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Automatic Millionaire: A Book Review

February 2nd, 2007 at 03:46 pm

Some time ago, I wrote a few book reviews with the intention of adding more reviews over time. Although I've read more personal finance books, I still haven't written the reviews.

Conveniently, Trent over at The Simple Dollar has written an excellent summary echoing my exact sentiments of David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire this morning. Like Trent, the only other David Bach book I've read is Smart Couples Finish Rich, I also found the latter to be a much more informative book.

Trent is a much better writer than I, so in lieu of my own review, I'm going to refer you this post:
The Automatic Millionaire: Buy or Don’t Buy?.

Book Reviews

December 6th, 2006 at 01:49 am

A few thoughts on some personal finance books I’ve read recently (all borrowed from the library, of course!)

Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner by David Bach For someone like myself who is just starting off the personal finance I found this book helpful, although hokey at times. For example, I did not clearly understand the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. This book helped me understand the difference. Although David Bach should not be considered the next great American novelist, his writing is clear and easy to read. However, for the more seasoned personal finance aficionados out there, this book probably doesn’t offer much new information. Another drawback is that it was published in 2002 and some of the information is outdated (such as information on IRA yearly contribution limits).

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Personal Finance in your 20s and 30s, Third Edition by Sarah Young Fisher and Susan Shelly. I read this after David Bach’s book and did not learn anything new. This book might be better tailored for the high school / college age crowd, as some of the information, ie. “You need to pay a security deposit when you rent an apartment” is something most of us in our late 20’s have figured out by now.

Nice Girls Don't Get Rich : 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money by Lois Frankel.Reviews a lot of the basic personal finance advice (Pay yourself first, take advantage of your 401(k), etc.), but also touches on some of the underlying issues why women don’t get rich or why women let others control their finances. A very motivating read, at times. Quick to read, worth checking out from the library.

As I stood in the library’s personal finance section today, I couldn’t help but reflect on how I’ve moved through the shelf, almost in the exact order of the call numbers as my interests have progressed. Last spring, I went and checked out the Tightwad’s Gazette as I looked to find more ways to spend less and live more frugally. Over the summer, I came to the conclusion that spending less was good, but that it all seemed rather futile since I didn’t have a good handle on the money that was already mine, nor was I tracking what I spent. So, I started using Quicken. Once I started tracking, I started to question why I had my money sitting in checking and low interest savings, and so I moved on to the books reviewed above. Today’s stop at the library to check out books on investing aside from retirement.

The most important lesson I’ve learned through this process is that getting on top of my finances was really pretty easy. Previously, I was intimidated and thought all this money stuff would be complicated and confusing. I’ve found only the opposite to be true —and it has all been made even easier more enjoyable by having such great folks like yourself to consult with.