Combining films with personal finance, Debbie Harrison's new book, The Money Zone, provides an alter...
Combining films with personal finance, Debbie Harrison's new book, The Money Zone, provides an alternative to the stale thinking on how young people should plan for the future.
From the outset Harrison, who is regular contributor to the Financial Times and Investment Week, informs readers that they should forget about linking happiness to the three financial objectives of getting a steady job (preferably for life), buying a house and looking after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
She says: "Unlike flares, steady jobs for life went out in the 1970s and will not be coming back.
"Buying a house might be a good idea but only if you know you are going to stay put for at least five years.
"As for those pennies, if you spend your time looking after pennies, that's what you will end up with."
Instead she offers advice which is for today's world not yesterday's. The book warns that if you do not plan your financial future before university you could end up spending your 20s paying the Government for the privilege of your higher education.
Alternatively, by getting more organised, you could find yourself with a good job and renting a "cool flat". The point is that with minimal planning you can get the life you want now, not in 15 years time when you will be too tired to enjoy it.
The Money Zone begins by covering a period when many peoples' financial worries start: university.
The easy to read book guides the reader through the complex world of student loans, tuition fees and debt.
Intermingled with the sound advice, it offers quotations from films to add the light relief that many people require when reading about financial planning.
One of the best film quotes used in the book is when Harrison turns her attention to the different kinds of financial advisers available to investors and their usefulness.
She quotes Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street: "You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place."
Apart from covering areas such as financing your further education and the usefulness of intermediaries, Harrison's book covers a broad range of subjects from taxation issues and buying a house through to pensions and investing in equities.
In each chapter there are summaries of key points and useful addresses and telephone numbers to contact for further information.
As a reference book for an independent financial adviser it is probably going over old ground but the way the book is laid out and its easy style, mean intermediaries would probably still find it useful for ideas on how to present more complicated issues to clients.
What makes this book stand out from other similar publications is the way it has successfully tackled a very complicated subject without being too high brow.
If nothing else Harrison provides the reader with the confidence to deal with financial issues which so many people are afraid of.
This book is published by Financial Times Prentice Hall
An ambitious objective
'Something completely new'
'Illusion of control'
Reasons to be cheerful
Total investment reaches £9m