Rachel Siegel, Lyndon State University
Carol Yacht, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
Copyright Year: 2009
ISBN 13: 9780982361863
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
I did not see an index or glossary, but in terms of a comprehensive structure, the book is well structured. I liked the "themes" in each of the 5 sections of the book. Some of the chapters were very brief. Instead of the details provided in each... read more
I did not see an index or glossary, but in terms of a comprehensive structure, the book is well structured. I liked the "themes" in each of the 5 sections of the book. Some of the chapters were very brief. Instead of the details provided in each section, the authors could have provided relevant content with the chapter. Additionally, in an introductory personal finance course it may not be necessary to give theoretical details. I teach this course from a practical, skill building approach. I appreciated the interconnectedness of the content through the "key takeaways" and "exercises" that were given after each sub topic within the chapter. However, the links within the chapter were broken and the references to the articles and other content was obsolete.
The content is accurate. I did not observe any errors.
The examples given are relevant but the references are woefully obsolete. The content needs to be updated to make it relevant.
The text is lucid, and is written in a reader friendly prose. However, given that my students prefer short content in each section, the pedagogy can be revised to have less content in each section, but more topical coverage in each chapter.
The text maintains the thematic consistency throughout. This was the best feature of this book.
This book gets a high grade on assigning an individual chapter like Taxes without having linkage/reference to other chapters. I could easily reassign the chapters. However, given that the chapters are grouped under a theme, this could pose a challenge for some.
As mentioned earlier, I liked the thematic organization of the text. I am not sure in a 15 week semester, I would be able to cover the last section.
There were no interface issues observed. If anything, more of these features can be added.
No grammatical mistakes were observed.
The text is not culturally insensitive. When revising the text perhaps, names popular with certain minorities can be added to make the text relatable.
This is a well written book, but needs to be updated. The links and the references are outdated. I would have to do go through every link and reference to make sure that they are functional, and relevant. Also, not sure if there are any ancillary materials available with the text.
This book provides an extensive overview of personal finance topics. Chapters range from two to six segments and include learning objectives, key takeaways, and exercises for each segment. This makes some chapters feel rather long, but the writing... read more
This book provides an extensive overview of personal finance topics. Chapters range from two to six segments and include learning objectives, key takeaways, and exercises for each segment. This makes some chapters feel rather long, but the writing style makes it easy to digest the material. The investment section is broken down across five chapters which includes interesting topics like market behavior which is interesting because it touches on the pattern of a financial crisis and just misses explaining The Great Recession from 2008/2009. There are a number of macro and micro economic factors discussed in the book in a manner that explains the relationship how they can impact personal finance decisions. I could not find an index or glossary and had difficulty navigating some of the links as they have broken over time or pose a risk for users to access.
No obvious bias or errors were observed.
The book includes a number of practical examples that are relatable and also timeless. The tax section is obsolete (2008) and needs to be updated. Links and sources are more than a decade old and needs to be updated. Sections like accounting software (3.3) are painfully obsolete due to the pace of change in technology and software.
The book is very easy to read. It is written using a lot of examples and situations that provide context for the terminology used.
The book has a consistent framework. Terms are bolded and commonly explained through examples as opposed to definitions. Definitions are missing from the book which can present challenges for difficult concepts.
This is the best feature of the book! Sections are broken down nicely into easy to read chunks that can be read in 5-30 minutes. These sections are subsets of the chapters and include learning objectives, key takeaways, and exercises. Many sections include exercises with external links make it easy for users to connect with content external to the book as well.
The introduction of the text starts off with a story of two people and the major life changes they are facing. It presents a number of financial considerations the couple needs to take as they graduate from college, start new careers, and plan for a life together. From there the book introduces concepts in a logical manner that makes it easy to follow and apply personal relevance to each section.
Links referencing other chapters appear to be broken resulting in 404 (file not found) errors. Most websites referenced are more than a decade old and may not work. Could not enlarge the charts which made some impossible to read (e.g. Figure 5.5 and 5.8).
No obvious grammatical errors
The text did not appear to be culturally insensitive or offense. Examples appeared neutral and without bias.
Initially this books has great potential as an OER resource for personal finance. Links desperately need to be updated and sections refreshed to reflect technological changes and advancements. Teachers resources would be a great addition to the book as well as exercises and examples using Excel.
Very comprehensive. Topics range from how economic factors affect financial decisions to financial statements and investment decisions to job search and career paths. If you plan on using this textbook for a more senior level undergraduate class,... read more
Very comprehensive. Topics range from how economic factors affect financial decisions to financial statements and investment decisions to job search and career paths. If you plan on using this textbook for a more senior level undergraduate class, you may need to incorporate more exercises and examples from other textbooks.
Instructors and readers should be weary that some parts of the book need to be updated. Apart from that, this book seems accurate.
