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Best Personal Finance Book for Your SO?

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  • Best Personal Finance Book for Your SO?

    I'm trying to get my wife to read one personal finance book so that I can at least discuss the most basic part of our financial plan without her eyes glassing over. Anyone have experience co-reading a finance book with a relatively finance-naive significant other? Any suggestions on the book?

  • #2
    If you are talking investing, I always recommend the most recent version of Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth (not available on Amz). You should read it first to make sure you're on board. All she has to do is read the summaries at the end of each chapter and then read the chapters that interest her. Just ignore the references to 1% AUM fees, which are presented for illustrative purposes.
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #3
      I had my wife (then teenage girlfriend at the time) read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and also asked her to read Millionaire Next Door but I think it was just too boring.  

      Later in life, I bought White Coat Investor with the hopes that she would also read it.  I think I got her to skim a bit but I don't think it was read cover-to-cover.  It was a much easier read than Millionaire but she had passed up a few of the covered topics already in her career, and other things she wasn't really eager to learn about.

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      • #4
        Thanks Johanna, though I am a bit weary of a book with a summary saying "In practice, no one will ever be able to resist the great behavioral traps of equity investing without the calm, consistent, empathetic but tough-loving counsel of a high quality advisor" as if CFA's possess some innate emotional quality that well-read non-CFA's do not. I'll give it a look, but I'm worried it will end up as a CFA infomercial.

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        • #5




          I had my wife (then teenage girlfriend at the time) read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and also asked her to read Millionaire Next Door but I think it was just too boring.

          Later in life, I bought White Coat Investor with the hopes that she would also read it.  I think I got her to skim a bit but I don’t think it was read cover-to-cover.  It was a much easier read than Millionaire but she had passed up a few of the covered topics already in her career, and other things she wasn’t really eager to learn about.
          Click to expand...


          I'm all too familiar with this. I tried to get my wife to read "How to Think About Money" hoping that she'd be more interested because it wasn't so nitty-gritty dollars and cents. I was wrong. She didn't even open it...

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          • #6




            Thanks Johanna, though I am a bit weary of a book with a summary saying “In practice, no one will ever be able to resist the great behavioral traps of equity investing without the calm, consistent, empathetic but tough-loving counsel of a high quality advisor” as if CFA’s possess some innate emotional quality that well-read non-CFA’s do not. I’ll give it a look, but I’m worried it will end up as a CFA infomercial.
            Click to expand...


            I understand. He's definitely biased, but that really is not the focus of the book. I didn't realize it said that (sorry!)
            Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              The real question... does it really matter if she reads anything?  Does she have a spending issue?  Or do you just want her to be included in the conversation?  The answer to that is what decides if it is a battle worth picking.

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              • #8
                Just thought of another one. I can't believe I didn't think of it first - an autographed copy is almost staring me in the face. Get The One Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards. If she doesn't enjoy this, give up. It's a delightful read.
                Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                • #9




                  The real question… does it really matter if she reads anything?  Does she have a spending issue?  Or do you just want her to be included in the conversation?  The answer to that is what decides if it is a battle worth picking.
                  Click to expand...


                  No, not a spending issue. But having known someone who lost their SO and was completely uninvolved in their finances up to that point, I feel strongly that my wife should have at least some grasp of finance in case the worst happens to me. The added benefit of being able to talk to her about something that interests me is just gravy.

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                  • #10




                    The real question… does it really matter if she reads anything?  Does she have a spending issue?  Or do you just want her to be included in the conversation?  The answer to that is what decides if it is a battle worth picking.
                    Click to expand...


                    It matters because if the OP got hit by a bus tomorrow she'd suddenly HAVE to take charge of the finances - and she'd be too ignorant to safely do so.  Basic financial literacy, and a basic understanding of the current state of the household finances, is something EVERYONE needs to have.

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                    • #11







                      The real question… does it really matter if she reads anything?  Does she have a spending issue?  Or do you just want her to be included in the conversation?  The answer to that is what decides if it is a battle worth picking.
                      Click to expand…


                      It matters because if the OP got hit by a bus tomorrow she’d suddenly HAVE to take charge of the finances – and she’d be too ignorant to safely do so.  Basic financial literacy, and a basic understanding of the current state of the household finances, is something EVERYONE needs to have.
                      Click to expand...


                      I don't know if it's appropriate to assume that sort of profound ignorance here.

                      Hopefully Gas Doc has either enough life insurance or enough socked away in retirement etc that she can afford to waste a little and still be OK.  Necessity is the best teacher.  If she is already a responsible spender, then she's already more than halfway there.

                      Now if she were in fact some sort of imbecile then perhaps the best path is financial interdiction paired with the appointment of a good trustee, conservator...

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                      • #12


                        I don’t know if it’s appropriate to assume that sort of profound ignorance here. Hopefully Gas Doc has either enough life insurance or enough socked away in retirement etc that she can afford to waste a little and still be OK.  Necessity is the best teacher.  If she is already a responsible spender, then she’s already more than halfway there. Now if she were in fact some sort of imbecile then perhaps the best path is financial interdiction paired with the appointment of a good trustee, conservator…
                        Click to expand...


                        I'm with Gas_Doc here. Not infrequently, husbands who are the prime money manager will seek out our services so that the spouse will have a trusted advisor in the event the husband dies first (which, statistically speaking, will happen). I realize this is not "pc" and is changing, but the traditional financial spouse is predominantly the male. The wives are by no means imbeciles , they just leave it up to their husbands. And, as many on this forum have freely admitted (or there would be no purpose for the forum), finances are complicated - even WCI bought whole life insurance at one point. Coupled with profound grief at the loss of a spouse, the survivor is all too often prey to the scruples of the first advisor they run into - or even the first family member who takes them under their wing, not always the best result. I sure wouldn't have wanted my mom to have been in that situation when my dad passed 25 years ago.
                        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                        • #13
                          Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach.

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                          • #14
                            Oh, and as for


                            Coupled with profound grief at the loss of a spouse, the survivor is all too often prey to the scruples of the first advisor they run into – or even the first family member who takes them under their wing, not always the best result.
                            Click to expand...


                            That's the problem in a nutshell:  a financially-naive person with means is easy prey, and as we all know, there are plenty of "helpful" financial professionals out there who will happily take advantage of that.

                            As for books:  my recommendation is Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson.  It nicely covers the basics.

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                            • #15
                              I have given up on trying to I have given up on trying to interest my wife in reading and learning about personal finance. I am happy enough that she is out there making a ************************ good living. ?

                              I have given her a list of resources, in case of my untimely death, including my recommendations for a financial advisor.  I update this list regularly.

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