Nubian Circle Book Club

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Let's Get Financial Savvy! Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

A Good Choice for Beginners...

Dr. Center-Shabazz explains the notion of financial savviness in her book, Let's Get Financial Savvy!, using this adage, "You can take a million dollars from a rich man, and chances are he will regain it within a year. You can give a million dollars to a poor man, and chances are he will lose it within a year." The difference between the two is financial savvy.  Concisely, financial savvy comes from knowledge and knowledge is power. The purpose of the book is to empower others to claim and retain their "savviness."

I think this book is an excellent resource for beginners who desire an understanding of financial concepts because it is not a comprehensive "how-to" guide. The author provides some budgeting formulas and worksheets that are largely self-explanatory and rudimentary. She does a great job dissecting complex topics and restating them in layman's terms to ensure thorough comprehension. She also covers the bases by featuring numerous financial topics ranging from budgeting (cash flow and debt management) to retirement and investment planning. Simply stated, she tells the reader what should be done without all the details on how to make it happen. This approach may be too elementary for the experienced investor who may be looking for advanced strategies and tactics. For example, on the subject of mutual funds, she discusses the benefits, types, and other fund aspects and then instructs the reader to "read a lot of mutual fund reports" without providing an example of how to analyze such a report to understand the terminology, indicators, or components of such reports. This reviewer is of the opinion that such advice is akin to a parent briefing their teenager on the benefits of car ownership and then handing them the manuals to the GM models to read on their own.

Nonetheless, the author's enthusiasm and dedication toward personal enrichment shines through in the book. Her 'can do' attitude, illustrated in her "How I Came To Be MSFINANCIALSAVVY" chapter at the beginning of the book, resonates throughout to demonstrate that personal change is possible one step at a time.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Let's Get Financial Savvy! is 3 out of 5 stars. We welcome your comments and thoughts about this book review.  Please e-mail us at: