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Author Biography: Juliette Fairley is a personal finance writer. She is the author of several titles including Cliff Notes Investing in Mutual Funds. She has written on the topic of personal finance for Investor's Business Daily, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Financial Planning magazine.
Posted September 20, 2001
By Alan Gersten If the Generation X crowd--those in the 20 and 30-something phase of life--wants a guidebook through the intricacies of money, they should consult 'Money Rules' By Juliette Fairley. Fairley, a Gen Xer herself, uses a readable style to convey how Gen Xers must deal with buying a home, paying their taxes, paying down debt, dealing with 401 (ks) and a variety of other money-related problems. More than just a road map, the book specifically tells Gen Xers how to deal with various situations and what happens if they foul up. For instance, if you move in with your girlfriend/boyfriend, make sure you keep separate checking accounts. If not, you could be out both a significant other and all your money--quite a quinella. If you advance to the next romantic level, you might want to check out a website for prenuptial agreements--http://premaritalagreement.com. Or, if you are planning a long vacation trip with a traveling companion, first take a mini vacation of three days. You might find out he/she snores. The author often starts with basics, like an investment strategy of buying stocks or bonds, but then she advances to something like exchange traded funds. She constantly uses examples like Andrew Totolos, 'a 30-year-old systems manager at an Internet company [who] used to be a moocher until he got sued.' It seems Andrew's girlfriend lived in an apartment with a roommate, and Andrew lived there for two months rent-free. His girl friend, who moved out, was supposed to return but never did, so he eventually left. He was sued for $700 in back rent, didn't pay and then left a nasty message on the roommate's answering machine. Eventually, his case was heard on national television and after the tape was played, Andrew lost. '`I haven't mooched since that point,'' he said. Fairley has done her homework. The book, which I give 4.5 stars, is filled with charts and graphs, including a two-page table about the benefits of compounding saving. If you invest $2,000 a year for eight years, starting at age 19 and assuming a 12 percent rate, the Gen Xer would have $2.2 million when she's 65. Of course, today interest rates are about 3 percent, but they will certainly change over the next 47 years. The only thing that gnaws at me is what can the Gen Xer--and every other investor--do after the horrific acts of September 11th. Of course, Fairley--nor any other rational human being-- could not have predicted airplanes deliberately flying into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, causing tragedy and financial concern. Certainly, this Gen X author will address this problem in her next book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.