Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Review: Where Does the Money Go? – Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Revised edition (Jan. 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062023470
ISBN-13: 9780062023476
Order book here:



Order E-book here:

What’s your political view. Are you conservative, and think those liberals are destroying the country. Or are you a liberal that thinks the conservatives in this country have a greedy stick up their butt. Whichever side you fall on, I think you’d find this book very interesting. I found many opposing views in this book. Some of it supported my views, some of it didn’t. But the authors explained things in such a way that it made sense. While some books on finance could be dry, this one was actually entertaining. It leaves you a lot to think about, particularly on a lot of the hot button issues. It explains in detail almost every budget related issue from defense spending, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to social security, medicare, and the Healthcare legistlation from last year.

I did notice at Amazon and Barnes and Noble that there were two version of this book. One came out in February of 2011 and is updated with more recent information. The one available for e-readers is about 2 years old so information won’t be as fresh. If you are going to purchase a copy (see my links to the stores above), I’d suggest getting the printed copy over the electronic copy so you have the most up to date information.

Whichever side of the political aisle you fall on though, I think you’d find this book to be a valuable reading experience. The authors have another one out on the energy crisis that I very well may check out. It doesn’t matter what your politics are, as Americans we all must be informed, and when books come along like this, that explain everything impartially, you should grab them and read them.

About the Authors:

Scott Bittle is the executive editor of, twice nominated for the Webby Award as best political site. He is also an award-winning journalists. As an executive vice president of Public Agenda, Jean Johnson has more than twenty years of experience understanding public attitudes on a broad range of issues and has written for USA Today, Education Week, and the Huffington Post. They’re also the authors of Who Turned Out the Lights? Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Bank on Yourself – Pamela Yellen

Monday, April 12th, 2010



Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press; Reprint (March 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1593155662
ISBN-13: 978-1593155667
Order from here:

The last two years have been devastating to people. People investing their money in 401K’s, Stocks, etc. lost much of their investment. This book presents an idea to combat situations like that. It’s called the Bank on Yourself plan. The general idea is if you want to buy a car for 30K, you borrow the money from yourself, then pay yourself back each month with interested just as you would with a financed vehicle. This can be applied to almost any purchase. You use your own money, pay yourself back with interest, increase your own account. The benefit is, for example, when your car is paid off, you have the car, and you have all the money you paid for it plus interest. The alternative, you’d have the car, but the money would be in a bank somewhere.

How is this achieved? Through Life Insurance. But not just any life insurance, but Whole Life Insurance specifically set up for the purposes described in this book. There are apparently only 200 advisers in the country that can help you set it up. Theoretically, it sounds to me like it could work. But I see some issues with the plan itself. Something I’d need to investigate further.

But, I’m not here to review the plan, I’m here to review the book. The book is divided into different sections. First you get a background in what the plan is. Then you get a narrative showing a couple going through their life after investing in the plan, and how it worked for them. Then you have testimonials, and information on how it can be applied to different areas.

How was the book. It packed a lot of information regarding the plan into it’s pages. There wasn’t information though that didn’t seem to be repeated on their website, though probably more detailed here. The narrative involving Paul and Katie I felt was very much like an infomercial. That was probably my greatest issue with the book itself, a lot of it came across as a written seminar/infomercial in investing in this type of product. The author did very good at describing the product and how it all worked, but I found myself still having questions.

There were a lot of referrals back to their website, as well as forms to send in for a free analysis. If you want an alternative to high risk investments, this seems like this may be one of those alternatives. I can recommend the book, if you want to learn about this process and examine it for yourself. It did make me more curious to investigate their process further and possibly see if it works, and that’s probably the point of the book. If you want to pick it up though for a lot of concrete answers, I’m not sure you’d find them here. You almost have to get involved in the process to get those answers.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.. I’d like to know, have you tried this? How did it work for you? Drawbacks? Benefits? Discuss it below.