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Scientific works in the theories of finances and credit, according to the specification of the research object, are characterized to be many-sided and many-leveled.
The definition of totality of the economical relations formed in the process of formation, distribution and usage of finances, as money sources is widely spread. For example, in “the general theory of finances” there are two definitions of finances:
1) “…Finances reflect economical relations, formation of the funds of money sources, in the process of distribution and redistribution of national receipts according to the distribution and usage”. This definition is given relatively to the conditions of Capitalism, when cash-commodity relations gain universal character;
2) “Finances represent the formation of centralized ad decentralized money sources, economical relations relatively with the distribution and usage, which serve for fulfillment of the state functions and obligations and also provision of the conditions of the widened further production”. This definition is brought without showing the environment of its action. We share partly such explanation of finances and think expedient to make some specification.
First, finances overcome the bounds of distribution and redistribution service of the national income, though it is a basic foundation of finances. Also, formation and usage of the depreciation fund which is the part of financial domain, belongs not to the distribution and redistribution of the national income (of newly formed value during a year), but to the distribution of already developed value.
This latest first appears to be a part of value of main industrial funds, later it is moved to the cost price of a ready product (that is to the value too) and after its realization, and it is set the depression fund. Its source is taken into account before hand as a depression kind in the consistence of the ready products cost price.
Second, main goal of finances is much wider then “fulfillment of the state functions and obligations and provision of conditions for the widened further production”. Finances exist on the state level and also on the manufactures and branches’ level too, and in such conditions, when the most part of the manufactures are not state.
V. M. Rodionova has a different position about this subject: “real formation of the financial resources begins on the stage of distribution, when the value is realized and concrete economical forms of the realized value are separated from the consistence of the profit”. V. M. Rodionova makes an accent of finances, as distributing relations, when D. S. Moliakov underlines industrial foundation of finances. Though both of them give quite substantiate discussion of finances, as a system of formation, distribution and usage of the funds of money sources, that comes out of the following definition of the finances: “financial cash relations, which forms in the process of distribution and redistribution of the partial value of the national wealth and total social product, is related with the subjects of the economy and formation and usage of the state cash incomes and savings in the widened further production, in the material stimulation of the workers for satisfaction of the society social and other requests”.
In the manuals of the political economy we meet with the following definitions of finances:
“Finances of the socialistic state represent economical (cash) relations, with the help of which, in the way of planned distribution of the incomes and savings the funds of money sources of the state and socialistic manufactures are formed for guaranteeing the growth of the production, rising the material and cultural level of the people and for satisfying other general society requests”.
“The system of creation and usage of necessary funds of cash resources for guarantying socialistic widened further production represent exactly the finances of the socialistic society. And the totality of economical relations arisen between state, manufactures and organizations, branches, regions and separate citizen according to the movement of cash funds make financial relations”.
As we’ve seen, definitions of finances made by financiers and political economists do not differ greatly.
In every discussed position there are:
1) expression of essence and phenomenon in the definition of finances;
2) the definition of finances, as the system of the creation and usage of funds of cash sources on the level of phenomenon.
3) Distribution of finances as social product and the value of national income, definition of the distributions planned character, main goals of the economy and economical relations, for servicing of which it is used.
If refuse the preposition “socialistic” in the definition of finances, we may say, that it still keeps actuality. We meet with such traditional definitions of finances, without an adjective “socialistic”, in the modern economical literature. We may give such an elucidation: “finances represent cash resources of production and usage, also cash relations appeared in the process of distributing values of formed economical product and national wealth for formation and further production of the cash incomes and savings of the economical subjects and state, rewarding of the workers and satisfaction of the social requests”. in this elucidation of finances like D. S. Moliakov and V. M. Rodionov’s definitions, following the traditional inheritance, we meet with the widening of the financial foundation. They concern “distribution and redistribution of the value of created economical product, also the partial distribution of the value of national wealth”. This latest is very actual, relatively to the process of privatization and the transition to privacy and is periodically used in practice in different countries, for example, Great Britain and France.
“Finances – are cash sources, financial resources, their creation and movement, distribution and redistribution, usage, also economical relations, which are conditioned by intercalculations between the economical subjects, movement of cash sources, money circulation and usage”.
“Finances are the system of economical relations, which are connected with firm creation, distribution and usage of financial resources”.
We meet with absolutely innovational definitions of finances in Z. Body and R. Merton’s basis manuals. “Finance – it is the science about how the people lead spending `the deficit cash resources and incomes in the definite period of time. The financial decisions are characterized by the expenses and incomes which are 1) separated in time, and 2) as a rule, it is impossible to take them into account beforehand neither by those who get decisions nor any other person” . “Financial theory consists of numbers of the conceptions… which learns systematically the subjects of distribution of the cash resources relatively to the time factor; it also considers quantitative models, with the help of which the estimation, putting into practice and realization of the alternative variants of every financial decisions take place” .
These basic conceptions and quantitative models are used at every level of getting financial decisions, but in the latest definition of finances, we meet with the following doctrine of the financial foundation: main function of the finances is in the satisfaction of the people’s requests; the subjects of economical activities of any kind (firms, also state organs of every level) are directed towards fulfilling this basic function.
For the goals of our monograph, it is important to compare well-known definitions about finances, credit and investment, to decide how and how much it is possible to integrate the finances, investments and credit into the one total part.
Some researcher thing that credit is the consisting part of finances, if it is discussed from the position of essence and category. The other, more numerous group proves, that an economical category of credit exists parallel to the economical category of finances, by which it underlines impossibility of the credit’s existence in the consistence of finances.
N. K. Kuchukova underlined the independence of the category of credit and notes that it is only its “characteristic feature the turned movement of the value, which is not related with transmission of the loan opportunities together with the owners’ rights”.
N. D. Barkovski replies that functioning of money created an economical basis for apportioning finances and credit as an independent category and gave rise to the credit and financial relations. He noticed the Gnoseological roots of science in money and credit, as the science about finances has business with the research of such economical relations, which lean upon cash flow and credit.
Let’s discuss the most spread definitions of credit. in the modern publications credit appeared to be “luckier”, then finances. For example, we meet with the following definition of credit in the finance-economical dictionary: “credit is the loan in the form of cash and commodity with the conditions of returning, usually, by paying percent. Credit represents a form of movement of the loan capital and expresses economical relations between the creditor and borrower”.
