug?) Die Broke is an easy read, without complicated graphs and concepts. It also doesn’t assume that you already have a yacht and are just looking for the right dock and crew. Pollan starts by getting you to change your thinking. Ideas like “overcoming the retirement complex”, the “inheritance obsession”, choosing your own path and letting go of the idea of perfection are not concepts one expects to encounter in a finance book. The back cover breaks down his ideas; “Quit Today, Pay Cash, Don’t Retire and Die Broke.”
The Rock Stars of Finance, Suze Orman, Robert T. Kiyosaki and Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.
Suze Orman has a thing or two to say about money. She is as easy to follow in print as she is in her public lectures. Pick up her book, The Road to Wealth for information and practical advice on spending, saving and investing as well as on legal considerations like prenuptial agreements, wills and taxes.
If it makes you feel better to take advice from a doctor, take a look at The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. This money book is for linear thinkers and includes complicated graphs, but these graphs make sense and hopefully cents. (Sorry, had to go there.) Stanley is more traditional, bringing us back to money basics with ideas like, “money is not your God.” He says you control your money, not the other way around. Stanley explains how the world of money works, who the rich are and how they got there. One of the more interesting parts of this work was the coverage of demographics, specifically with regards to education. Stanley asks, “What college experiences influenced millionaires?” Even though Stanley is a traditionalist, he thinks outside the box.
Rich Dad Poor Dad tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads, his real father and the father of his best friend. Both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The takeaway is that you don’t have to earn a high income to be rich. Like Orman, Kiyosaki has built a brand out of his financial advice and has published 30 branded books.
If you’re looking to cut to the chase, grab one of many For Dummies books like Investing for Dummies. These books are clear, basic guides to the topic of money. These titles are easy to read and keep your attention. Whatever your preference, unconventional or popular, Bookmans has the books on personal finance that will help you get a handle on your money. What do you have to lose? You can buy these titles with trade. What an investment!
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