Securing Your Financial Future: Complete Personal Finance for Beginners

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Apr 16, 2012 - Business & Economics - 340 pages

When it comes to personal finance, the rules may have changed, but the time-tested principles of sound personal financial management haven't. Those starting out on their paths to financial security just need to learn them better and apply them earlier than ever before - ideally, right from the start.

Previous generations have had some help in achieving financial security that young people can't count on today: generous employer pensions, steady housing price increases, and a well-funded Social Security program, to name a few. In short, the old "muddle through" approach won't cut it anymore - not even close. A steady income is still a must, but parlaying this into long-term financial security is now an entirely different proposition than ever before. The institutions of the past can no longer be relied upon to handle the process; each person now needs to manage the long-term financial planning and decision making on their own.

Fortunately, though, anyone just starting out can still achieve a very strong financial future from almost any income level - but only by doing the right things to make it happen. Those things aren't particularly hard to understand or to do, but it is important to do them right, to do them consistently, and to do them in the right order. Most importantly, if you get an early start, the risks are minimal and the payoff is substantial. But each year that passes, the risks go up and the payoff goes down. If you have just started out in your financial life, or if you are just about to, and you want a complete and practical education in the fundamentals of personal finance for a secure future, then this book is for you. Chris Smith guides readers through the basics of saving, investing, and financial planning in language that is clear, accessible, and lively, making difficult concepts understandable to the novice, and enjoyable to those who already have some understanding. He shows readers how to apply this knowledge, and to avoid the most common pitfalls, to insure the best possible outcome for long-term financial security.

 

Contents

Introduction
1
Part I THE ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS
13
Chapter 1 The Truly Amazing Power of
15
Chapter 2 Your Financial Health
25
Chapter 3 The Big Picture
33
Chapter 4 The Human Factor
47
Chapter 5 The Ultimate Acceleration Strategy
59
Part II BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATION
71
How the Money Works
173
Mortgageville
187
Lets Do It
199
Part IV LONGTERM INVESTING
213
Introduction
215
Chapter 17 Simple but Not Easy
229
Chapter 18 Your Portfolio
243
Chapter 19 Protecting Your Investments from Taxes
263

Chapter 6 Budgeting
73
Billy Bigshot
85
Chapter 8 Your Cash Bucket
103
Chapter 9 Borrowing Lending and Credit
115
Chapter 10 Taxes Risk Management and Insurance
129
CARS AND HOUSES
143
Chapter 11 Cars
145
Chapter 12 Should You Buy a House?
159
Lets Do It
277
WRAPUP AND SUMMARY
295
Question and Answer Session
297
Your Financial Future
309
Bibliography
317
Index
319
About the Author
327
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Chris Smith worked for Hewlett-Packard for 27 years, where he held a number of positions in finance before rising to the level of Vice President of Finance for two of HP's global business units, eventually playing a key role in HP's merger with Compaq. He has taught at Florida A&M's School of Business and Industry, where he was presented with an Outstanding Service Award for bringing real-life business experience into the college classroom. He is based in Seattle, and is the single father of two college-age children.

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