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  • The Opposite of Spoiled: The Right Way to Teach Kids About Money (61 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. After a year off, J.D. is once again writing here at GRS. His non-financial writing can still be found at More Than Money. What’s the best way to teach kids about money? That question has haunted folks for decades — maybe centuries. There are dozens of financial literacy programs in the United States right now, but none of them seems to…

  • Mike Michalowicz, ex-Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (20 comments)

    I’ve been meaning to write about Mike Michalowicz for a while now. Last October, in a comment to an article about generalization vs. specialization, I sided with specialists and promised reader Rya that I’d soon be discussing GIANT PUMPKINS! Why? Because at the time, I was reading Mike’s newest book, “The Pumpkin Plan.” However, life is full of detours, so I am finally writing about it months later… except that I won’t be writing about…

  • How to Have More Money (84 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jerrold Mundis, author of the classic How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously [here’s my review]. Mundis is a writer and financial therapist. The final book in his trilogy on personal money is Making Peace with Money. His website is Mundis Money. You can have more money. And you can have it — get it — without turning your life upside down or…

  • What Will You Get from Social Security? (99 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a blog, Twittering thing, and other things that are supposed to be important but he often forgets about, such as good manners. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. I’m a big advocate of crunching retirement numbers to…

  • An Interview with Thomas Stanley, Co-Author of “The Millionaire Next Door” (73 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. A while back, I mentioned the book The Millionaire Next Door to one of my colleagues at The Motley Fool. “That book changed my life,” she gushed. For some people, it really can be…

  • Nine Lessons in Wealth-Building from The Millionaire Next Door (103 comments)

    Want to become a millionaire? Then perhaps you should start by studying the behaviors of people who have done it. Check out the lists of the best financial books of all time, and you’re bound to find several that include The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. Written in 1996 by marketing professors William Danko and Thomas Stanley, its main premise is that people who look rich may not actually be rich; they overspend…

  • Advice from a Billionaire: What to do With a Windfall (42 comments)

    A long-time GRS reader named Andy dropped me a line the other day to point out an article on the Forbes website. Forbes interviewed billionaire Mark Cuban (best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team) about his secrets to building and keeping a fortune. Andy particularly liked Cuban’s answer to the penultimate question, which is about what to do with a windfall. (Or, I suppose, what to do with a bunch…

  • The Best Way to Pay for Advice: The Advantages of a Fee-Only Financial Advisor (38 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. A few weeks back, I wrote about having a financial health day at work. With the help of some of my Foolish colleagues, we’ve created a PDF that outlines how to host your own…

  • The Snowball: How Compounding Affects Money, Knowledge, and Life (48 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Happy anniversary to…well, all of us, I guess. This post marks my one-year (and five days) anniversary of being a contributor to Get Rich Slowly. It’s been a hoot. My very first post was…

  • Money Myths and the Importance of Thinking for Yourself (136 comments)

    When I sat down to write Your Money: The Missing Manual, I knew I wanted to start with a chapter on happiness. (Well, to be fair, I was going to conclude the book with this chapter; my editor suggested moving it to the beginning, which was a stroke of genius.) In particular, I wanted to make the point that money doesn’t buy happiness. Because we all know that’s true, right? Well, not so much, as…

  • Warren Buffett on the Lottery of Birth (70 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. One of the reasons J.D. asked me to join his merry band of GRS writers was so that I could add the occasional investing lesson to the line-up. Today, I’m going to hand that…

  • MyFinancialAdvice.com Helps the Average Person Find a Financial Advisor (13 comments)

    Many companies send me press releases and e-mail trying to get my attention. Some of these companies suck. Others are fine, but I don’t have the time to look at them. Every once in a while, though, I find what seems like a true gem, something I think would be of real use for Get Rich Slowly readers. Last week, I spent an hour chatting with the folks from MyFinancialAdvice.com. Based on what I’ve seen…

  • Great Lessons from Great Men (67 comments)

    Because I write a personal finance blog, I read a lot of books about money. I’ll be honest: they’re usually pretty boring. Sure, they can tell you how to invest in bonds or how to find the latest loophole in the tax code. But most of them lack a certain something: the human element. Recently I’ve begun to read a different kind of money book in my spare time. I’ve discovered the joy of classic…

  • Suze Orman Jumps Aboard the “Pay With Cash” Bandwagon (188 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Adam Baker. Baker recently listed the Top 10 Money Movies of the Decade. For years now, Dave Ramsey has recommended ditching credit cards and paying with cash. (Specifically, Ramsey advocates the use of an envelope budgeting system.) In fact, this anti-credit card stance is one of the biggest problems critics have with his philosophy; they often point out that “responsible” credit card use would yield a higher credit score….

