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Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money
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Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  465 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Finally, a financial plan that lets you be YOU, only richer. Its time to throw away all your old notions of what financial advice should look like. Because if youre looking for a book to put you on an austerity savings plan that has you giving up vacations and lattes, youre out of luck. But if youre looking to get your finances in rock-hard shape - in less time than it tak ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Crown Business
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Dec 16, 2013 Shevonne rated it liked it
I read the LearnVest blog, so I decided to check out the founder's book to see if I could learn anything. The book is great for someone who doesn't really understand his/her finances whatsoever. For someone who does, I didn't feel I learned much. I also felt like this book was geared towards people who are not married and/or don't have children.

Another issue I had was that the 50/30/20 plan is very unrealistic for someone who has children and lives in an expensive area like the DC area. I looke
Juanita Johnson
Jan 31, 2014 Juanita Johnson rated it it was ok
This is a pretty basic book. Some of the information is on point. Other parts way off. The author has a good financial background but the book appears to be mostly based on her personal life experience. As a result she can't relate to entire portions of society and gives no advice for them outside of saying she can help them too.

Some of the information is actually inaccurate. I haven't held a credit card in ten years and have no problem getting a hotel room or renting a car when I travel. in th
Oct 18, 2013 Jared rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book and thought von Tobel did a very nice job completely covering the essential components of personal financial literacy. Having read several financial planning books by folks like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman, I thought this one was every bit as good as what they offered.

Because I'm a bit older and more established, some of the info felt a bit elementary. However, I think this would have been extremely valuable as a senior in college or as a recent graduate.
Feb 19, 2014 Abigail rated it really liked it
Financially Fearless was easy and enjoyable to read (how many times can you say that about a book on money?!) and covered a wide range of personal finance topics in an organized manner. Even though I have pretty secure finances, I lacked confidence that I was doing everything I could/should to maximize them. After reading FF, I feel more confident that I'm doing the right thing.

That said, a lot of the information is pretty basic: why you should pay down debt and how to do it; what is a credit sc
Jan 24, 2014 Lurasmind rated it really liked it
von Tobel presents a solid, common sense approach to personal finance. A good reference with some simple exercises to see where you are bleeding money. Some of the advice is specific to the US, but much of the advice is universal making it worth the investment. Be aware that the $50 credit towards the LearnVest service will NOT cover the full price and prices are in US dollars. Fortunately my bank offers free appointments with a financial planner so I won't be using the professional advice servi ...more
Sep 07, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-reads
Suze Orman has competition. Financially Fearless is readable and informative. Interspersed with real life examples of financial challenges, the text presents practical solutions for young people just starting out and for older people who need to get their finances organized. Ms Von Tobel presents a very reasonable 50:30:20 basic financial game plan. 50% of take home pay pays basic fixed costs: 20% is devoted to retirement or future investments : 30% is flexible spending money. Her advice about ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Vonetta rated it really liked it
Arguably the best personal finance book I've ever read, and I've read my fair share (though I do not own up to it here on Goodreads because then I would be publicly admitting that I'm broke). Von Tobel breaks down every aspect of personal finances in a way that absolutely anyone can understand. The best part is that she skips all the obvious rubbish (no "Stop buying coffee and cancel your cable" here, but she does explore how much those seemingly small expenses can add up to) and gets to things ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Theresa rated it liked it
Suze Orman's stuff is much more detailed and comprehensive, Ramit Sethi's more accessible. However, Alexa provides additional detailed points for a beginner delving into personal finance that is still useful. You won't find depth as you would with Orman's material regarding expense ratios and index funds, and I wouldn't recommend this book for people with more complex financial situations, but for the average layman, it will do just fine.
Mar 22, 2017 Jenny rated it really liked it
good practical advice on saving for retirement with interesting exercises on why we have certain mindsets about money
Jan 02, 2015 Petesea rated it liked it
Financial planning shouldn't be a luxury. According to the American Payroll Association more than two thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 3 in 10 making $100K per year do so. Alexa gave short shrift to the CFP designation and should have explained it as more than a 2 day 10 hour test. I am not sure why Alexa labels people as different types? I find that it is difficult to change who someone really is and do not think that the labeling was beneficial. This book seemed like it was fo ...more
She is right about "making decisions" financially even if we don't realize it; and some are winging it. I have read and watched past videos on Susan Orman but some of the thing I did or tried didn't benefit me even thought it sounded good. I will see how this one helps.

For me, in the beginning, I kept hearing about "LearnVest" and constantly selling her program was frustrating and quite annoying. I said if I hear about it one more time I am ditching this audiobook since I have so many other read
Feb 06, 2015 Grace rated it liked it
I got this book through my local library.

I found the layout very organized and easy to use. I was able to easily jump to the sections I was interested in and skip or skim the sections that clearly didn't apply to me. The author doesn't waste time with unnecessary frills but tries to get down to brass tacks as quickly and efficiently as possible. I appreciated that.

