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Start Here: “The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance”

Can anyone spot what’s wrong with this Wall St Journal article?

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I love the Wall Street Journal, but as I was browsing it yesterday, I found this page. Who can identify what’s wrong with it?

Why might this be a sub-optimal way to talk about personal finance? What does the typical reader think when he sees this page?

Hint: It took me about 4 years to figure this out.

[Edit]: The comments on this post are fascinating. I’ve posted my response here.

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124 Comments on "Can anyone spot what’s wrong with this Wall St Journal article?"

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Josh moore
5 years 11 months ago

Hi Ramit,

To me a few things stick out:
– it seems overly complex and could cause analysis paralysis. Reader thinks ‘it’s all too much effort’
– it’s written by columnists. What makes them any superior to me?
– if it is a how to guide wouldn’t it include more than just tips?
– it’s upside down. Investing should come after they sort out savings, planning, etc.
– more often than not, people need a why to do something. The how-to doesn’t solve their personal circumstances, offering a one size fits all type solution to personal finance.

Thoughts?

Elle
5 years 11 months ago

I agree with Josh’s thoughts. I think many more people will be motivated if they see why knowing about mutual funds and 529 plans could make them more wealthy.

I think it should be organized by how pressing certain matters are for most people in their range. Banking should be ahead of investing. Your checking and savings accounts handle day to day finances.

Matt
Matt
5 years 11 months ago

It suggests that, within the realm of “personal finance,” investing is the highest priority while managing your money is a mere afterthought.

Paul
Paul
5 years 11 months ago

Perhaps rather than suggest that money management is an afterthought, it assumes that it’s already been done. They’ve pushed the obvious down the page to the detriment of the clueless.

Benjamin Manns
5 years 11 months ago

The reporters and columnists are telling me ‘how-to’ do all this stuff, when I don’t know ‘why-to’ do it. Also, there is no actionable plan, or even rough estimate of a path that one is supposed to take through all of it.

Paul
Paul
5 years 11 months ago

I’ve always thought that the “Why do X?” group were the ones who didn’t know apples from oranges, but the “Howto do X?” group had already sought out a specific task.

I agree that there is/are no apparent actionable item(s) brought to the reader’s attention.

Chris Horner
5 years 11 months ago

There’s nothing here on budgeting or how to use your money day to day. All of the topics they mention are useless until you understand that piece.

Chris Caton
Chris Caton
5 years 11 months ago

It’s all about what to do with the money you have, not how to get more in the first place.

Pop
5 years 11 months ago

It portrays investing as the most important aspect of building wealth, when making more money matters more than most of the stuff on the list combined.

TopherD
5 years 11 months ago

I agree with Benjamin Manns, there isn’t enough why’s in that list. It also seems to have a one size fits all feel to it.

Dan J
Dan J
5 years 11 months ago

It also suggests that everything on this list is something you need to do, which isn’t necessarily true. You don’t /need/ to finance an car purchase (save up & pay cash), buy a house (rent) or use a financial planner (do it yourself). I also agree with the previous commentators.

BH
BH
5 years 11 months ago

It’s all How. There is no When or more importantly Why.

Nitty
Nitty
5 years 11 months ago

It says “how to pick a stock,” as if people should be picking stocks rather than just investing in an index fund.

Evan
Evan
5 years 11 months ago

I was going to say the same thing.

Chris
Chris
5 years 11 months ago

There is no article on buying a car without financing or leasing.

Dan
Dan
5 years 11 months ago

They put the most basic (and important) stuff last, because it was the least flashy (and probably what people aren’t looking for). You need to be able to manage your basic finances and know about banking before you can really do flashy investments like buying stocks. And honestly, you shouldn’t be buying stocks unless you’re Warren Buffet. And even then, he buys companies.

They do mention some funds, but I’m surprised that they don’t mention anything about savings.

