Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

( 19 )

Overview

An exposé of the personal finance industry and the irrational choices it leads us to make.

When Helaine Olen joined The Los Angeles Times, she was flabbergasted to be asked to write a "Money Makeover" column. Knowing nothing about personal finance, she gave it her best shot and soon realized that her ignorance barely mattered. Pretty much anyone could fashion themselves as a money expert.

This experience inspired Olen to investigate the ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.61
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$27.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (39) from $1.99   
  • New (20) from $1.99   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

An exposé of the personal finance industry and the irrational choices it leads us to make.

When Helaine Olen joined The Los Angeles Times, she was flabbergasted to be asked to write a "Money Makeover" column. Knowing nothing about personal finance, she gave it her best shot and soon realized that her ignorance barely mattered. Pretty much anyone could fashion themselves as a money expert.

This experience inspired Olen to investigate the transformation of personal finance-from a few practical, well-meaning, post- Depression advice givers to a multibillion-dollar industry predicated on the promise of quick and easy wealth for everyone.

Weaving together behavioral economics, psychology, and her own reporting, Olen exposes all the ways we've allowed ourselves to be duped-whether by listening to so-called advisers whose main objective is to get rich themselves, placing risky bets on the stock market, or cutting out lattes in an effort to save while ignoring ever-increasing income inequality. Full of shocking stories and data, Pound Foolish will allow us to make smarter choices about money by opening our eyes to the realities of where wealth comes from.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
It's rare to come across a realistic and readable book about personal finance. Most are laden with rosy promises, followed by acronyms and turgid advice. Helaine Olen…offers an exception with Pound Foolish…It's a take-no-prisoners examination of the ways she says we have been scared, misled or bamboozled by those purporting to help us achieve financial security.
—Caitlin Kelly
Publishers Weekly
The worth of the personal finance industry is inversely proportional to its ubiquity, according to Forbes.com blogger Olen in his breezy romp through recent financial history. According to Olen, given today’s increasing income inequality and shaky employment prospects, a secure livelihood or retirement is a chimera. Olen’s fast-paced narrative focuses on the rise of media celebrities and financial pundits who assure us: “You can do it!” What we can do is sign up for overhyped and overpriced investment seminars and services, promoted largely by the powerful motivator of fear. Such luminaries as Suze Orman, Jim Cramer, Robert Kiyosaki, and Peter Schiff may be household names, but their (often self-serving) advice did not prevent American retirement vehicles from losing trillion in 2007–2008. The proposition that media icons are also self-promoters will astonish no one, and Olen’s frequent iteration of this point diminishes the value of her observations. Though her intention is to provide an exposé, not financial advice, her own observations are commonplace. One can enjoy her glimpses of the world of financial celebrity while remaining skeptical about the scope of her proposed remedy. Agent: Andrew Stuart, the Stuart Agency. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Dishy dirt on the "financialization" of American life and the hordes of carrion-pickers who swarm us in the hope of lifting still more dollars from our pockets. By Forbes.com blogger and former Los Angeles Times writer Olen's account, this financialization was a bit haphazard and not entirely well-planned-out. The IRA, for example, was intended as a supplement to other retirement measures, whereas "what we today think of as the natural retirement planning landscape started as an accident, a 1978 shift in the tax code designed to clarify a few highly technical points about profit-sharing plans offered by many corporations to high-ranking employees." Lest it make you feel cuddly to think that your retirement account has its source in something meant for the rich and powerful, Olen observes that it's a mook's game these days: Whereas in the 1950s, only 5 percent of Americans were in the stock market, by 2000, that had gone up to fully half, with a vast industry peeling off dollars in the form of management fees, commissions and so forth. The stock market and its ancillaries received promotion as "a way to gain wealth we could not gain through conventional savings or earnings strategies." Unconventional means risky, as a generation of shorn investors has recently come to appreciate, but that risk doesn't stop us from wanting to try our luck again--and that brings in a bunch of Olen's bugaboos, including the "wealth creation seminar business" and people like Suze Orman, "whose riches came from…lecturing the rest of us on our inability to manage our funds." A nice takedown, particularly in its acknowledgement that the deck is always stacked against "participants in a vast experiment" of the deregulated marketplace--namely, the little guys.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591844891
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/27/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 331,881
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Helaine Olen is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Salon, Slate, and the Los Angeles Times.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 What Hath Sylvia Wrought? 13

Chapter 2 The Tao of Suze 27

Chapter 3 The Latte is a Lie 48

Chapter 4 Slip Slidin' Away 74

Chapter 5 The Road to Pas Tina 102

Chapter 6 I've Got The Horse Right Here 127

Chapter 7 An Empire of her Own 150

Chapter 8 Who Wants to be a Real Estate Millionaire? 172

Chapter 9 Elmo Is B(r)ought to You by the Letter P 196

Conclusion: We Need to Talk About Our Money 219

Acknowledgments 237

Notes 241

Index 285

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Almost worth the purchase price

    The author makes some interesting points concerning the abuses of the Financial Industry. Rightly so, but not everyone in the industry is a hack, criminal, shyster, or worse yet a demon possessed banker. I get tired of reading how we need more government intervention to protect us from all evils, when the government can't seem to protect itself from making ill advised financial decisions. Financial education is not a bad thing, but it must be done without the pretext of someone trying to sell or influence the hearer into purchasing the next great financial product.

    I believe the author was on the right track in many cases but never really seemed to deliver the final goods.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Important Point Over-Long

    This book deals with the essential problem that with stagnant wages it is becoming impossible for ordinary people to save for retirement etc and the advice gurus having been dishing out bad advice and making people feel guilty at the sae time. While tis is important, it seems to me that there are too many repetetive chapters on assorted failed gurus, some still quite active and busy trying to change their advice after it has failed.

    It would have made an excellent long article, but is not enough to sustain interest through a whole book. either fewer gurus or briefer accounts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Disappointing

    I had already come to the scant conclusions drawn in this book. If you're searching for a solution, you won't find it here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    HEY LOOK AT MEH

    This is sick. Yall have twisted minds. Instead of doing this, read a self help book or some nicholas sparks

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Nice, but not great

    Poor EPUB, the book has more than 50 pages of notes, but there are NO footnotes in the text. Plus the "index" section does not work. I have seen much better EPUBs.

    The book was fairly good. Nice look at the world of financial "guidance". Many case of people selling "advice" that if it really worked they would be using it, not selling it.

    The small part of the book where the author tries to say the problem is not individuals, but the system was very weak and should have been left out. But that is only a small piece.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    E

    Y

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Ally

    :o O.o NOOO!!!! ITS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Phantom Cyre

    <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Hey.<br><br><br>"Guess what"<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>"You're dead."<br><br>:p<br><br><br>I draw my scythe and kick the door shut.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Jamie

    Ahola. My name is jamie. I have brown hair and blue eyes. I love 1D. I play basketball. I have a hourglass figure .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    PARTY!!!

    Help me create the best party in human rp history!!!! I need your help to spread the word and bring all of your rp friends to 'party hat' first result.!!!! This party lasts all night every night!!!!! Please come!!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Peter

    Hello have dirty blinde hair qith almond colred eyes.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Yn

    Jy

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    To kelly

    Yeah sure! I have 1 qurstion though do you live in a tlwn called canton? Cause i think i might know u

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)