Feb 15, 2009

"Okay, smile at the camera. I said smile, don't frown. Kid on the right, open your eyes. You in the back, what are you doing?" "Ready? You, the short one, look at the camera, not the old man." "Perfect. Daughter Sneed and Mr. P are in Yuma, AZ. at a rodeo this weekend. Mr. P is one of those civic-minded do-gooders, so they are there, helping to make the rodeo there a big success. Noah is staying with us from Friday until Monday. Last night he stayed at his cousin Aiden's house, so that Mrs. Sneed and I could go out. That meant that this morning we went to Son Sneed's house for a visit and to collect the little weasel. Miss Riley was the star of the show. Three months old and as cute as a button. E asked me if I had any recommendations for books similar to the Millionaire Next Door. A couple of things spring to mind. When I think of financial advice books, I'm interested in advice that eschews debt and advocates for living below your means. They are few and far between. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, was pretty good. The original, that is. Robert Kiyosaki has branched out into buying real estate using leverage, which we can all agree is a formula for disaster. That's why the "experts" are getting rich by selling books about how to do it, rather than getting rich just doing it. Robert Kiyosaki and guys of his ilk, teach that anyone can get rich in real estate, with the right advice. If that were true, we wouldn't have a zillion homes being foreclosed upon. As a side note and in support of my point, Son Sneed and I were talking about a house across the street from his, which is for sale. The buyer paid $440,000 for it in 2007 and is desperate to sell it now. It is listed at $339,000 and is advertised as a short-sale, meaning the lender has agreed to take that amount to satisfy their loan. When you hear that a bank has toxic assets on their books, this is one of the things they are talking about. The banks have tons of loans on the books listed as assets, but backed by properties worth far less than the mortgages. This lender is carrying the $440,000 mortgage on their books as an asset, but you can see that by the time this is sold, there will be a $125,000 write-off against that asset. That alternative is still more attractive to the bank than repossessing it and trying to resell it. But, as always, I digress. I'm also a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and his philosophy of having no debt. Dave has a series of books, Financial Peace and The Total Money Makeover, to name two. Some people find Dave's advice simplistic. I've seen him referred to as a one-trick pony by the smart guys, but the reality of life is that financial prosperity s simple, it's just not easy. As a caution, Dave is a fundamentalist Christian, which can be a bit off-putting to some, me included. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

14 comments:

e said...

Hi Merle,

Your Sneedlets certainly are cute! I have seen Rich Dad, Poor Dad and another show by the author you mention on PBS, and he was indeed hawking real estate...I will look for his original book. Additionally, I heard Dave Ramsey's radio broadcast somewhere once, but have yet to try one of his books. I'll look around for them. Another book that I enjoyed was by Vicki Robin and the late Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life, I believe is the title.

Thanks bunches and have fun with the grandkids.

Squirrel said...

Darling kids and funny captions.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the second pic, it is truly perfect.

With your philosophy of no debt, what do you think of the Stimulus Package? I'm unable to understand anything about it, but i trust Obama completely.

Am I being naive? You don't have to answer that, I'm asking myself out loud.

Anonymous said...

Why do Christians scare you?

Merle Sneed said...

Anon, the premise of your question is wrong. Christians don't scare me, I just don't share their world view.

Christians, and most other Western religions start from the premise that people are born flawed and made perfect only through an acceptance of God's will.

I think people are born just fine and this life is what we have. Just a different way of looking at things.

As I said, I am a big Dave Ramsey fan, I just don't share his world view.

Best wishes.

bella rum said...

Those kids are worth a million!

"but the reality of life is that financial prosperity s simple, it's just not easy."

Well said.

Barbara said...

Those little Sneedlets make me want some too! I will probably spoil them rotten.

Steve said...

Great photos, as all before me have said!

I don't want to be rich. I just don't want to be poor.

e said...

Merle,

Thanks for the comment on my Blog. If you do get the book, please give me your impressions. It may be a bit basic for you, but I found it had some practical steps for assessing spending habits and looking at where one's money goes, as well understanding the concept of living debt free, wise use of credit, prioriting spending and what is referred to as voluntary simplicity. There are also some chapters on raising children to embrace these ideas. Another author you might like that I did not think of immediately is Duane Elgin, a sociologist who began writing about voluntary simplicity about 35 years ago.

Best to you and the family.

Avid Reader said...

I agree with Steve!

Kurt said...

That baby looks like a baby.

Financial prosperity always involves a deal with the Devil.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i agree with avid reader.

kiss all those sneedlets for me!!!

Megan said...

Yeah, I'm with Kimy and them...

Debbie M said...

My favorite personal finance books are _Your Money or Your Life_ and _The Tightwad Gazette_. The former is a very good book helping you figure out what you want and where you stand and how to get from one place to the other. The last chapter is the weakest, recommending investing only in treasury bills, I think, but the rest is awesome.

The latter focuses only on spending: how to spend less on what you want so you have more left over for other stuff you want. There are a lot of specific tips, but even better, there is a lot of information on how to create your own tips that match perfectly with your own resources and priorities. I re-read this when I need another inoculation against commercialization.

Both are especially good advocates for living below your means and somewhat good at eschewing debt.