Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Fiancial Industry: Pound Foolish

Categories: Chapter 13, Medical Debt & Bankruptcy, Payday Loans and Bankruptcy

I have been reading the book, Pound Foolish by Helaine Olen (@helaineolen) and I couldn’t get past the first fourteen pages without thinking that here is a woman who is a writer and journalist, who once wrote  for the Los Angeles Times (@LATimes) Money Makeover series, with no financial education and referring to a book entitled, Personal Finance for Dummies. Her book discusses all these fraudulent personal financial gurus making millions on the backs of the working class and she’s one of them!  I am outraged. Then, I read on.

According to Helaine herself, the book tells the story of how Americans were sold on a dream, “a dream that personal finance had almost magical abilities, that is could compensate for stagnant salaries, income inequality, and a society that offered a shorter and thinner safety net with each passing year.” She works her way from the inventor of Personal Finance, Sylvia (“S.F. Porter”) and the self-help movement brought mainstream out of the Depression Era of the 1930’s to concluding with a chapter called, “We Need to Talk About Our Money.”

As you can see from all the tabs on my copy of her book, this review will turn into several blog articles. In the end, I highly recommend this to the entire 99% of Americans, save for the 1% who created this mess. We’ve been lied to about MONEY and made to believe that we are at fault and created our own personal financial troubles.  This book exposes the FRAUD and names names of those whose lies nearly destroyed us all. No one is safe from the truth; Suze Orman gets an entire chapter for her selling out to FICO and the Approved Card fiasco.  Dave Ramsey wasn’t lucky enough to get his own chapter, but if you haven’t read my previous article about these two, then check it out, here.

I noted that in Chapter 3 alone, there are at least 23 references to bankruptcy.  This chapter, interestingly discusses the MYTH that Americans who are fiscally promiscuous with their money end up in bankruptcy.  The truth is that we are all just one medical disaster, job loss, or accident away from bankruptcy. The truth is that the income gap continues to widen and the Have Nots are bombarded with the temptation to have what they cannot afford and the lure of easy credit tells them they’re worth it.

In the end, Olen urges us all to talk about money honestly. We need transparency with our financial advisers, banks those that hold our investments. Financial literacy is a lie sold to us by the financial sector that doesn’t want government regulation.

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