The Death By Money Report: The Cause Of Money Stress And How A $10 Solution Can Save Your Financial Life, by Tracy Piercy with Lisa Maxwell
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
A proper understanding of genre is what is necessary to appreciate this short book, which really reads more like a sales prospectus, with a bit of financial memoir thrown in. As someone who reads a fair amount of books related to the making of money in various endeavors , it was pretty clear to me from the beginning that this was not so much a book as it was a pitch. It came from a particular point of view and wished for the audience to make a certain change in their own mindset. Ultimately, I think for most readers this effort will be unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. For one, many readers will not take up this book with a proper understanding about what they are getting. They will not getting a get-rich quick plan, but rather a call to action in order to become more of an entreprenurial mindset with slow and long-term financial health and growth in mind, and this book is not nearly inspirational enough to encourage someone who has not already decided for themselves to make that leap. Most others will find this to be a literary version of the clickbait that infests contemporary internet marketing and will repsond harshly.
The contents of this book are what is to be expected for a pitch. There is a lengthy discussion of what is wrong with much financial planning, including the fact that many people know that retirement is a pipe dream that would require winning the lottery, and the fact that there are many dishonest people out there who seek to exploit those who are starting their own businesses. Even so, the book is urging people to change a mindset from one that focuses on scarcity and cutting costs and eliminating debt to one that looks as debt as an investment tool, encouraging individuals to look at debt the way that corporations and nations do. The authors are attempting to be the anti-Dave Ramsey, and that alone will account for much of the hostility the authors face, and the fact that the authors have such an ambitious task in mind and only devote less than 100 pages to the task means that they have not equipped themselves with the argumentation or elaboration necessary to overcome the objections that readers are likely to have about this book’s contents. Even those readers who might be inclined to agree with the author’s approach will find the lack of detail and lack of transparency and lack of explanation about how to turn the $10 solution into a clear path for financial independence more than a little bit disappointing.
So, what should someone expect out of this book? The authors are of the mindset that people need to think not only about reducing costs but also about growing income so that there are more resources to work with, in large part so that life can be enjoyable and worth living. A great deal of contemporary advice is focused on the debt reduction side, but the authors correctly note that our culture is based on a debt model that includes credit cards and college loans and equity loans and other means, which means that there is a tension between how people seek to plan for financial success, if they plan at all, and how they seek to dig themselves out of trouble by retrenchment. Where this book fails is that the authors do not provide a compelling vision of how one can increase income, and how the $10 solution actually works. What most people need in order to adopt a new way of thinking about themselves as businessmen is a compelling way to gain resources, especially when there is a strong lack of confidence or interest in being entrepreneurs. The authors totally fail to make their vision a compelling one, unfortunately.
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