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Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security [Paperback]

Jean Chatzky
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 13, 2012 1609618602 978-1609618605

A powerfully simple, must-have manifesto on money with more than 90 wealth-building rules from the Today show’s finance guru.

In a time of great financial uncertainty, this is the book everyone must read. The bottom line: Money is simple—people make it complicated. Now, bestselling personal finance author Jean Chatzky has distilled this simplicity into a smart, immediate, and entertaining set of rules that will change readers’ financial lives.

Chatzky removes the stress associated with all things money and says it clearly: Readers who follow these basic yet crucial approaches to spending, saving, investing, increasing their income, and most importantly, protecting what they have, will build the wealth and financial stability they’ve been dreaming of. Chatzky’s advice is reassuring, straightforward, and often counterintuitive, including:

  • "Date your stocks; don’t marry them."
  • " ‘More money’ won’t always make you ‘more happy.’"
  • "To spend less, carry Benjamins, not Jacksons."
  • "If you can’t explain it, don’t invest in it."
  • " ‘Free’ can be very expensive."

Written in her trademark warm, witty voice, and with a special Dos and Don’ts section, Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatzky is the only book readers really need to achieve true financial health and happiness.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Chatzky is the financial editor for NBC’s Today and a columnist for Prevention. She is the author of five books, including the bestsellers Pay It Down and Make Money, Not Excuses. She lives in Westchester, NY.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609618602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609618605
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hope is not an investment strategy." March 26, 2012
Format:Paperback
When it comes to money, do you play it by ear or plan ahead? Jean Chatzky, author of "Money Rules--The Simple Path to Lifelong Security," cites a startling statistic: "50 percent of people will run out of money in retirement." Chatzky, a financial editor and author, would like to insure that senior citizens who have worked all their lives will be comfortable during retirement. In this slender book, the author presents 94 succinct and straightforward rules about making and saving money, avoiding unnecessary debt, spending and investing wisely, and protecting your assets.

This is not a comprehensive manual about IRAs, estate planning, credit card regulations, stocks and bonds, and student loans. Many other works of non-fiction cover these topics. Chatzky's goal is to grab her readers by their lapels and startle them into making wise decisions in order to avoid unnecessary grief down the road. For instance, she urges us: Don't buy things you don't need; stay on top of bills; look for hidden expenses; save as much as possible for the future; shred documents that contain personal information; don't incur unnecessary debt.

"Money Rules" would be useful for individuals (especially the young and naïve) who know little about monetary matters, tend to make rash purchases, and are reluctant to put aside funds for the proverbial rainy day. Chatzky, in a jargon-free, conversational style, warns us to avoid common pitfalls. For example, do not buy life insurance as an investment; "free" can be expensive; rebalance your portfolio periodically; don't lend money to friends and relatives. This handbook would be a good gift for a recent college graduate who is trying to land a job and taste financial independence for the first time. On the other hand, those who have their fiscal houses in order will find Chatzky's advice too elementary to be useful.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had had this book forty years ago! April 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm retired and living on a fixed pension, so at least one section ("Part 1 - Make Money") of this nifty little book doesn't apply to me unless I win the lottery, but I would dearly love to have read it forty years ago when I was out of school and beginning a career. The title is a bit of a double entendre, referring both to rules for making, saving, and keeping money; and how much influence the money we make and save will have on our lives, especially in retirement.

It's a short book, with 94 little nuggets of wisdom that will help most anyone make basic financial decisions. The book has seven sections:

Part 1 - Make Money
Part 2 - Save Money
Part 3 - Avoid (Most) Debt
Part 4 - Spend Wisely
Part 5 - Invest for Tomorrow
Part 6 - Cover Your Assets
Part 7 - Do's and Don'ts

A few of my favorite rules:

#11 - "If you can't see it and you can't touch it, you won't spend it." (On the importance of keeping most of your retirement savings where it's out of sight and not easy to withdraw, like a 401(k).)

#18 - "You will spend more with credit than with debit and more with debit than with cash."

#46 - "The salesperson is not your friend."

#84 - "Banking online makes you smarter and safer."

Most rules have a few words of explanation, although some rules are so self-explanatory that they need no clarification.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer, for while the rules stated within it are true, simple and will go a long way towards financial security, they are not altogether simple for all readers because they operate on some very questionable assumptions. One example is rule number 13 on page 17:
"There is no such thing as chump change. $100 is not a lot of money. Save it every week, however, and invest it in a retirement account where you earn a conservative 6 percent, and keep doing it for 30 years and you'll have $433,557. In 40 years, you'll have more than twice that. And that is a lot of money."
While the conclusions are accurate, for most people the premises are false. To most people $100 a week is a lot of money, far more than they can hope to save each week. Secondly, I just received a bank statement and a CD is earning me 0.55% interest, my savings account is earning even less. To say that 6% is a conservative rate of interest is very unrealistic, even when you are talking about an IRA.
In the modern system of credit card programs, Chatzky's advice to always pay cash out of your emergency fund when an emergency arises is a debatable point. If your credit card pays you 1% or better cash back, it makes more sense to use that credit card and make sure you pay it off with emergency money when it comes due. Your emergency money then earns more interest and the 1% return on the purchase is free money. Chatzky refers to this tactic as a "panic" when it in fact is nothing of the kind.
The overall primary and questionable assumptions that Chatzky makes is that the reader has a steady job with a living wage. It does no good to tell a person skimping on food and occasionally going hungry to save 10% of their income or how to invest for the long haul. An effective tip on how to save money when buying food would do these people more good. However, if you do have a steady job with a decent salary, then nearly all of these tips will be valuable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Accessible
In this book the word “Rules” is a noun not a verb. Chatzky states that there are things just as important or more important than money, (“More money won’t always make you more... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Farrell
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
nothing new here
Published 4 months ago by pugpuppy
5.0 out of 5 stars Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security is a winner!
Quick simple tips that really resonant. Jean was a key note speaker for a retirement seminar in Maryland. Loved her!
Published 6 months ago by Donna W
3.0 out of 5 stars Money Advice to live by
Good advice to live by! Sound guidelines to use to manage your money and establish a good financial basis in todays economy.
Published 7 months ago by T. Kryska
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book.
I've probably read this book 20 times. Anytime I feel like I'm feeling reckless with my money, I bust this book out, make a quick read and get back inline. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Asa
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great money book!
Jean Chatzky is known for her ability to simplify money and this book doesn't disappoint. It's easy to read, practical and packed full of information that you will actually use.
Published 8 months ago by Brooke Sivendra
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Simplistic
I misunderstood the title of this book when I saw it. The book is a compilation of 100 tips or "rules" about money that is supposed to guide you along the path of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ohio Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars simple rules with a powerful impact
This is a great tool for anyone trying to get a handle on the basics of money management. Simple rules with a powerful impact.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Get's to the point
Jean's book is a pretty quick read chalk full of valuable tips that can help get you moving forward in the right direction.
Published 12 months ago by Matt K.
4.0 out of 5 stars You can always afford to learn more about money
Insightful. Many interesting points in this book. I highly recommend it. Brief and to the point, each chapter is bite size but packs a whallop
Published 12 months ago by Genaro
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