There are specific details related to personal finance which change over time. Instructors using this textbook should always check whether any updates have occurred. Nevertheless, the fundamental principles can be taught over the years. The chapter on taxes is not up-to-date. Median salaries will probably need updating.
The book is an easy read. It is easy to follow for any level.
The book has a consistent structure, each chapter has the learning outcomes and ends with main takeaways and a couple of exercises. Figures and tables are used to illustrate.
Authors suggest how to use the book in five sections. The book has short sections that can be quickly read by the student. Authors identify the learning outcomes for each section. However, at times they seem a little too small. For instance, it would have been interesting to have some statistics on the credit score section.
The book is nicely organized. Chapters build up on the knowledge given in past chapters while applying it to real life situations. For instructors wanting to use the chapters separately, that is also possible as long as the base knowledge is there.
In the pdf version, font in tables could be bigger. Figures could be bigger. Some figures are blurred (e.g. Figure 3.7).
I did not find any grammatical errors.
I could not identify any issues. It would be interesting if the book discussed credit access to borrowers of different races and ethnicities.
It would be nice if the book had an instructor manual and maybe offered some labs in excel for students to practice.
The text does provide a comprehensive and in-depth description of all the major topics relating to personal finance which are normally discussed in a typical textbook about the subject. The authors do a great job of providing definitions within... read more
The text does provide a comprehensive and in-depth description of all the major topics relating to personal finance which are normally discussed in a typical textbook about the subject. The authors do a great job of providing definitions within the chapters; however, there is no dedicated glossary or index for vocabulary terms.
The academic content as it relates to personal finance is all correct as far as I can tell. I did not come across any conceptual inaccuracies.
The authors acknowledge in the preface that the specific details of personal finance are subject to change as technologies, customs, and laws evolve over time. With that in mind they also point out that the underlying framework used to make financial decisions mostly remains the same. So, in regards to the fundamental principles which guide financial planning and decision making I think the concepts in this textbook are highly relevant. My only major criticism is that the authors did include a high quantity of links to various websites, and unfortunately, the majority of those links are now outdated and/or broken. Some of the links, originally from 2009, now lead to domains which aren't even registered anymore. Another possible suggestion would be updating some of the information related to software recommendations and taxes. For example, the 1040EZ form has been discontinued and several of the accounting software recommendations are out of date. Granted, changes in tax legislation and computer software are inevitable over the course of more than a decade.
The writing is clear and easy to understand. The authors do not assume that the reader has an in-depth understanding of financial concepts and because of this they thoroughly define and explain all concepts in a way which would be easy to comprehend even by readers completely new to the subject. This makes the text very accessible.
The writing is consistent from chapter to chapter. The same format /structure is used in each chapter and the writing style is consistent from one topic to the next. Each section begins with learning objectives, followed by the actual text of the chapter. Then, in conclusion the authors provide a summary of key takeaways in addition to a list of exercises to help the reader apply the topics from the chapter.
The text is divided into sections of appropriate length. Each area is short enough that a reader could absorb the information without losing interest but it is simultaneously long enough to include all of the pertinent information about the topic.
The chapters are organized in a logical sequence beginning with basic financial concepts. After the foundational information is covered the authors move on to the "meat and potatoes" of personal finance; accumulating assets, risk management, and investment planning. Then, they conclude the textbook with an interesting chapter on career planning. I appreciate that the authors include the chapter on career planning because it is sometimes an overlooked aspect of the personal financial planning process despite earned income being such an integral part of wealth creation for so many individuals. While the topics are organized in a way which naturally transitions from one topic to the next, the chapters could very easily be read independently from one another. That is to say, each chapter can function as a stand alone reading without relying on information from prior chapters.
The table of contents made navigation quite easy. I will mention again that there are several broken hyperlinks to external websites, but the actual navigation inside the textbook itself is intuitive and convenient. There are some charts and tables with relatively small text, but I was able to read all of the information clearly by zooming in.
I did not come across any grammatical or spelling errors.
I felt the authors did a good job of making the text inclusive. The examples and analogies used throughout appeal to readers from several different financial stages in life and help make the content relatable.
After reviewing this text I am strongly considering using it in my personal finance course next semester. While it is not quite as lengthy as textbooks published by Cengage, Pearson, or McGraw Hill, Personal Finance by Siegel and Yacht adequately explores the basic concepts in personal financial planning. My only concern is the quantity of broken links and outdated concepts from 2009. With that being said, I feel the core concepts covered are actually explained more effectively and would provide a better value for students than materials from traditional publishers, especially when considering cost!
The book covers a wide range of topics related to personal finance. read more
The book covers a wide range of topics related to personal finance.
Some information in the book is outdated. This is one of the issues with writing a textbook - the authors will have to keep up the content.
Once again, content needs to be updated.
jargons/terms are defined in the text.
the framework and the terms used in the text seem to be consistent throughout.