This is the traditional definition of credit. In the earlier dictionary of the economy we read: “credit is the system of economical relations, which is formed while the transmission of cash and material means into the temporal usage, as a rule under the conditions of returning and paying percent”.
In the manual of the political economy published under reduction of V. A. Medvedev the following definition is given: “credit, as an economical category, expresses the created relations between the society, labour collective and workers during formation and usage of the loan funds, under the terms of paying present and returning, during transmission of sources for the temporal usage and accumulation”.
Credit is discussed in the following way in the earlier education-methodological manuals of political economy: “credit is the system of money relations, which is created in the process of using and mobilization of temporarily free cash means of the state budget, unions, manufactures, organizations and population. Credit has an objective character. It is used for providing widened further production of the state and other needs. Credit differs from finances by the returning character, while financing of manufactures and organizations by the state is fulfilled without this condition”.
We meet with the following definition if “the course of economy”: “credit is an economical category, which represents relations, while the separate industrial organizations or persons transmit money means to each-other for temporal usage under the conditions of returning. Creation of credit is conditioned by a historical process of fulfilling the economical and money relations, the form of which is the money relation”.
Following scientists give slightly different definitions of credit:
“Credit – is a loan in the form of money or commodity, which is given to the borrower by a creditor under the conditions of returning and paying the percentage rate by the borrower”.
Credit is giving the temporally free money sources or commodity as a debt for the defined terms by the price of fixed percentage. Thus, a credit is the loan in the form of money or commodity. In the process of this loan’s movement, a definite relations are formed between a creditor (the loan is given by a juridical of physical person, who gives certain cash as a debt) and the debtor.
Combining every definition named above, we come to an idea, that credit is giving money capital of commodity as a debt, for certain terms and material provision under the price of firm percentage rate. It expresses definite economical relations between the participants of the process of capital formation. Necessity of the credit relations is conditioned, from one side, by gathering solid quantity of temporarily free money sources, and from the second side, existence of requests of them.
Though, at the same time we must distinguish two resembling concepts: loan and credit. Loan is characterized by:
o Here, the discussion may touch upon transmission of money and also things form one side (loaner) to another (borrower): a)under the owning of the borrower and, at the same time, b) under the conditions of returning same amount or same quantity and quality of the things;
o The loaning of money may bear no interest;
o Any person may take part in it.
With the difference with loan, credit, which is somehow a private occasion of the loan, represents:
o One side (loaner) gives to the second one (borrower) only money, and _ for temporal usage;
o It may not bear no interest (if the assignment doesn’t foresee something);
o In it creditor is not any person, but a credit organization (at the first place, banks).
So, a credit is the bank credit. To our mind, it is not correct to use “credit” and “loan” as the synonyms.
Banking crediting is the union of relations between bank (as a creditor) and its borrower. These relations touch upon:
a) Giving a certain amount of money to the borrower for definite purpose (though, we meet with the so-called free credits, aims and objects of crediting are not appointed in the assignment);
b) Its opportune returning;
c) Getting percentage rate from the borrower for using the sources under his/her disposal.
The essential foundation of the credit essence and its important element is existence of trust between the two sides (in Latin “credo”, from which comes the word “credit”, means “trust”).
From the position of circulation of money forms (in the abstraction, historical process of formation economical relations and social budget and banking systems expressed by them) comparing different definitions of finances and credit, the paradox conclusion appears: credit is the private occasion of finances. And truly, from the position of movement of the money forms, finances represent the process of formation and usage of the funds of cash means. Very often such movements are fulfilled without returning, but sometimes, it is possible to give loans from the budget for the investment projects of other needs. Also, when a manufacture or corporations use their cash funds and we mean the finances of industrial subject, such usage may be realized as inside the manufacture or corporation (there is no subject about returning or not returning of the usage), so gratis under conditions of returning. This latest is called commercial form because of transmitting the sources to others, but even in this occasion, it is the element of financial system of the manufacture and corporation.
From the point of cash means movement, main character of credit is the process of formation and usage of the funds of cash means under the conditions of returning and, as a rule, taking the value-percentage. If gating the credit value doesn’t take place (even in the exceptional occasions), according to the movement form, credit becomes a private occasion of finances, as from the net financial funds (consequently from the state budget) the loans which bear no interests may be used. If gating credit value takes place, by the appearance form, credit is discussed to be financial modification.
From the historical point of view, finances (especially in the sort of the state budget) and credit (beginning with usury, later commercial and banking) were developing differently for considering credit to be the part of finances. Though, from the genetic-historical point of view, previous loaners, before giving loan, needed gathering the permanent capital not returning, that is the net financial foundation. The banks analogously needed concentration of the important own capital for influxing the consumers’ means and for getting higher percentage rate under the conditions of returning. Herewith, exactly on the financial basis, in the sort of financial fund (which later partially becomes loan fund) part of the bank capital appears to be the reservation (insurance) part of the fund, which by nature is financial and not loan. So notwithstanding the essential distinctions between finances and credit form the genetic-historical point of view, credit appears to be formed from finances and represent their modification.
From the essential position of expressing economical relations of finances and credit, we meet with cardinal distinctions between these two categories. Which mostly expressed by the distinction of the movement forms notwithstanding they are returnable or not. Finances express relations in the aspects of distribution and redistribution of social product and part of the national wealth. Credit expresses distribution of the appropriate value only in the section of percentage given for loan, while according to the loan itself, a only a temporal distribution of money sources takes place.
Herewith, there is a lot of common between the finances and credit as from the essential point of view, so according to the form of movement. At the same time, there is a significant distinction between finances and credit as in the essence, so in the form too. According to this, there must be a kind of generally economical category, which will consider finances and credit as a total unity, and in the bounds of this category itself, the separation of the specific essence of the finances and credit would take place.
Funding of the cash means is common to the researched economical categories. It takes place in any separate system of finances and credit, which have been touched upon during the analyses of defining finances and credit. Word combination “funding of the cash sources (fund formation)” reflects and defines exactly essence and form of economical category of more general character, those of finances and credit categories. Though in the in economical texts and practice, it is very uncomfortable to use a termini, which consists of three words. Also, “unloading” with an information hardens greatly its influxing into the circulation even in the conditions of its strict substantiation and thoroughness.
