With a little effort and some spare-time reading, it's
possible to make sense of the world of dollars and cents. There's no better gift
than a book about finance that will in turn help the recipient make even more
money. You'll find hundreds of new titles in the bookstores on personal finance,
business finance, and investing, so here are some of my picks.
Right on the Money: Taking Control
of Your Personal Finances by Chris Farrell (Random House, $23.95 hardcover).
Business Week and TV commentator Farrell offers a primer on such topics as buying
a house, car, or insurance; investing; and saving for your kids' college and
your own retirement. Learn more on his Web site at www.rightonthemoney.org.
The Armchair Millionaire by Lewis Schiff,
Douglas Gerlach, and Kate Hanley (Pocket Books, $24.95 hardcover). For people
who'd like to become millionaires by putting aside a little each day and investing
it wisely. One cash-saving tip: put your credit cards in a bowl of water; then
put the bowl in the freezer. Now, if you want to buy something and don't have
the cash, you have to think about it while the ice thaws.
Learn to Earn: A Beginner's Guide to the
Basics of Investing and Business by Peter Lynch of Fidelity Magellan mutual
fund fame, and John Rothchild (Fireside, $14 paperback).
I've Been Rich. I've Been Poor. Rich is
Better by Judy Resnick (St. Martin's Press, $22 hardcover). The author tells
how women can find economic security and personal freedom.
Masters of Networking: Building Relationships
for Your Pocketbook and Soul by Ivan R. Misner and Don Morgan (Bard Press,
$16.95 paperback). If you thought networking meant bringing a pocketful of business
cards to a chamber of commerce mixer, you'll learn otherwise.
The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness
in the Internet Gold Rush by Tom Ashbrook (HoughtonMifflin, $25 hardcover).
An account of a former journalist's midlife foray into Internet entrepreneurship
and the harrowing effects on the author, his wife, and children. A parable on
how our passions can drive us to the precipice of losing what matters in life.
Everyone's Money Book by Jordan E.
Goodman (Dearborn, $30 hardcover). Packed with resources, such as names, addresses,
and phone numbers of publications, trade associations; info on Wall Street gurus;
employee benefits, financial planning, and financing college education.
Do Americans Shop Too Much? by Juliet
Schor (Beacon Press, $12 paperback). What drives us to buy, buy, buy? We want
what others have-and we want it now, she says. The cost of private overconsumption
is viewed in the light of its public cost, such as soaring bankruptcy filings.
Money magazine covers a wide range
of financial topics in easy-to-understand language. Other good financial periodicals
include Changing Times, Business Week, Barron's, Fortune, and Forbes.
A year's subscription will save the recipient money and help him or her manage
it better, too.
Among newspapers, The Wall Street Journal
is considered a must-read. It not only covers money around the globe but includes
off-beat features on such non-financial matters as the reason cotton has been
pulled as padding in some aspirin bottles.
If you like financial data with lots of charts
and graphs, consider Investor's Business Daily. A free two-week trial
subscription is available by calling (800) 450-2354.