The text is divided into chapters based on topics.
each chapter follows a similar structure. they all begin with an introduction and learning objectives, and end with key takeaways and exercise problems.
some figures are too small to read (at least the online version) and it doesn't offer easy ways to magnify the font.
I don't see any grammatical issues.
I don't see any cultural issues.
The book could be updated to reflect new changes in the tax law. Some of the descriptions are very short, like the section on closing costs of a home, or how to calculate your monthly payment. read more
The book could be updated to reflect new changes in the tax law. Some of the descriptions are very short, like the section on closing costs of a home, or how to calculate your monthly payment.
Some information is outdated now
Chapters almost seem too short. Some content could be updated due to changes in the tax code, etc.
The calculations could be clarified for some students who have no background knowledge.
Sections almost seem too small.
Pdf makes it easy to read all at once and skim.
Could be useful to describe how certain methods are used to create generational wealth.
The text covers all necessary components of personal finance. The text flows in a cohesive manner that should make the student experience more fulfilling. read more
The text covers all necessary components of personal finance. The text flows in a cohesive manner that should make the student experience more fulfilling.
I did not view any errors in the text.
The textbook is relevant to personal finance at this time. The text provides a good foundation to aid students in making sound financial decisions.
Any technical terminology used was defined and explained in the text.
This text is very comparable to the text I have used from Cengage. The chapters are in a different order, but I understand why it is written this way. The chapters build on themselves in a comprehendible order.
The text is broken into sections that aid in reading and assignments.
The textbook is presented in a fashion that builds on financial information to provide a thorough knowledge of personal finance for the student.
I printed the textbook. Everything is legible and flows well.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
I did not find any of the text, problems, or examples to be insensitive or offensive.
This is a wonderful open access textbook for personal finance professors to solely use or use along with their current textbook for additional information, examples, problems, etc.
This book covers everything that I cover in my personal finance and financial planning courses, with one additional chapter related to careers, which is an interesting addition. I would have liked to see a section dedicated to paying for college.... read more
This book covers everything that I cover in my personal finance and financial planning courses, with one additional chapter related to careers, which is an interesting addition. I would have liked to see a section dedicated to paying for college. The topic of investing in education is sprinkled throughout the text but is not in its own section. Financing education is as important as buying a house or car, which each have their own sections, so it would have been good to see that as a stand-alone section. I don't see an index or a glossary for the full text.
Also, I'd like to see a section on FinTech and the use of online tools. Most of my students use apps like Acorns, Robin Hood, Square, and Venmo, etc. They want to better understand these offerings and the pros and cons associated with the various savings, money transferring and investment apps available today.
I didn't find any errors in the book in terms of calculations, etc.
The basics of sound financial management don't change much over time, however, tools, tax tables, interest rates, and the stock market change rapidly. For example, this book does not address the fintech apps that students are using for investing, transferring money to friends and family, and saving money. This omission makes the book less applicable to certain populations, such as my college-aged students.
Also, the majority of the hyperlinks are broken.
The writing could be cleaned up to improve conciseness. It is wordy.
Definitions are given for technical concepts, which is a plus. A glossary of these terms would have been nice to have.
I like the layout, with learning objectives, key takeaways, and homework exercises provided for each chapter.
Yes, I can see how I could easily reorder this book to match up with my syllabi, and use separate sections of the book for each of my classes. Each section can stand on its own.
The order is fine. It makes sense to start with learning the basics of budgeting and financial planning (Chapters 1-6), followed by the chapters on getting what you want (Chapters 7-9). protecting what you have (Chapters 10-11) and building wealth (Chapters 12-17). The last chapter on career planning is an interesting addition to this book. It is the only chapter that I wouldn't typically cover in my personal finance classes.
In general, the interface is fine. Some of the text on the included graphics is so small that it is unreadable, and when you click on the image, the image/text doesn't expand. It would be nice to have the ability to click on the figures in order to see them better. I can use the browser zoom, but it isn't as user friendly as I'd like it to be.
There are some commas missing, several tautologies that could be removed, and noun/verb agreement needs to be fixed in some sentences.
I didn't note any issues with the choice of scenarios or names of characters potentially making students feel uneasy. However, a wider variety of character names could make more students feel more included. For example, could Alice become Tanisha, and Mark become Jose for the next iteration of the book?
While this is a great book for understanding the fundamental concepts of personal finance, a reboot is necessary to clean up the broken links and to update the content to include advances in FinTech and recent updates in legislation.
The important areas of personal finance are covered, though in some cases they are covered more extensively than a beginning personal finance book maybe ought to. I saw no glossary or index. read more
The important areas of personal finance are covered, though in some cases they are covered more extensively than a beginning personal finance book maybe ought to. I saw no glossary or index.
Accurate information but a large fraction of the hyperlinks are broken
Most of the content is based on tried and true personal financial principles that will last. However, personal income tax is an area that needs updating rather frequently because of legislative changes to the tax code. This text has not been updated in almost a decade, and so will fall short in this area.