Nate
5 years 11 months ago
Well….there’s definitely a few things. 1. There is nothing on setting priorities or motivations. So many people invest in stocks, mutual funds, etc, etc b/c they think ‘that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what a responsible adult does.’ Before you start any personal finance program you should maybe ask yourself what you want out of it. Do you want to save for travel? Do you like to go out a lot and want to save money for that? Have you thought of future expenses you might have (kids, wedding, etc?) 2. This is really a carry-over of #1 above.… Read more »
A-ron
5 years 11 months ago

There’s nothing “wrong” with it, as long as you’re in their target market. However, the biggest flaw is you’re still reading the wall st journal. Lame.

Arkadiy B
Arkadiy B
5 years 11 months ago
Ramit, I love reading your posts, and I do understand that sometimes you are in a hurry and make a mistake, but common – “What does the typical reader thinks when they see”, sorry but I had to point this out. As for the intentions of WSJ, no one has said it better than Jim Rogers 2 days ago on CNBC “It is PR, they got the stocks up, that’s the whole purpose of PR, make the stocks go higher. That’s what CNBC and many many PR agencies are all about.” This should explain why stocks and bonds are first… Read more »
Mario Braganza
Mario Braganza
5 years 11 months ago

Makes me feel like a deer in the headlights!

It looks pretty intimidating & makes me want to just have an ‘expert’ handle it all!

SAFTM
5 years 11 months ago
Chris H spotted a biggie to me – no budgeting and daily money management How-To. That’s definitely the most important for me. Also, even some of the categories listed are incomplete. Take retirement for example – according to these it looks like 401(k) and annuities are the only options. What about IRAs? KEOGHs? 403(b)s? Now, I admittedly haven’t clicked on any of the (ahem… 3) retirement articles, but given some glaring ones that are missing – I mean, come on, no IRA article… I don’t see much of a point. I imagine there may be more issues if you actually… Read more »
Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh
Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh
5 years 11 months ago

I see a slave in the making.

db4805
db4805
5 years 11 months ago

It’s all about giving control of your money to someone else.
The borrower is slave to the lender.

Zack
5 years 11 months ago

Where are the tips on how to save money on your morning latte?!
They obviously have no idea idea what they are doing.
I thought the wsj was better than this.

anon
anon
5 years 11 months ago

There is nothing about WHEN TO SELL… you can buy all you want, but if you don’t know how to use it (i.e. after selling), then you’re holding useless paper.

Rich S
5 years 11 months ago

I would guess the order of the sections. With Google, the higher-ranked items get higher views. So I would infer that Investing is most often viewed while Money Management is rarely seen.

Micayla
Micayla
5 years 11 months ago

From the context of Ramit asking the question, I’d say it’s that there’s no ‘how to make more money.’

Timo
Timo
5 years 11 months ago

That’s what I thought too. Nothing about How To Improve/Enhance your Personal Finance.

Rex
Rex
5 years 11 months ago

Well it speaks only of managing money as if you already have some….so it is missing: how to earn money and how to save money.

-Rex

LaptopHeaven
LaptopHeaven
5 years 11 months ago

It makes no mention of how to get out of or control debt!

Jesse
Jesse
5 years 11 months ago

1. Who wants tips from reporters and columnists?? 2. No automation. 3. No job salary increase tips.

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

It’s a page from the Wall Street Journal website.

Peter Yaworski
5 years 11 months ago
Information overload is definitely one I agree with but the cultural aspect is evident as well – similar to Ramit’s post on implicit cultural assumptions about home ownership. The article implies that all of these topics ultimately makeup “Personal Finance”. In other words, if you are talking about personal finance, you should be thinking about Insurance, Buying a Car, Buying a Home, etc. The implicit argument of “How to Make the Most of Your Debit Card”, “How to Finance an Auto Purchase”, “How to Choose a Financial Planner”, etc. is that you should be doing all of these things. This… Read more »
Jacob
5 years 11 months ago

Asset Allocation – the most important aspect of any portfolio, not mentioned anywhere.

cmadler
5 years 11 months ago

I agree with A-ron: “There’s nothing “wrong” with it, as long as you’re in their target market. However, the biggest flaw is you’re still reading the wall st journal. Lame.”

Jack
Jack
5 years 11 months ago

The biggest problem is actually that they certainly only have that page for them to make money (sponsorships, advertising), but they bill it as something to help readers (and there are likely people who go for it).

