Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future

Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future

by Jeff Rose

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814433287
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 09/09/2013
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 318,428
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

JEFF ROSE, is a Certified Financial Planner(TM) and an Iraq combat veteran. A regular contributor to U.S. News World Report, MarketWatch, and Equifax.com, he is the author of two popular personal finance blogs, SoldierofFinance.com and the nationally recognized goodfinancialcents.com, which has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Kiplinger, and The Wall Street Journal.

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THE PURPOSE OF SOLDIER OF FINANCE

You don't have to be a soldier to benefit from Soldier of Finance. I share my military experience primarily because the principles I learned for surviving combat and winning against an enemy on the battlefield are the same principles I needed to survive financial prob lems, enabling me to engineer a winning strategy for building stable and enduring wealth.

Most people I meet, especially those who come to me for financial counsel, struggle with finances. They exist in a kind of war zone where debt is the enemy and wealth is the goal. But they have a tough time getting a handle on their own money and they worry over their future security. Most are losing a battle they don't even consciously realize they are in. I have found that there are two basic problems common to the majority of those I talk with:

1. Lack of information

2. Lack of initiative

By approaching my own finances with the mindset I learned in the military, I found the resources and the attitude that I needed to get myself out of debt and begin a successful program of investment. Even if you've never been in the military, you will find within the pages of this book the information needed to build financial security and growth.

If you find yourself asking, as I did my first day at Reception, "What the hell am I doing here?" the answer is simple. You are training yourself to win. You are gaining the essential knowledge and discipline to be a Soldier of Finance.

This manual is organized in modular format so that you can easily identify the areas of greatest benefit to you. I recommend that you read the entire book first, in order to find the areas where you need the most help. Then use it as a reference guide for future planning. You'll find that each section deals with an essential part of your financial success.

The two chapters of Part One tell something of my own story, providing encouragement to those who believe they have no hope because they've made mistakes. I made plenty too, and I've done pretty well.

Part Two addresses the Initial Training Phase of becoming a Soldier of Finance, covering the basics of getting your financial life under control. If you are already in a mess, the goal is to stop the bleeding. You can achieve this by exploring the basics of credit: how to find your credit score, check your credit record, and learn what can be done to fix bad credit. Demonstrating how to set realistic goals and prioritize objectives, Part Two explores methods to keep yourself on track and discover ways to convert your debt into a positive cash flow.

Part Three is the Campaign Phase, designed to familiarize you with the tools available for turning your resources into long-term wealth. It covers the basics of budgeting and explains a variety of investment vehicles.

Part Four, the Consolidation Phase, discusses the last stages of accomplishing your mission, including real estate investing and the types of insurance you need to protect yourself from the unexpected.

Each chapter contains a Go/No Go test. These evaluations are designed to help you gauge your progress. Take the time to fill out each one as you come to it. It will help you identify areas that need work and give you the information you need to prepare your strategy.

The battle is not as difficult as you might think, provided you have the right information and training. In spite of recent economic troubles, opportunity is everywhere. The problem is fear of the unknown. Few people know what to expect from the enemy or what weapons are at their disposal; for lack of knowledge, they struggle and suffer. Unsure of what to do, they either do nothing or make decisions that create more problems than they solve.

As I write this, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Americans are battling more than $2.9 trillion in consumer debt, unemployment is at record highs, millions of dollars have been lost from 401(k) accounts, and more than half of all Americans have no money saved for retirement. Absolutely none.

The solution? Prepare for the battle. Basic was not easy and there were times I questioned whether or not I could make it, but when I found myself in combat, I knew what to do and how to do it because I was well prepared. The key to success is action based on knowledge.

This is your Soldier of Finance Handbook. It covers the basics you must understand in order to evaluate the enemy, set up your plan of attack, and not only survive financial difficulties, but conquer them efficiently and effectively. No matter where you are now or how hopeless your finances might seem, you are about to turn things around. Welcome to Basic.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