As an introductory finance text targeted to an undergraduate without any background in economics, the text is full of economic jargon with little or no definitions or examples. Though the terms are accurately used, they will most likely confuse the target audience. Examples of this include micro, macro, capital, assets, inflation, deflation (all with no definitions, index, or glossary). This is bad enough that if I choose to use the text in the futures, I may have to put out a short “Defining Terms” video for each chapter.
The text was consistent
Information is broken up into digestible segments. It is readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course
I feel Chapter 5 Budgeting should have been Chapter 3, but the order of topics covered is acceptable.
Images and organization were fine, but many (1/3 to 1/2) of the hyperlinks were broken.
I found no problems here.
No problems found.
This book does an okay job at presenting personal finance…and does it for free. I would rate it below all Personal Finance texts that I have reviewed from the major publishers such as Wiley, Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Cengage. However, it is not so much worse that it isn’t a good option for a minimal-cost Personal Finance course. Though I can’t give it a fully positive review, I am still considering switching to this text in the next school year.
This text is the most comprehensive on this subject matter as any text I've seen to date. It contains more than enough of what is needed to cover a comprehensive course on personal finance. In this case, more is always better as any teacher would... read more
This text is the most comprehensive on this subject matter as any text I've seen to date. It contains more than enough of what is needed to cover a comprehensive course on personal finance. In this case, more is always better as any teacher would prefer to remove sections rather than look for supplemental information. With this text you will have more than you need to teach a comprehensive course on this subject matter.
This book is sufficiently accurate in its text but has some failings in its links, references and homework assignments. Some links don't work any longer and need to be removed or updated. However, that is not a hindrance to the validity and use of this text for a complete and comprehensive course on personal finance.
This book is mostly relevant but as stated in the accuracy section above, there are links and references that are no longer valid. The information in the text will stand the test of time but the links, references and homework assignments need to be updated and improved.
The clarity of this text is superb. The language is easy to read and the chapters and section breaks are well placed.
The consistency of the chapters are perfect. Every chapter has learning objectives followed by the lesson lecture and finishes with key takeaways and home exercises. This format is easy to follow and flows comfortably.
As mentioned in the consistency section, the format flow is excellent and easy to parse. This is an easy read and the suggested module groupings are logical.
The organization of this book is logical and flows with ease. The table of contents and preface are helpful and practical. The suggestions are a nice enhancement to the natural construction of a course on personal finance using the text of this book.
The interface is sufficient other than the web links that do not work.
I found no grammatical errors.
I found nothing offensive even in the most subtle ways of possible interpretation. Many various examples are used and contain no apparent prejudices.
Again I want to mention that this text is the most comprehensive on this subject matter as any text I've seen to date. I would highly recommend it to be used by any instructor teaching a course on personal finance. It is comprehensive and flows well.
This is by far the most comprehensive personal finance text I have evaluated! While it does not have an index or glossary, definitions are clearly defined within chapters, and the table of contents is detailed enough to find the topic you are... read more
This is by far the most comprehensive personal finance text I have evaluated! While it does not have an index or glossary, definitions are clearly defined within chapters, and the table of contents is detailed enough to find the topic you are looking for in the book. This text does an excellent job combining economic, business, finance, and consumer topics to thoroughly explain personal finance topics. The only topics I felt that needed more detailed explanations were auto, home, and disability insurance. I was very impressed with the author's work, as it also includes discussion of behavioral and emotional aspects of personal finance.
Overall, I did not find any errors in the text. It does need some updating for the tax, retirement, and estate laws, as it was last updated with 2008 laws. But very little effort is needed to make the information current.
This text has staying power. While some personal finance topics, such as tax, retirement, and estate need to be brought up to date with current numbers, it would take very little effort on the part of the instructor to update that content. I was impressed that the authors clearly thought these updates through, as it would only require updating images to current data.
The book is clearly written, except for some concepts that may be more difficult for non-business students to understand. I feel the text is geared more toward business students who would be familiar with some of the terminology in the text from other courses.
The text is consistent throughout as far as depth of coverage for each topic and appropriate ordering of chapters. I would suggest moving the last chapter, on careers to the beginning. I would also suggest a little more coverage of the insurance topics, but the graphics are excellent in the text, and the content is superior to those of "revenue generating" textbooks.
The text has clearly defined sections, with excellent learning objectives, takeaways, and exercises for EACH section within the chapter. Very impressed with the organization of the text and application of material in exercises.
The topics are presented in a logical order, with the exception of Career Planning. However, most personal finance texts do place Career Planning at the end. To me, discussion of career planning makes more sense earlier in the semester, as the student's career choice is going to impact their overall financial plan.
The textbook is easy to navigate, with buttons at the top to skip back to the previous section, go to the Table of Contents, or skip ahead to the next section. The graphs and images were all clear and concise. It was easy to read, with no interface issues.
