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Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money [Kindle Edition]

Alexa Von Tobel
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $10.00 (50%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Finally, a financial plan that lets you be YOU, only richer.
It’s time to throw away all your old notions of what financial advice should look like. Because if you’re looking for a book to put you on an austerity savings plan that has you giving up vacations and lattes, you’re out of luck.  But if you’re looking to get your finances in rock-hard shape  - in less time than it takes to finish a workout – then Alexa von Tobel, Founder and CEO of LearnVest, has your back.

How? Through the LearnVest Program. First, you’ll take stock of where you stand today. Then, you’ll create your customized 50/20/30 plan.  50/20/30 simply refers to the percentage breakdown of how to spend your take-home pay each month. The 50 gets the essentials out of the way so you don't have to stress about them. The 20 sets your foundation for the future, then the 30 is left to spend on the things that bring happiness to your life.

By the time you’re finished reading this book, you’ll walk away with a financial game plan tailored to your priorities, your hopes and dreams, and your lifestyle. And, because von Tobel and the team at LearnVest are experts at financial planning in the online era, you’ll also learn how to integrate your financial plan into your mobile, social, digital life.  Like your own personal financial planner between two covers, this book will set you up for a secure, worry-free money future, without having to give up things you love.

So toss those old-school financial guides out the window, and get ready to start living your richest life.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Q&A with Alexa Von Tobel

Q. Why is talking openly about money so important to you?

A. There’s so much we can learn from one another! Think about everything you share with friends and family when it comes to other kinds of advice. We have no problem talking about relationships or career or health, but money is such a taboo.

When I was graduating from college, headed to a job on Wall Street, I realized there was so much more I wanted (and needed) to learn about personal finance. Once I opened up about this to friends, I found that we were all in the same boat. There’s something very reassuring and motivating about the fact that we’re all in this together. With Financially Fearless, I’m excited to blow the lid off this money taboo and start a real dialogue.

Q. In addition to running Learnvest you are also a Certified Financial Planner yourself. What financial topics do people ask you about the most?

A. I think the root of the questions I receive boil down to this: If I have an extra dollar, where should it go? How do I prioritize my next dollar with so many competing goals? How do I maximize my money?

Our wallets are pulled in countless different directions, so I believe it’s important to have a financial plan in place.

Q. How does your approach differ from that of other financial planners?

A. Money can be so complicated and full of unnecessary jargon. My approach centers on making all of this information accessible and consumable. Financially Fearless is an opportunity to learn the basics, but more importantly, to start figuring out how to take action in your life.

Q. You talk in the book about how a full 30% of your income should go to lifestyle and how you choose to spend it is up to you - how do you like to spend your 30%?

A. Yes, I’m a big believer in the 50/20/30 budgeting method. Once you’ve taken care of your Essentials (50% of your take-home pay) and your Future (20% of your take-home pay), the remaining 30% is yours to enjoy. Personally, the things that I value highly include gifts for others, travel, exercise—and fresh flowers (which are relatively inexpensive given the happiness they provide me!).

Q. How can people envision a better retirement?

A. Retirement goals can be daunting for many people. But instead of being paralyzed by that number, you need to set a plan into motion so you can chip away at the goal and start funneling savings into retirement accounts asap.

One of the exercises in Financially Fearless involves envisioning yourself at age 65+. Imagining the day-to-day life you want for yourself in your retirement years helps you recognize that the money you’re depriving yourself of today can have a big impact down the line.

Q. What encouragement would you give to someone starting to pay off their debt and feeling overwhelmed?

A. Take it one day at a time! I always say there are two things in life incredibly easy to gain and hard to lose: extra weight and credit card debt. As with all goals, break it down into smaller steps. The first step I recommend is putting a freeze on your credit card spending. Once you’ve hit pause on additional debt accruing, you can focus on getting your existing debt down to zero.

Q. Living in a big city like New York or San Francisco can get really expensive. How can people living in expensive cities still stay on budget?

A. Living in an expensive city can be a challenge, but it’s all the more important to stay on budget when that’s the case. Typically, housing costs are the biggest drains on budgets in expensive cities (as a New Yorker, I understand this 100%), so it’s important to minimize that cost as much as possible.

Analyze your current spending and then see what adjustments you can make. Track every dollar you spend to hold yourself accountable.

Q. The story of how you founded Learnvest is like a dream come true for many young entrepreneurs. Was it always your dream?

A. Entrepreneurship is in my blood—I come from a family of them. As soon as I realized what an entrepreneur was, it seemed like the perfect place to channel all of my energy!

My idea for LearnVest perfectly merged my desires to grow a business and to make a positive impact in the world. LearnVest was such a big dream that I dropped out of Harvard Business School in the heart of the recession to pursue it full-time.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?

A. When everyone zigs, zag. Leaving business school during the recession may have been a crazy move, but turning away from the tide can have big pay-offs. It can be OK to take risks (with a business plan and a strategy in hand!)—you just have to make sure that it’s a calculated risk.

Q. Who is your financial inspiration?

A. Through LearnVest, I’ve encountered so many mentors with inspiring financial stories. Personally, the most valuable advice I’ve encountered is to invest my time in getting the big financial decisions, like proper insurance and a good investment strategy, right—not to spend my hours obsessing over ways to cut small costs. Curveballs will come. It’s essential to make sure you’re doing as much as possible to protect yourself.


