on August 6, 2009
SMART MONEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL MAGAZINE
has an addictive column, "Ten Things They Won't Tell You" . . . it
contains information that most folks don't know--and perhaps
never even think about.
Jonathan Dahl, editor-in-chief of the above magazine, and his
fellow editors have now put together many of these tips into
one book: 1,001 THINGS THEY WON'T TELL YOU (see also
Section 2) . . . to cite the subtitle, it's AN INSIDER'S GUIDE
TO SPENDING, SAVING AND LIVING WISELY.
You'll find useful advice from 100 professionals on health care,
education, finance, automobiles, house and home, insurance,
goods and services, travel, entertainment, pets, food and drink,
and a whole lot more.
However, what convinced me that this was a book that I
could rely on was the fact that it cited Courtney Yelle--a good
friend and one of the most knowledgeable guys I know--as one
of the experts:
* Courtney Yelle was in his Bucks County, Pa., yard raking leaves
when a gleaming pickup truck pulled into his driveway. Yelle says
that a clean-cut workman emerged and told him it looked as if his
driveway needed to be repaved-which Yelle admits, was the case.
But before he would commit, Yelle, former director of Bucks County
Consumer Protection, said he'd need a written estimate along
with the worker's phone number and address. The guy said he'd leave
it in the mailbox, according to Yelle, then backed out of the driveway
and disappeared forever.
Yelle says that the "worker" was a seasoned scam artist who
approaches people's homes offering to do jobs at bargain-basement
prices, often on the premise that he has leftover materials from a
nearby project. In reality, if he does the job at all, he'll do shoddy
work with low-grade materials, says Wendy Weinberg, former
executive director of the National Association of Consumer Agency
Administrators. While it sounds like common sense to be suspicious
of solicitors, clearly these curbside con artists can be convincing: Lisa
Curtis estimates they bilk homeowners out of $20 million per year
in Colorado alone.
Some stuff in the book I already knew, but I nevertheless appreciated
the fact that it was included so I could share with others--such as
* Whether they're candy "honor boxes," wishing wells, or plain old tin
cans, those ubiquitous countertop collection boxes you see around
so many checkouts are often not what they appear. In most cases,
the charities aren't getting all the money people drop into the container;
rather, they're renting out their name to for-profit vendors for a flat fee
or a small percentage of the intake in exchange for posting the charity's
logo. . . .
Most charity watchers agree: Go ahead and toss in your spare change
if you want to, but don't expect it to be doing much for the cause. "If you're
serious about helping the charity," says Daniel Borochoff, "then get out
your checkbook and write them a check."
And, lastly, I appreciated this reminder that I'm amazed so few
folks know about:
* Media Mail service--known as "book rate" until 2001--has been around
for years, but few people use it because it isn't well publicized down
at the local post office. Why not? Because Media Mail is primarily used
by business customers, according to a USPS spokesperson. But anyone
can--and should--use it to mail books, films, printed music, sound
recordings, manuscripts, or computer-readable media including CDs
and DVDs. Just be sure that's all that's in the package: To be shipped
using Media mail rates, a package cannot contain advertising or a letter
to Mom, and the maximum weight is 70 pounds. Indeed, if a postal clerk
is suspicious of a box or envelope's contents, he can open it for inspection.
1,001 THINGS is a book I'll refer to often . . . you will, too, so buy a
copy for yourself and while you're at it, for others you think could
benefit from becoming a more savvy consumer
on June 9, 2009
This is a great resource to have on hand. "1001 Things they won't tell you" share true insider information of one hundred different industries. You will learn something new in every category. The book covers diverse areas such as Wedding Planners, Nursing Homes, Yoga Instructors, Weight Loss Industry, Tax Preparers, Florists, Restaurants and so much more. This is one of the rare books that you can pick up and open at any page and find yourself drawn in immediately. Highly recommended!
on September 14, 2009
This book is really great. It's organized well, with a very definite theme. I like that. And it's readable, even enjoyable, which says something for a book that has many financial parts. You can read a section, put it down, come back, and not feel like you've lost your place.
It's not just one big story. The book is designed to be a collection of vignettes, like "10 Things Your Financial Planner Won't Tell You", and then it goes on to describe key points that are really useful. Some of the sections are actually scary, however. The section, "Ten Things Your Nursing Home Won't Tell You" made my stomach churn a little bit. I guess some things you don't really want to know.
The book is further divided by sections. There's a section on money, education, goods and services, medical expenses, etc. It's very well put-together and a fine read.
on January 4, 2012
This is a compilation from Smart Money magazine by Jonathan Dahl.
Some money saving insights include:
1. There is no necessity to get your dog or cat vaccinated every year unless they are puppies,
2. Many merchandise stated as organic does not fulfill the intended meaning of organic and so we are duped into paying premium for them,
3. What constitute antiques and many of us were ripped off,
4. That your romantic dinner is closely watched
However, many of the sharings are common sense or just not practical because of rigged pricing in our market.
When reading this book, you will find that it was written with the Americans and its market in mind. Jonathan Dahl could have done more research into the practices of other countries or continents to complement these extracts from Smart Money.
In addition, I have reservation on the use of English. I recommend skimming through the pages for facts and web reference.