When it comes to a trusted source for financial news and information, it’s hard to beat the Wall Street Journal. They have introduced a line of guidebooks on many financial topics, but for this review we’ll be taking a look at their Personal Finance guidebook. While it may be a little simplistic for the financial whiz, it is certainly a must-read for those that are still struggling with their personal finance issues, or just starting out in the world.
It should be noted that there is a companion book to this title, called the The Wall Street Journal. Personal Finance Workbook. We highly recommend purchasing both since you will be able to implement the advice of one by using the other. Both are incredibly useful, especially if you are looking for ways to get your finances on track. The guidebook is brief, coming in at right around 200 pages, but there is a lot of information packed in there.
The book starts out with the utter basics, such as managing a checkbook, but for a lot of people, this is truly necessary advice. While this is aimed at beginners, even experts might be able to spot a few common mistakes that they are guilty of making when it comes to handling checkbooks and savings accounts.
Once this section is thoroughly covered, the book goes on to help the reader start a money management plan. This is basically a budget, and again, even though the advice is simple, it is very solid and for many, very necessary. The basics of budgeting are completely explained and there is some great real world advice for those looking to get their finances and their spending under control.
How to get a good mortgage and auto loan are also some very good topics that round out the book nicely as is the information on 401Ks. Basically, this is a book that is designed to help the average consumer learn more about how finances work and how to implement good practices to ensure that you won’t be spending your golden years flipping burgers.
The workbook however is even better and gives you a way to create an exact plan for your future. Both contain calculation examples and tips on how to figure out whether renting is best for you, how much house you can afford, how to save money on life insurance and many other important topics. The section on investment risk, allocation and how to find out how much money you need for retirement are particularly helpful.
While these two books may be a little too basic for experts, they are absolutely vital for the rest of us. Even if you have already heard the advice before, and there is probably a good chance that you have, the author does a great job of presenting it in such a way that it seems much easier to follow and implement the advice. We highly recommend this title to anyone interested in learning more about personal finance and how to manage their money.