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The Family CFO: The Couple's Business Plan for Love and Money Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 17, 2004


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 17, 2004
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (January 17, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1579547915
  • ASIN: B001G8W9PE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starting with the surprising but sensible idea that households should operate like corporations, certified financial planner Allvine and journalist Larson provide simple and fast rules for couples to effectively merge and manage their assets and liabilities. Although money is often "a taboo topic in a culture where sex, family trauma and health problems are anatomized over lunch," the authors say, people need to take active roles in planning their fiscal futures. Only then can they "avoid arguments and anxiety and achieve not just their financial goals but their life goals together." Using plenty of anecdotes and language that is accessible to readers who don't have a background in economics, Allvine and Larson outline a handful of business concepts that can also be incorporated into everyday domestic partnerships. For example, just as companies convene boards of directors to set forth organizational objectives, couples can act as directors of their own boards to "identify and prioritize their short- and long-term goals." Just as companies employ cash and investment managers to oversee their books, couples should act as accountants, generating and updating regular reports on their personal cash flow and net worth. Allvine and Larson's discussion gets complicated, however, when they present financial worksheets-such as "The Family CFO Home Buying Worksheet," and "The Family CFO Kids' Cost Worksheet"-which they say readers should use to help them crunch numbers. Though necessary, these templates will do little for people with innate aversions to money matters and might, therefore, limit this practical book's overall appeal.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

If it's not sex, it's money, the root cause of so many familybreakups and divorces. This well-reasoned personal-finance guideoffers help in harmonizing love and money. Allvine and Larson outlinethe more methodological process, a five-step decision matrix thatcouples use together. It's all couched in the metaphor of the CFO(chief financial officer), with one spouse acting as the cash managerand the other as investment manager. They advise structuring thefamily's money as a business would, reviewing goals, isolatingdecisions, and brainstorming, then forecasting cash flow and networth--and applying this to everything from buying a home to affordingthe cost of a child (up to $338,000 over 17 years). Even better, thetips and hints come from the authors' hearts: both Mary Claire ("Memofrom Mary") and Christine ("Reality Check from Christine") add theirpersonal stories in sidebars and in the narrative. ((ReviewedJanuary 1 & 15, 2004))Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This book is great in the approach to the discussion and division of tasks.
bworley
Use money as a tool to help you define your long-term vision and set goals, bringing you closer as partners and moving your relationship forward.
Vannie Ryanes
By the way, much of the information in the book would be helpful to anyone managing personal finances, single as well as married.
Carla Czyzewski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My husband and I fight about money a lot, and I've looked at a lot of these books. I've never seen one with such practical solutions as this, and I think it's really going to help us. The business metaphor is fun and really useful, too. And the authors have a great sense of humor.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carla Czyzewski on January 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This well-written book provides a clear and logical framework for couples to discuss finances and money management without so much of the emotion that often accompanies this subject. Probably every couple will find an example in the book to whom they can relate. And Allvine and Larson give us the tools (the spreadsheets) needed to put their advice into action. Those who want to explore a given topic, such as retirement planning or investing, will want to turn to additional sources, but everything you need to build a foundation of good financial planning and management is here. Perhaps the best feature of the book is the way it's written; the authors present their information in way that's easy for the financial lay person to understand without talking down to their readers. This would be a great gift for any couple just starting out, yet it's equally helpful for couples, such as my husband and me, who have been married several years and haven't really nailed money management. By the way, much of the information in the book would be helpful to anyone managing personal finances, single as well as married. Whether you want to get started on the right foot or undo poor money management habits, this book is a helpful guide.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vannie Ryanes on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The concept of THE FAMILY CFO: THE COUPLE'S BUSINESS PLAN FOR LOVE AND MONEY is that couples can and should run the financial side of their homes like a business. Two good friends collaborated and wrote THE FAMILY CFO. One is a certified financial planner and a principal in a large financial planning firm, the other is a journalist whose articles have appeared in Forbes magazine, Wall Street Journal and other publications.

One of the first things THE FAMILY CFO authors do is to help couples get past the idea of not talking and sharing personal information about money. Allvine and Larson show couples that co-mingling, managing and talking about their money together is indeed necessary. They talked to real couples about their very real financial problems. As it says in the introduction -

After reading this book, you and your partner will know how to:

**Make effective financial decisions together without tension or arguments.

**Reduce the time it takes to run your finances.

**Use money as a tool to help you define your long-term vision and set goals, bringing you closer as partners and moving your relationship forward.

The charts, worksheets, resources and retirement information in THE FAMILY CFO is invaluable. If you know a couple getting married be sure to give them a copy of this book along with that bottle of good wine.

I grew up in a home where my mother never knew how much money my father made. She received a weekly allowance to run the house. When I was married the whole of it was about finance. We never had enough money and we were bogged down in debt. We pulled in opposite directions and never resolved anything. I wish THE FAMILY CFO: THE COUPLE'S BUSINESS PLAN FOR LOVE AND MONEY had been available then.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm always a bit skeptical about "how-to" books, especially those about relationships and money. This one, however, is really helping us out. It has taken some of the stress out of talking about money. Instead of having these "discussions"(a.k.a arguments) only after I decide to buy a new guitar, we have them during our board meetings...a much more relaxed environment.
I just can't believe nobody thought of this concept before.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trace Moriarty on December 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The target audience for this book is probably the business person who is not currently in the best habits of discussing money at home. The CFO metaphor goes a little far for my taste. While cute, and a great place to start conversation, the authors stretch the metaphor too far. They use a lot of language about business finance that may not be familiar, or comfortable, for the average household. While its advice is sound, and the book's "heart" is in the right place, I found the language and metaphor a little difficult to digest. David Bach's "Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner" has a very similar approach, but I found used layman's terms to better effect to make a discussion of finance less scary for a household.
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