In the discussing context we consider:
1) wide and narrow understanding of economical category of the finances;
2) discussing finances in narrow understanding under general traditional meaning;
3) discussing finances, as funding of the cash means, in wide understanding, which concerns finances – in narrow meaning and credit – in complete meaning.
Termini “funding” and its equivalent “fund formation” are used by us as the purposeful structuring of cash means, which is based on two poles – accumulation of money sources (gathering) and its usage for definite purpose in the way of financing and crediting.
We have established a new termini – “finance-investment sphere” (FIS). Analyses about interrelation of finances and credit made by us give us an opportunity of proving, that in the given termini, the word “financial” is used with the meaning of funding cash sources, its purposeful structuring. In this process we consider at the same time financial, credit and investments’ economical categories.
Let’s sum up middle results of discussing new concept – “finance-investment sphere” and discuss its investment consisting parts.
The concept “investments” was brought into the native economical science from the West. In the Soviet economical science they for a long time used in the place “investments” the termini “capital placement”, which expressed the usage of the industrial factors in the sphere of real industrial activities during realization of capital projects. From one glance, this termini in its concept is identical to the “investments”, consequently it is possible to use them as synonyms. Though the termini “investments” and “investing” have the advantage towards the termini “capital placement” from linguistic and philological points of view, because they are expressed with one word. This is not only economical and comfortable in the process of working with the termini “investment” itself, but also it gives an opportunity of termini formation. More concretely: “investment process”, “investment domain”, “finance-investment sphere” – all these termini are much more acceptable.
Changing native economical termini with foreign ones is purposeful, if it really matters (by keeping parallel usage of the native termini for the inheritance). Though we must not change native economical termini into foreign ones all together, when by ordinal traditional language easy to explain private and narrow concrete processes and elements get their own termini. The “movement” of these termini is approved in the narrow professional bounds, but their “spitting out” into the economical science may turn economical language into the tangled slang.
Let’s discuss termini – “investment” and “capital placement’s” usage in the economical literature.
Investments are placement of funds into the main and circulation capital for the purpose of getting profit. “Investments in material assets – are the placements of funds into the mobile and real estate (land, buildings, furniture and so on). Investments in financial assets are the placements of funds into the securities bank accounts and other financial instruments”.
We don’t meet with the termini “investments” in the earlier economical dictionary, but we meet the combined termini “investment policy” – the union of the industrial decisions, which guarantee main directions of the capital investments, the activities of their concentration in the determinant suburbs, on which the reaching of planned rates of development of the society production is depended, balancing and effectiveness, getting more and more production and profit of the national income for every lost Ruble”. For today, in the most actual definitions, the capital investments are bounded only by financial means, when not only financial, but also the investment of natural, material-technical and informational resources takes place. Labour resources take an actual place in the investment process. They themselves fulfill this or that investment process.
A positive side of the discussed definitions is that they connect investment policy and capital placements (investments):
– economical development according to the key directions to the concentration;
– providing high rates of economical growth;
– raising an economical effectiveness, which is expressed:
a) by growing the throw off of the production and national income for every lost Ruble;
b) by fulfilling the branch structure of the investments;
c) by improving their technological structure;
d) by optimization of their further production structure.
Compared with such definition of the investments (capital placement) the definition of investments in the dictionary attaching the “Economics” seems to be unimproved: “investments – the expenses of gathering production and industrial means and increasing material reserve”. In this definition current expenses (production expenses) are mixed with the investment (capital) expense. Also, not the investment expenses but (though the investments are followed by the appropriate expenses) exactly advancing. It differs from the expenses by that the means (means) are put by returning the advanced values, also, under the conditions of growth, to which the concept-advanced capital is corresponding. the advancing may be realized in the money, natural-material and informational forms.
Except the termini “investments”, there are two more termini related with the investment. They are shown below.
“Human capital investment” – any activity provided for rising the workers labour productivity (in the way of growing their qualification and developing their abilities); at the expenses of improving the workers’ education, health and raising the mobility of the working forces”. It is very useful to use the mentioned termini, though it needs one correction: the human capital investments do not concern only workers, but also the servants, representatives of every kind of labour.
“Investment commodity, capital goods – a capital.”
In the official manuals of political economy of the reformation time the capital investments are discussed as “expenses for creating new main funds and widening, reconstruction and renewing the active ones”. In this definition the investments (capital placements) during separation of the forms (types) of further production of the main funds are bounded only by main funds (without increases of the circulation funds and insurance reserves):
a) creating new ones;
Also, the concept of the industrial gathering appears, at the expenses of widening of basic, circulation funds and also insurance reserves takes place”.
You’ll meet below the definitions of investments from “the course of economy”: the investments are called “placements of fund into the basic capital (basic means of production), reserves, also other economical objects and processes, which request long-termed influxing of material and cash means. “According to the division of capital into physical and money forms, the investments too must be divided into material and cash investments”.
They apportion investment commodity, to which belong industrial and nonindustrial building objects, vehicles purposed for changing or widened technical park and the furniture, increasing reserves and others.
“They call the total investments of production an investment product, which is directed towards keeping and increasing the basic capital (basic means) and reserve. Total investments consist of two parts. One of them is called the depreciation; it represents important investment resources for compensation of renewal till the level of before industrial usage, wearing out and repairing of the basic means. Second consisting part of the total investments is represented by net investments – capital investments for the purpose of increasing basic means”. Depreciation is not a compensation resource of wearing the basic funds out, but it is the purposeful financial source of such resources.
Human capital investment is “a specific kind of investments, mostly in education and health protection”.
“Real investments are the investments in the economical branches and also, they are kinds of economical activities, which provide influxing the increases of real capital, that is increasing material values of the industrial means”. We can agree with such definition with one specification that material and nonmaterial values too belong to the real capital (wealth), consequently science-researching experimental-construction results, various information, education of he workers and others. Such service as organization of the excitable games, also the service of redistribution social wealth from one private person to another (except charity).
