Helaine Olen addresses the roots of financial illiteracy in her book “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.”

Posted By Spring Eselgroth


PHOENIX- If you thought the suits on Wall Street and the demonized “one percenters” were solely to blame for the financial crisis, think again. In her new book, “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry,” SABEW member Helaine Olen aims her analytical eye – and pen – on the various personal, economic and societal forces that contributed to the meltdown.

Olen argues that the American public was hoodwinked into believing that the personal finance and investment industries were magical sutures that could heal the deep wounds left by “stagnant salaries, income inequality and a society that offered a smaller and thinner social safety net with each passing year.” In reality, she says, they were deceptive (and ultimately faulty) Band-Aids, at best.

Olen goes beyond the blame game to take an intelligent, clear-eyed look at the state of personal finance in the U.S. She delves into “misleading and sometimes harmful” advice from financial gurus such as Suze Orman, David Bach, Jim Bach and Dave Ramsey, and analyzes its impact on average Americans. Her goal, she says, is to start an informed and critical dialogue about financial literacy and what people can do to protect their financial futures. Praised by the Washington Post and The Economist, “Pound Foolish” is required reading for anyone interested in understanding the roots of America’s financial morass and how individuals can empower themselves to navigate it.


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