Book Review – Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money by Rabbi Lapin

Most financial books are written by businessman and other people who either have educational or street credentials. Personally, I would rather read and learn from someone who has street credentials. These are the people who have applied their philosophies to succeed in their personal finances. The book, “Thou Shall Prosper: The Ten Commandments For Making Money”, was written by a Rabbi. Not just any Rabbi, but a Rabbi who has a successful business. He practices what he preaches.

This is one of the best books on personal finances I have read. Its practical lessons incorporates Jewish teachings and current topics to reinforce his lessons (or commandments) on making money. His perspective on using the Jewish faith to discuss about money is intriguing and effective. Unfortunately, in our present culture, money is looked upon negatively. Even though people pursue it everyday (by going to work or business), it is generally accepted to just have enough (e.g. scarcity) rather than a lot (e.g. prosperity).

The first commandment and principle is to believe in the dignity and morality of business. There is true dignity and morality when you do your business dealings properly and ethically. Most of the time you will hear from our media about the negative aspects and effects of business. You will hear about the fund manager who swindled his clients billions of dollars.

You will hear about the banker who cheated customers on millions of dollars. You will hear about a retail store overcharging (and under delivering) to their customers. It would seem that these are common and generally accepted business practices. This could not be further from the truth. As Rabbi Lapin demonstrates in his book, there is more dignity and morality displayed in a prospering business than an “efficient” government program.

There are nine more lessons or commandments that are helpful to become a prosperous person. These include about being generous with your charity, extend your network, know thyself (Socrates would love this lesson), know your money, and never retire (very important to practice). Most people are trained to work for several decades then retire. Retirement is a state of mind. When you are working and being productive, you will be prosperous. Just like exercise and proper diet, you want to continue to work and become prosperous. This will give you longevity in your life. Also, it will give you a quality style of life and life style.

This is an important book to read on your personal finances.

Is David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire Book Still Applicable in 2011?

David Bach’s New York best selling book the Automatic Millionaire has some critics right now as the question marks appear over the strategy of long term investing in a 401k plan look to fall somewhat short of the demand from the baby boomer generation who start retiring in 2011 at the rate of around 10,000 a day.

In the book the Automatic Millionaire David Bach guides anyone through a sensible, well calculated and highly applicable plan to take charge of your own personal finances for life and retire rich.

The Pay Yourself First Rule

If you have never read a personal finance book in your life up to this point then the Automatic Millionaire by David Bach is probably the most eye opening book to read first. The sequence of tried and tested rules of sensible and successful money management principles throughout this book will always play a significant part in helping people develop habits that will inevitably put them in a much better position financially than someone who goes through life never seeking excellent personal financial education.

The pay yourself first rule, hi-lighted so significantly as the primary factor in the couple who star in David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire book success formula if you take one gold nugget from the book it would be to immediately start a plan to pay yourself first.

This rule was also very key in the success of Robert Kiyosaki’s success because it is a success principle that everyone should know and apply.

Understanding The Latte Factor

The other highly underrated lesson to learn from between the covers of the Automatic Millionaire book by David Bach is what he calls the Latte Factor. Discussing people’s spending habits in live events is something David Bach excels at and he watches the audience reaction to this powerful discovery with delight every time.

The principle, which again is an all time success principle of accounting for your every expenditure, no matter how small to discover hidden amounts of your daily expenses that when added up and invested for the long term can make a huge difference to your future wealth.

For the modern day corporate worker it is often the morning cup of flavoured and sprinkled coffee from a well known Coffee Shop chain that creates of the mummers in the crowd as David entices story after story out of people at his sell out events to reveal their own Latte Factor daily spending and then reveals the potential long term return on that same money well invested.

Even if the rules of investing have become more sophisticated, the principles of sound money management remain the same. In this current economy it is wise to seek professional advice outside of the usual high street bank routes for better investing advice given the recent bank collapses. Fortunately this kind of wealth business information is available in private companies who specialise in it and thanks to the internet people just like you and I have access to it.

Book Review – Financial Peace Revisited

Dave Ramsey’s last major book, “The Total Money Makeover”, has been a best seller for several years. It is his best book today. Also, it is one of the best book on personal finance out there. Prior to that book, the book, “Financial Peace”, was created as a self-published book. Then, it became a best seller and has been revised and revisited.

There is something soothing and calming about the title,”Financial Peace”. Everyone has a financial life- whether good or bad. Everyone (whether they care to admit) wants to have peace in their financial life. As mentioned on a constant basis by Dave Ramsey, personal finance is more personal than finance. There are a lot of emotions (and some logic) conjured up when you discuss personal finance.

It seems that most people handle their personal finance the same way they handle everything else in their life. There is a lot of complications, confusions, even negligence, indifference, good intentions, and other emotions and mixed feelings.

This book addresses many of those issues especially how money affects our relationships (and how our relationships affect our handling of money). The principles may seem simplistic such as KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)- but they are crucial in order to succeed in your personal finances. The principle of simplicity (or KISS) is primarily an issue of dealing with cash and not credit. When we live on a cash basis, then we do not have to worry about interest rates, finance charges, fees, etc. We have simplified our lives to the better. As Dave Ramsey would say, we do not have to worship at the altar of the almighty FICO score. This is also applicable to co-signing loans. When we co-sign a loan, we pretty much are taking over the burden of paying someone else’s debt. By keeping our personal finances simple, we are respecting the other person as much as ourselves.

Another key principle the book discusses is the power of contentment. Contentment empowers us to restrain from spending on things or stuff that we do not need or even care about. Being contented would allow you to have less stuff that you do not need but have more cash. The book discusses this principle extensively and vividly in order to allow you to succeed in your personal finance.

Also, money affects our relationships. It is critical and crucial to not borrow from anyone or anything especially (and most especially) from friends or family members. The close the relationship; the more crucial it is to not borrow from that person. Owing someone money changes all the dynamics of that relationship.

This is a good book to read on personal finances. When you apply the principles, you will attain that elusive financial peace.