“Financial planning just got more accessible.” — Wall Street Journal

“Personal finance guru Suze Orman has some competition -- and it comes in the petite, tech-savvy package of von Tobel.” - Fortune

"Geared to help the financially complacent and those who need a push to face their finances...[Financially Fearless] delivers sound suggestions in an easy-to-digest package."
-Success Magazine

"Controlling your personal finances means controlling your destiny -- and being able to build your own entrepreneurial life. In Financially Fearless, Von Tobel shows you how to get the books of your own financial life in order - so you can live boldly, autonomously, entrepreneurially”
- Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn and author of The Start-up of You
"Von Tobel believes that financial planning shouldn't a luxury. She has the ability to share spot-on advice with people across the country and give everyone the ability to join the movement."
-Tony Hsieh, NY Times bestselling author of "delivering Happiness" and CEO of, Inc.

"If you’re the type of person who’d never be caught dead buying a book on personal finance, pick this up right now. As fearless as the name suggests, von Tobel is a fresh face of a new generation.
- Cathie Black, Former Chairman of Hearst Magazines

"Von Tobel's mission to help Americans become Financially Fearless is so important. She's so on point with the information and empowerment people need where their finances are concerned."
-Nate Berkus, author of Home Rules
"What I love about this book is how von Tobel guides you, clearly and honestly, to improve your finances while still living your richest, most satisfying life. Getting in financial shape doesn’t have to be painful—Financially Fearless proves that, once and for all."
-Gail Simmons, author of Talking With My Mouth Full

"Financially Fearless is incredibly readable, and more importantly, actionable. Von Tobel is a refreshing and genuine financial guru.”
- Cynthia Rowley

Product Details

  • File Size: 5588 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (December 31, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,375 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get the audio book February 24, 2014
By julia
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the content of this book and will be purchasing the hard cover version. I was excited to listen to it in the car but it just didnt work. There are many worksheets, tables, etc. that you want in front of you. They are also a little bit cumbersome to hear them read outloud, lots of repeated sentences, as an example, because the first example in the worksheet is similar to the second. I don't fault the content of the book for this but food for thought before ordering it on cd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed May 15, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really didn't learn anything new, and felt like the budgeting advice was too simplistic. To wit, the author doesn't include "clothing" as an essential in her 50/30/20 formula. She also puts an arbitrary percentage allocation on food with no consideration of family size. The product description should note that this book is targeted at single 20-somethings, about the only demographic for which this book is appropriate.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Economically speaking, the nation (and world for that matter) is in uncharted waters. The old plans and investments no longer work. This is a smart book. It cuts straight to the "no-nonsense" zone and tells it like it is. You don't need to be a banker or economist to follow the trail the author has cleared through the jungle. Sound advice and logic for all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Financial Advice . . . March 21, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good book to give to children 18-25 years old to learn about budgeting and managing their finances and future planning!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New, But Good Guidelines January 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't find anything in this book particularly earth-shattering. I find more useful information on Alexa' s LearnVest website. Not a waste of money, but this material is pretty standard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic guide--must have for college grads! June 13, 2014
As a recent college graduate who needed some extra guidance when it comes to money, I was thrilled to receive Financially Fearless as a graduation gift. The book is a completely comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about money, from setting a budget to saving for retirement. Highlights include the 50/20/30 rule and an awesome section on easy tips to cut basic costs (Think "Eat This, Not That," for your money). von Tobel's tips made me feel like I could take charge of my finances and have a smart start prior to entering the job force.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Privacy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is an OK book and is particularly well suited for a college-leaver. Not rocket science, and a little light in some sections, and pushes rather hard on the website you can use (for a fee…), but it was well-organized, reasonably comprehensive, with a lot of practical tips, and like a said a fast read. The only problem bringing it down from a 3 start to a 2 star -- it has a fair number of tables, charts and graphs which exceeded the page width on the reader -- rendering this book basically unuseable in e-format.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought three copies March 10, 2014
By RoseAnn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had heard a lot about and decided to check out Financially Fearless to see what all the fuss was about. I was impressed with the 50/30/20 strategy and all of the detail included in how to implement this strategy. I thought the last section on combining finances (or not) upon marriage/partnership was excellent. I purchased copies for my two adult daughters and my new daughter-in-law. They are all in various financial stages in their lives and would benefit greatly from the advice Ms. von Tobel promotes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it !!!
Super helpful tips , a modern take on finances
Published 14 hours ago by Erin Sanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as described
Published 12 days ago by Daniel M.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
I loved every page of this book. It's part personal story telling, part workbook, and part financial advice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ashley A Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for someone that knows nothing about finances
I give this book five stars based upon someone in my position. I am a young man that was wondering how to handle finances and was going to use this as a primer for my personal... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fabian Elumogo Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Women Trying to Figure out Personal Finance
This book is an excellent personal finance guide. I like this book because it answers a ton of questions that are hard to get answered, and it give you concrete steps to make sure... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A.M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Actionable
Good and actionable advice. It is more of a way to make a holistic and systematic approach to money than the holy grail of how to become rich. Very quick and useful read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Padu
5.0 out of 5 stars great book with helpful tools!
This book was an easy read, but challenged me to look at my finances in a realistic way. I've since implanted the 50/20/30 budget and plugged all of my accounts and goals into the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by H. M. Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
This books is fantastic. It is loaded with practical and easy to understand advice. Having just retired from teaching I wanted something that would help me with retirement and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bonnie Kerr
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Personal Finance Tool
This is one of the best personal finance workbooks I've ever used! Alexa gives you straight-to-the-point advice with no b.s or sugar coating. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jessi Fearon
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for financial beginners
I am not very talented when it comes to managing money. I had just started using the LearnVest website to try to improve my skills and noticed that some articles were drawn from... Read more
Published 4 months ago by CFB
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