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The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money

ISBN: 978-0-470-47323-8
194 pages
June 2009
The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money (0470473231) cover image
"A gem from one of the most brilliant minds in personal finance."
Ben Stein, author, actor, TV personality, and New York Times columnist

"Investing, as it is said, is simple but it is not easy. Jonathan Clements's fine new Little Book underscores the priceless (and price-less) value of simplicity. And his sage advice on living the good life and on spending well and saving wisely will surely make it, if not easy, at least easier for us to achieve financial peace of mind."
John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard and author of Enough

"Nobody, and I mean nobody, can make the world of investing as easy to understand as Jonathan Clements can. In this wonderful book, he teaches Main Street how to beat Wall Street at its own game-and how to have fun along the way. This book does not stop at merely making you richer and smarter; it will even help you lead a better life."
Jason Zweig, author of Your Money and Your Brain and editor of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor

"Jonathan Clements is one of our wisest and finest writers in the field of personal finance. This Little Book contains gems of wisdom not only about investing, but also about living a full and satisfying life."
Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street

"Easy to read, easy to understan-and easy to put to work-this Little Book is a winner. I'm getting copies for our children-and their children, too."
Charles D. Ellis, author of Winning the Loser's Game

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Foreword.

Introduction.

Let the Rebuilding Begin.

Chapter One: Our Finances Are Bigger than a Brokerage Account.

Chapter Two: We Can’t Have It All.

Chapter Three: Money Can Buy Happiness—If We Spend It Carefully.

Chapter Four: Even the Best Investors Need to Be Great Savers.

Chapter Five: Time Is as Valuable as Money.

Chapter Six: No Investment Is Risk-Free.

Chapter Seven: Portfolio Performance: It’s All in the Mix.

Chapter Eight: Stocks Are Worth Something.

Chapter Nine: To Add Wealth, We Need to Overcome the Subtractions.

Chapter Ten: Aiming for Average Is the Only Sure Way to Win.

Chapter Eleven: Wild Investments Can Tame Our Portfolios.

Chapter Twelve: Short-Term Results Matter to Long-Term Investors.

Chapter Thirteen: A Long Life Is a Big Risk.

Chapter Fourteen: Markets May Be Rational, but We Aren’t.

Chapter Fifteen: Our Homes Are a Fine Investment that Won’t Appreciate Much.

Chapter Sixteen: Paying off Debts Could Be Our Best Bond Investment.

Chapter Seventeen: Saving Taxes Can Cost Us Dearly.

Chapter Eighteen: A Tax Deferred Is Extra Money Made.

Chapter Nineteen: Insurance Won’t Make Us Any Money—If We’re Lucky.

Chapter Twenty: Even If We Have a Will, We May Not Get Our Way.

Chapter Twenty-One: Financial Success: It’s About More than Money.

Conclusion.

Wall Street? That Isn’t So Far from Main Street.

Acknowledgments.

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Jonathan Clements is Director of Financial Guidance for myFi (www.myFi.com), a new financial service from banking giant Citicorp. Before joining myFi, he spent eighteen years at the Wall Street Journal, where he was the newspaper's award-winning personal finance columnist. He has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC's Today show, and Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, and is an occasional guest on public radio.
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"Any consumer concerned about money issues, from managing college to retirement, will find The Little Book of Main Street Money an excellent reference. Wall Street is demystified, with common strategies for money management geared to general readers and based on the wisdom of Wall Street successes. Taxes, inflation concerns, and investing are all covered within a series of 21 'truths' about success, perfect for general lending libraries."
(Midwest Book Review)

"’The Little Book of Main Street Money’ is aptly named. . . it's unintimidating to all but the most hopeless finance-phobics. The book is also written in spare and concise language. . . Clements's sure-footed advice on fundamentals is comforting after last year's meltdown. When he strays toward more opinionated views, he's even better: Investing in your house will historically offer you a lackluster 4.7% annual return. Or, to those buying insurance as an investment. . . Best of all, Clements isn't only a sound financial planner, but something of an armchair shrink. Beating the market isn't what it's all about. It's more about meeting your personal goals and achieving peace of mind: ‘We should strive to ensure money is enhancing our lives, rather than getting in the way.’" (SmartMoney.com)

