Book Review: How To Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio

Before I start, a thanks to all of my readers who have voted on my reviews. Note: if you have voted on many of my reviews favorably, further votes won’t help.  Amazon limits the effects of fans.  Onto the book:

For those unfamiliar with Ben Stein, he has done a series of books on “How to Ruin…” for example: How to Ruin Your Life and How to Ruin Your Financial Life. I have not read either of those two books, but after a glance at the table of contents of each book, I can say that what he wrote there is right, even if it is short.

If you can avoid making wrong moves, right moves will occur on average.

But… most of this is simple commonsense stuff reported from a negative angle.  If you have read the personal finance category at my blog, you would know what he has written and far more, and it is free.

There is no bad advice in this book, if you understand that it is offering you bad advice.  By telling you you to do stupid things, it incites you to do what is right.


The book is not worth $12 to those with a reasonable understanding of the markets.  It is worth a lot to the uninformed who think they know something but don’t.  This is a book you give; it is not a book that you buy.

Who would benefit from this book:   This is the sort of book that you give as a gift to your clueless brother-in-law.  It has value there, to raise the awareness of those who are destroying their financial lives.  If you want to, you can buy it here: How To Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio.

Full disclosure: The publisher sent me a hard copy of the book, without my asking.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.