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The Motley Fool Personal Finance Workbook: A Foolproof Guide to Organizing Your Cash and Building Wealth Paperback – January 2, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest volume by investment gurus and Motley Fool founders David and Tom Gardner veers away from stocks and speculation into the much more pedestrian subject of money management. Well known for their humor as well as for their financial savvy, the Gardner brothers keep the rough ground of money basics lively. (We know it's boring, the authors say; "that's why we've hidden crisp five-dollar bills throughout the pages.") The dreariest of money matters-budgets, debt, insurance and taxes-are addressed in reassuring prose, illustrated with charts and further detailed with checklists and goal graphs. Even reluctant readers will be coaxed to face financial realities through the Gardners' encouragement and the helpful worksheets. Readers won't find dazzling new insights on how to hire a financial planner or buy big-ticket items, but they will find very friendly advisors who crack jokes as they dispense wisdom. The substance here is well-tread ground, as it should be, but the style is straight from the Fool's funny bone.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Tom and David Gardner cofounded The Motley Fool, a multi-media financial education company, in 1993. Since then they have co-authored four New York Times bestsellers, including The Motley Fool Investment Guide and The Motley Fool's Rule Breakers, Rule Makers.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (January 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743229975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743229975
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Cory C. P. Butzon on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has been a great step-by-step guide to getting financially organized. It's geared to average working-class folks, not aspiring accountants and brokers. The author's humorous approach makes the material accessible and interesting!
The book begins with steps to determine where your money goes, then works through ways to eliminate debt, plan for emergencies, and invest money for various purposes: retirement, college, and other large expenses. The book also includes advice for buying insurance and completing your taxes.
The book is a beginner's guide, not an exaustive reference -- so don't expect to find all the information you need if you want to invest in individual stocks or understand each line of your tax return. Rather, it gives clear advice to new investors through commonsense arguments that require almost no background information.
Only two minor complaints: First, health insurance is not discussed. Some advice on such an important kind of insurance would have been very helpful to me. Second, the authors repeatedly advertise their website.
(To their credit, the website Fool.com is a pretty good resource. You might want to try it before you get the book or even instead of the book. It has free trial membership as of this writing.)
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gadget Girl VINE VOICE on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book about a year after college, when I wanted to come up with a plan to get rid of some credit card debt and begin saving money. This guide is fun and interesting, yet informative. It guides you step-by-step through good personal finance habits, and allows you to prioritize what goals you have for the future. The most insightful to me was when it asks you to name the things you spend that LEAST contribute to your happiness and MOST contribute to your happiness. I.E. - it's not wasteful if the spending improves your quality of life - versus you're just spending to spend! The workbook section asks you to guess how much you spend on things each month and then actually track your spending for 6 months to help you develop a realistic budget & see how you did. It's definitely a wake-up call to people like me, who seemed to piddle their money away without realizing exactly where it's going. This exercise helps you find the answer to that question!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Cory C. P. Butzon on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book has been a great step-by-step guide to getting financially organized. It's geared to average working-class folks, not aspiring accountants and brokers. The author's humorous approach makes the material accessible and interesting!
The book begins with steps to determine where your money goes, then works through ways to eliminate debt, plan for emergencies, and invest money for various purposes: retirement, college, and other large expenses. The book also includes advice for buying insurance and completing your taxes.
The book is a beginner's guide, not an exaustive reference -- so don't expect to find all the information you need if you want to invest in individual stocks or understand each line of your tax return. Rather, it gives clear advice to new investors through commonsense arguments that require almost no background information.
Only two complaints: First, health insurance is not discussed. Some advice on such an important kind of insurance would have been very helpful to me. Second, the authors repeatedly advertise their website. (To their credit, the website ...is a pretty good resource. You might want to try it before you get the book or even instead of the book. It has free trial membership as of this writing.)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Lange on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
David and Tom Gardner have once again succeeded at making something difficult seem easy. As an estate planner, I know that many people avoid financial matters out of fear . . . fear that they're not smart enough to understand them. The Personal Finance Workbook puts valuable financial planning information at your fingertips and the forms to keep track of your finances are right in the book. If you are just starting out after college, or a Baby Boomer beginning to think about retirement, or someone retired, this workbook will be immediately useful. On a more personal level, as a dad, I am glad that a personal finance book like The Workbook exists. Young people who take early action on managing their finances and developing good savings habits will be infinitely better off in the long run.

James Lange, CPA/Attorney and author of Retire Secure! Pay Taxes Later: The Key to Making Your Money Last as Long as You Do
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Zanfardino on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought 3 copies of this workbook - one for each of my kids. I love that it provides the basics for them to learn budgeting, etc. and how to support themselves!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MJ Brodeck on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Terrific workbook...great to buy along with their other book, "You Have More Money Than You Think". Can't go wrong with these guys.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great work book that makes you think as well as work. If a person with out of control finances will take the time to diligently follow the steps, I believe this book will be very helpful to them. Understanding is always the key to fixing a problem. Highly recommended!
- Aimee Elizabeth, Author of How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire.
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By Rickinbrooklyn on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll have to order another one as I gave it to someone as a gift. The gift recipient is a mom & dad working, w/ kids and trying to get one into college, and one into the market as an EMT; plus wondering about their retirement funds (Roth IRAs or not, etc.) . It is a great little compilation of things from A-Z.
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