The Wealthy Barber/The Beardstown Ladies’ Stitch-in-Time Guide to Growing your Nest Egg by David Chilton/The Beardstown Ladies

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Here are two excellent books, dispensing pretty much the same financial advice, but from unique angles. The Wealthy Barber is especially suited for men, full of snappy comebacks, smart-aleck remarks and allusions to sports. Rather than simply laying out financial principles Chilton takes a more entertaining approach, which is stated in the Preface. “Rather than inundating you with intimidating charts and graphs and a series of lifeless numbers, The Wealthy Barber will both entertain and inform you. Through fictional conversations between Roy Miller, our financial hero, and his barbershop patrons, you will learn that sound financial planning is not only relatively simple, but it can also be fun.”

Stitch-in-Time was the second effort by the famous Beardstown ladies on the subject of money and investing. The first, The Beardstown Ladies’ Common-sense Investment Guide, chronicled the ladies’ investment club success in the financial world, and is filled with helpful information on stock market investing. The shine went off the pumpkin considerably, however, when it was later discovered that the ladies’, while decent investors, were lousy mathematicians. When independent sources re-figured their published returns it was discovered that the ladies had overstated their portfolio growth by about 200%. While their results were still respectable, this faux pas reduced the ladies to mortal status and they have since faded from the scene. Stitch was published before the ladies fell from grace, and we are glad that it was, for it is one of the best, easiest read and most entertaining financial primers that I have ever read. It is especially attractive for women since it is contains pictures and short biographies of the ladies in addition to some of their favorite recipes. This is marvelous little volume that would be an excellent gift for any woman desiring to get a handle on her finances. Stitch would be just as good for men if they were macho enough to read it.

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