The text was very well written, with no grammatical errors found.
Examples provided in the text did not mention race or ethnicity and were not offensive in any way. A variety of financial situations were presented in case examples, and did not overly simplify the financial conditions a person might experience. As students come from diverse economic backgrounds, I did not find the examples to favor lower socioeconomic status or higher socioeconomic status individuals.
The text covers all relevant subject areas and has a good table of contents, with links provided to subsections within each chapter. If anything, the text is too much for some courses to cover in one semester - but as an instructor I would rather... read more
The text covers all relevant subject areas and has a good table of contents, with links provided to subsections within each chapter. If anything, the text is too much for some courses to cover in one semester - but as an instructor I would rather decide what to skip rather than not have enough content. I like that behavioral finance is included, and career information is included.
For the most part, the book is accurate. However, I found a bad web link - P 13 Q 3 - here's the error message -
The requested URL /od/moneybyageorlifestage/Money_and_Personal_Finance_by_Age_Life_Stage.htm was not found on this server. Also, federal estate tax numbers are still from 2009, and has significantly changed since then. I would either leave that part out or make sure someone updates it every year.
Some of the comments here overlap with the one above. I found a web link that is no longer good, and estate tax numbers are out of date. Also, wills and trusts are talked about, but there's no mention of living wills or powers of attorney for financial and health care matters. Those things are relevant for everyone, and do not include numbers that would need updating.
I like that there's a whole chapter on consumer strategies, including common scams and how to avoid them.
Buying a car gets a section, and buying a home gets very thorough, well thought out coverage. I wish I would have had this resource when buying my first home.
The text is written in plain English in a matter that is easy to understand. Terms are defined and examples are provided. There are nice charts to organize some of the information. This aspect of the book is very well done.
Learning objectives are listed at the start of each section, then content, and finally key takeaways and exercises at the end of every section. The format is predictable and easy to follow. Also, as mentioned above, there's a table of contents. I don't see an index or glossary but I think needed information could be pinned down in this easy to follow format.
Each section within a chapter is fairly short. There are not enormous blocks of text. The flow is nice and modules could be easily assigned in different orders and without having to assign the entire chapter. This aspect of the text is very nicely done.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion which is explained in the preface.
Other than the one bad web link (I did not try every single one), I did not notice any interface issues. A few images were small and could be enlarged.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
I did not notice anything offensive in the text. A variety of examples are provided.
Overall, this book is well written and easy to follow. Thanks for making it available.
This text covers all the requisite material that you would find in other texts sold by the major publishers. As mentioned in other reviews, the .pdf version of the text does not have a table of contents, but the online version does. You can get... read more
This text covers all the requisite material that you would find in other texts sold by the major publishers. As mentioned in other reviews, the .pdf version of the text does not have a table of contents, but the online version does. You can get around this by using "CNTRL f" in the .pdf, but it is definitely clunky.
A couple comments on the content: I do wish that the formula for present value was made more obvious - that it would stand out from the rest of the text in the same way future value is presented. Also, while there is a considerable amount of information on risk, it is spread out through the text. Additionally, I would like to see a better discussion of how the deductibility of mortgage interest reduces the cost of housing. For instance, paying rent of $1,500/month is actually more expensive than paying a mortgage payment of $1,500/month because of the tax treatment of mortgage interest. Finally, my course outcomes require that I talk about common financial scams and common personal financial mistakes, which are not really discussed in the text. However, in all fairness, not many texts cover this topic.
I did find a couple of typo type errors such as percentages presented in decimal form when the tables clearly labeled them as percentages. However, those were minor and infrequent.
The basics of personal finance, such as risk/return, and time value of money are timeless. The text presents the material as such. The areas that will bear monitoring are those dealing with tax laws and the evolving nature of health care and its benefits. I do like that the authors have placed URLs below tables that may change in the future, such as tax rates.
I found the book easy to read and clear in its examples. I found the language of the text to be at the appropriate level for community college students.
I did not notice any inconsistencies in presentation.
In the online version, students can access different sections of the text very easily. However, the .pdf version does not allow for the student to easily jump from one section of the text to the other. As mentioned above, you can work through this by using "CNTRL f" but its very clunky and may not be an option for the student that is used to using a hard copy text.
The topics are presented in a logical and clear way that makes sense. However, I almost never use a text in sequential order as I usually have a different way of presenting the material based upon my strengths and weaknesses as an instructor. In the case of personal finance, I really like to lay a solid foundation with the concepts of time value of money and risk vs. return, then move on to application of those concepts. This text presents a substantial amount of information on risk, its just spread out through many chapters.
Again, the online version is much easier to use and navigate than the .pdf version.
No issues found.
This book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. However, I would not be considered a minority so I may not be as aware of those issues as others of a different race or cultural background.
