A Review of “Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People”

January 3, 2006

Where do I start? I want to say I expected more from Jane Bryant Quinn’s Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People, but since I never read her other book, Making the Most of Your Money, I can’t say it. I will say that this book’s target audience should be young people, not busy people.

Why do I say that? Because this book is very basic in nature. She does a good job going over the basics of spending and saving, dealing with debt, buying insurance, buying a home, paying for college, and investing. The chapter on investing was perhaps a bit too basic with its “Investing 101” section (TheHappyCapitalist and I are in agreement on this). However, for the person who has very limited knowledge and experience with financial issues, this book may be for them.

I found the chapter on buying a home to be useful with its discussion of the different types of mortgages available. Over the last few years, selecting a mortgage has become a real chore because there are so many options. I agree with Jane that most people would do well to stick with a fixed-rate mortgage.

One thing I did notice is that she is very much anti-advisor. I’m sure that will tick a lot of people off. I can’t say that I agree with the whole commission-based sales platform but I do recognize that there are some trustworthy advisors who work from that platform (see TheHappyCapitalist and RarelyRight). The whole commission vs. fee-only debate is great material for another post.

So, if you have limited financial skills and are in the market for a book about personal finance basics, Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People may be right for you. The rest of you can keep looking.

Other reviews of Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People:

PF Advice
Money & Investing
Chief Family Officer

7 responses to A Review of “Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People”

  1. JLP: Thanks for the kind mention.

    Just for the record, my clients choose whether to pay for portfolio management on a transaction basis or a quarterly fee based on the value of their account. For many who prefer a lower turnover rate, the commission-based platform is more cost-effective. I believe clients shouldn’t pay for more than they get. Currently, about half of the assets that I manage are on a fee-based platform.

  2. Ha! I knew you wouldn’t like it. My review will be up tomorrow. Guess what I said? 😉

  3. FMF,

    It’s not so much that I didn’t like it. I just thought it could have been better.

  4. Quinn did at one point concede that fee-only advisors should be the way to go for those who want to work with an advisor.

  5. Just published the review on my blog:
    Money And Investing

    She provides very simple advice on a financial strategy. Way to simple for me. Way better than what most americans use: nothing.

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