But that’s the reason there’s nothing about budgeting or conscientious spending – because who wants to sponsor that?

Sweta
Sweta
5 years 11 months ago

Is it the “how to buy a stock” link? You always say investing isn’t about picking stocks.

Scelena
Scelena
5 years 11 months ago

Asset allocation. It gives a big list of securities and other investment vehicles, but doesn’t teeach new investors how to decide WHAT to invest in and leaving them to believe they could just buy stocks or bonds and that is “investing.”

Ranjan
5 years 11 months ago

It gives out a lot of knowledge without bothering about the skills and attitude towards managing your money. Personal finance is “personal” and depends on your own situation and risk profile.

And for any competency (managing money competency, for example) , you need the skills and attitude in addition to just knowledge.

DanP
DanP
5 years 11 months ago

It makes it look like personal finance has to be complex, it truly doesnt.

Chris
Chris
5 years 11 months ago

Well for starters, there’s nothing here to take a personal inventory to find out what you have, where it is and what your goals are. It also perpetuates the expensive myth that you need someone other than yourself to “Manage Your Money.” Oy.

But what’s really missing is SAVING. Not one thing on this list goes to saving or reducing expenses (the college ed stuff is really planned spending). The entire thing is about money going out the door.

Cat
Cat
5 years 11 months ago

It preaches buying things to “manage” money–buy stocks, houses, cars, annuities, insurance, financial software. The classic consumer approach: your best solution to every problem is to buy something.

Nick
5 years 11 months ago

Seems to me that the biggest issue is they don’t list Index Funds as an obvious investment choice when that’s the choice that almost everyone should be making.

Tim
Tim
5 years 11 months ago

A couple people already nailed it – managing your money should be the first priority and last. It’s very difficult to invest, save, etc. when you don’t have basic money management skills.

Tim again...
Tim again...
5 years 11 months ago

and *not* last.

Adam McKay
5 years 11 months ago

I was surprised that managing your money was at the bottom and that debt reduction wasn’t specifically mentioned. I think the reality is that a lot of people don’t know how to manage their money and need to reduce their debt before they can invest or do many of the other great things listed.

Justin
Justin
5 years 11 months ago

Forest for the trees… there’s no mention of sitting down and figuring out what your financial goals are. How are you supposed to get somewhere if you don’t know where it is you’re trying to go?

Erica Douglass
5 years 11 months ago
I feel overwhelmed just looking at that page! A ton of acronyms and frankly, gibberish to most people. But I feel like the most important part they overlook is that money is really about emotions. There are no emotions on that page. (Emotions would be considered bad form in a newspaper, anyway!) I wrote a blog post last year called “Why You Don’t Save for Retirement” that addresses the flip side of this–why, no matter how many “how to” articles you read, you probably still won’t make saving for retirement a priority. It’s because most people don’t make their retirement… Read more »
Derek
Derek
5 years 11 months ago

I’d say finding a money manager has nothing to do with personal finance.

Bayard
Bayard
5 years 11 months ago

Holy shit, that’s confusing.

Anthony
5 years 11 months ago
The problem is the lack of “why”. There’s nothing to help you understand and answer the fundamental question: “What do you want your money to accomplish?” The items listed are all means to an end, but there’s nothing to help you figure out what your goals are. A better way to start: What do you want your money to do for you? (or “What do you want to do with your money?) We’ll walk you through identifying and setting your goals, then recommend the tools that will get you there. The plus side is that their guide would get real… Read more »
Heidi
Heidi
5 years 11 months ago

It mentions CD’s twice: one being How To Invest in a CD.
We all know how much you hate them

mike
5 years 11 months ago

Not sure if this has been said already, but these are all tips for ways to SPEND your money “wisely.” Not ways to NOT spend your money foolishly, which as you are so dedicated to pointing out, can be one of the keys to the game.

Aaron
5 years 11 months ago

I wouldn’t put credit, investing and banking so near the top.. seems like they were paid to do that! 🙂

Farrell
Farrell
5 years 11 months ago

How to get out of debt is not mentioned.

Dow Quote
5 years 11 months ago

Look at the car buying section. Finance or lease…..

