Personal Finance For Dummies 9th Edition
You’re probably not a personal finance expert, for good reason. Historically, Personal Finance 101 hasn’t been offered in our schools — not in high school, college, or even graduate programs. Thankfully, a small but growing number of schools are offering personal-finance-type courses; some even use Personal Finance For Dummies as a textbook.
However, even if you got some financial education and acquired some financial knowledge over the years, you’re likely a busy person who doesn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Thus, you want to know how to diagnose your financial situation efficiently (and painlessly) to determine what you should do next. Unfortunately, after figuring out which financial strategies make sense for you, choosing specific financial products in the marketplace is often overwhelming. You have literally thousands of investment, insurance, and loan options to choose from. Talk about information overload!
To further complicate matters, you probably hear about most products through advertising that can be misleading, if not downright false. Of course, some ethical and outstanding firms advertise, but so do those that are more interested in converting your hard-earned income and savings into their short-term profits. And they may not be here tomorrow when you need them.
Perhaps you’ve ventured online and been attracted to the promise of “free” advice. Unfortunately, discerning the expertise and background (and even identity) of those behind various blogs and websites is too often impossible. And, as I discuss in this book, conflicts of interest (many of which aren’t clearly disclosed) abound online.
Despite the development of new media and new financial products and services, folks keep making the same common financial mistakes — procrastinating and lack of planning, wasteful spending, falling prey to financial salespeople and pitches, failing to do sufficient research before making important financial decisions, and so on. This book can keep you from falling into the same traps and get you going on the best paths.
As unfair as it may seem, numerous pitfalls await you when you seek help for your financial problems. The world is filled with biased and bad financial advice. As a former practicing financial counselor and now as a writer, I constantly see and hear about the consequences of poor advice. All too often, financial advice ignores the big picture and focuses narrowly on investing. Because money is not an end in itself but a part of your whole life, this book helps connect your financial goals and challenges to the rest of your life. You need a broad understanding of personal finance that includes all areas of your financial life: spending, taxes, saving and investing, insurance, and planning for major goals like buying a home, someday running your own business, investing for your future, and so on.
Even if you understand the financial basics, thinking about your finances in a holistic way can be difficult. Sometimes you’re too close to the situation to be objective. Your finances may reflect the history of your life more than they reflect a comprehensive plan for your future.
You want to know the best places to go for your circumstances, so this book contains specific, tried-and-proven recommendations. I also suggest where to turn next if you need more information and help.
About This Book
You selected wisely in picking up a copy of Personal Finance For Dummies, 9th Edition! More than two million copies of prior editions of this book were bought, and as you can see from the quotes in the front of this edition, readers and reviewers alike have been pleased. This book also previously earned the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award for best book of the year in business.
However, I never rest on my laurels. So the book you hold in your hands reflects more hard work and brings you the freshest material for addressing your personal financial quandaries. Here are some of the updates I’ve made to the book:
- Complete coverage of the 2017 tax bill (The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) and how to best take advantage of tax changes in 2018 and beyond affecting individuals, families, investors, and small businesses
- Expanded and updated coverage of the best ways to shop online (and its changing dangers) and from retail stores
- Updated investment recommendations for exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, international investments, real estate, and more
- The latest information on government assistance programs, Social Security, and Medicare and what it means in terms of how you should prepare for and live in retirement
- Revised recommendations for where to get the best insurance deals and info on how government-mandated health insurance has changed coverage options and costs
- Coverage of the best personal finance apps
- Expanded and updated coverage of how to use and make sense of the news and financial resources (especially online resources)
Aside from being packed with updated information, another great feature of this book is that you can read it from cover to cover if you want, or you can read each chapter and part without having to read what comes before. Handy cross-references direct you to other places in the book for more details on a particular subject. If you like, you can skip the sidebars (shaded boxes) and text marked with the Technical Stuff icon; that info is interesting but nonessential.
In writing this book, I made some assumptions about you, dear reader:
- You want expert advice about important financial topics (such as paying off and reducing the cost of debt, planning for major goals, making wise investments), and you want answers quickly.
- You want a crash course in personal finance and are looking for a book you can read cover-to-cover to help solidify major financial concepts and get you thinking about your finances in a more comprehensive way.
This book is basic enough to help novices get their arms around thorny financial issues. But it challenges advanced readers as well to think about their finances in a new way and identify areas for improvement.
|May 19, 2019
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