While I'm happy that the authors have posted a .pdf version of the text so that a professor may organize the material in a way that fits their teaching style, its not very user friendly for students. The online version is much easier to use and navigate. Having said that, there is a ton of great material here to use in a personal finance class.
The text is extremely comprehensive, including topics that would be relevant to both younger students just starting out with Personal Finance, as well as topics relevant to the older student who has some Personal Finance experience. in this... read more
The text is extremely comprehensive, including topics that would be relevant to both younger students just starting out with Personal Finance, as well as topics relevant to the older student who has some Personal Finance experience. in this regard it would be easy to customize a course based on the student population in the section. With 18 chapters included, the range of topics is broad enough that the instructor can pick and choose which topics to include and not run out of content.
I spot-checked random topics for accuracy in mathematical equations (PV, YTM, etc.) and found no errors. Graphical flowcharts make sense and are easy to follow.
This text would be relevant for the foreseeable future, since the text is based on fundamental principles of Personal Finance that don't often materially change.
The text presents concepts in an easy to read way, without too much advanced terminology that an average student would struggle to understand. Concepts are presented using an unbiased tone, presenting pros and cons when applicable.
Each chapter and chapter subsection are organized in the same way, maximizing the book's overall consistency. Students would easily get into a "rhythm" with the text, regardless of which chapters are assigned.
As I mentioned above, there are 18 chapters included... so the text is very modular. No section is too long, which minimizes the risk that students lose interest. Additionally, each chapter sub-section is broken up with graphs, charts, Key Takeaways and Exercises, all in color and with lots of white-space to draw attention.
The topics are presented in logical order. Instructors could easily structure a course starting with Chapter 1 and move through the chapters in order, and the course would make logical sense to the student.
No interface issues encountered. I downloaded the book to my tablet and had no issues opening the book, hyperlinking to chapters, etc.
no grammatical errors noted, however I did not scour the book with this in mind.
As mentioned, the book adopts a neutral tone of voice, free of bias that might be offensive to any racial or cultural group.
I appreciate the prompts in the Exercises sections to the student to reflect on the topic in their Personal Finance journals. In my course, I use the PFJ as an assessment tool, and students love having a comprehensive examination of their personal finance situation at the end of the term as a takeaway.
This book covers a decent spectrum of topics in personal finance and financial planning, such as time value of money, risk, budgeting, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, investing, career planning, etc. The topics are... read more
This book covers a decent spectrum of topics in personal finance and financial planning, such as time value of money, risk, budgeting, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, investing, career planning, etc. The topics are appropriate for an undergraduate personal finance or financial planning course, it also serves as a good reference book for anyone who wants to plan his/her personal finance serious.
Two very important topics in finance, time value of money and risk, need to be covered in more depth. I suggest to split chapter 4 into two chapters – a chapter to cover time value of money and another to cover measuring and evaluating risk. Chapter 9 “buying a home” should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renting versus buying and covers refinancing in more detail. These will help people make better decisions when it comes to buying a home and refinancing a mortgage.
Excel is widely used in Business and Finance including in financial planning and analysis. Including some Excel examples and exercises will help readers understand how personal finance can be managed and how financial planning can be done in Excel.
There are some errors or typos in the text. For example, the mathematical formula of the present value (PV) and future value (FV) relationship on pages 85, 86 and 87 is not correctly presented. The t should be in the exponential position. Maybe the “^” is missing somehow. The definition of “present value” is not accurate (page 83). Present value is not necessarily what is worth today. In time value of money calculations, we define present value as “an early money on a timeline”. For example, if you invested $1000 dollars in the stock market three years ago and your stock account balance is $1300 today, we want to find the implied investment return. In this case, the initial investment $1000 three years ago is the present value. Your current stock account balance is the future value.
The content of this book is relevant and current. The key principles of personal finance and financial planning will not change much over time. Income tax rates and interest rates may change over time but these can be updated easily.
The text is not very clear and even confusing in some places. For example, on page 82, it reads “It also involves understanding and measuring the risks or uncertainties that time presents and the opportunities—and opportunity costs—that time creates”. How do we interpret “time presents risks and uncertainties” and “time creates opportunities and opportunity costs”? I think there are a lot of other factors involved than just time when discussing risks and uncertainties, opportunities and opportunity costs.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The terms use in each chapter are consistent across the chapter. There are some inconsistencies in table headings and the actual values. For example, the second column in the table on page 91 is meant to show rates (r) in percentage, then 2% should be displayed as 2 in the table instead of 0.02.
The fact that each chapter in this book is about 20-40 pages long is a good sign of modularity. The authors use a lot of tables and figures to make the text more appealing to read. The learning objectives at the beginning and the key takeaways at the end of each section remind the readers the key concepts in that section.
The book starts with a long case in chapter 1. I think using a case to start a chapter is a good idea but this case is too complicated and overwhelming for students who just start a course. Splitting this big case into several small ones and put them at the beginning of relevant chapters will make the book more friendly. As mentioned earlier, I suggest to split chapter 4 into two chapters. Including a chapter directory and an index is also highly recommended.