“The Little Book of Main Street Money . . does a brilliant job of navigating us through the post financial crash landscape. . . offers investors some tried-and-true, timeless advice, such as keeping investing simple and uncluttered by emotion. . . but what I love best about this book is the exploration of the relationship between money and happiness. Clements notes, in spite of the U.S. standard of living skyrocketing over the past few decades, that quantitative research indicates Americans are no happier than when we were less economically well off. . . Clements goes beyond the accumulation of money and essentially tells us how to convert the stored energy from our portfolio into happiness.” (CBS Moneywatch.com)

"This small book . . . packs a good dose of practical financial advice to help you weather this brutal economy and work toward building wealth. Clements . . . advice goes beyond simple money management and offers tips for living a more fulfilled life. The book's nuggets of valuable information include 'We can't have it all,' 'Our Finances Are Bigger than a Brokerage Account,' 'Time Is as Valuable as Money' and 'Markets May Be Rational, but We Aren't' . . . The take-away from this book is that money is tied up in all aspects of our lives, and we should give appropriate attention to managing it wisely." (WalletPop)

"Because it is a "Little Book," each chapter is short. The entire book can almost be read in one sitting (unless you’re a slow reader like I am). The concepts in the book aren’t new but have clearly been ignored by lots of people as you can tell by watching the news or reading the newspaper. It’s time to get back to the basics and that is what Jonathan’s book is all about." (AllFinancialMatters)

"The Little Book of Main Street Money is far and away the best of the "Little Books" series. The advice is truly approachable and actually useful, particularly for people who are in reasonably good financial shape and have a lot of years left ahead of them. . . it just provides - in Clements' approachable writing tone - excellent basic advice and principles to follow. This advice is timeless and forms the foundation of whatever personal finance strategy you might choose to follow - this book is a great starter." (The Simple Dollar)

"From how to save more to how to invest better, this book delivers the goods on how to lead a rich life (in every sense) and does so in less than 200 pages."
MoneySense magazine

“This useful guide is unintimidating but chock full of excellent advice, presented in spare and concise language. Clements … offers sure-footed advice on fundamentals.”
SmartMoney.com’s list of “Best Finance Books of the Year”

"A gem from one of the most brilliant minds in personal finance."
Ben Stein, author, actor, TV personality and New York Times columnist

"Investing, as it is said, is simple but it is not easy. Jonathan Clements' fine new Little Book underscores the priceless (and price-less) value of simplicity. And his sage advice on living the good life and on spending well and saving wisely will surely make it, if not easy, at least easier for us to achieve financial peace of mind."
John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard and author of Enough

"Nobody, and I mean nobody, can make the world of investing as easy to understand as Jonathan Clements can. In this wonderful book, he teaches Main Street how to beat Wall Street at its own game-and how to have fun along the way. This book does not stop at merely making you richer and smarter; it will even help you lead a better life."
Jason Zweig, author, Your Money and Your Brain, and Editor of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor

"Jonathan Clements is one of our wisest and finest writers in the field of personal finance. This Little Book contains gems of wisdom not only about investing, but also about living a full and satisfying life."
Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street

"Easy to read, easy to understand - and easy to put to work - this little book is a winner. I'm getting copies for our children - and their children too."
Charles D. Ellis, author, Winning the Loser's Game

"Jonathan Clements is one of those rare financial writers who is thought-provoking, sensible, informed, and insightful. This new book is his best yet!"
Eric Tyson, author of Personal Finance For Dummies

"Personal finance books are a dime a dozen, but this one is a gold mine. Jonathan Clements has taken his must-read Wall Street Journal columns and distilled them into the simple truths that help real people make real money."
Consuelo Mack, anchor, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack

