Charles Farrell of “Your Money Ratios” Speaks! Part I

Charles Farrell

As I wrote in my review of “Your Money Ratios”, Charles’ book sings to me. Charles has the ability to simplify complicated financial topics for the average reader to understand. His book is seriously one of the best books I’ve read on personal finance in a long while.

One of the keys to progress is learning from experts in their various fields.  Charles is gracious enough to answer some follow up questions I’ve been burning to ask after reading his book.  This will be a two part post due to the 2,800 word length of the interview.  In part I, we discover Charles’ motivation for writing his book, strategies for early retirement, and his conservative and debatable 50%/50% investment split between stocks and bonds.  In part II, we discuss the much maligned 401K, personal income taxes, why Social Security will survive, and why the flat tax is the right way to go!  Please enjoy!

WRITING “YOUR MONEY RATIOS”

Question: Was there a particular lightning bolt reason why you decided to write this book? For aspiring authors, what suggestions do you have to get your worked published in this ultra competitive field of business?

Answer: I wanted to write a book that would help average readers understand the most fundamental and critical relationships among one’s income, capital and debt, and how those things must be managed throughout your working career to build financial independence. So I took what are often quite complicated topics and figured out a way to present them in a very simple format that anyone can follow. I would like more people to enjoy the benefits of financial independence, and I hope this book does that.

As far as writing, all I can say is write about what you believe in. Hopefully, if you believe in it strongly enough, you’ll develop some expertise and then seek out ways to spread your ideas. Try to develop some niche that is reflective of your expertise. So I developed the ratios and they came out of my background in tax, finance and also working with individuals.

Think about what you do that is a little different and try to focus on that unique nature of what you do. It is a tough slog because the field is very crowded and often the least valuable information gets the most press. But you have to accept that reality and still push ahead. And then you need a little luck. Your message has to somehow get into the hands of people who appreciate and understand it. And that is hard to predict, which means you need a little luck to get it out there. So if you are going to pursue that path, I think you need to accept those realities of the marketplace.

EARLY RETIREMENT

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.