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Business and Personal Finance February 2014
"The amount of money you have has got nothing to do with what you earn. People earning a million dollars a year can have no money. People earning $35,000 a year can be quite well off. It's not what you earn, it's what you spend."
~ Paul Clitheroe, Australian financial analyst
New and Recently Released!
The Smart Woman's Guide to Planning for Retirement - by Mary Hunt
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/05/2013
Share The Smart Woman ISBN-13: 9780800721138
ISBN-10: 0800721136
The majority of women today don't believe that they've planned well enough for their retirement; if you feel similarly, you might want to check out this practical, straightforward book. Relaying the six strategies underlying her retirement savings plan (developing a money management system is key), columnist Mary Hunt also shares her own story of shedding $100,000 in credit card debt. No-nonsense, jargon-free, and comprehensive, her advice will work for women (and men!) at all stages of life; though it references Christian religious beliefs, it is appropriate for anyone looking for basic planning advice.
The $1,000 Challenge: How One Family Slashed its Budget without Moving Under a Bridge or Living on Government Cheese - by Brian J. O'Connor
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/29/2013
Share The $1,000 Challenge%3a How One Family Slashed its Budget without Moving Under a Bridge or Living on Government Cheese ISBN-13: 9781591846437
ISBN-10: 1591846439
Brian O'Connor supports his family as a columnist for the Detroit News. He is not a wealthy financial advisor, and his "everyman" approach as well as his sense of humor serve him well when relating the common challenges of personal finance. Having set himself the challenge of cutting $1,000 each month from his family's expenses, he tackles ten spending categories with the goal of cutting $100 from each one -- without sacrificing anything important. As with his Funny Money column, from which much of this content is pulled, his advice is both applicable and useful.
Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution - by Fred Vogelstein
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/12/2013
Share Dogfight%3a How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution ISBN-13: 9780374109202
ISBN-10: 0374109206
The smartphone wars have come down to two major participants: Apple and Google, who seem to be determined to fight to the death. In clear, concise, and sometimes juicy detail, Dogfight examines how their professional rivalry has shaped the way people think about technology -- and how we use it. From the boardroom to the courtroom, Wired editor Fred Vogelstein "cuts through the technological jargon and relates a succinct and compelling story" (Booklist).
Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money - by Alexa Von Tobel
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/31/2013
Share Financially Fearless%3a The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money ISBN-13: 9780385347617
ISBN-10: 0385347618
Filled with plenty of real-life success stories, this is a practical but enthusiastic introduction for those new to financial planning. It centers on a 50/20/30 plan: 50% of your take-home pay goes to the essentials, 20% sets you up for your future, and 30% is left for you to spend as you like, whether on lattes or vacations. This simple formula makes it especially attractive to those who don't want to budget to the nickel, but its focus on talking about money issues make it appropriate for anyone interested in a simple, brisk guide for creating a secure financial future.
The Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award
The 2014 winner of the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award was Brad Stone's The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, which we talked about in the December 2013 issue of this newsletter. Below, we've listed some of that book's competition for the prize.
After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead - by Alan S. Blinder
Publisher: Penguin Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/24/2013
Share After the Music Stopped%3a The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead ISBN-13: 9781594205309
ISBN-10: 1594205302
Though there were plenty of great books on the U.S. financial crisis as it was ending, a few years have passed since then, allowing for a broader perspective from former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Blinder. Not only does he explain what happened and why, he also explains the consequences that still affect the U.S. and global economies today and will continue to do so in the future; he finishes up with recommendations for avoiding financial catastrophes in the future. Knowledgeable but still accessible, Blinder has created "one of the best books yet about the financial crisis" (Wall Street Journal).
Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success - by Adam M. Grant
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/09/2013
Share Give and Take%3a A Revolutionary Approach to Success ISBN-13: 9780670026555
ISBN-10: 0670026557
Success takes hard work and maybe a bit of luck, right? According to award-winning researcher Adam Grant, the best way to achieve success is to act like (or be) a "giver." This means that those effective tools of attaining success -- networking, communication -- should be based on generous actions, not expectations of reciprocity. With concrete suggestions and plenty of testimonials, Grant goes on to show how you can act like a giver, smartly combining that skill with those of takers for maximum effectiveness.
The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire - by Neil Irwin
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/04/2013
Share The Alchemists%3a Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire ISBN-13: 9781594204623
ISBN-10: 1594204624
If you were hoping to read about bankers' efforts to turn lead into gold, we apologize. The Alchemists is actually about three of the world's most powerful central bankers: European Central Bank's Jean-Claude Trichet, the Bank of England's Mervyn King, and the U.S. Federal Reserve's Ben Bernanke. For those who follow such matters, this tale of their efforts in safeguarding the global economy offers "unexpected wit and an eye for drama" (Kirkus Reviews); those new to the topic will receive a comprehensive analysis of the role of central banking and the response of central banking to the global financial crisis.
Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think - by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/05/2013
Share Big Data%3a A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think ISBN-13: 9780544002692
ISBN-10: 0544002695
"Big data" refers to our ability to crunch vast amounts of information, analyze it instantly, draw conclusions from that analysis, and take action; Big Data examines the impact of big data, the concerns surrounding its use, and how it will change our lives for the better (or worse). This is a popular topic these days, so if you're interested in learning more, you can also try Uncharted, by Erez Aiden, which looks at how a web-based tool called the Ngram Viewer uses big data to identify cultural trends.
Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much - by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
Publisher: Henry Holt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/03/2013
Share Scarcity%3a Why Having Too Little Means So Much ISBN-13: 9780805092646
ISBN-10: 0805092641
Regardless of the form it takes, scarcity of resources (time, money, food), affects the way we think and prioritize, according to cutting-edge research in behavioral science and economics by academics Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. For example, when pressed for time, we often focus on alleviating short-term pressure, frequently resulting in worse time crunches to come. In their eye-opening examination of how scarcity affects our daily lives, they also reveal how individuals and organizations alike can better manage scarcity -- and times of plenty -- for greater satisfaction and success.
The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be - by Moisés Naím
Publisher: Basic Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/05/2013
Share The End of Power%3a From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn ISBN-13: 9780465031566
ISBN-10: 0465031560
In The End of Power, author Moisés Naím argues that traditional power-wielding institutions (governments, armies, churches, corporations, and so on) are losing their grip as the populations they have long held sway over are becoming better educated, healthier, and more mobile. Naím also believes that power itself is changing, becoming harder to get and use -- and easier to lose. Drawing on original research and plenty of experience in global affairs, Naím offers a "timely, insightful, and eloquent message" (Publishers Weekly).
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