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The Truth about Money

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Overview

The Truth About Money is back—and better. With updated information and all-new sections, Ric Edelman's critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller remains your indispensable guide to personal finance. The Truth About Money covers the entire spectrum of personal finance—from maximizing a financial portfolio to planning a wedding—and explains difficult financial concepts in plain English.

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The Truth About Money 4th Edition

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Overview

The Truth About Money is back—and better. With updated information and all-new sections, Ric Edelman's critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller remains your indispensable guide to personal finance. The Truth About Money covers the entire spectrum of personal finance—from maximizing a financial portfolio to planning a wedding—and explains difficult financial concepts in plain English.

  • personal finance 101: what financial planning is and why you need to plan
  • risky behavior: how to identify, reduce, and avoid financial risk
  • the A to Z of investments: from annuities to zero coupon bonds
  • go from owing money to owning money: how to get out of debt (and stay that way)
  • home sweet home: how to buy your first home, your next home, and save on taxes when you sell
  • the insurance smoke and mirrors: the what-kind, how-much, and where-to-buy lowdown on insurance (and if you need it at all)
  • little Johnny's first financial portfolio: three reasons not to save money in a child's name
  • your kids may love you, but that doesn't mean they love each other: making sure your will will do everything you want it to do once you're gone
  • the marriage of your dreams: how to choose a financial advisor and the 10 taboos to avoid to guarantee it remains a healthy relationship
And, all new for this revised edition:
  • taxes, taxes, taxes: Ric Edelman explains the new tax laws in the all-new section on taxes
  • the run down on the Roth: in an easy-to-read flow chart, you'll immediately determine if the Roth is right for you
  • taking Grandma to court: the do's and don'ts of lending money to family members
  • 130 questions essential to savvy financial planning: good thing we give you the answers

55 Reasons to Buy This Book:

10 Points to Ponder About Prospective Planners

9 Questions to Help You Choose a Guardian for Your Kids

8 Features to Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy

7 Ways and Wheres of 401(k) plans

6 Ways to Qualify for a Bigger Mortgage

5 Common Broker Tricks

4 Problems You Encounter When Buying Investments

3 Ways to Buy Stocks

2 Tax-Safe Ways to Move Your IRAs

1 Asset You Must Pass On

And featured in this revised edition, all-new information about the new tax laws and the truth about the Roth IRA (including a flow chart for 1998 and 1999 that tells you if the Roth's right for you). The Truth About Money also includes all you need to know about the best way to save for college with the new Section 529 Plan. Plus, the 130 questions and answers to the Ric Edelman personal finance quiz!

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
Conversational, clever...and easy to read.
USA Today
Conversational, clever and comprehensive...it is educational and an easy read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062736420
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ric Edelman is Barron's #1 independent financial advisor, the bestselling author of seven books on personal finance, and host of The Ric Edelman Show, heard on radio stations nationwide. Ric's firm, Edelman Financial Services, manages $5 billion in assets and has been helping people achieve financial success for twenty-five years.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter I - The Four Obstacles to Building Wealth

As you begin trying to accumulate wealth, you'll encounter four major obstacles. The first is the most deadly, but if you think it's the economy or taxes, you're wrong. Your biggest enemy, as I can attest from having worked with thousands of people just like you, is yourself. Without question, procrastination is the most common cause of financial failure.

You know the story of Jack and Jill. But did you know Jack was pushed? (Never mind.) As a result of his head injuries, Jack decided not to go to college. Instead, at age 18, he got a job, enabling him to contribute $2,000 to his IRA each year, After eight years, he stopped, having invested a total of $16,000.

Meanwhile, his sister Jill, inspired (guilt-ridden?) by Jack's accident, went to medical school. At age 26, she began her practice and started contributing $2,000 to her IRA. And she did so for 40 years, from age 26 to 65. She invested a total of $80,000 and sheput her money into the same investment as her brother Jack. Thus, Jill started investing the same year Jack stopped, and she saved for 40 years compared to just eight years for her brother.

By age 65, whose IRA account do you think was worth more money?

Assuming Jack and Jill each earned a 10% return, Jill accumulated $885,185, but Jack collected $1,035,160 - $149,975 more than his sister!

While Jack had invested only $16,000 to Jill's $80,000, his money earned interest for eight years longer than his sister. It wasn't the money that made him successful -- it was the time value of money. Jack didn't procrastinate: By investing sooner than Jill, his account grewlarger.

I have heard the complaint that procrastination does not belong at the top of my "Enemies of Money" list. There must be other, more serious causes for financial failure, right?

Wrong!

