Trust no one. That is the theme of the eye opening book Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen. This compelling book is a wake up call for anyone looking for the right financial guru or product to magically resolve money concerns. In the book the author exposes how popular financial gurus and various financial businesses exploit a fearful public concerned about financial survival by offering "solutions" that don't stand up to the slightest scrutiny.
Olen takes on some of the biggest names in the personal finance industry. She reveals that Suze Orman promotes stocks to consumers even though very little of her fortune comes from stocks and that her financial advice is biased and slanted to promote her products. The author does the math David Bach of the "latte factor" and reveals that cutting out small indulgences in favor of investing is not going to make you a millionaire. His strategy is unrealistic based on overly optomistic financial projections that are inconsistent with how the market really performs. Talking about the author of the hugely successful Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Olen reveals that in an interview Robert T. Kiyosaki admits that the story of the "rich dad" that allegedy mentored him in the book is a fictional character, which makes this financial advice book a work of fiction.
Olen exposes how financial programs designed by the Personal Finance Industry are misleading, benefitting the company at the expense of the consumers financial security. She also dispels popular myths like real estate is always a solid investment. The author approaches the subject like the compentent reporter she is, drawing upon extensive research and her own years of experience as a financial journalist. Olen doesn't offer any magic solutions to financial challenges, but by reading this book you may avoid wasting money on over hyped financial gurus and not be a victim of bad financial advice.
My own experience reading books or watching DVD's featuring a financial celebrity is that they either offer common sense advice I have heard many times before. Or they focus exclusively on saving strategies designed for careless spenders. Unlike the financial gurus that completely ignore the reality that many financially responsible people get into debt because of unexpected events such as a medical emergency or extended unemployment, Olen recognizes that most people aren't facing financial challenges because they are addicted to lattes and shopping sprees.