Shaun
Shaun
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit-

There is no explanation of interest, the one factor that, for most, has the single greatest impact of any factor in any of the mentioned purchases or investments. My grandfather taught that: “There are two kinds of people in this world ’em that makes interest and ’em that pays it.” (Ben Kjar, 2007)

Also, a bit of information on how to start your cash flow in the first place would be sensible.

-Shaun Kjar

Tom
5 years 11 months ago

Just a ‘how to’ from a columnist is like learning nanotechnology from a teenage bookworm; he can probably regurgitate what he’s read, but he couldn’t solve your problems. It sort of seems like a STFUDF moment.

Also, they are assuming you should buy a house and a car.

Linda
Linda
5 years 11 months ago

All of these options are presented as a buffet–as in, here are all these choices; select what you’d like.

To borrow a mathematical phrase, there’s no “order of operations.” In other words, what do you do first? Then second? Then third?

And considering that the majority of Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt, it doesn’t make sense to be discussing how to earn 5-12% (or whatever they’re touting) on your money when you’re paying 18%+ to credit card companies.

Doug
Doug
5 years 11 months ago

The list is in reverse order. Playing the market is the last thing you would do after accomplishing all the rest.

Guy
Guy
5 years 11 months ago

Obviously, they want to put an emphasis on investing since it’s an investors journal.

Derk
Derk
5 years 11 months ago

These are not concepts of personal finance, they are links to services that cost you money.

Dennis
Dennis
5 years 11 months ago

You don’t “invest” in a CD.

Jessica
Jessica
5 years 11 months ago

Nothing focuses on making more money!

(scrolled to the comment window before reading comments so I wouldn’t see possible answers)

Steve
5 years 11 months ago

Jessica,
You are right. It is all defensive, not offensive.

David Ponder
David Ponder
5 years 11 months ago

There is no way for anyone to write ‘how to choose a stock’ or ‘how to choose finance software’ without inserting their own personal bias. Each of these will likely be written based on their personal financial positions.

David Ponder
David Ponder
5 years 11 months ago
Also, if I’ve done particularly well at either of those mentioned above and could therefore be considered an ‘expert’ on the subject, there’s almost a 100% chance I would not be writing these articles for many reasons including these 3: 1. I would be doing something better with my time. 2. That information would be too valuable to print in the ‘Wall Street Guide…’ 3. Giving that information to the public would render it useless, as in the stock market there must be winners and losers. Not everyone can win, and if everyone is using the same strategy, whatever edge… Read more »
doctor S
5 years 11 months ago

Or is it as basic that it is a “HOW TO” page for both complex and remedial tasks, all lumped together? Saying this is “How to do this” makes it seem so easy when picking a stock, mutual fund, or any other investment engine really is much more complex.

Steve O
Steve O
5 years 11 months ago

“Evaluating a stock” shouldn’t be a priority for 99% of investors. Also, nothing about disability insurance or life insurance! Both should be a much higher priority than insuring your car or home (of course, you have to do both if you’re legally required to).

yohami
5 years 11 months ago

1) How to make more money

Frank
5 years 11 months ago

Your book’s not on there.

I find the list unhelpful because it doesn’t really show me how to actually manage my finances as a whole. It’s a bunch of little topics in no particularly helpful order. I would like it more if it showed where to start, what are the big important things I should focus on, etc. Actually what would also be nice is how I can leverage psychology and if it included specific scripts– oh, never mind… now I’m just talking about your book again…

Josh moore
5 years 11 months ago
Another thought just now. It implies that you need money. The mindset is all wrong. The reader will look through the list and think either they already know what these things are or that they don’t have the Money (I.e. They have a bank account but don’t have the money to buy bond or put in a CD) It implies the solution to the problem is in doing these things, rather than taking a good hard look at yourself and determining how you got to where you are. It does not address the underlying problems such as spend less than… Read more »
Rebecca K.
Rebecca K.
5 years 11 months ago

I think it’s interesting that the only thing they talk about saving for is for college. Nothing about how to find scholarships for college either.

They also don’t say how to get out of debt or make credit work for you.