  • You Can Negotiate Anything (46 comments)

    In May, I wrote about how to negotiate your salary. I argued that following the advice in Jack Chapman’s Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute is one of the best ways to improve your financial well-being. I still believe it. If you’re looking for work or looking for a raise, you should absolutely read his book. But negotiation is a skill you can use in other parts of your life, too. In…

  • Failing Forward: Transforming Mistakes into Success (22 comments)

    Sometimes the best personal finance books aren’t about personal finance. In June 2006, for example, I shared a brief review of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Ostensibly this book is about creativity and overcoming procrastination, but I found its lessons valuable for pursuing my financial goals. Last year I read Mastery by George Leonard. On the surface, this book has nothing to do with money, yet it’s one of the best books about money…

  • How to Buy a Mattress (145 comments)

    After my post about mattress shopping the other day, Garrison contacted me. “My home just flooded and due to renters insurance I was thrown into the market for a new mattress,” he said. “I called up my long-time best friend whose entire family is in the mattress business. I used his advice in my purchase and I’ve been completely satisfied.” Here’s what Garrison’s friend, Justin, had to say. I’ve written a lot here to help…

  • Escape from Cubicle Nation (35 comments)

    Last Friday, I attended a workshop put on by Pamela Slim, who writes about entrepreneurship at Escape from Cubicle Nation. Before this meeting, I didn’t know much about Slim or her message, but her work came highly recommended from my friend, Chris Guillebeau. “Pam is the real deal,” he told me. “Her book is what a lot other books have tried to be.” Based on this recommendation, I drove to hear Slim speak. I was…

  • Three Lessons from Warren Buffett (34 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Beginning today, Robert will contribute one article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. It’s my hope that he’ll bring a fresh perspective to this site, while also providing coverage of topics where I have weaknesses. Today he’s writing about one of my financial heroes, Warren Buffett. From what I can tell, there were no drugs, no free love, and just a little…

  • Fail-Safe Investing? Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio (64 comments)

    “The first rule of investing is don’t lose money; the second rule is don’t forget rule number one.” — Warren Buffett At the end of March, I asked you what topics you’d like to see covered during Financial Literacy Month. I received many great suggestions, and will continue to fulfill requests not just in April, but for months to come. One comment especially caught my eye. Kenneth F. LaVoie III wrote: Never again will I…

  • 8 Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring a Financial Planner (121 comments)

    This is a guest post by Jeff Rose, an Certified Financial Planner from Illinois. Rose is also the author of Good Financial Cents, a financial planning and investment blog. Before reading his article, you may want to begin with two previous guest posts from Dylan Ross: What is a financial plan and why have one? and When and how to hire a financial planner. When meeting with a financial planner for the first time, many…

  • The Fundamental Rules of Investment Success (28 comments)

    John Templeton was born in the small town of Winchester, Tennessee in 1912. As a young man, he graduated first in his class from Yale University before earning a law degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England. Eventually he became a billionaire by popularizing globally-diversified mutual funds. Templeton started his own mutual-fund company in 1954. He sold his firm to Franklin Resources in 1992, which became known as Franklin Templeton Investments after…

  • Safe Money in Tough Times: Questions and Answers with Jonathan Pond (58 comments)

    My wife is a public broadcasting fanatic. I recognize its value, but mostly I just tolerate it. (I often joke that NPR is “noise pollution radio” — I can’t think when it’s on.) Usually the television pledge breaks annoy me, but one night last week, the local station employed a clever tactic. They had a financial expert answer viewer questions between pleas for more money. Jonathan Pond bills himself as “America’s financial planner”. He runs…

  • George Kinder: Three Questions about Life Planning (31 comments)

    I spent last Tuesday at the mid-winter conference of the local financial planning association. I was there to give a one-hour presentation about financial blogs, but I had a secondary motive. I wanted to hear the keynote speaker, George Kinder. George Kinder takes a unique approach to financial planning. He moves beyond the numbers and tries to address the goals and values of the client. Kinder calls this method “life planning”. From his website: Life…

  • Interview: The Motley Fool’s David Gardner Talks About Stock-Market Investing (19 comments)

    Earlier today, I reviewed the new book from The Motley Fool, Million Dollar Portfolio. I had the pleasure to interview author David Gardner at the end of December. This post contains excerpts from that interview. The complete interview will be included as part of the hypothetical future Get Rich Slowly podcast. J.D. Earlier this year, you met with Stephen Popick, a government economist who writes for Get Rich Slowly. During the first part of your…

  • Million Dollar Portfolio: The Motley Fool Guide to Stock-Market Investing (46 comments)

    “People want to make money fast, but it doesn’t happen that way.” — Warren Buffett Over Christmas, I read Roger Lowenstein’s fantastic biography of Warren Buffett, one of my financial heroes. Because I currently prefer to invest through index funds, it was fascinating to read how Buffett has been able to make billions by purchasing individual stocks. Next, I picked up the new book from David and Tom Gardner: The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio….