“Financial investments represent placement of funds into the shares, obligations, promissory notes, other securities and instruments. Such investments, of course, do not give increases of the real material capital, but they help getting profit, consequently at the expenses of changing the course of the securities in the time of speculation, or distinguishing the course in different places of sell and purchasing”. We share wholly such definition, hence it follows that financial investments (if it is not followed by real investments as a result) do not increase real material wealth and real nonmaterial wealth. According to this context, the expression below is very important: “we must distinguish financial investments, which represent placement of the funds in the ways of selling and purchasing the securities for the purpose of getting profit and financial investments, which become cash and real, moved to real physical capital.”
In the “economical course” quoted before long and short-termed investments are separated. Recognizing the existence of the bounds between them, the authors ascribe short-termed investments to “one month or more” investments. If we get such conditioned criteria, that we can call the investments which overcome the terms of some months, long-termed ones, which is very doubtful and we don’t agree with it. A long-termed character of the fund placement is a significant feature of the investments (short-term doesn’t combine with the concept of investments). Principally, it would be better to point out quick compensative, middle termed compensative and long-termed compensative investments:
– less then 6 months – quick compensative;
– from 6 months up to the year and a half – middle termed compensative;
– more then the year and a half – long termed compensative.
We stopped at the definition of the investments in the capital work “economical course” for the special purpose, as, in it the author tried to discuss the concept of investments systemically and quite completely, herewith the book is published just now.
We’ll return to the discussion the definition economical category of “investments” in different publications in the following chapter. The definitions given here are quite enough for having a notion of the level of lighting up the given category in the economical literature.
What conclusions may be made according the definition of the mentioned economical category in the published works, except the made notions and specifications?
There is quite deeply, concretely and thoroughly defined the concept of “investments”, different definitions in the economical literature; but mostly in every works about the investments discussed by us until now, there is not opened the essence of investments as an economical category. In every monograph , even if it has a title investment, as an economical category , there is given only the definition, concept of investments. But, as the Academician Vasil Chantladze explains, “a concept is a discussion, which proves something about the distinguishing feature of the researched object. A concept out of much essential characteristic features represents only one, and essential in it is only – definition”.
But the categories are much wider; it is “a key, the most fundamental concept of every science”. Economical categories theoretically represent real, objectively existed productive relations. A category is the defining of occasions of existed characters, connections, relations of the objective world. Generally, any educational process is fulfilled by the categories, which give opportunities for dividing the processes and occasions semantically, for expressing the definitions of a subject and realize their specific peculiarities and economical relations of a material world.
Our goal is exactly to substantiate investments – as an economical category and also, as a financial category in the narrow understanding.
Here we apply for another manual thesis made by the academician Vasil Chantladze: “every financial relation is an economical one and every financial category is and economical one, but not every economical relation and economical category is financial relation and financial category”.
In the process of defining the investments, it is important to take in mind the sides of resources, expenses and incomes, because investment, from one side, is the result of the manufacture’s activity, and, from another one, – a part of income, which, in this case, is not used for usage.
Another occasion: it is advisable to discuss investments in two aspects: as a category of reserve and flow, which will reflect exactly the connection between “placement of funds” and “investments”.
As we’ve mentioned above, not long ago, in the well-known Soviet literature the concepts of “the placement of funds” and “investments” were accepted to be the synonyms and concerned to be investment of sources for further production of the main funds and formation of the turnover funds. We meet with such understanding of the concept of “investment” (here, they separate three types of the investment expenses: investments in the basic capital of investments, investments in the house building and investments in the reserves) in the modern economical publications and it is mostly used on the macro level during a statistical analyze of economical processes. In this concrete occasion investment is the category of reserve.
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It doesn’t promise that you’ll get rich overnight, but what it does is give you a huge resource of information on how to clear all bad debts, paying for mortgage, start investing, branching out, looking into tax benefits and saving money.
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
Some people have noticed that this book is one of the most well-loved finance books of all time. The Wealthy Barber provides sensible advice, deep insights into finances how it affects our lives. It is incredibly easy to take in as the book is written like a story or a short, light novel.
The book is always recommended for those who are venturing out in understanding personal money management, because even if you don’t have much background on finance and accounting, it will not be difficult for you to understand.
The Wealthy barber guides the reader to implement the steps in managing their money by thinking of what we truly want in life and how we can get it. It also has a great chapter on getting rid of materialistic thinking, getting spending under our control and minimizing our debts.
For the Young, Broke and Fabulous by Suze Orman
Suze “Suzy” Orman is a famous household name. You can see her in the news, hear her name on the radio, and her face is plastered on countless publications. She is famous for her personal finance books that are sold worldwide and known for her straight-talking and no-nonsense approach to money and debt.
The book “For the Young, Broke and Fabulous” has garnered a lot of following because the message hits the younger generation, targeting their lifestyle and giving out advice on getting started in the workforce, making the best out of your first few years on the corporate ladder, and following your dreams without sacrificing your future. Suze Orman discusses how the young generation has so much potential in them and how they can save, eliminate debt, and have enough to experience life at its fullest.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
The book has changed thousands of its reader’s outlook on how they lead their life. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is all about acquiring financial knowledge and know-how. It illustrates to us how our perspectives about what it takes to be successful in our own rights. It provides practical guidelines including how to build wealth and buy assets, avoid debt and liabilities, planning for the future while living your life today, and how to go rich by living within your means.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is full of amazing insights about money in general. Learning about your next step, and knowing the difference between an asset and a liability.
Dave Stack is a huge fan of saving money and using coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes. He also offers money saving tips to help you earn more savings.
For many businesses, financing cash flow for their business can be like riding a continuous roller coaster.
Sales are up, then they do down. Margins are good, then they flatten out. Cash flow can swing back and forth like an EKG graph of a heart attack.
So how do you go about financing cash flow for these types of businesses?
First, you need to accurately know and manage your monthly fixed costs. Regardless of what happens during the year, you need to be on top of what amount of funds will be required to cover off the recurring and scheduled operating costs that will occur whether you make a sale or not. Doing this monthly for a full twelve month cycle provides a basis for cash flow decision making.
Second, from where you are at right now, determine the amount of funds available in cash, owners outside capital that could be invested in the business, and other outside sources currently in place.