Critical
Critical
5 years 11 months ago

Whats wrong with it?
Focusing on the HOWS and not the WHYS…
WHYS make it personal finance
HOWS make it wall street finance – make money commish

Ed Bradford
Ed Bradford
5 years 11 months ago

To become rich requires behavior, not specific actions.
Learn from Buffet and Buffet’s mentor, then use these tricks.

Critical
Critical
5 years 11 months ago

It simply tells us the business of Wall Street Journal..
to sell financial services…
HOW TO BUY STOCKS…means….HOW TO PAY ME COMMISSIONS>..

Alexb
Alexb
5 years 11 months ago

Great post. I’m surprised how many of your readers weren’t able to answer the question, but I think Micayla has it right…It should be about making money, not just saving it.

Eshwar J
Eshwar J
5 years 11 months ago
Hi Ramit, My picks would be like @Chris said, There is no SAVINGS on the list. The list is not ordered by what to do first, for an average reader. Nor catering to majority of WSJ demographics (http://www.quantcast.com/wsj.com) . Its rather a list of most viewed pages, that WSJ hasn’t been paying attention on benefiting their readers. An average reader might be confused and quite intimidated with this listings. This is personal finance after all, it must have ways to maximize income or savings by cutting expenses. Then only comes the growing the income which is investing. They focus too… Read more »
Jeff Tong
5 years 11 months ago

Everything is wrong on the site. All out of order. First thing noticed, “Managing your Money” is the last topic? How can this be? definitely sub-optimal /epicfail.

Unfortunately – The typical reader would think that topics are ranked by importance, with the most important on top. Aren’t they in for a financial surprise later.

Frank
5 years 11 months ago
Hi Ramit, I guess the overarching problem is that the perspective is broken. It’s the perspective of experts. They’re simply not in their readers/ customers heads… Although they probably assume that every reader of the WSJ knows as much as the journalists (faulty in itseld in the internet age anyway). Having worked in a bank for some time I can assure them though that this isn’t true. I had colleagues that weren’t even able to explain what a stock ist. One prob this leads to is that they are not answering Why questions on that page, only How and What… Read more »
Erica
Erica
5 years 11 months ago

If I were looking for information on personal finance and had stumbled upon that page, I would have immediately closed the window. I had to go back and take a second look at the screen shot to even see that they had a few basics on there, but again, if I were just searching for personal finance information, I would have missed the basic how-to articles, or assumed they would be way over my head.

David
5 years 11 months ago
Man. It’s all minutiae and useless tips that don’t address the deeper issues. For instance, “Buying A Car” should be about smart research, how to negotiate, and then how to analyze what kinds of payments you can best take on within your personal financial framework, not how to freaking finance it! This is just part of a huger problem which is that people — especially experts — are either too ignorant or too devious to address what the problem ACTUALLY is —- our psychology. And that’s why I read this site. And the Heath Brothers. And T.F. These dudes actually… Read more »
Bartholemew Longbottom
Bartholemew Longbottom
5 years 11 months ago

It only tells you about investing and borrowing. It doesn’t have anything on budgeting, debt management or growing your income.

Nate
5 years 11 months ago

All it’s talking about is the nitty-gritties, not the big picture. Teaching me about the structure of various financial products does nothing to tell me about how to use them to achieve my financial goals, or even what strategy to take in the achievement of those goals; I could know all the information and still be financially illiterate. It would be like trying to teach someone how to build the house of their dreams by explaining the metallurgical differences between various kinds of bolts. You have to start with goals and design issues, then move onto details as appropriate.

Mark
Mark
5 years 11 months ago
Ramit, After reading your book, all I see on this page are ways for your BROKEr to make money. There isn’t anything telling YOU (the client) how to make money. Just pull up to their advertisers (the brokers) and we’ll show you how to walk or call into our offices and give us your money. Before you figure out how we stole whatever money you have (hidden by dollar-cost averaging) it will be too late for you to do anything about this mess. Everyone should read Ramit’s book and you’ll learn how to increase your wealth by saving, investing, and… Read more »
Mimi
5 years 11 months ago

There’s nothing in this list about how to make more money yourself – the topic of your Earn 1K on the Side course and other posts – and the main way most people bring in the cash that helps them build wealth (if they then manage to save and invest their money wisely).

irina
irina
5 years 11 months ago

the key ‘wrong’ thing about this is it talks about buying and evaluating *a* stock. portfolio diversification theory and general financial know-how tells us
1) we shouldn’t be buying just one stock and 2) we don’t need to evaluate a stock in particular, just have to invest in a fund, preferably an index fund due to lower fees and the fact that managed funds rarely outperform the market anyway.

am i right?

