While it’s not a road map to riches, this comprehensive guide can help lead you to greater financial understanding and maybe...



A financial psychologist encourages consumers to take an introspective approach to achieving financial independence.

While Martin’s book is largely a thoughtful exploration of how people—Westerners in particular—relate to money, it also serves as a useful guide for managing one’s personal finances. In almost equal measures it introduces academic concepts regarding income and expenses as well as practical approaches toward spending and saving, so the book may be particularly useful for young adults who are newly or soon-to-be on their own, especially if they weren’t paying attention or didn’t get the best financial advice from their parents. With a doctorate in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in personal financial planning, Martin challenges readers to recognize and address their cognitive distortions regarding money and to use the power of positive self-talk to correct negative financial thoughts and behaviors. Such an approach puts this book in a different category than the stereotypical “how to make more money faster” primers. In fact, in contrast, Martin explores the seemingly foreign concept that there’s such a thing as “enough” money. Although the book doesn’t cover basic checkbook-balancing principals, the author offers several practical exercises designed to help readers understand the sometimes-unnoticed motives that explain their financial behaviors. In short chapters, Martin addresses the basic rationality required to ensure that daily shopping habits—i.e., If I wait a day, will I still want to buy it?—as well as more complex behaviors, like how to talk to kids about money, will be confined by realistic financial needs and desires. In addition to offering sound advice for discussing money matters with spouses, Martin explains how (or whether) certain personality types should invest in the stock market. Also valuable are his step-by-step suggestions for overcoming “inertia” regarding important financial decisions such as asking for a raise or saving for retirement.

While it’s not a road map to riches, this comprehensive guide can help lead you to greater financial understanding and maybe even achievement, no matter your income level.

Pub Date: April 25, 2012

ISBN: 978-0313398247

Page Count: 212

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.


Everyone’s favorite avuncular socialist sends up a rousing call to remake the American way of doing business.

“In the twenty-first century we can end the vicious dog-eat-dog economy in which the vast majority struggle to survive,” writes Sanders, “while a handful of billionaires have more wealth than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes.” With that statement, the author updates an argument as old as Marx and Proudhon. In a nice play on words, he condemns “the uber-capitalist system under which we live,” showing how it benefits only the slimmest slice of the few while imposing undue burdens on everyone else. Along the way, Sanders notes that resentment over this inequality was powerful fuel for the disastrous Trump administration, since the Democratic Party thoughtlessly largely abandoned underprivileged voters in favor of “wealthy campaign contributors and the ‘beautiful people.’ ” The author looks squarely at Jeff Bezos, whose company “paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.” Indeed, writes Sanders, “Bezos is the embodiment of the extreme corporate greed that shapes our times.” Aside from a few passages putting a face to avarice, Sanders lays forth a well-reasoned platform of programs to retool the American economy for greater equity, including investment in education and taking seriously a progressive (in all senses) corporate and personal taxation system to make the rich pay their fair share. In the end, he urges, “We must stop being afraid to call out capitalism and demand fundamental change to a corrupt and rigged system.” One wonders if this firebrand of a manifesto is the opening gambit in still another Sanders run for the presidency. If it is, well, the plutocrats might want to take cover for the duration.

Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593238714

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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