Category Archives: Book Reviews

Reading Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

I’m currently reading Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen.

I was initially attracted to reading this book after reading a piece about financial literacy on a website. The piece talked about how the book’s author says that the movement towards financial literacy education to the general public and school-age children is not beneficial. Olen says that instead we need regulation, a better economy and more jobs to help people thrive.

So as an advocate for financial literacy education, I felt compelled to read this book to learn what exactly her stance was and how she defended her point of view.

I’ve read the beginning pages and I’ve learned that she thinks educating folks about their money has been used as a sort of ruse by the bigger companies to try and sell their financial products. She also goes after the well-known financial experts Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer, stating that they give people money advice as a means to grab their attention and then try to sell their books, seminars and financial products.  She also sites a study that indicates that financial literacy education makes no difference to the way people manage their money. In other words, financial education does not help at all. This is difficult for me to believe but I’m very early on into reading this book to yet put together a fully educated opinion, I do think financial literacy can help people, but let’s see what Olen says. I’ll keep you posted…..