The AP Personal Finance Team
You've likely been forced to reassess spending and saving habits and learn more about the financial world in the past year. Three new personal finance books offer varying strategies for developing money management skills and understanding how our complex financial system works.
Financial planner Jacob Gold outlines the basics of cash flow, debt management and investment planning, while Dallas radio show host Bob Brooks focuses on managing debt by setting boundaries for spending.
In a third book, Wall Street veteran and cartoonist Jack Guinan attempts to define terms that will help you understand the financial world better. He covers terms like derivatives, commercial paper and debenture and explains them in simple terms.
Here's a look at the new titles:
Financial Intelligence: Getting Back to Basics After an Economic Meltdown
AUTHOR: Jacob Gold
PRICE: $14.95 (paperback)
SUMMARY: Author Jacob Gold, a third generation financial planner, says that following the financial meltdown, it's only through proper financial education that we can get back on our feet and move forward. That means retraining our minds to understand the basic rules, strategies and theories of money management. Chapters focus on understanding the basics of cash flow, debt management, insurance planning to protect financial assets and investment planning. Gold discusses mutual fund basics, how to do a retirement plan analysis and estate planning.
QUOTE: "The first decade in the new millennium will go down as the decade of bubbles. The run up of technology, housing, financials and commodities created billions of dollars of profit for people around the world, but when the bubbles burst even more money was lost than originally made," Gold writes. "I hope you always remember that the art of investing is not how much money you make when we are living in a bull market; it is how much you can prevent from loss in a bear market."
PUBLISHER: Sterling & Ross Publishers
AUTHOR: Bob Brooks
PRICE: $14.99 (paperback)
SUMMARY: Brooks, the host of a daily radio show in Dallas on money issues, has written a book about debt that he bills as financial information from a Christian perspective. But he holds no higher power accountable for getting consumers out of their debt trap; they'll have to do it themselves.
The author doesn't believe in budgets, which he thinks only work for those with the discipline to master the process. Instead he advocates what he says is a more flexible "boundary system" that sets limits and restrictions on what can be spent.
The book incorporates that system as part of his game plan for getting out of debt. Different sections also give you a quick checkup on your debt situation, explain how debt settlement or consolidation companies are nothing more than an illusion, and tell you how to improve your credit score.
QUOTE: "Credit has become America's favorite addiction. It creates a powerful illusion. When there is no money, there is always credit, and credit leads to debt. It is deceptive money."
PUBLISHER: Springboard Publishing
The Investopedia Guide to Wall Speak
AUTHOR: Jack Guinan (editor)
PRICE: $18.95 (paperback)
SUMMARY: This book's subtitle tells it all: "The terms you need to know to talk like Cramer, think like Soros, and buy like Buffet." The financial meltdown has made everyone pay a bit more attention to their money. But what doesn't help is that the news is full of Wall Street experts who bandy about terms that are often little understood.
The editors of Investopedia compiled the most-searched terms on their Web site and put together this guide to the top 500. Readers will find definitions from Black Scholes Model to yield curve. Still, what's particularly helpful is that in addition to simply defining terms, each entry provides a section "Investopedia explains (x term)." This provides context and examples to deliver a greater sense of what the term means, or how the ratio is interpreted, for example.
PUBLISHER: The McGraw-Hill Cos.
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