Book Review: Easy Money

Easy MoneyFor most of my readers, this book may prove to be too basic, but we all have friends that are not “money people.” They don’t know how to take care of their finances, and they constantly get into money troubles. This book could be of help to them.

Now, as you can see from the picture, you can see that she refers to herself as, “The Internet’s #1 Personal Finance Expert.” I can’t vouch for that. I like to think that I am aware of a wide number of trends in investing and money management, and this was the first time I heard of her.

There were five main things that appealed to me about this book. First, it’s not a long book (173 pages in the main body of text), and it is simply written, so an average person not good with finances could make his way through it. Second, even though small, it is pretty comprehensive for the finances of an average person or family. Third, I think she gets most issues right for average people who have relatively simple financial problems. Fourth, it provides advice on where to get more data, without marketing herself directly. Fifth, it summarizes action points for each area of personal finance.

I do write about personal finance a little, but you will never get the detailed advice on cash management, budgeting, personal credit, hiring advisors, and shopping smart from me that you will get from this book. My contribution is a more savvy view of investing and insurance. On the latter topic, insurance, I thought she covered the bases well. (As an aside, she shares my bias against variable annuities.)

Now, was there anything that I wasn’t crazy about? I know she wrote a book on the topic, but I think it would have been worthwhile to briefly explain why keeping a high credit rating in this age is so important, because of the effect that it has on insurance premiums, and even employment, leaving aside how much you will pay in interest, and how onerous lenders and creditors will be with you if you ever make a mistake.

Now on investing topics, the book is good but not great. For the average person that doesn’t matter. For those wanting to take a step up, I would recommend The Dick Davis Dividend. She focuses on saving enough (most people don’t save enough), and asset allocation through passive investments. She is a little too bullish on real estate for my tastes. Someone following her advice in these areas will do better than most, if they have the discipline to avoid panic and greed.

But, leaving those quibbles aside, this is a solid book, and those following its advice will benefit.

Full disclosure: If you buy through on any of the books that I review through links on my site, I get a very modest commission.