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Not your parents' money management book
on March 23, 2009
First, here's what this book is not: It's not your parents' money management and investing book, although as a parent I wish I had done in my twenties what Ramit Sethi tells the twenty-somethings they should be doing right now.
Ramit starts with the premise that most people are so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of financial information available that they just shut down and do nothing. So Ramit tells you exactly what to do with your money and why. Want to know whether it's smarter to pay extra on your student loans or put that money into your 401(k) instead? Ramit will tell you. Want to know some specific financial companies that offer the low-cost index funds you should invest in through your Roth IRA? Ramit will tell you. Do you not even know what the heck an index fund is? Ramit will tell you!
Ramit also tells the truth about brown bagging your lunch and curbing your latte habit; and the truth is that these actions on their own are virtually pointless. Instead, you should go after the big wins, like getting the lowest interest rate and the best price on your next car because you have impeccable credit and negotiated "like an Indian" (negotiation scripts included).
Ramit maps out exactly how to get from where you are now to where you want to be financially, including how to create a personal money management system that practically manages itself. Ramit's system starts with a no-fee checking account and an online high-interest savings account. (He even tells you which online bank he uses.) He then walks you through setting up automatic bill payments and regularly scheduled transfers to your investment accounts. Throughout, he includes easy-to-understand charts, as well as short pieces by other personal finance bloggers.
I wish I could quote some of the passages that I found especially useful or entertaining--Ramit writes with an appealing, if oddball, humor--but I have already mailed my copy of the book to my 24-year-old son, who called me last night to tell me it never would've occurred to him to ask his bank to waive an overdraft fee. (That gem is in chapter 2, I think.)
Thank you, Ramit! I hope this enthusiastic review by an "old person" will not stop the young people from buying your book!