Beach Reading on Personal Finance

June 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Book Reviews

I will be on vacation next week. Not at the beach exactly but at the lake with family.

I like to get a little recreational reading in when I am on vacation, taking me away briefly from the legal and technical reading that fills my workdays. I guess you could say that I am a “beach reader” because I am fond of those action paperbacks that you read, enjoy, then forget what the book was about a week later.

Next week I plan on finishing one book and at least starting another. Both are financial books but only one is serious about it.

The book I am finishing is Dave Barry’s Money Secrets. This book covers every possible money issue you can think of (and some you would never think of). The author’s name should tell you that not one word of this book is to be taken seriously. Dave Barry is my favorite humor writer and this book is true to his hilarious style. If you want to think about our government and money and laugh at the same time (hard to do right now), give this book a try.

The other book I plan to read is serious: Worry Free Investing by Zvi Bodie. Bodie is a finance professor at Boston University. He disputes conventional wisdom that postulates that stocks are a reasonable risk for long term investors. His advice is to keep out of the market entirely and invest in TIPS and I-Bonds. His book is supposed to explain all of this in detail. I actually downloaded a copy from his website for $5.00. If I enjoy it, I will write a full review here eventually.

For an introduction to Bodie’s conservative investing philosophy, check out this Bodie interview video:

(RSS and email readers may need to click through to see the video.)

So that’s what Mr. ToughMoneyLove is reading this summer about personal finance. What about you?


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2 Responses to “Beach Reading on Personal Finance”
  1. Roger says:

    Oh, I love Dave Barry’s Money Secrets; if you’re overloaded on serious money books, it makes an excellent break. The more money reading you do, the funnier it actually becomes; I re-read a few weeks ago, and it was even funnier than I remember.

    As for Bodie’s advice, while he has some interesting ideas, I don’t think his plans are workable for anyone who needs more than half of their income to live on (or in many cases, even less). If you’re making a great deal of money and only spend a small fraction, putting enough into inflation indexed bonds might work. But for someone like me, who would like to retire in twenty-five years or so, I’d need to put two times my desired real (not counting inflation) income into the TIPS account every year. That’s just not realistic.

  2. JeffS says:

    Just started reading “Comeback America, Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.” Book is written by David Walker, formerly of the U.S. General Accounting Office. Should be mandatory reading for every spend-thrift politician!

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