Financially Fearless: The LearnVest™ Program for Taking Control of Your Money

Alexa Von Tobel. Crown Business, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-34761-7
This pragmatic and holistic guide from Von Tobel, founder and CEO of financial planning site, shows readers how to get out of financial holes and set up a secure financial future. Von Tobel’s simple plan for taking control of personal finances has the same brisk, straightforward tone that made the Web site successful, and doesn’t get bogged down in details; this is a survey-level course in financial literacy. Her budgeting formula—50 percent of take-home pay for essentials, 20 for savings, 30 for lifestyle—is a savior for those who find nitpicky budgets too onerous to deal with. Peppered with worksheets and tips, she covers topics such as planning for your future; your credit score; student loans; mortgages; helping aging parents; insurance; and drafting a pre-nup. There’s some discussion of the emotional side of money, and of corralling fears and shame, and a helpful list of “bad money habits,” but the book is mainly a get-down-to-business game plan. Most importantly, the author encourages readers to talk to each other about money, and even to form a Financially Fearless Club to share tips. Better than most books of its kind, this is a solid boot camp for the financially fearful. Agent: Andy McNicol, William Morris. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Release date: 12/31/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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