Book Review And Giveaway: “Secrets Of A Stingy Scoundrel”

Author: Phil Villarreal was a syndicated film critic (one of the best jobs on earth) and is a general reporter for the Arizona Daily Star.  Phil contributes to OK! Magazine and blogs at becauseitoldyouso.com.

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.  244 pages in soft cover.  $12.95.

Summary: “Secrets of A Stingy Scoundrel” is a hilarious book that has been reviewed by many personal finance sites already.  Hence, I’ll take a slightly different approach.

First of all, Phil is one proud cheapo who is potentially helping millions of Americans (if they buy his book) save thousands of dollars a year.  Second of all, the breadth of stinginess is impressive, with nine chapters: Personal, Eating, Relationships, Household, Finance, Leisure & Entertainment, At The Workplace, Corporate Cataclysm, and Gross, Mean and Just Plain Wrong.

Book Review & Giveaway: “Get Financially Naked”

51YUhQie2AL._SL500_AA240_Author Bios: Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar have their MBA’s and CFA’s and are the coauthors of “On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide To Personal Finance.”

Publisher / Physical Description: Adams Media.  Paper back.  148-pages of easy reading.

The Summary: With a tag-line of “how to talk money with your honey,” how can you not like a book with this kind of wit?  Personal finance books tend to be a little bit mundane and redundant, but not so with Manisha and Sharon’s latest offering.

The first point of interest simply lies on page two.  All page two says is “To All Women…”  As I am not a woman, I immediately began preparing myself for some male criticism.  Does ‘To All Women” really mean “Stay Away All Men”?  To my relief, the real meaning of page two is about empowering women to become financially independent on their own.

Getting financially naked really is about having as clear of an understanding of each partner’s finances as possible.  The authors don’t want women to one day wake up realizing all their money is gone after their husband invested their finances in some unscrupulous investment.  Women need to have a full grasp of each others finances so that there are no surprises.  Even before marriage, our authors go through steps to discover whether a couple is financially compatible.  Financial matter shouldn’t be taboo among serious couples.

Book Review & Giveaway: “Your Money Ratios”

your-money-ratiosPublisher: The Penguin Group.  Hard cover. 257-pages. Price: $26.

Author: Charles Farrell, JD., LL.M., investment adviser with Northstar Investment Advisors, in Denver.  He writes the “Retirement Roadmap” column for CBS Moneywatch.

Review: “Your Money Ratios” sings to me!  For someone who loves using ratios such as the 1/10th rule for car buying, and 30/30/3 rule for home buying, I absolutely adore this book.  Charles’ writing style is very balanced and easy to understand.  When it comes to math, many people, including myself fall asleep.  But, if you can just do simple division and multiplcation, this book will keep you on the right path towards financial security.

Charles’ “Unifying Theory of Personal Finance” is his core philosophy that all decisions you make should help move you from being a laborer to being a capitalist.  In other words, make money work for you, and not the other way around.  It’s important that with every single monetary decision you make, you ask yourself will this help you become a capitalist or not.

Capital To Income Ratio

Book Review & Giveaway: “America, Welcome To The Poorhouse”

poorhouseAuthor Bio: Jane White is Founder & President of Retirement Solutions, LLC, which promotes 401(k) reform and provides investment education.

Publisher: FT Press.  A compact 247-pages in hardcover.

Summary: This is one angry, no-nonsense book!  Jane White blames more politicians than I can name for causing the mess we’re all in.  She plays no favorites and thinks both parties are corrupt.  Phil Gram (R-TX) deregulating the banking industry is the genesis of this crisis, while Chris Dodd (D-CT) is blamed for carrying bank deregulation further by deregulating exotic financial instruments.

Jane even questions whether Bernanke knows anything about economics.  One of my favorite assertion of her’s is that big business owns both parties, and politicians are just playing puppets to their lobbyists.

Book Review & Giveaway: The New Rules For Mortgages

41rpgJfrwQL._SS500_“The New Rules For Mortgages” by Dale Siegel provides a fantastic understanding of everything you need to know about mortgages.  For many, a home is the single biggest purchase of their lives, and the mortgage is a necessary instrument for making homeownership dreams a reality.

Qualifying for a mortgage is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be under Dale Siegel’s guidance.  After all, who’s better to give instructions than the president of her own mortgage company?  It’s important to highlight that Dale truly tries to provide readers knowledge about mortgages and doesn’t use her book as a sounding board for her company.  The book is like a secret weapon for first time home-buyers who dare tip-toe past enemy landmines.  The enemy is the industry which has adeptly blown off many appendages via exotic liar loans and oh-too-high fees.