The PDF version does not have a table of contents. There is no index at the back of the file either. The images and charts are clear, but centering them will make the text look nicer.
There is no major grammatical issue. But the clarity can be improved in some places.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
Overall, this book covers most topics that need to be covered in a personal finance or financial planning text. Some areas, such as time value of money, risk, financing a mortgage and refinancing need to be covered in more depth. Including some Excel examples and exercises will definitely make the book more appealing.
The book covers a wide range of topics in the analysis and theory of personal finance. The book consists of 18 chapters and covers all relevant topics including financial statements, budgeting, risk management, investing in stocks, bonds and real... read more
The book covers a wide range of topics in the analysis and theory of personal finance. The book consists of 18 chapters and covers all relevant topics including financial statements, budgeting, risk management, investing in stocks, bonds and real estate, and taxes among others. The chapters include good examples of basic principles that can be further explained by the classroom instructor. There is no table of contents, index or glossary which weakens the effective use of this textbook. In addition, all of the examples used in this textbook are from 2008 which makes this text currently obsolete. Changes in tax laws and consumer strategies need to be updated to make this a usable text today.
The text content appears accurate. I found very few errors. However, as noted above, the examples and references to tax laws in particular are not accurate as the laws have changed since 2009.
This is a very good introductory and easy to understand course book to introduce the student to the world of personal finance. While all textbooks must be reviewed periodically to maintain accuracy and relevance, this text will require more constant updating as our laws and principles change.
There is good use of tables and charts to explain the concepts and calculations. The writing style makes the topics easy to understand
There is good continuity throughout the book. Terms and definitions are consistently applied. A glossary at the end of the book would enable the student to quickly find a term or definition used in a previous section of the book.
The arrangement of the chapters are generally in proper sequence. While the book makes extensive use of sub topics with Key Takeaways and Exercise sections within each chapter, limiting these breaks within each chapter might be advisable. The learning objectives in the beginning of each chapter are useful and provide students with advance notice of what they will be learning.
The text is properly organized and gradually takes the student into the core of this subject. Financial examples and charts provide a good balance for learning.
The book is written in easy to understand language with clear charts and graphs.
There were no issues found with grammar and I found very few spelling errors.
This text is not offensive in any way. Its content pertains to US laws and practices only.
In addition to the book requiring updating to reflect current tax laws and practices, there are other aspects that can be employed to strengthen this textbook and make it more current. Examples would be: (a) demonstrating the use of a financial calculator to solve financial problems; (b) use of accounting software such as Excel; (c) use mini cases to further explain and define principles learned and (d) add more end of chapter problems for student learning and instruction.
The book introduces and explains essentially all of the topical material found in most commercial texts or trade books dealing with a first overview of personal finance. The implied audience is anyone needing a professional introduction to the... read more
The book introduces and explains essentially all of the topical material found in most commercial texts or trade books dealing with a first overview of personal finance. The implied audience is anyone needing a professional introduction to the subject, but it is clear from the book's content that the major intended audience is college students at any level in their academic programs. The online nature and licensing style of the book apparently allow the front pieces and index to be deleted but makes the book easily searchable and flexible as an educational resource. A few consistent typos throughout the text indicate a possible software translation hiccup that does not detract from the text's readability or usefulness. An opportunity for the instructor is provided by the book's design. Support activities such as assignments and assessments can be supplemented or developed by the instructor to fit a class at hand rather than a general student population.
The book's introduction and treatment of subject material is accurate and presents current information in line with professional practice in the personal finance advisory and educational fields as of the date of this review. There is no apparent bias in chapters dealing with subjects of otherwise intense commercial rivalry. Some charts containing data as of the time of publication will need updating in a few years like any other text in the fields of finance and economics.
The book is most relevant to readers and learners with thin financial life experience whether college student or older person. The general focus of the book is on readers or learners currently living through the transition from a financially protected environment to living on their own. Some of the book's content should be immediately relevant especially to the college student, and most of the book's content should become immediately relevant over the decade following graduation. This allows the book to be a primary source for any learner to know what direction to take for more in-depth information over an extended period.
Material introduced and discussed in the book is clear and devoid of confusing complications sometimes found in textbooks on personal finance. This is a benefit from the authors carefully avoiding the attempt to make the book an encyclopedia on the subject.
Individual chapters are stand-alone in the sense that there do not appear to be prerequisite linkages between them. This contributes to the book's flexibility in course design. There also does not appear to be some type of underlying theory or ideology that might create inconsistencies either between topics within the book or between the book and reality. Terminology and the pedagogical framework are consistent throughout the text.
Having each chapter as a stand-alone unit contributes to the book's modularity in terms of course design and subject matter sequencing. That includes the flexibility for instructors to not use some chapters if the need arises.
