I admit, I don't read many financial help books. About the closest I get is listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio occasionally (whom I like and respect, even if I want to yell at him that he does deserve how he's doing). So, with curiosity and a touch of trepidation, I opened the cover of Safe Money Millionaire by Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap, and dove in.
A sales pitch makes me wary and I get the inclination to rebel (ask me the story of how I got rid of the Kirby salesman sometime), so after the intro titled "For Skeptics Only," I found myself even more skeptical.
Then I began reading the first chapter and was pleasantly surprised.
The chapter opened by telling a story, and this conversational style continued throughout. I liked this a lot, because I learn best that way and could better relate to the information. I really enjoyed the quotes given at the beginning of each chapter. The true stories of people such as Walt Disney, J.C. Penney, and Ray Kroc (the man who made McDonald's an empire) were fascinating. The advice was presented in a straightforward, simple manner and was nicely written.
I admit that my eyes glazed over a bit while reading about the stock market and the charts didn't mean much to me. Then again, I have never been interested in the stock market. However, what I did get out of this book was that it's very important to explore different options and that putting money in a 401(k) is generally not the best idea. After discussing some of the information with my husband, we had a good discussion which has led to some interesting avenues to check out. I told James (the major source of brains in this family) that he should read this book so it can help us decide what to do about our financial future. He is currently doing so.
Since I live in the Show Me state, I want down-to-earth, common sense financial advice. This book gives that--mostly. The only real issues I had were some of the legit reasons given to borrow money. In one of the stories, a man and his wife who have just lost their retirement through their 401(k) "desperately" need a kitchen remodel, and during their financial planning found they could borrow some for that reason. I found that a bit of a turnoff. A kitchen remodel would be nice thing to have, but it's far from a pressing need for most people I know. Another reason included borrowing a couple thousand dollars for a vacation, or for a car. If I borrow money, even if it's a relatively safe way to do it, I need a good reason. Otherwise I'm stuck with an unnecessary monthly payment, and I'd rather save up to pay for things that aren't emergencies. I would have liked to see the advice given to be prudent and use discretion on what a person borrows money for and how much--no matter how easy it would be to pay back.
The basic information on how the program works is given in the last half or so of the book--and I do mean very basic. The book recommends contacting special advisers, found through the website, who can help you make the most out of your financial decisions.Getting more information is vital to having the full benefit of the program. The information given is like artichoke dip at Olive Garden--it whets your appetite for more! I had never heard of options like these before, and they do sound intriguing.
I plan on checking further into the information presented in this book and on learning about more financial planning options in general. The best thing this book did for me was make me curious about learning about all the different options out there. Oh, and a great chocolate analogy came at the perfect time in the chapters to help me understand what the authors were saying. I definitely want to enjoy my chocolate bar and have plenty for my kids as well. Read Safe Money Millionaire to find out more about an interesting plan for obtaining more "chocolate" of your own!
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Review Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of review, and have not been compensated in any fashion for my opinions.