Complete Personal Finance Guidebook

For years, personal finance has been like the murky waters a person could fear to dive in, let alone understand anything about, since even the simplest definitions sound complicated. Yet, the subject of personal finance is important, because money is important.

Even when a professional financial advisor is hired to manage one’s assets, it is imperative that the person is able to follow the control and management of his finances and that he recognizes the options available to him. Among people in the most successful professions, a few have sunk into complete ruin, because they trusted someone else with their earnings since the matter of money felt inaccessible to them.

For me also–after reading several books on money management and general finance, attending a few courses, and subscribing to a few e-mailings–the subject still remained somewhat of a mystery, until I came across Jeff D. Opdyke’s “The Wall Street Journal,” an excellent reference book with the added title of “Complete Personal Finance guidebook.”

The book lives up to its title by condensing and refining the knowledge in the immense quagmire o finance and offering practical clarifications to the reader like a pill easy to swallow. The writer informs and educates the beginners and the advanced with seven chapters on banking, borrowing, budgeting, investing, planning, insurance, and taxes.

Embellished with charts, lists, and special sections, the chapters include everything concerning personal finance. At the end of the introduction, Opdyke says:¬†“In short, consider this book your cheat sheet to the finances of your life. And it all begins at your local bank.”¬†Then, he goes on to explain the intricacies of banking in the first chapter.

From FDIC to cap rates, to annuity rules, and to how the IRS chooses to audit taxpayers, the information throughout the book covers an immense territory; yet, its language is clear and instructive, and the contents are well researched and skillfully organized. Reading this book can make any ordinary citizen reassess many issues concerning the way he manages his money or the way he lets others manage it.

Jeff D. Opdyke is a financial reporter who has covered investing and personal finance for The Wall Street Journal for the past twelve years. In his column in the Journal, he writes with a personal touch about his home life and how it affects his work as well as informing the readers on money matters. Besides “The Wall Street Journal. Complete Personal Finance Guidebook,” the author has a companion workbook, “The Wall Street Journal Personal Finance Workbook,” sold separately, and another earlier book, “Love and Money: A Life Guide to Financial Success” Opdyke lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife and their two children.