Third, project out your cash flow so that fixed costs, existing accounts payable and accounts receivable are realistically entered into the future weeks and months. If cash is always tight, make sure you do your cash flow on a weekly basis. There is too much variability over the course of a single month to project out only on a monthly basis.
Now you have a basis to assess financing your cash flow.
Financing cash flow is always going to be somewhat unique to each business due to industry, sector, business model, stage of business, business size, owner resources, and so on.
Each business must self assess its sources of financing cash flow, including but not limited to owner investment, trade or payable financing, government remittances, receivable discounts for early payment, deposits on sale, third party financing (line of credit, term loan, factoring, purchase order financing, inventory financing, asset based lending, or whatever else is relevant to you).
Ok, so now you have a cash flow bearing and a thorough understanding of your options available for financing cash flow in your specific business model.
Now you are in a position to entertain future sales opportunities that fit into your cash flow.
Three points to clarify before we go further.
First, financing is not strictly about getting a loan from someone when your cash flow needs more money. Its a process of keeping your cash flow continuously positive at the lowest possible cost.
Second, you should only market and sell what you can cash flow. Marketers will measure the ROI of a marketing initiative. But if you can’t cash flow the business to complete the sale and collect the proceeds, there is no ROI to measure. If you have a business with fluctuating sales and margins, you can only enter into transactions that you can finance.
Third, marketing needs to focus on customers that you can sell to over and over again in order to maximize your marketing efforts and reduce the unpredictability of the annual sales cycle through regular repeat orders and sales.
Marketing works under the premise that if you are providing what the customer wants that the money side of the equation will take care of itself. In many businesses this indeed proves to be true. But in a business with fluctuating sales and margins, financing cash flow has to be another criteria built into sales and marketing activities.
Overtime, virtually any business has the potential to smooth out the peaks and valleys through a more robust marketing plan that better lines up with customer needs and the business’s financing limitations or parameters.
In addition to linking financing cash flow more closely to marketing and sales, the next most impactful action you can take is expanding your sources of financing.
Here are some potential strategies for expanding your sources for financing cash flow.
Strategy # 1: Develop strategic relationships with key suppliers that have the ability to extend greater financing in certain situations to take advantage of sales opportunities. This is accomplished with larger suppliers that 1) have the financial means to extend financing, 2) view you as a key customer and value your business, 3) have confidence in the business’s ability to forecast and manage cash flow.
Strategy # 2: Make sure where possible that your annual financial statements show a profit capable of servicing debt financing. Accountants may be good at saving you income tax dollars, but if they drive business profitability down to or close to zero through tax planning, they may also effectively destroying your ability to borrow money.
Strategy # 3: If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers. Credit worthy customers allow both the business and potential lenders to finance receivables which can increase the amount of external financing available to you.
Strategy # 4: Develop a liquidation pathway for your tangible assets. Equipment and inventory are easier to finance if lenders clearly understand how to liquidate the assets in the event of default. In some cases, businesses can get resale option agreements on certain equipment or inventory from prospective buyers assignable to a lender to be used as recourse against a lending facility for financing cash flow.
Strategy # 5: Joint venture a sales opportunity with another business to share the risk of a large sales opportunity that may be too risky for you to take on yourself.
The primary long term objective of a business with fluctuating cash flow and margins is to smooth out the peaks and valleys and create a scalable business with more of a predictable sales cycle.
This is best achieved with an approach that including the following steps.
Step #1. Micro Manage your fixed costs and cash flow and accurately project out the cash flow requirements of the business on a weekly basis.
Step #2. Take a detailed inventory of all the sources you have for financing cash flow.
Step #3. Incorporate your financing constraints into your marketing approach.
Step #4. If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers to reduce risk and increase financing options.
Step #5. Work towards expanding both your financing sources and available source limits for financing cash flow.
Business cycle stability and cash flow predictability is an evolutionary step for every business. The industries with longer sales cycles will tend to be the more difficult to tame due to a larger number of variables to manage.
While studies show that technology spending is once again on the rise, there’s a reason you haven’t heard a collective sigh of relief from the software industry. While many budgets are once again allowing for the purchase of enterprise software, hardware and peripherals, there’s no question that today’s purchasers are smarter, savvier and more selective than ever.
Even though the purse strings have loosened, competition is at an all-time high. It’s no longer enough to provide a software solution that meets the potential customer’s needs, or even to provide it at the best price. Today, smart vendors are constantly looking for ways to stay one step ahead of the competition.
While increasing sales is always part of a competitive business strategy, software development companies often overlook a simple method of accomplishing this objective – making it easier for customers to buy.
One option increasing in popularity among software vendors is to establish a customized finance program that provides no-hassle financing solutions for your prospective clients. In addition to “one-stop shopping,” your customers can reap the other benefits of financing that make it easier for them to commit to technology purchases, including:
100 percent financing — Many finance companies offer 100 percent financing for the cost of software and maintenance contracts, which requires no down payment. Because customers don’t have to come up with a down payment, they can make a purchase immediately, rather than hold up the sale with a “wait and see” mentality that often accompanies a dip into cash reserves. It also allows your customers to invest more capital in revenue-generating activities.
Improved cash flow management – With software financing, your customers can conserve capital for reinvesting in their business and improve budgeting accuracy through fixed monthly payments. Financing also makes it easy for customers to access multiple-year budgets by paying for the benefit of your software over its useful life.
Flexible payment structures – Customers can optimize project budgets by taking advantage of the flexible payment structures available through financing to maximize the return on their investment. For example, with software financing, customers can ramp up payments to match the revenue generation of a new technology project that is utilizing the software being financed.
While financing provides a clear advantage for the buyer, when a program is well planned, the list of advantages for software developers, distributors and resellers can be even more beneficial.
Improved Customer Relations
As noted above, financing packages add value for the customer by enhancing their buying power, offering greater flexibility and providing convenience. It also increases their satisfaction through the ability to leverage their budget to acquire the total technology solution – which could include software, hardware, service, support, integration and training – rather than only the parts and pieces they could afford through an outright purchase.
