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Ask Money

Reading Suggestions

Chris Farrell May 12, 2008

Question: I’m a 33 yrs old stay-at-mom and I also work freelance a couple of hrs per week. I have 2 kids under 5 yrs old. My husband is a research scientist who works at the university. We are a household in the $100,000+ bracket. I would like to educate myself on financial planning. We don’t have college funds for our kids or retirement accounts for us. We don’t own a house but it’s in our future plans to buy one. My husband has some stock options from his work as well as mutual funds. What book do you recommend I read to educate myself and start making the right decisions on our financial planning? Thank you in advance for your response. Maria. Santa Barbara, CA

Answer: I love books, so this is always a fun question to answer. For people in circumstances like yours, I’d recommend two very good and practical books that deserve a place on any bookshelf. The first is “The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success.” It’s by Burton Malkiel, a finance professor at Princeton University and author of the personal finance classic, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”. The latter is a wonderful read, but it’s also a commitment as Malkiel translates the key concepts of modern portfolio theory (many of them highly abstract and quantitative) into everyday language. What I like about his Ten Rules for Financial Success is that it’s extremely accessible and covers all the basics well. It’s a real gem of a book.

My other suggestion is Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People, by Jane Bryant Quinn. Frankly, you can’t go wrong paying attention to what the Queen of Money has to say. The title says it all, and she delivers it with wit and wisdom.

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