Summary of The Index Card

Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

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The Index Card book summary
Seeking great financial advice? How about advice so simple you could write it on an “index card”?


9 Overall

10 Applicability

7 Innovation

10 Style


Financial columnist Helaine Olen and professor Harold Pollack boil down personal financial planning to a set of 10 clear rules that would fit on an index card. They illustrate these rules with personal stories, explanations and definitions. Their examples blend research with common sense and direct experience. The result is extremely useful, though some of the book’s advice is specific to the United States. While never giving investment advice, getAbstract recommends this dandy little manual to anyone seeking sound financial management tools.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What makes financial planning difficult
  • How you can make a simple index card into a powerful financial planning tool
  • Why you must take control of your finances
  • What 10 prudent steps you can take to manage your money effectively


Personal Finance Made Simple
Most people don’t handle their finances well. Money management often causes stress. One third of those in relationships argue with their partners about money. About 69% of people don’t balance their checkbooks; many fear outliving their retirement funds. They...
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About the Authors

Author of Pound Foolish Helaine Olen writes The Bills column for Slate. Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a nonresident fellow at the Century Foundation.

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    Stephanie Losee and Helaine Olen

    Adams Media, 2007


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