Obtacle #1: Procrastination

I cannot stress enough the need for you to get started right now. Procrastination says you'll do it tomorrow. It's easy to see why you put planning off until later: After all, who has time? You've got lots of deadlines and you don't need another one. You've got to get to work on time, get your kid to soccer practice and prepare for visiting out-of-towners this weekend. With today's deadlines, you don't have time to work on something whose effects will not be felt for 20 years. But that's okay because you're young and you'll still have plenty of time later! Right?

Wrong!

Maybe this is why so few of my firm's clients are under 30. It just seems that young people don't want to talk about something 40 years away: They're more concerned about this weekend's party!

In fact, I've heard all the excuses people use: If you're in your 20s, you figure you've got 40 years to deal with it, so you'll put it off until you are in your 30s...

... but by then, you've got a new house, new spouse and new kids -- and you're spending money like never before. Who can think about saving at a time like this? You'll deal with it later, after things settle down in your 40s...

... when indeed you're making more money than ever, but now you find that your children are entering college. On top of that, your income growth isn't as rapid as it used to be. No problem, you say, because by the time you hit your 50s, you think your major expenses will be behind you...

... Only to discover that your kids start to get married (with you footing the bill) and maybe they need help buying a house, too. And your parents probably need some help as well, because they're getting up in years. And you can't remember the last time you got a promotion; after all, you're now a vice president. The only wayyou'll get promoted is for somebody to retire or die. You're also finding that the cost of living has never been higher, so planning for retirement will just have to wait a bit longer...

... and when you hit 65, you lament your anemic savings and wish you had started 40 years ago.

I see this all the time.

If there is only one thing in this entire book that you need to take on faith, it's this: There is never an ideal time for planning, and while you can always find a reason to put it off, don't. Do it now. Procrastination will cause you financial ruin more effectively, more completely, than the worst advice a crooked broker could ever give you.

The Cost of Procrastination

There is, in fact, a specific cost to procrastination. If you are 20 years old and you want to raise $100,000 by age 65, you need to invest only $1,132 today (ignoring taxes for the moment and assuming a 10% annual return).

But a 50-year-old would need to invest nearly $22,500 to obtain that same $100,000. This is the cost of procrastination. As you can see, it's not money that makes people financially successful, it's time.

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Customer Reviews

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( 27 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Very readable book for anyone who wants to get their financial house in order

    Ric's book is very readable and insightful. I almost wish that it the lessons it contains were taught in High School. Ric demystifies money management and inspires people to take control of their financial future

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    Informative, humorous, and helpful.

    The Truth about Money covers the prerequisite fundamentals for financial intelligence. It delivers the information in a clear concise fashion, and uses real-life examples to further explicate the matter. Highly recommended for those who want to better understand the financial world and create a foundation for future investments.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2003

    Says it like it is!

    For several years, I've been weeding through financial books to get different 'professional' opinions and thoughts on money and how to manage assets. If you went to the personal finance section of a bookstore, you'll see dozens if not hundreds of titles. This book is the ONLY book you need- period! Read everything else, then buy this book. All of your necessary questions are answered. I like a guy who says WHY to do what he tells you, and what to expect if you don't follow his advice. I like all of Ric's stuff, but this is the true original, and is the only book you'll need.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    Must have Reference

    This book is fantastic. It is comprehensive for the average person who needs to know about crucial areas in personal finance. The author covers everything, and not only on a superficial level, but quite a bit in depth. One aspect that I really appreciate is that he doesn't just say, 'This is good, but this is bad', he really takes the time to explain how certain market forces work, as a working background, then says, 'And that is why this is good' - and in that way enables the reader to be able to analyze certain investments, not just memorize specifics. For instance, his section on explaining bonds was really eye-opening. Finally, he does all of this in a very conversational manner, so you don't get bored like other techincally oriented books might induce. This is a must-own, mini-finance dictionary for the person who is asking, 'How do I start understanding all this finance stuff?'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    Highly informative and educational. If most people would just re

    Highly informative and educational. If most people would just read this book, we'd be a far more prosperous nation

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    The bible of Personal Money Management

    I first read this book in 1996. It is the definitive work on Personal Finance. I have read all the new editions which are written to keep the information current. One would expect a book on this topic to be dry and boring but this author has a breezy style that uses many anecdotes and analogies which makes it fun to read! My favorite is the story of Jack and Jill and compounding interest! This book has been so helpful that I present it to all the young people in my life upon the graduation from school. It covers everything from retirement planning to estate planning, getting out of debt to investing and home mortgages. I am here today to buy one for a nephew who is embarking on his adult life. The book served me so well, I now listen to Mr. Edelman's weekly radio show and hired his firm to provide financial planning guidance for me and my wife.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Easy to read and understand - comprehesive

    I read this book from the library and then decided to buy it so I could have it available to discuss the wide range of financial areas covered with my college age children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2000

    Simple

    The book lays it out plain and simple so those that understanding nothing of the finance world...can!

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