Quite often, I get suggestions from readers to review personal finance books that are promoted with a strong theme of fear. For example, just today a reader wrote to me with some eloquent questions from a book entitled The Coming Economic Collapse How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel. While I responded to his email, I was pretty clear to him that I had no interest in reading the book and would not be reviewing it.

To me, books like this aren’t delivering personal finance advice, they’re selling fear. When I browse through the personal finance section of my local bookstore, I see a lot of books with words like apocalypse and meltdown and collapse, talking as though these events are imminent and they will be catastrophic to your life in many ways and you had better act now on whatever advice they’re selling or else you’ll be in deep, deep trouble.

Although these topics are pitched as personal finance, the ideas they deliver to you really don’t have much to do with personal finance at all. This is about one thing and one thing alone: causing you to fear the unknown events that the future holds so that you make decisions that aren’t fully rational.

From my perspective, personal finance is about hope. It’s about a sense that if you make strong choices with your life, things will get better and you can put yourself in a better place.

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Posted by Mr Thx Sunday, November 22, 2009


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Sekapur Sirih Seulas Pinang

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Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
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