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The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life Paperback – April 11, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity, by financial advisor and Buddhist teacher George Kinder, presents a totally original look at the ins and outs of individual economics. Drawing on timeless spiritual wisdom in addition to modern fiscal doctrine, Kinder deftly combines the philosophical and the practical to help readers broaden their understanding of the overall role that money plays in life from childhood onward--and, more importantly, put themselves on firmer footing with it today.
Most financial advisors and books about money approach finance as if it were simply a skill to learn, the same sort of thing as hitting a fastball or speaking French like a diplomat. Money maturity does include skills, such as understanding investment options and using a budget effectively, but it goes much deeper, to the feelings, the heart, and, yes, the soul.
By following three composite characters throughout the book and examining their experiences through the prisms of his own background and development, Kinder explains how to evolve naturally through these seven specific states (innocence, pain, knowledge, understanding, vigor, vision, and aloha) to achieve both financial and personal security. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Compared to other personal finance books that offer specific financial steps and planning strategies, this book focuses on the search for spiritual meaning in wealth. Kinder, a certified financial planner and former tax accountant, focuses on three composite figures, based on real people, to illustrate the seven psychological stages people go through in their relationship to money: Innocence (not knowing anything), Pain (discovering that we need to work to earn money), Knowledge (of such skills as saving and investing), Understanding (more sophisticated emotional wisdom about greed and inequality), Vigor (energy to reach financial goals), Vision (directing vigor outward, perhaps to a community) and Aloha (altruism without expectation of gain of any kind). Kinder provides useful questionnaires in which he urges readers to reflect on various questions: What are your three earliest memories of money? Why and how did money first enter your relationship with your mother, your father? While readers comfortable with spiritual self-exploration may enjoy Kinders approach, they will still have to turn to more traditional personal finance books for nitty-gritty money advice.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (April 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508335
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In January 2002 my wife and I hit rock bottom financially. We owed nearly $45,000 in credit card debt alone, another $20,000 in student loans, and another $30,000 or so in car loans, personal loans, etc. We rented a ramshackle house and had no savings or investments whatsoever. And yet I found it impossible to pass up a bookstore without a new book in hand or the latest CD. I had read a number of books about personal finance, but I understood that there was something deeper that I was looking for. Something that would help me to understand the psychology of money, to understand why I made the choices that I made.

Fortunately, I came across an ad for George Kinder's book in Harvard Magazine in 2002. As a Christian I can understand that some might be put off by Kinder's infusion of Buddhist philosophy throughout the book. I studied East Asian studies in college, so I wasn't that bothered by it. In fact, I think Kinder's metaphor of the seven chakras, or energy centers, correlated perfectly with the seven stages of money maturity.

The main problem with most popular approaches to teaching personal finance is that they start at level four or five. But you haven't addressed the fundamental issues of levels one through three. This gap helps explain why the average American household has a negative net worth. We are doping ourselves at the mall with our credit cards!

Four years after reading the Seven Stages we have paid off all of that old debt (no bankruptcy!), own our own home, and are closing in on six figures liquid net worth. Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad helped me to realize that The Matrix had me in its grasp; Kinder helped me see the code.
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Format: Hardcover
As an investment advisor for the last twelve years serving the needs of clients with assets ranging from $50,000 to $50 million, I have been most struck by the similarities among my clients rather than the differences. The 7 stages have helped me deal with money issues that are shared by all of us. These include: guilt around having too much money, not being able to save money or spend money, worrying too much about money, being too carefree about money, feeling that money corrupts, thinking that earning money must be a struggle. This book relates stories and practical techniques that have helped me and my clients become more at ease around these money issues. As I and my clients have worked through these money obstacles, our business, work, and family lives have improved, and our self-esteem has increased. Money is the most difficult issue to address--more so than sex. This book provides the tools and the inspiration to help all of us delve into the issue that brings up so much emotion. We spend so much time on money (making it, worrying about it, spending it), and so little time using it for personal growth and transformation. We marry without having the necessary money communication skills to deal with our spouse--yet money is the number one cause of divorce. We all need to get more comfortable talking about money, discovering what we value and why, and shedding old or disabling beliefs about money.
This is the perfect book for anyone who earns money, spends money, or thinks he or she would be happier with more money.
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Format: Paperback
My experience of George Kinder's breakthrough book, The Seven Stages of Money Maturity, has been life changing. As a financial planner I was first drawn to reading it out of professional curiosity and to learn something about the emerging "Life Planning" movement within financial services. What I discovered was the most comprehensive understanding about how our relationship with money forms, and what throws us out of balance with money, that I had encountered. As the book progresses through the Seven Stages, what emerges is a clear and specific model that leads one out of confusion, fear, distortion, or insecurity about money and personal resources. The process progresses towards a healthy, vigorous state that supports appropriate choices and strategies that allow one to financially organize the life that is genuine and congruent with whom an individual is, the values that matter, and the activities one wants to be engaged with. There are numerous case histories that illustrate the unfolding stages, including the obstacles that had to be addressed and the layers of change that occurred.
One of the outcomes from the study of the Seven Stages is that I now have a much more expanded vocabulary and conceptual framework for describing and communicating with myself and with clients about subtle issues concerning money. Money and finances are tough subjects for many people to talk about - there are still many taboos in our culture about open and frank discussions of money. As my clients read The Seven Stages of Money Maturity and begin working through some of the basic exercises Kinder has designed, a new capacity for clear and direct conversations emerges. I watch as embarrassment, denial, and anxiety lessen, while enthusiasm, engagement, and exploration increase.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never read such a profound book of knowledge, heart and the expression of the process of financial planning as the book "The Seven Stages Of Money Maturity" by George Kinder. It is a must, if you desire to understand the power of money dynamics in your life and your family's lives. Even as a financial planner of 17 years, I read this book in two days. I could not put it down until I had finished it. Kinder's ability to weave the sensitivity of people and their feelings with the processes of financial planning has created a great primer for the uninitiated as well as the professional.
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