  • Free Downloadable Suze Orman Book from Oprah (22 comments)

    Here’s a quick reminder that Suze Orman will be on The Oprah Winfrey Show this afternoon to discuss jumpstarting your personal finances in 2009. Serena wrote to let me know that until next Thursday (15 January 2009), you can download Suze Orman’s new book free from Oprah’s web site. Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan features 200 pages devoted to topics like credit, retirement investing, spending, real estate, and “protecting yourself”. This is a real book,…

  • Like a Drug: Suze Orman on Credit Cards (42 comments)

    I recently participated in a conference call with Suze Orman, who is working to promote Best Life Week. This series runs on The Oprah Winfrey Show all this week, and is intended to help viewers “jumpstart 2009 and make it the best year ever!” Hyperbole aside, it was great to have a chance to speak with Suze Orman, who will be sharing money tips with Oprah viewers this Thursday. I tried to ask her about…

  • You Are Not Your Money (40 comments)

    Joe S. sent me a recent New York Times editorial from Ben Stein, who describes being approached by representatives from Bernard Madoff. Madoff ran a Wall Street hedge fund which reportedly “never lost money”. Stein thought it sounded fishy, and he didn’t take the bait. “I have never heard of an entity that could make money in all kinds of markets consistently, year in and year out,” Stein writes. “I have never heard of a…

  • Warren Buffett’s Ten Secrets to Wealth and Life (48 comments)

    Warren Buffett is the richest man in the world, yet his reputation for frugality, folksy wisdom, and straight talk make him seem like just a regular guy, like he might be the billionaire next door. He’s one of my heroes. Several Buffett biographies have seen print over the years — The Making of an America Capitalist, The Good Guy of Wall Street, etc. — but at the end of September, author Alice Schroeder will publish…

  • Leverage, Luck, and Living Well: A Conversation with Financial Columnist Scott Burns (16 comments)

    During the first week of July, I had the privilege to chat with financial author Scott Burns. What was intended to be a brief interview about his new book, Spend ’til the End [my review] lasted for nearly two hours. Burns was fascinating. It has taken weeks to edit this conversation into something digestible for the web. It’s still quite long, but I hope it’s as interesting to you as it is to me. You…

  • How to Take a Sabbatical (56 comments)

    In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss proposes that we shift our focus from end-of-life “macro” retirement to more frequent mini-retirements, which might be spaced throughout a working career. Consider it a type of sabbatical, but one that you can take multiple times throughout your working life — and not reserved for academics or the super rich. Ferriss took time to speak with me about his notion of mini-retirements. Last week, I published the…

  • Using Mini-Retirements to Get More Out of Life: An Interview with Timothy Ferriss (45 comments)

    On a cool Thursday morning last July, I woke early to walk into the hills outside Wells in Somerset County, England. After three-quarters of an hour, I reached a point with a broad vista of the surrounding countryside. I leaned against a fence post and took in the view — I could have sworn I was looking at Hobbiton. After a few minutes of silent contemplation, I walked back to town. I took a brief…

  • Best Personal Finance Podcasts (39 comments)

      Podcasts are a great and free way to learn about saving and investing. Here are some of the very best personal finance podcasts we feel are worthy of your “must-listen” line-up: Planet Money Planet Money is perhaps the best all-around podcast about money and economics out there right now. The production values are extremely high — as you’d expect from any NPR show — but it stands out for its ability to explain the most complex…

  • Robert Kiyosaki: Increase Your Financial IQ (72 comments)

    The problem with the standard financial advice is that it’s bad advice. You’ve been told to work hard, save money, get out of debt, live below your means, and invest in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds. But this advice is obsolete — so argues Robert Kiyosaki in his new book, Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ. Increase Your Financial IQ is the latest installment in Kiyosaki’s tremendously popular “Rich Dad” series of books. These…

  • Uncommon Lifestyles and the Truth About the 4-Hour Workweek: An Interview with Tim Ferriss (41 comments)

    One of the fundamental premises of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy is that by making sacrifices and smart moves now, you can create a better life in the future. It’s a philosophy of deferred gratification. But what if you don’t want to wait to enjoy life’s rewards? What if you want to take advantage of opportunities while you’re still young? Is there a way to do this while still maintaining a smart approach to money?…

  • Review: Dave Ramsey’s ‘The Total Money Makeover’ (174 comments)

    According to Get Rich Slowly founder J.D. Roth, Dave Ramsey and his influential book “The Total Money Makeover” changed his life: “In the fall of 2004, I had over $35,000 in consumer debt. I was making a solid middle-class salary, but I lived paycheck to paycheck. My money habits were terrible. When I looked into the future, all I saw were years of toil to pay for the things I’d already purchased. “Then a friend…

  • Five Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (42 comments)

    Several people forwarded a recent Reader’s Digest article about the secrets of self-made millionaires. It’s a quick and inspiring read. “Many modern millionaires live in middle-class neighborhoods, work full-time and shop in discount stores like the rest of us,” writes author Kristyn Kusek Lewis. “What motivates them isn’t material possessions but the choices that money can bring.” She goes on to describe five millionaires and the lessons that can be learned from them: Set your…

  • Get Rich Quack: David Schirmer of The Secret (37 comments)

    In my review of The Secret, I complained about the get rich quick mentality the book espouses. I was particularly cranky at the financial “advice” to visualize checks coming in the mail. That tip came from David Schirmer, an Australian financial “expert”. Here’s the complete passage from The Secret: When I first understood The Secret, every day I would get a bunch of bills in the mail. I thought, “How do I turn this around?”…