Shorter Sales Cycles
On the sales side, any customer who expresses some interest in a product seems like a good lead. However, there are many times when the question of how to pay for the new software prevents the sale from happening. Time lost on dead-end deals can be eliminated when financing is part of the sale, as the ability to pay is immediately considered in the equation. In addition, many finance companies now offer fast, easy credit and documentation processes, so you can complete a sale quickly and avoid costly processing delays.
Another benefit is that as software needs are being discussed in the sales process, the finance specialist can work with the chief financial officer or accountant to determine which financing option and payment plan best suits business needs and cash flow.
Direct customer financing can also save software vendors millions of dollars each year by reducing the number of days a sale is outstanding. Consider a company with quarterly cash sales of $50 million. On average, it can take 45 days to collect payment. Assuming a borrowing rate of 6 percent, the 45-day lag in payment results in a carrying cost of $371,204. If the same numbers are run with a leasing finance program that generates payment within 2 days, the carrying cost drops $82,253, saving the company more than $288,951 in one business quarter.
The Big Picture
Overall, equipment financing programs can:
Generate larger, more profitable sales faster;
Increase account control;
Improve sales efficiency and productivity;
Improve cash flow;
Differentiate your company from its competition; and
Provide complete solutions for your customers.
Taking the Next Step
After identifying an interest in offering flexible financing as part of the sales process, the next step is to develop a finance program. By partnering with an experienced leasing company to develop a finance program for your customers, you can transfer all of the uncertainties of extending terms to your customer to the finance company.
Partnering with an experienced finance company also means you can concentrate on what your company does best – developing software – while letting a finance expert handle the intricacies of a finance program. Put simply, by working with a third party, your company will receive all of the benefits with none of the risk.
Whether you choose to refer your clients directly to your financing program partner or to work with a third-party finance partner to develop an in-house program, it is essential to choose an experienced equipment finance partner. During the sales process, the finance expert will be working closely with your customers, and it’s important that his or her actions and service levels reflect your company’s ability to meet your customers’ expectations. When searching for a finance partner, look for a company that:
Is flexible and willing to work with your management team to develop a program that will meet your financial objectives;
Is experienced in the IT and software finance world, since the sales process, client-decision criteria, and revenue recognition issues are different than that of capital asset sellers;
Provides marketing support and materials to help you promote your financing program
Is willing and able to provide your sales team with materials and training to ensure sales team members are comfortable and easily able to raise financing as an option with their clients; and Is a financially stable, long-term business partner.
Companies in search of a leasing partner can visit Choose Leasing (www.ChooseLeasing.org), a Web site developed by the Equipment Leasing Association, where you can find answers to commonly asked questions about leasing and search for an experienced leasing company specializing in vendor finance programs.
It is generally regarded that getting a good financing deal on an RV today is far easier than it was before. Recreational vehicle financing has been around since there have been RV units to finance but only recently has there been an influx of flexibility in how it was done. Also, in comparison to before, recreational vehicle financing now is far more direct, straightforward, and simpler. However, it would be good to keep in mind that financing an RV purchase is not exactly the same as financing a car. Some would say it is far more similar to financing a boat.
There is a prevalent perception that anyone who buys an RV, even with a financing deal, is going to be a person who pays up on time. The overall reliability of people who opt for recreational vehicle financing gives lending companies confidence in allowing for lower interest rates and terms that are not as harsh as those one might find on a car financing agreement. Monthly payments are also more affordable, thanks to that reputation. As such, if a person is considering purchasing an RV, it would be a good idea to take advantage of that reputation, in conjunction with a good credit rating and a clean credit history. The aforementioned combination could easily land a potential buyer an incredible bargain on their RV purchase.
Another incredible aspect of recreational vehicle financing would be the average number of years for the payment terms. Typically ranging from 10 to 20 years, an RV financing arrangement is considerably longer than that of a car. Also, very few financing institutions lump the interest rates at the start or end of the payment period, which means that the interest is spread out evenly. What that means for the average buyer is the fact that they need not fear suddenly having their budgets constrained by a sudden increase in the interest they have to pay for their new recreational vehicle.
One trait recreational vehicle financing shares with automobile financing would be the emergence of online financing companies. Operating the same way as their automobile counterparts do, RV financing groups are known for being less critical about a person’s credit rating and credit history, provided they have not declared bankruptcy or have defaulted on previous loans. Both car and RV lending companies also share the convenience of speed. It is not uncommon for an online RV financing group to be able to determine within a minute whether or not a potential customer would qualify for a financing agreement based on their limitations and terms. Both car and RV financing groups also share another minor convenience in the fact that neither will attempt to push extras such as insurance or an extended service plan on the buyer the way a dealership would.
With the ease, speed, and flexibility offered by recreational vehicle financing services on the Internet, it is no wonder that there is a slow but steady growth of people turning to online lenders for their financing needs. While the market for recreational vehicle financing is significantly smaller to the market for automobile financing, it is still substantial enough to warrant a number of websites and companies willing to provide their services to prospective buyers. With the price of real estate currently on the rise, some people might turn to RV units as a cheaper, temporary alternative. Naturally, the aforementioned people will come to realize that turning to an RV financing group is the best way for them to minimize their expenses.
As I was arranging the numerous personal finance books I’ve accumulated over the years, I couldn’t help but wonder how I can put everything together in such a tiny little space. Then I asked myself, if I had a very small book shelf that can accommodate only 10 of these books, which books would I choose? I had to think really hard because I love reading books and I’ve learned a great deal about life and money through ALL of them. These 10 books are special in that they have completely altered the way I view money and life! They have inspired me to learn more about money and pursue financial freedom! May these same books help you achieve your financial dreams!
Here are Rich Money Habits’ top 10 best personal finance books of all time!
#10. 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich by Bo Sanchez
This one is special because it’s written by a preacher – and a famous Filipino preacher at that! Bo Sanchez is a best-selling author of inspirational books in the Philippines. This is his first book that openly talks about money, business and investing.
What I particularly like about this book, is that it tackles one of the most critical obstacles in making money – that is, how to reconcile money and religion. Living in the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, it is very important for me to align what I believe in whether it be on religion or money. Otherwise, I’ll just be confused and end up going nowhere.
