My favorite book for those just starting to think about saving, investments and retirement.

Jonathan Clements used to write a personal finance column for the Wall Street Journal, and it was those articles that originally opened my eyes to the importance and complexity of planning our own financial futures.   Mr. Clements no longer writes for the Journal, but he did write a short primer on money management titled ” The Little Book of MAIN STREET MONEY, 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money.”  It is a quick read and is part common sense and part technical advice.   And if you read no further than the introduction, I suggest you do that!   In the introduction, Mr Clements lays out seven principles of money that he has learned through his career and on which the books is based.  They are so fundamental, I use them as the basis of my initial lecture on personal finance in the economics class I mentor.   Simply stated they are, per Jonathan Clements:

1. Money is a means to an end.  It isn’t an end in itself.

2. We shouldn’t neglect today.

3. We need to think harder about what we want.

4. Money is emotional.

5. Our financial lives are bigger than we think.

6. We should focus on the things we can control.

7. Simplicity is one of the great financial virtues.

Main Street Money is a quick read and a good read, and if you would ever like to discuss it in the context of your own financial future, please feel free to contact me at Keith@AskRFA.com