Personal Finance For Dummies

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John Wiley & Sons, Aug 28, 2006 - Business & Economics - 458 pages
7 Reviews
Too many personal finance consultants offer financial advice that ignores the big picture and instead focuses on investing. You need much more than that to plan your future. You need a broader understanding of personal finance that includes all areas of your financial life in order to become financially sound. Personal Finance for Dummies, 5 th Edition is full of detailed, action-oriented financial advice that will show you how to lower expenses and tame debts as well as invest wisely to achieve your financial goals! Now in its 5 th edition, this up-to-date guide covers all the latest trends to ensure your financial stability. Just some of the updates and revisions include: Reviews of the new and revised tax laws and how to take advantage of them The latest scoop on Medicare and Social Security and what it means for you Updated investment advice on mutual funds and other managed investments Enhanced smart spending tips Coverage of new bankruptcy laws and how to eliminate consumer debt Smart ways to use credit and improve credit scores Expanded coverage on educational savings options This hands-on, straightforward guide features ways to survive life changes such as starting your first job, getting married, having children, and retiring, as well as helpful tactics for preventing identity theft and fraud. With Personal Finance for Dummies, 5 th Edition, you'll be able to achieve financial strength and start concentrating on the more important things in life!
 

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Best book I've read on financial planning

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Written by Eric Tyson, this offering from the "Dummies series" is worthwhile reading for anyone just getting started, or who wishes a broad overview of many financial topics. I found a number of topics treated pretty well in the limited space offered. For example, on retiring, the author gives example on different replacement income requirements ranging from 65-85% of one's pre-retirement income. Ironically, you need less money at retirement if you were a large saver (15% or more) if only for the fact that due to saving so much you lived on less income much of your life. Other topics are treated in a similar way, providing different scenarios for different people. Investing isn't black and white and I find this to be a good take on these issues. Mr Tyson goes into some details about "investment gurus", taking some person shots at Suze Orman, Elaine Garzarelli, and Jim Cramer, among others. I find his comment here to be wasted space, pages he could have used to expand on some topics where he didn't go deep enough. Elsewhere on my site, http://www.joetaxpayer.com where I comment on other authors, I present their advice and where I disagree, I explain why. Mr. Tyson's reference to these people is scattered throughout the book and are somewhat random ad hominem attacks. Given the very broad range of topics, covered in 22 chapters, there are some which deserved more discussion. Annuities (of any kind) aren't given much more that half a page. IRAs are mentioned, but the Roth, only a paragraph. In the end, it's tough to get though the entire book without picking up a good number of new ideas and learning quite a bit. And for those topics just touched upon, it shouldn't be too tough to fill in the gaps through further reading, whether it be other books, magazines, or internet. JOE 

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
Assessing Your Fitness and Setting Goals
9
Improving Your Financial Literacy
11
Measuring Your Financial Health
23
Determining Where Your Money Goes
43
Establishing and Achieving Goals
55
Saving More Spending Less
77
Dealing with Debt
79
Investing for Educational Expenses
253
Investing in Real Estate Your Home and Beyond
265
Insurance Protecting What Youve Got
305
Insurance Getting What You Need at the Best Price
307
Insurance on You Life Disability and Health
325
Covering Your Assets
349
Where to Go for More Help
363
Working with Financial Planners
365

Reducing Your Spending
97
Taming Taxes
127
Building Wealth with Wise Investing
151
Important Investment Concepts
153
Understanding Your Investment Choices
181
Investing in Mutual Funds
201
Investing in Retirement Accounts
217
Investing in Taxable Accounts
239
Computer Money Management
385
On Air and in Print
395
The Part of Tens
403
Survival Guide for Ten Life Changes
405
Ten Tactics to Thwart Identity Theft and Fraud
419
Glossary
425
Index
441
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About the author (2006)

Eric Tyson first became interested in money more than three decades ago. After his father was laid off during the 1973 recession and received some retirement money from Philco-Ford, Eric worked with his dad to make investing decisions with the money. A couple years later, Eric won his high school’s science fair with a project on what influences the stock market. Dr. Martin Zweig, who provided some guidance, awarded Eric a one-year subscription to the Zweig Forecast, a famous investment newsletter. Of course, Eric’s mom and dad share some credit with Martin for Eric’s victory.
After toiling away for a number of years as a management consultant to Fortune 500 financial-service firms, Eric finally figured out how to pursue his dream. He took his inside knowledge of the banking, investment, and insurance industries and committed himself to making personal financial management accessible to all.
Today, Eric is an internationally acclaimed and bestselling personal finance book author, syndicated columnist, and speaker. He has worked with and taught people from all financial situations, so he knows the financial concerns and questions of real folks just like you. Despite being handicapped by an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Economics and Biology from Yale University, Eric remains a master of “keeping it simple.” An accomplished personal finance writer, his “Investor’s Guide” syndicated column, distributed by King Features, is read by millions nationally, and he was an award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. He is the author of five national bestselling financial books in the For Dummies series on personal finance, investing, mutual funds, home buying (coauthor), and taxes (coauthor). The prior edition of this book was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for best book of the year in the Business category.
His latest book, Mind Over Money: Your Path to Wealth and Happiness (CDS/Perseus), examines the problematic financial habits people engage in and provides proven strategies for overcoming them.
Eric’s work has been featured and quoted in hundreds of local and national publications, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Parenting, Money, Family Money, and Bottom Line/Personal; on NBC’s Today Show, ABC, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, CNN, and FOX-TV; and on CBS national radio, NPR’s Sound Money, Bloomberg Business Radio, and Business Radio Network.

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