The book is full of stories on how daily money habits make you rich or poor. It describes the most common perceptions we have about money. We were taught that money is the root of all evil. When we watch our favorite TV shows, rich people are often portrayed as greedy. They only got rich through “drug” dealing or some other “illegal” means. Due to this stereotyping, some us unconsciously don’t want to be rich! Who would want to be the “bad” guy in our own soap opera called life?! 🙂
As a result, there is conflict inside of us. Some of our internal dialogs are
“I want to be rich…BUT not so rich that my friends would hate me and I would no longer have friends.” err…who wants to be loner?! 🙂
Or the most common,
“I want to be rich…and I’m so desperate the only way for me to get rich is by winning a million dollars through lottery.”
The great tragedy is never realizing that you don’t have to be a crook, or be greedy, or become unfriendly, or win a lotto ticket to be rich – you only need to build rich money habits!
#9. Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen
This is one of the books I bought when I was in the US. Since I love reading personal finance books, I ordered a bunch of them online. I was able to get them cheaper because I looked under the “used” books section. Surprisingly, most of them are in relatively good condition and look almost new!
The book was my first exposure to having multiple streams of income. For someone who worked as an employee most of his life, I thought I could only earn from one stream of income – my job! I realized having only one stream of income is not a very good idea because there’s also only one way money can come to me – through my paycheck!
Having multiple streams of income is NOT necessarily having a second job, or even a third! Multiple streams of income building systems so that money can flow through your life. It means, investing both your time and money to learn how to build those systems.
One way could be through real-estate investments where you get a “stream” of income from the monthly rental of your tenants. Another “stream” could be getting portfolio income like “dividends” or “interests” from your stocks or bonds investments. And yet another “stream” could be from royalties you receive from publishing a book or a music recording if you’re a singer. Having a LOT of “streams” where money can come to you is certainly better than relying on just your “job” to make money. The challenge is how to utilize what you have like time, skills, and money to setup these streams of income.
#8. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
The great thing about the book is it makes you realize what money habits you have developed since the day you were born. It brings out those subconscious thoughts that are hindering you from achieving financial success. Some of the internal dialogs with yourself could be.
“I am not good enough. I’ll never be amount to anything financially.”
Or you might say
“I’m poor because my parents are poor…and my grandfather is poor…and my great grandfather is poor…so I will always be poor…”
You might not be saying it out loud. You might only be thinking about it. Worse, you might not even be aware of it. And you wonder why you’ll not getting anywhere. As T. Harv Eker aptly put it
“…if your subconscious ‘financial blueprint’ is not ‘set’ for success, nothing you learn, nothing you know and nothing you do will make much of a difference.”
#7. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
The book speaks about the “New Rich”, a group of people who have the time, money and mobility to spend only 4 hours a week to generate money and live the life they want. The rest of their time is spent on things they love to do like dancing in Buenos Aires, scuba diving in Panama or basking in the Hawaiian sun.
Who wouldn’t want to spend only 4 hours of his time working instead of the usual 40 hours a week? Who wouldn’t want to have the luxury of time to do the things you really love? Who wouldn’t want to take a very long vacation in the beaches of Hawaii while your business is taken care of and money is still coming in?
For employees, it offers practical tips on how to negotiate with your boss for a work-at-home arrangement. It also provides ideas on how to plan your own “mini” retirements so the money is still coming in, without you around. It even discusses how you can “outsource” your life!
The 4-hour workweek is easy to read. The ideas are presented in a simple and uncomplicated manner that you think you’re reading a comic book. The book is conversational and funny. Reading it is like speaking with the author face to face. You might even find yourself occasionally laughing at his jokes. (I know I have) 🙂
#6. Rule #1 by Phil Town
I picked up this book out on a whim when I was at a bookstore in Malaysia. The book explains investing in a very simple and understandable manner. It is not intimidating in any way. After reading this book, it made me realize that I did not need to be afraid of investing. I just need to learn how to do it right.
Rule # 1 is “Don’t lose money.”
Whether the market is going up or going down, don’t lose money. Whether it is a bear market or a recession, don’t lose money. Whether you have billions or just a couple of hundred dollars in investment, don’t lose money.
The book discusses some of the basic myths about investing and provides simple strategies for successful investing while spending only 15 minutes a week. It tells about the five key numbers that really count when determining the value of a stock or business. It even mentions valuable internet tools and the advantages of managing your own investments to achieve your investment goals.
I know there may be other books on investing out there, but so far, this is the only one I’ve come across that made me understand the world of investing a little bit better.
#5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
I came across the Richest Man in Babylon from reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It tells about the ancient secrets of money. The book coined the phrase “pay yourself first”. In ordinary terms, it means – SAVING. But it is more than that. The book tells that in any trade you’re in, you CAN still “pay yourself first”. Once you have “money” in savings, you can then have that “money” work for you.
But how can you save when your little money is not even enough to survive on? How can you set aside 10% of your income when you’re living on 110% of it? How do you “pay yourself first” when the creditors are coming after you?
Paying yourself first is certainly not easy. It takes tremendous discipline. That’s one of the reasons why it is not popular. But once you get the rich money habit of controlling your money instead of it controlling you, your confidence builds up, you’ll think that if you can do this then you can do anything. And as with anything related to money, it touches everything. Your health improves. You become successful in what you do. People will wonder why you’re always brimming with confidence. You become the richest man in every sense of the word.
Isn’t it better to walk into a store knowing you can buy anything you want because you have the money (saved)? Doesn’t it give you peace of mind knowing that if some emergency occurs, you can readily rely on your saved “emergency fund”? Would it be nice to be able to help your family or those closest to you “financially” for a change? That’s the dream. And it starts with paying yourself first.
#4. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D. and William D. Danko Ph.D.
The book is based on a comprehensive research on the money habits of millionaires. The results are surprising in the sense that majority of those millionaires are not what we commonly expect them to be. As aptly described in the book,
“These people cannot be millionaires! They don’t look like millionaires, they don’t dress like millionaires, they don’t eat like millionaires, they don’t act like millionaires – they don’t even have millionaire names. Where are the millionaires who look like millionaires?”
