New book condemns financial advising

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A book has been released in America which could severely damage the reputation of financial advisers if it takes off.

Journalist and financial columnist Helaine Olen has released her book Pound Foolish: Exposing the dark side of the personal finance industry, and has received extremes of praise and criticism.

The book is said to expose myths, contradictions and “outright lies” the finance industry has perpetuated.

Four such topics Olen dismissed were:

  • Cutting back on small pleasures such as coffee will make you rich
  • Disciplined Investing can turn modest savings into a huge nest egg
  • Women need extra help managing money, and;
  • Financial classes in school will prevent future economic crises

Advisers have lashed back, questioning Olen’s credentials and accusing the book of being a money-making scheme.

“Many of these entertainers, which is what I consider the talk show hosts to be, have never sat across the kitchen table with a husband and wife trying to decide how best to invest their money for: retirement, education, a home or understanding the basics about debt verses assets,” said one comment on the book.

However, praise has been just as prominent, with Reuters’ opinion editor James Ledbetter saying:

“The world of personal finance is an economic sideshow filled with illusionists, conjurers, and snake-oil salesmen of every stripe. Thankfully, Helaine Olen has spent enough time inside the circus to be able to guide us wisely and wittily through the hall of mirrors—and come out smarter on the other end.”

The book is selling for about $27 online.  Will you be buying a copy? Share your thoughts below.

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