INTRODUCTION 1

The Soldier's Handbook 2

The Purpose of Soldier of Finance 4

PA R T O N E

DISCOVERY PHASE: WHAT IS YOUR WHY? 7

1 WHY ARE YOU HERE? 8

Shaky Beginnings 10

What's Your Story? 14

What Is a Soldier of Finance? 15

Debriefing: A Soldier of Finance Success Story 15

Go/No Go 17

Summary 19

2 TIME TO ENLIST AND TAKE AN OATH 20

Soldier of Finance Creed 22

Finding a Battle Buddy 23

Identifying Blue Falcons 26

Down to Basics 29

Summary 31

PA R T T W O

INITIAL TRAINING PHASE (WEEKS 1—5) 33

3 WEEK 1: THE ARMY PHYSICAL—MEASURE YOUR DEBT 34

Your Financial Status: Stop Being in Denial 36

Debriefing: The Meaning of "Not Much Debt" 36

The Situation Report 38

P/X Rangers (or Living Beyond Your Means) 41

Summary 44

4 WEEK 2: ROSTER NUMBER—

YOUR CREDIT SCORE FOR LIFE 45

740 Is the New 720 47

Credit Scores and Your Mortgage 48

Finding Your Credit Score 49

Summary 50

5 WEEK 3: LAND MINES—YOUR CREDIT REPORT 51

My First Credit Report 53

Where to Get Your Free Credit Report 54

Carefully Verify the Information 56

Set Up Your Recon 58

Summary 61

6 WEEK 4: THE LOW CRAWL—CREDIT REPAIR 62

Stop the Bleeding 64

My Unnecessary Debt 65

Pay Down Your Debt 66

Debriefing: No Credit to Good Credit 67

Get the Most Out of Your Credit Cards 68

Watch Out for Credit Card Company Dirty Tricks 71

Summary 74

7 WEEK 5: LAND NAVIGATION CERTIFICATION—

IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS 75

Define Your Mission Objectives 77

Op Orders: How to Achieve Your Mission 79

Summary 85

PA R T T H R E E

CAMPAIGN PHASE (WEEKS 6—12) 87

8 WEEK 6: ACCOMPLISHING GOALS—

FROM CHAOS TO PRECISION 88

Into Action 89

Execute the Mission 91

Twenty-One Days to Change 93

Dealing with Setbacks 95

Review the Mission 96

Summary 98

9 WEEK 7: DESTROYING THE ENEMY—

PAYING OFF DEBT 100

Field Artillery: Matching the Cannon to the Objective 103

Ammunition for Targeting Debt 104

Debriefing: Operation Motherhood 108

Don't Be Content with Debt 110

Getting Cash Flow Positive 113

Summary 115

10 WEEK 8: SENSITIVE ITEMS REPORT—

TACTICAL BUDGETING 116

Tie Budgeting to Your Goals 117

The Sensitive Items Report 118

The Basic Training Budget: Identify Your Unnecessary Spending 120

Online Resources 122

Debriefing: Operation Budget 123

Practice Makes Perfect: Why Soldiers Drill 125

Family Battle Drills 126

Summary 129

11 WEEK 9: FRAGO—

THE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS SURVIVAL GUIDE 130

The FRAGO Fund 132

Watch Out for Imposters 134

Making the Most of Your Savings Account 135

You Are Now Ready for Anything 138

Summary 139

12 WEEK 10: MANUALS AND ORDERS—

GETTING STARTED IN INVESTING 141

Why Haven't You Started? 142

Are You Ready? 144

The Magic 10 Percent: A Guideline for Investing 145

Get the Right Advice 147

Secure Your Base of Operations 148

Summary 150

13 WEEK 11: FROM BOOTS TO HUMVEES—

BEGINNING INVESTMENT VEHICLES 152

Remember the Mission 155

Use Boots, Not Buses, for Short Distances 155

Middle-Distance Humvees: Investment Accounts (Individual or Joint) 158

Peer-to-Peer Lending 160

Summary 162

14 WEEK 12: FIVE-TON TRUCKS AND MRAPS—

LONG-DISTANCE INVESTMENT VEHICLES 163

Take an Active Role with a Roth IRA 164

Follow the Roth IRA with a 401(k) 167

The 401(k) for Military Personnel 169

The Stock Market: Be Careful of the Risks 169

Diversify Based on the Size of Your Portfolio 171

Investing for Your Future 171

Summary 173

PA R T F O U R

CONSOLIDATION PHASE (WEEKS 13—14) 175

15 WEEK 13: BASIC HOUSING ALLOWANCE—

MORTGAGE BASICS 176

Debriefing: J. Money's House 178

How Much House Can You Really Afford? 180

What Types of Loans Are Best for You? 182

Housing Traps to Avoid 183

Summary 186

16 WEEK 14: YOUR BODY ARMOR—

YOU NEED INSURANCE 187

Auto Insurance 189

Homeowners/Renters Insurance 190

Medical Insurance 191

Life Insurance 192

Umbrella Liability: Covering the Gaps 196

Summary 198

CONCLUSION 199

RESOURCES 201

INDEX 203

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 209

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Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MNicklin More than 1 year ago
Jeff served his country as a U.S. soldier during the conflict in Iraq. Now he is once again serving the American people by whipping them into financial shape, teaching them to defeat debt, and motivating them to carry out the mission. Jeff shares this financial training in fourteen easy to digest chapters (weeks). He takes what would be boring financial advice and presents it in an interesting and entertaining format. When you are ready to change your financial future and defeat the enemy of debt, pick up a copy of this book and attack debt with the same tactics used by the US military. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It doesn't take a soldier to understand the importance of discipline. Just ask a mother :-)  Because managing our daily household budget is a top priority for me, I've found myself consulting more and more finance blogs and books to help us not only plan an effective day-to-day budget, but also help us plan for the long-term. Some finance books can be SO BORING and because I simply don't have time to mull over the heavy language, I often end up tossing these books to the side. But Rose's book is different. It is organized and relatable and I found myself completely invested in his personal stories. I also appreciate all the lists that he provides throughout the book and his "Go or No-Go" approach. When it comes to finances, I am not always as knowledgable as I want to be, but  when a book is written in such a way that it both educates and inspires me...I am sold. Now it's time for me to lace up my mommy-boots and become a finance warrior!!