The Index Card
Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
- Well Structured
While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
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.
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.