"Jonathan Clements is one of the best personal finance writers of our time. He has crafted a pithy primer to help us navigate stormy seas. Those who care about their happiness, ignore it at their own peril."
Terry Burnham, Ph.D., author of Mean Markets and Lizard Brains

"There are very few journalists who actually have investor’s interests at heart. Those that do write about what might be called the science of investing, or evidence-based investing. The rest write about the noise . . . Clements was not only one of the few that truly had investor interests at heart, but he was one of the best of the group (if not the best). I considered his weekly column a must read. The same could be said of this little book. It’s only little in size. It’s giant in terms of the number of pearls of wisdom that it contains; pearls not limited to investing, but finance in general and life as well. I highly recommend this book especially for those just beginning their financial journey — it’s a journey you shouldn’t take without this book as a guide.""
Larry Swedroe, CBSmoneywatch.com

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February 05, 2010
The Little Book of Main Street Money

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                    Media Contact:  Jocelyn Córdova

201-748-6249/ jcordova@wiley.com

 

 

The Latest Entry in Wiley’s Little Book Big Profit Series…

 

The Little Book of Main Street Money

21 Simple Truths That Help Real People Make Real Money

By Jonathan Clements

 

“Investing, as it is said, is simple but it is not easy.  Jonathan Clements’s fine new Little Book underscores the priceless (and price-less) value of simplicity.”

John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard

 

“Nobody, and I mean nobody, can make the world of investing as easy to understand as Jonathan Clements can.  In this wonderful book, he teaches Main Street how to beat Wall Street at its own game – and how to have fun along the way.  This book does not stop at merely making you richer and smarter; it will even help you lead a better life.”

Jason Zweig, author of Your Money and Your Brain

 

Want to make sure your household finances are never again rocked by plunging stock prices, job layoffs, crippling credit-card debt, tumbling home values and back-breaking mortgage payments?  It’s time to give up on wishful thinking and get back to financial basics, argues Jonathan Clements, the former personal-finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal and now Director of Financial Guidance for myFi, a unit of Citicorp, in his new book, THE LITTLE BOOK OF MAIN STREET MONEY:  21 Simple Truths That Help Real People Make Real Money (Wiley; June 2009; $19.95; Hardcover).

 

You can’t stop home prices from falling, share prices from sliding or your company from laying off employees.  But you can improve your odds of surviving and thriving in today’s turbulent economy.  How?  By spending wisely, saving regularly, keeping debts low, avoiding big investment bets and ensuring your family is protected against life’s misfortunes.  None of this is that complicated, argues Clements. But often, we’re held back by foolish financial thinking and our own behavioral mistakes. What to do?  If we can overcome these errors, we can better manage our money—and, maybe more important, lead a far happier financial life.

 

In his new book, Clements shows readers how to do just that, offering 21 clear-cut financial truths in the same pithy, feisty style that marked his Wall Street Journal columns. Collectively, the 21 truths show you how to think about your entire financial life – not just stocks and bonds, but your house, your debts, your financial promises to your children, and so much more.  Some chapter titles include:

 

n      We can’t have it all. And that means we need to make tough financial choices.

n      Money can buy happiness – if we spend it carefully.

n      No investment is risk free.  It’s a dangerous world, even for those hiding out in savings accounts.

n      Our homes are a fine investment that won’t appreciate much.  They’re money pits – with impressive dividends.

n      Saving taxes can cost us dearly…but retirement accounts are the big exception.

 

While the politicians try to repair the national economy, each of us needs to do our part—by taking control of our personal economy and taking the steps needed to feel truly financially secure.  Following the advice presented in THE LITTLE BOOK OF MAIN STREET MONEY is a smart place to start.

 

 

The Little Book of Main Street Money

21 Simple Truths That Help Real People Make Real Money

By Jonathan Clements

Wiley; June 2009; $19.95; Hardcover

ISBN:  9780470473238

 

 

 

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from our business authors by following us on Twitter @WileyBiz

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