I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all?
Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life is the latest in a long string of books on financial topics from Ben Stein and his regular co-author Phil DeMuth. This one’s premise seems to be of particular interest to twenty- and thirtysomethings looking to get their financial house in order: it’s basically a guide to prudent financial decisions at each stage in life, from your 20s to retirement.
This relatively short book is broken down into a pretty large number of chapters, making each chapter not too much longer than one of Stein’s columns on Yahoo! Finance. There are a handful of chapters devoted to each decade in a person’s life, starting off with their twenties, and making it clear how and why you should be dealing with money at that point in your life.
This book is conservative in tone. At no point does the book advise dumping everything into speculative investments or anything of that nature, so if you’re looking for advice on individual stock investments or the like, this isn’t the place to go (try Jim Cramer’s Real Money, for example, if that’s what you’re seeking – it’s quite good). However, if you’re not looking for a ton of risk and don’t want to invest mountains of time into your investments, there’s a lot of appropriate stuff in this relatively thin tome.
The first two chapters are pretty introductory and mostly provide a good argument of why you should get financially prepared now rather than later. The book really gets going, though, in the third chapter, which I’ll start with tomorrow.
Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life is the twenty-first of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.