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on March 17, 2011
If you are a financial advisor who would like to be able to facilitate meaningful conversations around money issues with clients this is the best tool I have ever used (30 years in business). A research based family therapy foundation; a tangible device that people touch; a simple clarification process that anyone can understand. I would recommend this as the best book along with the cards download to USE as opposed to study.
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on December 13, 2007
This is a guide for therapists, coaches and other professionals who work with clients that need to unblock money communication issues in order to increase effectiveness in the receiver's life.

Peck has a way to use cards and a process for using them to help clients align their values with money and then to use a second set of cards that will allow client's to see where their last decision-making process about money is disconnected with their values alignment.

This process then allows the client to begin an open conversation about money with you. It also shows them how they can begin talking about money with other significant people in their life - spouse, other family members, even their accountant or financial planner.

The language the author uses isn't at grade 8 level like newspapers or most books. It is written on a college or higher level which makes some parts of the book difficult for this reader to get the gist of unless read two or three times. I found the case studies much too wordy. A common issue found when if it were written tighter, the book would no longer be long enough for a book or they would need some additional filler material.

I did like learning about how to use the cards. I would have preferred a simpler outline summary in each chapter that said, Step 1, 2, etc. The case studies do show some practical applications that run a wide gambit of how to use it.

When I re-read each chapter, highlighted the "how-to apply" steps I could see a clearer picture.

Have patience with this book. Don't think it will be a quick read. On the other side the methodology is very sound and great information to have if this could help your clients. It is another model to use.

I haven't worked with it yet with clients. I will however be doing so after I re-write the information so it's in a simpler format for me to go through the process.

Good bibliography in the back that lists some additional materials that I thought would be interesting to explore.

Catherine Franz
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on July 25, 2008
Because I had been shown how to use the cards that Judith Stern Peck describes in Money and Meaning, I was quickly able to adapt them to situations in my financial planning practise and understand how they are easily used and adapted to different situations.
By separating into two piles -the cards that are meaningful and those that are not meaningful to you - then selecting from the meaningful ones, the 4 that stand out most, one can begin to identify and have a language to talk about their most important values. By repeating this exercise as it relates to making a financial decision, one can begin to look at the differences in how financial decisions may be in alignment or very different from one's core values. This is a non-threatening way for people to begin to reflect and then have meaningful conversation about it.
The book gave me some wonderful ideas about how to apply this technology to my client situations. The case studies made me think about my own values and how they may be impacting clients and potential clients. The case studies include single people, couples and parents in various situations.
Having had a head start with the cards, which are in the back of the book, I have used this with my partners, in a group retirement seminar and, of course, have been able to reflect on my own values and financial decisions.
I highly recommend the book to professionals who are working with clients and don't know how to approach financial conversation in an open way with them. This will give good examples to draw upon.
It is also a good tool for anyone who wants to just take a look at their own values, their process in making financial decisions, how the two differ, if they indeed do. The book presents a way to gain insight and have conversation among family members, parents, children, business associates or life partners.
A worthwhile read and very worthwhile exercise!
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