You Can Do the Math: Overcome Your Math Phobia and Make Better Financial Decisions

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - Business & Economics - 193 pages
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Every day we are faced with financial decisions. Should I buy that DVD player or 100 lottery tickets? What percentage of my salary should I allocate to my 401K? How much should I be saving for my daughter's college education? Will I be better off leasing or buying my next car? The problem for most of us is that we freeze up when making these choices; regardless of our level of formal education, we find ourselves intimidated by the numbers and poorly prepared to make some of the most important decisions of our lives. We've become a society of math-o-phobes with profound consequences for our financial well-being.

In "You Can Do the Math," Ron Lipsman draws from over 30 years of teaching mathematics to help you take control of your financial destiny by applying basic arithmetic techniques. Step by step, he walks you through the fundamental calculations that underlie virtually every financial decision. Mastering such concepts as compounding interest, lease and loan payments, and the impact of inflation, you will learn how to: Institute a successful college savings program; Minimize your taxes; Wisely purchase insurance; Decide whether to buy or rent a home; Plan for retirement; and much more. Featuring entertaining real-life examples and keyed to a companion Web site (http: //www.math.umd.edu/ rll/cgi-bin/finance.html) where you can input your own figures and calculate the results, "You Can Do the Math" demystifies credit, mortgages, stocks and bonds--and even the odds of beating the house in Vegas, and will become an essential resource for anyone looking to conquer their math anxiety and make more informed financial decisions.

 

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Contents

Saving for a College Fund
3
Investing for a College Fund
16
Taking into Consideration Taxes and Inflation
28
How TaxDeferred Accounts Can Help
43
Your Paycheck What Is Your Salary Really Worth?
55
Buying a House or Car Mortgages and Loans
69
Buying or Leasing Your Car
85
Owning or Renting Your Home
100
Insurance
110
Cut Up Those A Credit Cards
127
Gambling Can I Win the Lottery?
141
The Stock Market and Other Investments
157
Retirement
176
Index
191
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About the author (2004)

RON LIPSMAN is Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean of the Physical Sciences College, University of Maryland. The author of more than 70 mathematical research articles and co-author of eight technical books, he has over 35 years of experience in teaching, tutoring, and advising students and colleagues alike on issues related to mathematics, computing, and financial management.

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