Money Matters - About The Series

WHY YOU DON’T NEED SELF HELP FINANCIAL BOOKS

Go into any bookstore and you will undoubtedly find “self-help” books on dozens of topics, especially personal finance!

On just this one subject, stacks of titles often line the shelves—from books styled “For Dummies” to books touting nearly every code and creed ever designed to, as the old saying goes, “part a fool from his money”. Some books claim to be Christian in their approach. Some are rooted in what former President George H.W. Bush once called “voodoo economics”, now better known as the “trickle down” theory of economics. Others teach “fundamental” analysis of the stock market, while still others teach “technical” analysis”. A few want you to “day trade” in stocks or foreign currencies, an almost certain road to financial disaster.

Recently, the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have become the newest get rich quick scheme. Alone, books on cryptocurrencies already number in the hundreds, and postings across the Internet promise to make readers or followers an instant millionaire if they only follow this or that college age guru’s advice. The truth is crypto probably will play a big part in our financial futures, and educating ourselves on this new financial oddity makes sense. However, attempting to make a fortune on cryptocurrencies now resembles playing the lottery more than it resembles a sound plan for financial security. One can buy books on how to successfully play the lottery too.

Why so many books?

Perhaps writing self-help books on personal finance concerns lining the pockets of the authors and publishers more than helping those who need help the most. Sadly, this unsavory motive is undoubtedly true in some cases. Such a motive is always present and especially despicable in the prosperity gospel writers: those who claim faith in the Christian God, or gifting money to the author’s ministry, brings earthly riches to the believer.

Tell that fable to the Christians who faced lions in Roman arenas. Preach earthly prosperity to Christians who fall into the tender affections of ISIS.

So, beware in the bookstores. Vampires indeed prowl the shelves!

Another less self-serving explanation exists; however, although even it fails to acquit the obviously guilty. Since every person’s financial situation is necessarily unique, some well-meaning writers attempt to provide advice unique to each reader’s situation. The result is a book for every occasion. Information that properly informs one person may be useless to another. As a result, many people buy entire libraries on personal finance—ultimately impressive to their guests—but of little practical value to themselves.

A book, like an arrow true to mark, must target and touch its intended reader. Most people struggle with money; the vast majority of Americans: how to get it, use it, and keep it for the future. “Money Matters” aims at the average American; not the wealthy in need of investment advice, but at the so-called “98%” who see their income seeming to inevitably decline every year.

Solid, down-to-earth, and immediately useful advice is a real need in our rapidly changing economy. Rather than taking a narrow focus on a few specific financial topics, the series of articles comprising “Money Matters” charts a path from financial struggle and crisis money management to affluence and intentional planning for the retirement years.

FREE MONEY MATTERS ADVICE

The beauty and simplicity of “Money Matters” exists in the fact no matter your age, so long as you are reasonably healthy you can apply the principles in the articles to rise from financial crisis to financial security, or to rise from wherever you start to greater fiscal success and security.

BEST OF ALL, IT’S FREE

“Money Matters” will be an ongoing series broken down into Sections in turn broken down into four Books. Best of all, it’s free! You only need to sign up as a member of The American Financial Journal to get permanent access to all of the Sections after each one is published, and membership in The American Financial Journal is free. Even if you decline membership, you still get temporary access to each Section for the time it appears on our front page. We hope this period ultimately to be about one week as we grow, but you will miss out on many other unique, helpful and informative features in the Journal without becoming a member.

FINANCIAL SECURITY

For readers who currently struggle with day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck issues, and have little or no reserves for financial security, Book I offers clear, nuts-and-bolts tactics to help the reader survive a financial crisis and find sound economic footing. For readers with a little money saved, “doing okay,” but who find themselves near financial difficulty, Book II offers ideas to become more financially secure by avoiding the mistakes leading to financial crisis. For the reader already working within a budget who wants more financial security, who wants to invest for the future, or to buy a home or a car, Book III is entirely devoted to the pursuit of those goals. Book IV concludes “Money Matters” by addressing the needs of those looking toward investment and retirement.

In “Money Matters” you will discover practical advice, plans and tools to obtain a reasonable standard of living and even financial prosperity, no matter your starting point, if you make an honest effort to use those plans and tools and to practice financial discipline. In The American Financial Journal itself, to supplement the information in “Money Matters” you will find many additional articles, references, notes and other tools of practical financial and cultural use designed to help you save and invest your money and to earn additional income. The Journal will also help its members navigate a rapidly changing world by serving as a forum for diverse ideas on economic and cultural issues.

Finally, in each edition of the Journal you will see in the far right hand column a list of upcoming Sections under the heading Rags To Riches in the order in which they will appear. We hope this list helps you make certain to read those Sections particularly applicable to your financial situation. Come join us on what we hope will be a uniquely American experiment in online journalism and economic advice for Americans who want from the American dream what they were promised but have yet to receive.

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