Organization of subject matter within the text follows a more or less standard pattern easily followed by a learner with chapters grouped by a main focus such as asset protection or wealth building. The instructor has the option of either using the text from front to back or of altering the subject matter sequencing to satisfy an alternative program of presentation.
The on-screen appearance and layout of the book are clear, easily readable, and searchable. One exception might be an occasional typo apparently caused by an electronic hiccup when moving from one electronic platform to another.
Grammar within the text is accurate and simple. A learner using English as a second or third language should have few grammatical challenges when reading this book.
The book is written within the context of the personal financial environment of the United States. It is inclusive within that environment. The peculiarities of personal finance within the US probably do not lend themselves to relevancies outside the US. A few of the topics introduced and explained in the text such as personal debt, life insurance or earned interest might not be relevant to some cultural or ethnic groups within the US. Those situations can be addressed by the instructor as the situation dictates.
The text is a fairly comprehensive overview of personal financial common practice within the United States. It addresses all of the major topics confronted by the average American family at sometime in its life, and provides a starting point for more in-depth learning on particular topics as they become more immediately relevant. The pedagogical perspective is similar in that the book is like both sides of a sandwich. It gets instructor and learner started, but it is up to both to provide the makings, which provides the creative instructor a wide degree of flexibility and the serious learner an even broader opportunity.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Personal Financial Planning
- Chapter 2: Basic Ideas of Finance
- Chapter 3: Financial Statements
- Chapter 4: Evaluating Choices: Time, Risk, and Value
- Chapter 5: Financial Plans: Budgets
- Chapter 6: Taxes and Tax Planning
- Chapter 7: Financial Management
- Chapter 8: Consumer Strategies
- Chapter 9: Buying a Home
- Chapter 10: Personal Risk Management: Insurance
- Chapter 11: Personal Risk Management: Retirement and Estate Planning
- Chapter 12: Investing
- Chapter 13: Behavioral Finance and Market Behavior
- Chapter 14: The Practice of Investment
- Chapter 15: Owning Stocks
- Chapter 16: Owning Bonds
- Chapter 17: Investing in Mutual Funds, Commodities, Real Estate, and Collectibles
- Chapter 18: Career Planning
About the Book
Personal Finance by Rachel Siegel and Carol Yacht is a comprehensive Personal Finance text which includes a wide range of pedagogical aids to keep students engaged and instructors on track.
This book is arranged by learning objectives. The headings, summaries, reviews, and problems all link together via the learning objectives. This helps instructors to teach what they want, and to assign the problems that correspond to the learning objectives covered in class.
Personal Finance includes personal finance planning problems with links to solutions, and personal application exercises, with links to their associated worksheet(s) or spreadsheet(s). In addition, the text boasts a large number of links to videos, podcasts, experts' tips or blogs, and magazine articles to illustrate the practical applications for concepts covered in the text.
Rachel would love to hear from you. If you have questions about teaching with her book, comments about teaching Personal Finance, or just feedback, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This textbook has been used in classes at: Miami University.
About the Contributors
Rachel S. Siegel, chartered financial analyst (CFA), has been a professor of finance, economics, and accounting at Lyndon State College since 1990. She has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Trinity College (Vermont), Granite State College (New Hampshire), Springfield College (Massachusetts), the University of Vermont, and in Tel Aviv, Israel, for Champlain College.
Siegel is a member of the Vermont CFA Society, the CFA Institute, and the Board of Scholars of the Ethan Allen Institute, as well as a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. She has served as a consultant on investment strategy to the Vermont Land Trust and to other private clients. Siegel’s column “Follow the Money” has been a regular feature of the Northstar Monthly since 2001. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Siegel earned a BA in English literature (1980) and an MBA (1989) from Yale University. She lives in Barnet, Vermont.
Carol Yacht is a business educator and textbook author. Yacht’s best-selling textbook, Computer Accounting with Peachtree (McGraw-Hill/Irwin), is in its fourteenth edition. She has also written textbooks for QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Office Accounting, Excel, and Carol Yacht’s General Ledger. Yacht’s writing career started in the classroom. To help her students learn new business and technology concepts, Yacht created instructional material. Her first book was published in 1979. Yacht is committed to teaching, learning, sharing, and writing. She is a frequent presenter at conferences.
Yacht teaches Accounting Information Systems at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, College of Business, Executive and Professional Education Center. She has also taught on the faculties of California State University–Los Angeles, West Los Angeles College, Yavapai College, and Beverly Hills High School. She is also the Accounting Section Editor for the Business Education Forum, a publication of the National Business Education Association; serves on the AAA Commons Editorial Board; and is a member of the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Advisory Council.
In 2005, Yacht received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Accounting Association Two-Year College Section. She is also a recipient of the Business Education Leadership Award from the State of California. Yacht received her MA from California State University–Los Angeles, BS from the University of New Mexico, and AS from Temple University.