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Author: TheNewD Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308881  
Subject: Rant: Money books Date: 7/21/2006 1:42 PM
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(Oh, looks like this post turned into a rant.)

I checked out The Automatic Millionaire and Nice Girls Don't Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money from the library this week. I don't normally read money books, but I wanted to get some motivation.

Sheesh, I didn't know money books were so horrible. No wonder I never read them. Automatic Millionaire consisted of:

10% good common sense that deserves to be put down on paper
5% eye-opening tables showing the amount of money I could have made if I had started investing when I was 15
5% good contact information for various companies (ING direct, Fannie Mae, etc.)
75% fluff, hype and hyperbole
5% WRONG information

Regarding the wrong information: The method proposed by the author for paying off credit card debt is to line up your cards in the order that you will be able to pay them off by making only the minimum payments. Essentially, that means line them up from low balance to high balance. Then apply your snowball (he doesn't call it a snowball, but that's what he meant) to the CC that you can pay off in the shortest period of time. He makes absolutely no reference to interest rates. By following his method, a person in deep credit card debt would apply their snowball to a CC with a $5,000 balance at 0%, while letting a 20,000 balance at 30% sit there and get paid only the minimum. It literally made me mad that he didn't give out the best information possible.

To its credit, the book did inspire me to increase my 401(k) contribution from 1% to 3%, and I'm committed to moving that up to 10% within the next year, if not sooner.

Regarding Nice Girls Don't Get Rich, the one mistake that women make that wasn't included in the book is reading books about money that tell them what their mistakes are without empowering them to do anything about it. Yeah, that book really pissed me off. It made me feel bad about myself for having made all of those mistakes. Never once did it say to me, "hey, you've made these mistakes, but don't let that get you down." While I was reading it, I felt paralyzed by my past mistakes to the point where I felt like I was never going to be able to do anything about it. It wasn't until I stopped reading the book that I realized that I'm NOT a bad person for having made mistakes in the past.

So my one foray into reading money books didn't turn out so well. I'm just glad I didn't actually pay money for these. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Fool has given me a better education about money than any book ever could.

<end rant>

On a brighter note, I paid down another $500 on my CC this week.

-TND
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