Ché Ché la Femme
Ché Ché la Femme
5 years 11 months ago
Most important aspects toward building wealth are missing: earn more, spend less, and have NO DEBT! I have a $300K/yr freelance gig with approx. 50 different clients, three homes and a used car paid in cash, and no debt. Two of the homes are generating rental income. Took 11 years to crawl out from the abyss of being dead broke, in debt, and unemployed to this point, but it’s possible . . . if one is willing to take calculated risks. “Conventional wisdom” (oxymoron) about finances as typified in the WSJ is for the average person . . . who… Read more »
Jeffrey
Jeffrey
5 years 11 months ago

How to “choose a financial planner” doesn’t belong. All the other links explain how to be your own.

Annie Binns
5 years 11 months ago

I have to concur with some other folks here, Anthony and Erica D.

HOW TO really isn’t that compelling.

WHY TO is very compelling. Particularly if it paints a picture that creates an emotional response.

Barb Friedberg
5 years 11 months ago

Too much information. Assumes the viewer knows where to begin. Step by step and simplicity are the keys to gaining financial literacy.
As a portfolio manager and MBA investing prof. I know it is tough to break down complex topics, but it is crucial to do so.

Vincent
Vincent
5 years 11 months ago

How about the section on Home buying. I guess it assumes that everyone *should* buy a home and proceeds to explain how, without analyzing whether it is a good decision to buy a home.

Author Of Creando Negocios Web
5 years 11 months ago

Too much information about many topics. But most of them talk about spending your money, not how to earn it, how to be frugal and how to properly save and multiply it.

Besides they don’t provide a personal system to handle your money and your destiny

IamDavid
5 years 11 months ago

A lot of insightful comments have already been made, so I won’t say what has already been said. So to put it simply, It is supposed to be a how to guide on personal finance, which it is not.

Alex
Alex
5 years 11 months ago

The real problem is that the “U.S. Edition” is orange text on a dark gray background. Horrid choice! The Wall Street Journal should know better!!!

Rose M
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t know that I would want to take advice from journalists and writers. Not to mention the list is so long. Information overload to say the least.

Mzee Jibo
Mzee Jibo
5 years 11 months ago

Didn’t say anything about budgeting!

NARESH SHARMA
NARESH SHARMA
5 years 11 months ago

The article is too enriched with “How and What”. WHY one should do it is not there. In absence of WHY, how it is going to appeal to the early and late majority?? Too soft for even early adopteers!!!!!!!

Tony Hollowell
5 years 11 months ago

It is missing both sides of the same coin:

How to STOP spending money and how to make MORE money.

sara
sara
5 years 11 months ago

It’s very forest-for-the-trees. The details look complex and there’s no “what’s your goal and what will get you there.”

Jules
5 years 11 months ago

1) This might just be me, but I haven’t got the slightest idea what half of the things under the first heading even are, much less why I’d want to buy one.

2) I have to agree with most people–there’s no “Why you need to think about a 529” and now reason for why these thigs matter.

3) Is it just me, or does the section on buying a car (financing/leasing–whatever happened to just buying a car?) seem like a crock?

Jules
5 years 11 months ago

Arggh, stupid keyboard:

2) should read…no reason why these things matter.

Wren
Wren
5 years 11 months ago
In addition to the above criticisms of the page’s content, the essential problem is that it isn’t going to reach anyone. I think your hint is referencing your experience that few of your fellow undergrads would show up to your personal finance classes because they didn’t think they needed the help or didn’t want to admit that they did. Similarly, typical WSJ readers aren’t going to look at a how-to guide because they already think of themselves as above-average investors (even though they’re probably losing money trying to pick stocks or buying shares in the latest hotshot mutual fund). Even… Read more »
Autumn
Autumn
5 years 11 months ago

Well….I’m waiting. When are you going to reply with your 4 year aha?

