During a talk with a personal finance expert, University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack off-handedly mentioned that the best investment advice fits on an index card. When a commenter took him to task and asked for the actual index card, Pollack grabbed a pen and quickly jotted down everything one needs to know about personal finances. Max your 401k. Save 20 percent of your money. Pay your credit card balance in full every month. Pay attention to fees. It goes on, but it fits on one side of a card in normal handwriting. The last line of Professor Harold Pollack's index card, quote: "promote social insurance programs to help people when things go wrong."