Author: Ron W. Blue
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
If there is one topic that always arrests the attention of people across the world, it is how to make money. But knowing how to make money alone is not sufficient to keep one off the shackles of financial deficiency. To enjoy enduring financial freedom, one needs to learn how to make and manage money. By writing this book entitled “How to Make and Manage Money”, Ron Blue can be regarded as a philanthropist because he has indirectly given billions of naira if not dollars to readers. He has taught people how to fish financially instead of just giving them fish to eat.
Blue, nicknamed “Storm Shelter”, is an American financial expert and adviser who himself has practically gone through what it takes to climb the rungs of financial-freedom ladder from the base to the top.
In this book, he discloses how you can build a solid financial future when the very foundations of the financial world, including stock markets, interest rates, tax rates, etc., are constantly shifting. Blue also shows how you can ensure that you will remain financially stable even in the event of a global economic crisis.
According to him, this book will guide you as to how to solve all your money mysteries, irrespective of your present financial position. Blue also reveals the practical examples of financial strategies that work and others you will want to avoid. He gives a detailed plan for financial security; questionnaires to help you evaluate your fiscal situation, determine your goals for the future and understand how you can best achieve those goals. Blue also tells you a six-step method for effective investing; cost-saving tactics covering everything from food bills to education expenses.
Drawing from his reservoir of years of intellectual experience as a financial adviser, he offers direct solutions to the most troubling money questions in this book, thereby making it a haven for anyone that wants financial security that lasts a lifetime. According to him, human beings are so stingy because of the fear that grips our society. He says after talking to hundreds of people over the years, he has come to realise that the more money we have, the more we tend to worry about losing it. Blue submits that the fear is without some justification, adding however that in many cases the fear causes poor decision-making when it comes to personal finances.
According to him, making or earning money is a lot easier than managing money. He adds that we tend to earn our money in a professional setting where we have been adequately trained and equipped. Blue says when it comes to handling our own money, we are in an unfamiliar territory. The author stresses that only few people have been trained in financial management, and as a result, people either make mistakes, become fearful or find it very difficult to make good decisions.
Blue paradoxically asserts that he has equally observed that in many cases, more money equals less freedom, nothing more. He adds that the logic behind this conclusion is that the more money you have, the more options you have, and consequently the more tome and energy you must spend making decisions and managing your resources.
As far as structure is concerned, this book is divided into three parts of eleven chapters. Part one is thematically labelled “understanding economic storms”, and contains three chapters. Chapter one is entitled “economic uncertainty is certain”. Here, Blue says if you have not already discovered God’s principles for sound money management, you soon will, for they serve as the very foundation for this book. “Economic uncertainty need not spell disaster or upheaval in your personal finances. Nor should it foster anxiety, doubt, or gloom,” asserts Blue.
He stresses that the first step in defeating uncertainty is to realise just how common and normal it is. According to the author, our preparedness for and response to economic change is vital to our ultimate success. Blue identifies some of the biggest threats to our economic security today as federal budget deficit; inflation; tax-law changes; interest-rate shifts; and swings in the stock market.
In chapter two based on the subject matter of dealing with the fear of uncertainty, Blue submits that our fears, desires and dreams are often totally valid, yet the emotional punch they pack need not be a knockout blow. He also teaches how to admit and identify the specific concerns threatening personal financial security, as well as how you will gain a perspective on your financial future that will become the foundation for your ultimate money-management programme.
Blue observes that the first step in overcoming your financial fear is to face it, while the second step is to identify it. In his words, “The fear of failure…is typically more of a male issue than a female one. Men, more often than women, tend to be driven by the fear that if they do not push hard enough or work long enough, they will fail….” He reflects that many successful entrepreneurs and business executives are propelled sometimes unknowingly by the fear of failure.
Chapter three focuses on how to be proactive. Here, Blue educates you on how you can tell if a decision is motivated by fear or simply by conservative caution. According to him, a gloom-and-doom forecast may be entirely legitimate, yet it should never be the foundation of your decision making. Blue says fear-based decisions may be characterised by one or more of the following traits: the decision is made quickly, with little forethought; the decision is presumptive, based on conclusions that have little or no substantiating proof; and the decision is ill-advised, having been made under the counsel of untested, unreliable or biased sources.
He says thinking proactively helps to lift confusion from the decision-making process that surrounds financial planning, adding that you should not confuse an economic decision with one that simply has economic consequences.
Part two of this book is generically christened “repairing your personal storm shelter”, and contains five chapters, that is, chapters four to eight. In chapters four to seven, Blue discusses how you can take a financial physical; develop your finish lines; prepare a spending plan; and avoid the use of debt.
In chapter eight entitled “increase your giving”, the author offers you guide on five reasons to give. According to him, giving breaks the power of money; giving promises rewards; it provides an eternal perspective; giving demonstrates God’s ownership; it equally demonstrates obedience to God’s commands. “The secret to giving generously is deciding, in advance, how much you really need to live on,” educates Blue.
He says with so many Scriptures and practical reasons mandating giving, we find it difficult fulfilling this socio-biblical obligation because we are afraid, particularly during times of economic uncertainty, to let even a few dollars out of our sight.
Part three of this book is thematically summarised as “investing in uncertain economic times”, and contains three chapters, that is, chapters nine to 11. In chapters nine and ten, Blue stresses the need for you to develop your investment strategy; as well as balance risk and reward.
In the last chapter, that is, chapter 11, he emphasises the need for you to diversify your portfolio. According to the author, diversification is the strategy that works as it involves the spread of your money among different types of investments. Blue says by diversifying your portfolio, you diminish your overall risk. The author discusses diversification sequence and stresses that a portfolio is a group of individual investments. He says when his firm wants to help a client structure his or her investment portfolio, the firm follows a sequential strategy that includes diversification among different categories.
“By moving from one category to the next, this approach gives an investor the ability to diversify within diversification, thereby strengthening the total portfolio,” submits Blue. He adds that by diversification hierarchy, we have diversification by asset and category; diversification by style; diversification by manager; diversification by time period; diversification by geography; and diversification by specific investments. In this chapter, Blue also discusses how to build your own diversified portfolio and maintain your proper perspective.
As regards style, one thing that prominently works for the effectiveness of this book is the fact it is rooted in biblical principles and allusions. The message and language are direct without being impeded by any communication “noise”. Blue also employs reflective, didactic and graphic illustrations to achieve concrete conviction on readers’ part. He segments the chapters into three parts for easy study. By including practice exercises in some chapters, readers are automatically drawn into active participation. Blue also includes Epilogue for analytical recapitulation.
Though the text is conceptually sequential, some areas of parts one and two seem repetitive. Probably, the author deliberately does it for emphasis, especially that he has a section tagged “Epilogue” used for recapitulation in some chapters. Generally, Blue’s intellectual efforts are commendable.
Are you prepared to learn and know how to make and manage money well? If you are responding in the affirmative, then you need to build your financial apprenticeship nest very close to this book, to be able to acquire enough knowledge that will take you to your destination of financial success.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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