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: