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Customer Review

157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real answers to real problems from a financial expert, January 21, 2011
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This review is from: The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy (Hardcover)
I found this to be one of the better personal finance books available at this time. It's written strictly for the new normal, an economy that's badly wounded and not healing quickly.

Weston, unlike Suze Orman and many others, understands that cash strapped, debt-ridden people can't build a large emergency fund and pay off debt and do it all. There has to be a real, workable way to get ones debts and financial life under control.

Her book is based on the realistic, the possible, the doable. When you've finished reading this book, you'll have hope. You can begin to take control of your financial life and dig out.

Now, not all chapters will concern all readers. But there's something here for everyone. Here's what you'll find.

1ST COMMANDMENT - Create a Budget That Works in the Real World
2ND COMMANDMENT - Create a Survival Plan with Cash and Credit
3RD COMMANDMENT - Pay Off Debt the Smart Way
4TH COMMANDMENT - Don't Avoid Risk . . . Embrace It--but Sensibly
5TH COMMANDMENT - Your Home Is Not a Piggy Bank--Preserve Its Equity
6TH COMMANDMENT - Saving for Retirement Must Come First
7TH COMMANDMENT - Get a College Education You Can Afford
8TH COMMANDMENT - Reserve Insurance for the Big Losses
9TH COMMANDMENT - Treat Your Marriage Like a Business
10TH COMMANDMENT - Defend Yourself in the War on Consumers

Many personal finance gurus today are telling readers to call their credit card companies and ask for lower rates. Guess what? BIG MISTAKE.

"Until the credit crunch, the standard advice was to "call your issuer and ask for a lower rate." After all, the worst your issuer could do was say no, right? That tactic often worked before the financial crisis. Once the recession hit, though, some issuers apparently decided that merely asking for a lower rate was a sign the caller was in financial trouble. Instead of considering the requests, these issuers responded to such calls by jacking up people's rates, lowering their credit limits and even closing their accounts."

And what about investing? The author discusses that at length too.

In talking about previous downturns she says, "Others swore off stock market investing, missing the subsequent recovery and a lifetime of potential gains. (Investors who jumped in during the depths of the Depression, 1932- 1939, saw some of the best long-term gains: average annual returns of 12 to 13 percent. Even after inflation, these investors saw a real 9 to 10 percent return on their money.)" She favors a degree of risk over so-called "safety."

When should you borrow money. The author says, "The only time it makes sense to borrow money is when you're buying an asset that stands a chance of gaining value over time."

And what should you know about insurance? She tells us, "Once you understand the nature of insurance, you'll know why it's important to
* keep your deductibles high,
* max out your liability protection,
* drop unnecessary coverage and
* avoid making claims whenever possible."

About homeowner's insurance she says, "Get replacement cost, not actual cash value."

Should you follow Orman's advice and save up a large emergency fund and just pay the minimum on your credit cards? The answer that makes sense to me is in this book. In fact, I immediately put a number of these "commandments" to work and what a great feeling! All of a sudden you can take control of your life in this world of financial sickness that has hit us all so hard.

If you're having a rough go of it and need some realistic help, buy this book. It even tells you when bankruptcy should be considered and when to stop paying bills and what bills to stop paying.

These are real answers for real problems.

Highly recommended.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 14, 2011 2:40:19 PM PDT
cramar says:
Another excellent in-depth book review, Suzanna! I always look forward to your your reviews, since you always seem to nail the vital information from the book (or item) that I wanted to know.

Keep it up! And thanks.

- Craig

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 2:49:35 PM PDT
Thank you Craig. I appreciate the kind words and I'm glad you look forward to my reviews. That makes the work I put into them worthwhile.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 3:25:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2011 3:30:48 PM PDT
Private says:
Thank you so much-- it was a toss-up between this and Suze Orman's latest, The Money Class. But I've been hesitant about Suze's last few books because they seem to be rehashing the same info over and over. I read your review of The Money Class and was inspired to check out Weston's book instead. So glad I did! And so glad you took the time to review it with such attention to detail. Thanks again, your review and this wonderful book have both been very helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2011 3:45:16 PM PDT
Thank you for taking the time to tell me that my reviews were helpful to you. I find Weston's book to be absolutely fabulous. Fact is, I've applied her advice and find I'm now way out ahead in a short time. However, were I to follow Orman's advice, I'd be years reaching a goal. To me, Orman is not practical. She's a showman, an entertainer. People are drawn to her because she uses the appearance of compassion, similar to Oprah. Weston is the real deal when it comes to money. She's a true financial adviser, not an entertainer. I hope you get at much from Weston's book as I do. I keep it in my Kindle and refer to it often.
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