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Personal Finance For Dummies (Personal Finance for Dummies, 3rd ed) Paperback – February 15, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

With more than one million copies of previous editions in print, Personal Finance For Dummies is the #1 bestselling ...For Dummies consumer title ever.

From the Back Cover

"By far, the best book I have read on financial planning." Althea Thompson, PBS Nightly Business Report "Detailed, action-oriented advice… A standout personal finance primer." Kristin Davis, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Praise for Personal Finance For Dummies® "Among my favorite financial guides." — The Wall Street Journal "Tyson doesn't tell you what to do or consider doing without explaining the hows and whys — and the booby traps to avoid—in plain English." — Chicago Tribune "Smart advice…. Rewards your candor with advice and comfort." — Newsweek

Wall Street Journal bestseller — over 1 million copies in print!

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Do you have trouble identifying and managing your financial priorities? Are you confused by today's investment options? Relax! This friendly guide, now updated with new advice on Internet resources, gives you just the information you need to take control of your finances, cut your tax bill, and achieve your financial goals.

Discover how to: Assess your financial situation Reduce your spending and debt Give yourself a tax cut Build wealth with wise investments Plan for college and retirement Buy the right insurance

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Product Details

  • Series: Personal Finance for Dummies, 3rd ed
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: IDG Books Worldwide; 3rd edition (February 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764552317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764552311
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,670,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I bought the first edition of this book, I was a poor post-graduate loaded with bad debt. At the time, I knew nothing about CD's, funds, stocks, bonds, insurance, 401(k)'s, home-buying, budgeting, saving, debt-reduction, taxes, or any other basic issues of personal finance. All I knew is that I never could seem to "get ahead" financially. Tyson's book led me from this sorry state through four years of self-education and growing self-confidence about controlling my own financial future. Even now, debt-free and market-positioned, I still reference this book when I encounter a new facet of my financial life.
No "get-rich-quick" scheme, Tyson lays out a solid framework for anyone interested in getting and maintaining control of their own financial situation throughout a lifetime. The ideas he lays out help a person not only educate him/herself concerning money, but also instill confidence that a financial situation can be corrected or controlled personally.
Although this book would serve as a valuable reference to ANYONE interested in their own financial future, it would especially be useful to a young person just "starting out" or to any person who feels overwhelmed by their own financial situation.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the financial equivalent of a weight loss book that rejects fad diets and instead advises you to stick to the fundamentals, such as getting regular exercise and eating more lean foods like fruits and vegetables. In this book, Tyson lays out the basics of personal finance, namely, eliminate "bad" debt, reduce frivolous spending, invest wisely, and start saving for future expenses such as retirement, home ownership, and children's education. He has no agenda to push, so he is free to warn his readers of the risks of taking investment advice from those who do. And it is written in a clear style that is easily understood by even the least financially savvy reader.
Of course, some of his advice will meet with resistance in consumer happy America. For instance, he recommends never buying consumer items such as cars on credit, because the car itself (unlike a house) has no investment potential, and the interest you are paying on the loan is not going to further your own long term financial health. In theory, this makes perfect sense, but in practice, most people simply cannot afford to buy their first car with cash (not if they want a new one) and a used car can be a maintenance nightmare if the previous owner didn't take care of it properly. Other advice is questionable, such as buying your groceries only at "club" stores like Sam's Club. Well, that's nice if you're feeding an army, but most young, single people don't want to buy their peanut butter by the barrel and lug these huge packages up several flights of stairs to their apartments, and will gladly pay a bit more for the convenience of getting goods in quantities they can actually use.
But these minor nitpicks aside, this is a fine introductory work.
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Format: Paperback
When I entered the real world fresh out of graduate school, my financial situation was not too healthy, which most new graduates can empathize with. After overcoming the horror of my overwhelming debt, I started reading books on personal finance (a great hobby that is not expensive if you use libraries and friends). Personal Finance for Dummies was a very refreshing, practical book on personal finances. Unlike most books, it gave a lot of necessary PRACTICAL DETAILS in an EASY TO READ fashion. And it was not full of bogus get-rich-quick schemes or attempts to sell a plethora of expensive get-rich-quick products that you "need." If you want down to earth advice, read this book.
The money it took to buy this book and the time it took to read this book were the two best investments I ever made! Two years later, I have investments, and I am almost debt-free. It took a lot of work and a lot more discipline. But without this book, I probably would not have come as far as fast.
Good luck! Jason
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm coming at this book from a somewhat unique perspective. I recently read the same author's Personal Finance in Your 20s For Dummies. In fact, Mr. Tyson has written a range of finance-related "For Dummies" books.

I'm not saying this book is bad; far from it. It contains a plethora of pertinent, practical information. However, after finishing a read-through, it felt like I had already read about 75% of the information before.

If you are looking into a book to make personal finance easier to grasp, this is it. However, if you have already read one of Tyson's other books, be forewarned that you will be treading over much of the same ground.
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Format: Paperback
Personal finance is a subject rarely taught in schools, and so it's understandable that many may be uncomfortable when they have to face their financial situations. This book is for those people who feel as though they don't have control over their money and financial goals, and don't know where to turn to in order to get that control. There are many other books out there, mainly motivational, that prey on such readers, but they hardly give any practical or useful advice. Rather, they tell you what you already know intuitively, and make you think that you're hearing it for the first time. You don't gain any more understanding, and you don't change your bad habits.
Eric Tyson helps you to learn about ways to save, invest, and buy insurance. He doesn't fluff up the book with lame, tangential stories. He doesn't try to sound profound when speaking simple truths. He sounds more like a teacher who is just trying to explain the basics of sound financial behavior. If you know a lot about personal finance, there may not be much that is new here; it's a "dummies" book after all. But all the advice is well grounded and he explains it well. Of course, some people will disagree with some things. Perhaps you don't want to invest in mutual funds (which he enthusiastically recommends) and would rather play the market by researching individual companies on their own or day trading according to message board tips. But to advise that would be ridiculous. For all the time and hassle involved, the average person may not realize any returns doing that. For the average person, mutual funds are a very good way of earning healthy returns in the long run, without much effort.
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