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Personal Finance For Dummies, 9th Edition

Book Description

Take stock of your financial situation

From budgeting, saving, and reducing debt, to making timely investment choices and planning for the future, Personal Finance For Dummies provides fiscally conscious readers with the tools they need to take charge of their financial life.

This new edition includes coverage of an extensive new tax bill that took effect in 2018 and the impact on individuals, families, small businesses, and on real estate and investing decisions. Plus, it covers emerging investing interests like technology and global investing, cryptocurrencies, pot stocks, the lifestyle changes occurring with millennials, and more.

  • Evaluate and manage your financial fitness
  • Assess your credit report and improve your score
  • Make smart investments in any economic environment
  • Find out about international investing

The expert advice offered in Personal Finance For Dummies is for anyone looking to ensure that their finances are on the right track—and to identify the areas in which they can improve their financial strategies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. Icons Used in This Book
    4. Beyond the Book
    5. Where to Go from Here
  3. Part 1: Getting Started with Personal Finance
    1. Chapter 1: Improving Your Financial Literacy
      1. Talking Money at Home
      2. Identifying Unreliable Sources of Information
      3. Jumping over Real and Imaginary Hurdles to Financial Success
    2. Chapter 2: Measuring Your Financial Health
      1. Avoiding Common Money Mistakes
      2. Determining Your Financial Net Worth
      3. Examining Your Credit Score and Reports
      4. Knowing the Difference between Bad Debt and Good Debt
      5. Analyzing Your Savings
      6. Evaluating Your Investment Knowledge
      7. Assessing Your Insurance Savvy
    3. Chapter 3: Managing Where Your Money Goes
      1. Examining Overspending
      2. Analyzing Your Spending
    4. Chapter 4: Establishing and Achieving Goals
      1. Creating Your Own Definition of Wealth
      2. Prioritizing Your Savings Goals
      3. Building Emergency Reserves
      4. Saving to Buy a Home or Business
      5. Funding Kids’ Educational Expenses
      6. Saving for Big Purchases
      7. Preparing for Retirement/Financial Independence
  4. Part 2: Spending Less, Saving More
    1. Chapter 5: Dealing with Debt
      1. Using Savings to Reduce Your Consumer Debt
      2. Decreasing Debt When You Lack Savings
      3. Turning to Credit Counseling Agencies
      4. Filing Bankruptcy
      5. Stopping the Spending/Consumer Debt Cycle
    2. Chapter 6: Reducing Your Spending
      1. Unlocking the Keys to Successful Spending
      2. Budgeting to Boost Your Savings
      3. Reducing Your Spending
    3. Chapter 7: Trimming Your Taxes
      1. Understanding the Taxes You Pay
      2. Trimming Employment Income Taxes
      3. Increasing Your Deductions
      4. Reducing Investment Income Taxes
      5. Enlisting Education Tax Breaks
      6. Getting Help from Tax Resources
      7. Dealing with an Audit
  5. Part 3: Building Wealth through Investing
    1. Chapter 8: Considering Important Investment Concepts
      1. Establishing Your Goals
      2. Understanding the Primary Investments
      3. Shunning Gambling Instruments and Behaviors
      4. Understanding Investment Returns
      5. Sizing Investment Risks
      6. Diversifying Your Investments
      7. Acknowledging Differences among Investment Firms
      8. Seeing through Experts Who Predict the Future
      9. Leaving You with Some Final Advice
    2. Chapter 9: Understanding Your Investment Choices
      1. Slow and Steady Investments
      2. Building Wealth with Ownership Vehicles
      3. Off the Beaten Path: Investment Odds and Ends
    3. Chapter 10: Investing in Funds
      1. Understanding the Benefits of Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds
      2. Exploring Various Fund Types
      3. Selecting the Best Funds
      4. Deciphering Your Fund’s Performance
      5. Evaluating and Selling Your Funds
    4. Chapter 11: Investing in Retirement Accounts
      1. Looking at Types of Retirement Accounts
      2. Allocating Your Money in Retirement Plans
      3. Transferring Retirement Accounts
    5. Chapter 12: Investing in Taxable Accounts
      1. Getting Started
      2. Understanding Taxes on Your Investments
      3. Fortifying Your Emergency Reserves
      4. Investing for the Longer Term (Several Years or Decades)
    6. Chapter 13: Investing for Educational Expenses
      1. Figuring Out How the Financial Aid System Works
      2. Strategizing to Pay for Educational Expenses
      3. Investing Educational Funds
    7. Chapter 14: Investing in Real Estate: Your Home and Beyond
      1. Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent
      2. Financing Your Home
      3. Finding the Right Property
      4. Working with Real-Estate Agents
      5. Putting Your Deal Together
      6. After You Buy
  6. Part 4: Insurance: Protecting What You Have
    1. Chapter 15: Insurance: Getting What You Need at the Best Price
      1. Discovering My Three Laws of Buying Insurance
      2. Dealing with Insurance Problems
    2. Chapter 16: Insurance on You: Life, Disability, and Health
      1. Providing for Your Loved Ones: Life Insurance
      2. Preparing for the Unpredictable: Disability Insurance
      3. Getting the Care You Need: Health Insurance
    3. Chapter 17: Covering Your Assets
      1. Insuring Your Home
      2. Auto Insurance 101
      3. Protecting against Mega-Liability: Umbrella Insurance
      4. Planning Your Estate
  7. Part 5: Where to Go for More Help
    1. Chapter 18: Working with Financial Planners
      1. Surveying Your Financial Management Options
      2. Deciding Whether to Hire a Financial Planner
      3. Finding a Good Financial Planner
      4. Interviewing Financial Advisors: Asking the Right Questions
      5. Learning from Others’ Mistakes
    2. Chapter 19: Using Technology to Manage Your Money
      1. Surveying Software, Apps, and Websites
      2. Accomplishing Money Tasks on Your Computer, Tablet, or Smartphone
    3. Chapter 20: On Air and in Print
      1. Observing the Mass Media
      2. Rating Radio and Television Financial Programs
      3. Finding the Best Websites
      4. Navigating Newspapers and Magazines
      5. Betting on Books
  8. Part 6: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 21: Survival Guide for Ten Life Changes
      1. Starting Out: Your First Job
      2. Changing Jobs or Careers
      3. Getting Married
      4. Buying a Home
      5. Having Children
      6. Starting a Small Business
      7. Caring for Aging Parents
      8. Divorcing
      9. Receiving a Windfall
      10. Retiring
    2. Chapter 22: Ten Tactics to Thwart Identity Theft and Fraud
      1. Save Phone Discussions for Friends Only
      2. Never Respond to E-mails Soliciting Information
      3. Review Your Monthly Financial Statements
      4. Secure All Receipts
      5. Close Unnecessary Credit Accounts
      6. Regularly Review Your Credit Reports
      7. Freeze Your Credit Reports
      8. Keep Personal Info Off Your Checks
      9. Protect Your Computer and Files
      10. Protect Your Mail
  9. Glossary
  10. Index
  11. About the Author
  12. Advertisement Page
  13. Connect with Dummies
  14. End User License Agreement