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Street Smart Tips for Main Street
Content from author Jonathan Clements
2. To make it easier to amass enough for retirement, aim to start saving no later than age 30
3. Make it a point to sock away tax refunds, year-end bonuses, overtime pay, and any other extra money you receive
4. Mentally divide your portfolio into growth money and safe money – and expect a rough ride from the former and comfort from the latter
5. The harder you try to beat the market, the more likely you are to fail, thanks to the investment costs involved.
6. By building a portfolio that is unlikely to suffer big short-term losses, you should improve your long-run investment compounding.
7. Unless your health is poor, plan on a retirement that lasts until age 90 – and maybe longer.
8. Resist following the crowd, whether it’s chasing hot performers in bull markets or shunning stocks during market declines.
9. Before purchasing a house, make sure you will stay put for at least five years and preferably longer.
10. If you’re a conservative investor inclined to buy bonds, consider making extra principal payments on your mortgage instead.
21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money
Content from author Jonathan Clements
1. Our finances are bigger than a brokerage account
2. We can’t have it all
3. Money can buy happiness – if we spend it carefully
4. Even the best investors need to be great savers
5. Time is as valuable as money
6. No investment is risk-free
7. Portfolio performance – it’s all in the mix
8. Stocks are worth SOMETHING
9. To add wealth, we need to overcome the subtractions
10. Aiming for average is the only sure way to win
11. Wild investments can tame our portfolios
12. Short-term results matter to long-term investors
13. A long life is a big risk
14. Markets may be rational, but we aren’t
15. Our homes are a fine investment that won’t appreciate much
16. Paying off debts could be our best bond investment
17. Saving taxes can cost us dearly
18. A tax deferred is extra money made
19. Insurance won’t make us any money – if we’re lucky
20. Even if we have a will, we may not get our way
21. Financial success: it’s about more than money
"’The Little Book of Main Street Money’ is aptly named. . . it's unintimidating to all but the most hopeless finance-phobics. The book is also written in spare and concise language. . . Clements's sure-footed advice on fundamentals is comforting after last year's meltdown. When he strays toward more opinionated views, he's even better: Investing in your house will historically offer you a lackluster 4.7% annual return. Or, to those buying insurance as an investment. . . Best of all, Clements isn't only a sound financial planner, but something of an armchair shrink. Beating the market isn't what it's all about. It's more about meeting your personal goals and achieving peace of mind: ‘We should strive to ensure money is enhancing our lives, rather than getting in the way.’" (SmartMoney.com)
“The Little Book of Main Street Money . . does a brilliant job of navigating us through the post financial crash landscape. . . offers investors some tried-and-true, timeless advice, such as keeping investing simple and uncluttered by emotion. . . but what I love best about this book is the exploration of the relationship between money and happiness. Clements notes, in spite of the U.S. standard of living skyrocketing over the past few decades, that quantitative research indicates Americans are no happier than when we were less economically well off. . . Clements goes beyond the accumulation of money and essentially tells us how to convert the stored energy from our portfolio into happiness.” (CBS Moneywatch.com)
"This small book . . . packs a good dose of practical financial advice to help you weather this brutal economy and work toward building wealth. Clements . . . advice goes beyond simple money management and offers tips for living a more fulfilled life. The book's nuggets of valuable information include 'We can't have it all,' 'Our Finances Are Bigger than a Brokerage Account,' 'Time Is as Valuable as Money' and 'Markets May Be Rational, but We Aren't' . . . The take-away from this book is that money is tied up in all aspects of our lives, and we should give appropriate attention to managing it wisely." (WalletPop)
"Because it is a "Little Book," each chapter is short. The entire book can almost be read in one sitting (unless you’re a slow reader like I am). The concepts in the book aren’t new but have clearly been ignored by lots of people as you can tell by watching the news or reading the newspaper. It’s time to get back to the basics and that is what Jonathan’s book is all about." (AllFinancialMatters)
"The Little Book of Main Street Money is far and away the best of the "Little Books" series. The advice is truly approachable and actually useful, particularly for people who are in reasonably good financial shape and have a lot of years left ahead of them. . . it just provides - in Clements' approachable writing tone - excellent basic advice and principles to follow. This advice is timeless and forms the foundation of whatever personal finance strategy you might choose to follow - this book is a great starter." (The Simple Dollar)
I recommend it highly to anyone who needs a basic finance guide, or those who want a refresher course.
I am giving copies of this book as gifts to people I care about, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to get ahead financially and otherwise.
If you were a fan of Jonathan Clements' personal finance columns at The Wall Street Journal, you'll love this book.
One of 3 "little books" that make up my investing library.
Would also recommend The Little Book of Safe Money by Zweig and The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing by... Read more
Not many surprises if you read Jonathan's article every week (I do - you should). But, great stuff regardless. Keep it simple and avoid common mistakes like Jonathan suggests. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric
I have about 6 in the series. I am a huge fan of Clements, Bogle and Buffet. You can enjoy this book in one day. I always re-read and highlight my favorite parts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anthony Kosobud
So much of personal finance is common sense, but sometimes it helps to have a knowledgeable reminder from someone who has really developed a great perspective over the years. Read morePublished 5 months ago by R. M. Mayhew
This is the best book I have read about managing your money. I would recommend this book to everyone and especially for young people just starting out. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book provides excellent advice without the pretension and wordiness of other personal finance books. I am a finance professor and used it as a supplement in an MBA elective. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Seminole95
Maybe it was the foreword by Bernstein that inflated my expectations, or the fact that Clements has years of experience in the personal finance field, but I have to admit I was not... Read morePublished on May 27, 2011 by Karl B
This is a great review of all the basic investment knowledge that the average person needs to know. He does a great job discussing the basics for the average Joe.Published on February 19, 2011 by Benjamin M. Collins
I like this book. It is a quick read and it hits on many (21 to be precise) important aspects of achieving financial success. Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Bob