Many of the “next door” millionaires are first-generation. They did not inherit their riches, they built them. Few of them do not spend more than $100 for a watch. Others don’t even wear a suit to work! They engage in types of businesses which could be classified as dull-normal. Some are welding contractors. Some are rice farmers. Some are pest controllers. Others are coin and stamp dealers.
What separates the “next door” millionaires from the rest is their money habits. They are frugal in nature. They value money. They invest at least 20% of their income. They even have a “go-to-hell fund” which can provide for their expenses for at least 10 years without working at all.
I think the most important lesson from the book is not that we know who the actual millionaires are, but the realization that it could be YOU! If they can do it, so can you! It’s time to build your own rich money habit and be the “millionaire next door”!
#3. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
I bought this book out on a whim. I was actually looking for the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell when I saw this book at 20% off.
The book tells about managing not only your money but looking at it in totally different way. Your money is only part and parcel of what your life is. There is also time. There is also your dream! What do you enjoy most? How do you spend your money? What do you do with your time? Would you still do what you do even if you have all the money in the world?
The book emphasizes managing the resources that you have like money and time. It offers very specific tips like monitoring your spending and whether each of those is contributing to your goals or not. It also has some ideas on how to identify exactly what you like to do and manage both your money and time so you can do more of what you love to do and less of what you don’t like to do. It even has some charts to help you picture out and plot where you are and when your freedom day will be.
I think the main message of the book is not to choose money over your life or the other way around – it is to have BOTH.
#2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
As mentioned in my personal finance story, this is one of the books that made me realize I really need to develop rich money habits to achieve financial freedom. The book is a story of growing up learning about money from two different dads: one is rich and the other one is poor. The story unfolds to describe the different money habits of the rich dad and the poor dad, each one producing a different financial result.
The book makes the very complex world of money and business seemingly simple. It is so simple that the ideas can be explained to a child using only sketchy drawings. The drawings illustrate how cash flows from your pocket to the bank when you pay your bills, and how it flows from your company to you when you get your paycheck.
What you do with the money after your receive it determines whether you become rich or poor. Do you use the money to buy assets like real estate investments or setup businesses? Or do you use it to buy liabilities like a brand new LCD TV in 12-easy-monthly-payments-with-zero-interest!
The reason I liked the book is because it inspired me to become better and to view business and money in a totally different way. It expanded my understanding of how money really works! Most of all, it gave me the confidence to dream again!
#1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is one of the first books I’ve read about money. The main message of the book is that you have to “think” about money first before it becomes real. It is a direct translation to the phrase “what your mind can conceive, your body can achieve”. When you really think about money and you have this “burning desire” to make it real, all the universe conspires to build the means to bring it to you.
Money is, first and foremost, only an idea. It is not real. The money you hold when you buy a bag of grocery is only as real as the “mutual” agreement you have with other people that the paper you’re holding is worth something of value equal to that you’re buying.
The book doesn’t say “Work Hard and Grow Rich”. Working hard means different things to different people. For an employee who doesn’t like what he’s doing and only get paid very little, everything is “hard work”. For someone who love what he does, “working hard” is not in his vocabulary.
In 1997 I picked up my first personal finance book, The Millionaire Next Door. I had heard that the book revealed to the world that millionaires were cheap folks who drove old cars and didn’t send their kids to college. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact the book revealed to me the common qualities of millionaires and that becoming one is not that far fetched an idea. They have certain characteristics and habits and developing them is the surest way to join the ranks of the world’s millionaires.
Truthfully, personal finance books are a dime a dozen. You cannot roll a boulder without hitting one. What makes one book better for you than another? Since 1997 I have read 10-15 personal finance books per year. Well over 100 books later, there are only 10 who have made a genuine difference in my life. The rest were filler. At 10 dollars a book that is a lot to spend on filler.
How can you pick the right book for you and still keep your money in the bank? No, I am not just going to suggest that you get a library card. Wasting time on the wrong book is just as bad as wasting money. There are a few simple steps to follow that will help you pick the right book for the stage you are in life.
Ten action steps for selecting the right book for you:
1) Before you go to the bookstore or the library, decide what is most important for you at your particular point in time. Are debt elimination, starting a savings plan or investing most important for you?
2) Look for a book that teaches a new concept about an idea. In its first few pages, Rich Dad, Poor Dad introduced the balance sheet in simple, easy-to-understand way.
3) Look through the table of contents. Is there a chapter there that appears to address your problem? If so scan that chapter to make sure it contains information valuable to you.
4) Is there a glossary of terms? Or will you need to have your financial dictionary or Internet connection handy to understand your book?
5) Read the preface, does the author communicate his or her purpose for the book and is it in line with your personal philosophy?
6) Is the author’s language style appropriate for you? In the 1990’s personal finance books were written for baby boomers in their late 30s and older. The language was pretty staid. Today’s personal finance books are written for Gen x, Gen y, and Gen Whatever. The language style is more aggressive.
7) Is the book filled with exercises you won’t do? Be honest here. One of the main reasons that people don’t finish a personal finance book is because it is filled with exercises they won’t do. These exercises are very different from action steps, the steps designed to help you remedy your current situation. Exercises in personal finance books are often aimed at helping you figure out how desperate your current situation is. If you didn’t already know how desperate your current situation was, you wouldn’t be looking for a personal finance book in the first place. You need action steps not psychoanalysis.
8) What are other people saying about the book? The Internet allows any one to connect with book reviews. Folks are generally pretty open about their situations. Has the book you are considering helped someone in a situation similar to yours?
9) Is the book simply a rehash of something you have already read? Many financial books, especially books by the same author, are merely “also-rans”, books that rehash the same material repackaged for a different audience.
10) Is the book an end in and of itself or simply a promotional piece for a financial seminar? I cannot stress this enough. You are looking to solve your current financial situation through education not become part of some author’s marketing machine.
Once you master the basics there is much in the world of money mastery to know. Right now my focus is on books that teach new concepts about work, play and life. Just because I find a book intriguing I don’t run out and buy it. Instead, I place it in my queue and wait. I am always reprioritizing and looking at the materials I already have; if that book is relevant in 30 days, I will put it in my active queue to purchase and read.
Using the 10 steps I just outlined will help you gain the most book for your buck, avoid the unnecessary and redundant purchases, save you time and help you keep more of your money in the bank.