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Help A Financial Novice Day! Do Your Part!

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Did you know that today is Help A Financial Novice Day? Well it is and you can do your part by reading this passionate email below and giving your advice as to what our financial novice should be doing. There is no right or wrong answer, just different approaches and different opinions, all of which, taken collectively, can help our friend find her way in such a confusing world.

Subject: HELP!!!!

Message: OK, here it goes, hope you’re sitting down. I am a single mother of three, own shares in two different business which will soon be merging with each other….am financially ok EXCEPT I have no investments, well no more than a 401k which I don’t understand.


I am an idiot when it comes to this ‘stuff’. I can run a business, home, rear boys alone and leap tall buildings at a single bound…but investments and the things I read from your Sept. 1, 2006 entry…well…did I mention I’m blonde! I know what I know and know what I don’t, this I don’t. Where do I begin and how do I begin. Is there a book on investing for total morons??



Thanks for anything you can do to put me in the right direction.



Financial Novice

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6 Responses to “Help A Financial Novice Day! Do Your Part!”

  1. Patrick in VA says:

    Dear Financial Novice,

    I’m definitely not anywhere near an expert, however this is what my wife and I are doing:

    We have accounts at Wachovia Bank, which provides free Financial planning (so to speak) for its customers. It involves an ‘Envision’ program, basically where you share your goals (short and long term) and they will provide you person-to-person advice on your financial options, be it with your current 401k, opening a Roth IRA, paying down a credit card, etc.

    We’ve started seeing a CPA instead of doing our own taxes (we have a mortgage on our condo, own an investment property, recently got married, and have some debt to pay off).

    For savings, we’ve opened an online savings account with HSBC, where we’re getting a little above 5%. It’s a nice option to have, as the money is liquid but still beating inflation :-)

  2. Amanda says:

    The absolute best book for starting out in investing is the Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing. It starts out explaining everything in very simple, easy to comprehend terms, gives a history on the financial marketplace, and details every type of investment available.

    I got it as a college graduation present, and it has served me well as a resource over the years!

  3. angry dinosaur says:

    I checked Personal Finance for Dummies out of the library and found it to be an excellent resource covering a broad range of topics. Not only does it have advice on investing and retirement plans, but it also has valuable sections regarding taxes, insurance, and saving money.

    While the “dummies” series sometimes seems cheesy and/or difficult to implement on one’s own, this book is actually a great reference written in straightforward language.

  4. Cory Aldrich says:

    Well, perhaps I can help out with the 401(k)…

    If you’ve got questions that I haven’t answered, let me know and I’ll get the answers up.

  5. Star Money Articles for the Week of Sept. 11

    Here are interesting posts and news this week from the MoneyBlogNetwork members and beyond: Consumerism Commentary recognizes National Get Out of Debt Day. AllFinancialMatters gave us a great How to… Personal Finance Edition. MightyBargainHunter has …

  6. sassyfras33 says:

    I would wholeheartedly second the recommendation to read Personal Finance for Dummies and just about anything else by Eric Tyson, including Investing for Dummies. He packs a LOT of information into each book, and the information is easliy understandable-even for a blonde like me! ;-)


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