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

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

by Helaine Olen


$25.16 $27.95 Save 10% Current price is $25.16, Original price is $27.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591844891
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 12/27/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

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

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“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, a freelance journalist, 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.”
The New York Times
“Have you ever met anyone who has grown rich just by saving? Probably not. But you may well have met someone who has grown rich looking after other people’s savings. That dark secret lies at the heart of ‘Pound Foolish’, Helaine Olen’s excellent book, a contemptuous exposé of the American personal-finance industry.”
The Economist

“A cautionary tale that you need to read.”
The Washington Post
“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.”
“This thought-provoking book alerts us to important issues in today’s post-recession economy.”

“A highly readable antidote to the snake oil of the personal finance industry. Suze Orman, watch out!”
GREG CRITSER, author of Fat Land
“Wow, does personal financial advice need debunking. And Helaine Olen does it like an old master. Clear, witty, takes no prisoners, and right as hell. Olen will wake you up. There is no financial trick to make you rich.”
JEFF MADRICK, author of The Age of Greed and senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute
“Helaine Olen explains in simple language why most Americans are never going to understand the myriad complexities of investing and borrowing, leaving us all vulnerable to being ripped off in oh so many ways. Combining thorough research with passionate writing, Pound Foolish tells us what to do to protect ourselves and our hard-earned money.”
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Fine Print
“As Helaine Olen shows in this powerful exposé, ‘personal finance’ is the ultimate oxymoron. The financial challenges that most Americans face are not simply personal—they reflect the failure of our polices and our leaders to tackle growing middle-class insecurity. And the advice that self-proclaimed money experts provide is far from sound finance. Too often, it’s snake oil that only adds to the problem.”
JACOB S. HACKER, director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University, and author of The Great Risk Shift
Pound Foolish is a fabulously well-reported, lucid, and witty tour of the train wreck that American finance has become. Olen has the rare ability to demystify the countless swindles and frauds that lately comprise the basic operations of the investment scene. As a kind of bonus, she depicts with verve and intelligence the panoramic freak show of personalities who infest the money scene.”
JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER, author of The Geography of Nowhere and Too Much Magic
“In this gripping account, Helaine Olen pulls out the rug from under the finance industry, and does so in time for at least some of us to find alternative solutions to financial security.”
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, author of Life Inc. and Present Shock
“The world of personal finance is an economic sideshow filled with illusionists, conjurers, and snake-oil salesmen of every stripe. Thankfully, Helaine Olen has spent enough time inside the circus to be able to guide us wisely and wittily through the hall of mirrors—and come out smarter on the other end.”
JAMES LEDBETTER, opinion editor, Reuters, and author of Unwarranted Influence
“The cult of ‘personal finance’ sells itself—and preys on pocketbooks—with a wildly false message: that American middle class families only have themselves to blame for their economic troubles. With wit, simple math, and relentless sleuthing, Helaine Olen shows how the personal finance industry has led savers and investors astray, and what you can do to avoid its traps.”
ALYSSA KATZ, author of Our Lot

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
WendyNYC More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We know that the perdonal finance industry is crooked. This will show you just how much it really is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ahola. My name is jamie. I have brown hair and blue eyes. I love 1D. I play basketball. I have a hourglass figure .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is sick. Yall have twisted minds. Instead of doing this, read a self help book or some nicholas sparks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello have dirty blinde hair qith almond colred eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah sure! I have 1 qurstion though do you live in a tlwn called canton? Cause i think i might know u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.