On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance is a personal finance book that is in its own words: short, inviting, and easy to read. I have read plenty of personal finance books but this one really struck a chord with me and I’m not even a woman. The first thing that stood out to me were the authors themselves: Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA and Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA.
Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar both have extensive experience in the financial services industry. At various points in their careers they have worked as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and client servicing/marketing executives for leading investment management firms with billions of dollars in assets under management. Both Manisha and Sharon earned MBA degrees from Harvard Business School and are Chartered Financial Analyst (‘CFA’) charterholders.
The combination of a strong education and financial experience put the authors a step ahead of many of the personal finance authors out there today. Throughout the book their experience in the industry shines through and is presented in a very easy to understand way.
The book itself is somewhat compact and easy to flip through. Instead of long chapters with pages upon pages of text it is broken down into small digestible topics with a liberal application of exampes, FAQs, and quick tips. The actual content of the book is broken down into three parts:
- The five basic tools for financial success
- How to invest your savings
- Dealing with real-life situations
Part 1: Tools for Financial Success
This opening section begins by stressing the importance of saving and starting early which is the cornerstone to financial success. It continues on with credit cards and how to use them wisely, the importance of your credit score and how to make the most of it, and budgeting. It also covers an area that I think is often overlooked among many personal finance books and that is insurance. It goes beyond life insurance and gives examples of other very important types of coverage.
Part 2: Investing
In the second part of the book it goes through the path from saving to investing by covering topics on how important it is to invest and why you should invest. It does a very good job at presenting core investment topics without confusing the reader with too many details. This section utilizes a lot of examples and question and answer blocks that most people should be able to relate to.
Part 3: Strategies for Real-Life Situations
The final section of the book really ties everything together by presenting many real-life decisions that almost everyone will have to deal with at some point in their life. From buying a home or a car, to taxes and entering a committed relationship. It is through these real-world examples that I think most people can relate to and begin to see the importance of financial planning.
While the book is written for women the concepts that are discussed are applicable to everyone. What this book does extremely well is to tailor the information so that women can easily relate to the examples and see the importance of understanding their personal finances. The way the book is put together and filled with examples it is one of the easiest personal finance books I have read.
This would be a fantastic gift for a recent high-school or college graduate in particular but the concepts will be beneficial for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of their finances. So with that I would highly recommend this book. Even if someone only takes away a few action items from the book it will clearly put them on the road to financial independence.
Title: On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance
Publisher: Adams Business
Price (paperback): $12.95
Publication Date: June 2007
ISBN (paperback): 9781598691245
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.