Lauryn Ballesteros
5 years 11 months ago

The order.

It teaches you to invest your money first and manage it last.
You should manage your money first, then invest. What does making a lot of money mean if you have no idea how to manage it, to thus invest it again?

LB

Bryce
5 years 11 months ago

Defining your goals…

Earning More Money… (not just managing – yohami said this too)

(not missing) but a better order…

Dolla Thug
5 years 11 months ago

Hmmm…besides the fact that “Managing Your Money” is the very last item on the page, the worst part is that the first link under Managing Your Money is finding SOMEONE ELSE to manage YOUR money. We all know the best way to understand personal finance is to make it PERSONAL and learn how to motivate yourself before you give the reigns to someone else.

Craig
5 years 11 months ago

Nothing on cash flow and seeing where your money is coming from and where it is going.

You can find out how to invest in stocks, bonds, etc… but nothing telling you how to invest in yourself and build your own brand to make more income (so you can invest in stocks, bonds, etc…).

NickAZ
NickAZ
5 years 11 months ago

No information on earning money.

sarah
sarah
5 years 11 months ago

order is all wrong

ML
ML
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit,

I am clueless! Are you going to give us the answer at some point?

Lissie
Lissie
5 years 11 months ago
If it’s one thing you spotted I’d say that the issue is that under retirement the only savings option listed is the 401(k). This is great if you have access to one. However it is not the only tax break incentive option; let alone the only thing that you ought to do. On the other hand if what you’re spotting is the overall effect of the page then the set-up is wrong, as most readers will go top to bottom. With this set-up a “want to know the basics” reader will be overwhelmed before finishing with the Investing section; may… Read more »
stephen
stephen
5 years 11 months ago

Buying a home is an investment, LDO.

Nick H
Nick H
5 years 11 months ago

All the “how”s … none of the “why”s or “when”s

Jesus
Jesus
5 years 11 months ago

Personal Finance is just that personal. Its the strategy deployed by that one person to achieve the goals and dreams of that particular person. Personal financial isn’t a list of financial products like insurance or ETFs nor is it a list of things to buy (car, house) it’s still a personal plan to achieve the financial level of each individual person.

David
5 years 11 months ago

I’m sure I’m repeating what others have already said, but it’s highlighting investing as the most important aspect of personal finance, when anyone who has read your book knows that — while important — investing comes after other things!

There’s also an assumption of excess money here.

Michael
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit,

This one is too easy. There isn’t a single link about automating your finances.

Michael

Greg McFarlane
5 years 11 months ago
The Emperor has no clothes. Everything on that list looks fine. Perhaps Ramit threw the question out there just to amuse himself by watching people fall over themselves to answer it. (I notice he hasn’t responded.) It’s a list of 9 headings and 28 subheadings, all of which seem pretty rudimentary. The space alloted on the WSJ prohibits more detail for each heading, or at least would make such detail unwieldy. If I’m a financial neophyte, then yes, of course I’d like to know what a 401(k) is and how to select a checking account, etc. What’s wrong with that?… Read more »
Creative Image
Creative Image
5 years 11 months ago

It’s geared towards people in their late 20s and early 30s. This is when we get out of college and starting to make real money and clueless to what to do with their finances. They get married and have kids and still clueless on how to buy a home or to invest the right way for retirement.

The article only reveals money that you have and not on how to make money to do those type of things.

Jen
Jen
5 years 11 months ago

The writer didn’t get inside their readers’ heads. Simple.

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[…] 100+ responses were terrific: It seems overly complex and could cause analysis paralysis. Reader thinks ‘it’s […]

Tim Rosanelli
5 years 11 months ago

What is wrong with the website is the same reason teenager’s won’t listen to their parent’s good advice but are influenced greatly by their favorite musician or band ~ good or bad..

Tim Rosanelli
5 years 11 months ago

I just read it. Great post!!!

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