A down-to-earth and up-to-date primer on personal finance, apparently based on the premise that the only dumb questions are those not asked--or answered. A securities broker turned TV personality, Savage offers generally savvy counsel that on occasion goes into excessive detail on elementary subjects--e.g., money orders and allied alternatives to conventional checks. Starting with the routine recommendation that individuals take stock of their assets and prepare budgets, she moves into an evaluation of possibilities (insured deposits, Treasury bills, etc.) for putting money to work at no or low risk. The author also provides first-rate briefings on the ABCs of borrowing, credit control, purchasing big-ticket items like automobiles or homes, insurance of all kinds, and estate as well as tax and retirement planning. Stressing the need for diversification and liquidity, Savage catalogues the trade-offs involved in a wealth of investment opportunities. Her inventory ranges from annuities through commodities, equities, exchange-listed options, mutual funds, precious metals, real estate, and zero-coupon bonds. Covered as well in lively (albeit appropriately cautionary) fashion are fine art, collectibles of many sorts, and scams, including hustles abetted by the author's current medium--TV. Erring again on the side of safety, she enjoins readers never to send money to strangers who phone them with market-beating tips that sound (and invariably are) too good to be true. A reliable introduction to the widening world of do-it-yourself money management.