I did use many of the suggestions and spent some time thinking about how to adapt some of the strategies to my specific situation.
Mar 09, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
This book is super basic but I took away some very useful basic pointers. I liked the 50/30/20 percent approach to necessities, lifestyle, and future spending. Will definitely be keeping that in mind after I graduate from grad school and am putting together a budget and a plan for paying off student loans. There were also some helpful basics on types of retirement accounts and all the different types of insurance (helpful explanations for me around life insurance and disability insurance). I'm s ...more
Connie Clay
Feb 11, 2015 Connie Clay rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The author provided a good blueprint for understanding money and using it effectively. The book gives a thorough overview of how to set up a reasonable budget, and the book convinced me to invest in a financial plan. The author of the book left graduate school to start LearnVest, which is a website that brings financial planning to the masses. I listened to this book during my commute, but I think it is presented in such a straight forward fashion that I would have enjoyed r ...more
May 08, 2015 David rated it liked it
sound advice delivered with an encouraging, perky "hey, we've all been there and made mistakes, but it's not too late; let me show you how...." tone.

A few micro-tips (not being a cable consumer at all, I wasn't aware of this, but it seems you can put premium channels into some sort of sleep mode to test out whether you miss them, and reinstate later very easily if you so desire), but mainly big-picture simple stuff. Wrong book if you want to outsmart the gov't. on timing of your and your spouse'
Sep 08, 2013 Ayelet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work
I thought I was in pretty good shape with my finances, but after reading this book, I realize there are so many things I should be doing, and even more that I could be doing better. Alexa finds ways to empower and motivate you, even as you face some very difficult challenges. Quoting rappers, reminding you not having anything to wear to a BBQ does not count as an emergency, but that buying Starbucks does count as eating out, makes a topic like financial security approachable. I've already read t ...more
Leigh Charping
Jan 25, 2016 Leigh Charping rated it really liked it
If you haven't ever read any personal finance books before, I think this would be a good book to start with. But definitely don't pay to use the website. The 50/20/30 method is great for someone just trying to make a budget for the first time, but it wasn't as helpful for me since I've been budgeting for a few years. I liked the different exercises the book offers though. They were interesting and made me think about what really mattered to me/my financial goals. This book is just a start, not t ...more
Abby Klitzing
May 12, 2016 Abby Klitzing rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This was the first book I have read about finances, and it was such an easy read. I breezed through it, and learned a lot. I loved the bits about balancing your finances and going into detail about certain financial aspects that you really aren't taught about in school. I can easily say I am much more knowledgeable in basic finances than I was before, or even after taking a personal finance class. Such a straight forward and no nonsense book, I would say that any young adult s ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Really liked it! Her style is encouraging but bold, doable and realistic. It's doable unlike some other plans from other financial experts that I've tried to read/follow. She gives you activity to do, steps to take, even gives you a credit toward getting started with the LearnVest program that she created. This book and her style may appeal more toward women but it's, at the same time, not super feminine. Very good, I plan to go back and reread and follow her steps more closely the second time a ...more
Michael L
Jul 28, 2014 Michael L rated it liked it
Financially Fearless is a book for someone new to personal financial management. The book provides a good dose of basic information on life insurance, investing, credit and goal setting to name a few of the topics discussed. Overall you can get this information from other resources, the book however ties in nicely with the author's financial website (financial planning service) in an effort to encourage you to begin your journey towards financial planning.
Stanjay Daniels
Jul 17, 2015 Stanjay Daniels rated it it was amazing
I listen to Alexa's show Financially Fearless on Sirius XM, so I really felt that I should get her book too! This book was incredibly helpful! I'm all about financial advice and I really love how Alexa just breaks down everything into easily understandable terminology. As a homeowner, I found the information about all things related to homeownership to be so well written. I also loved her 50/20/30 rule to guiding our finances. 5 stars!
Jan 03, 2016 Eric rated it it was ok
Definitely not the best book I've read on this topic. The author's tone ("voice") really annoyed me, so I almost quit a few pages in. I couldn't really determine what audience the book is intended for-it didn't feel like the book was aimed at people like me. There wasn't much new information here either. The book came highly recommended and touted for introducing an innovative way to look at personal money management, but it ended up being a disappointment.
May 20, 2014 Danielle rated it did not like it
Shelves: tried-to-read
The company's blog has useful information, so I bought the books in hopes of a deeper understanding of finances but was sorely disappointed. The book tries to be overly friendly in a cheerleader type that manages to turn off the reader. I also attended one meet up and listened to the author convince an audience that she was their lord and savior in the financial world and that we were all going to "financial bootcamp". I couldn't finish the book after that.
Mar 04, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
A great book if you are in need of some super basic financial advice. I wouldn't say I'm an expert by any stretch, and yet some of it still felt elementary to me...but I absolutely see the audience for this book (college students and recent grads, I'm looking at you :) ) I definitely did learn a few things, though, and I like the style that this book is written in. von Tobel actually does make learning about finances fun.
สุวิชชา จันทร
หนังสือแนะนำเรืองการบริหารการเงินสวนบุคคลในระบบ 50/30/20 ทีนำเสนอแนวทางการบริหารเงินและเรืองควรรูเกียวกับการเงินสวนบุคคลทีละเอียดดี ถึงแมเนือหาจะเปนการเงินในตางประเทศ (เชน เรืองภาษี และประกัน) แตหลักการกนำมาใชไดเปนสากลหลายอยาง เชน การวางแผนกันเงินไวใชจายในเรืองตางๆ เรืองการเงินทีควรคุยกันกอนแตงงาน เปนตน เนืองจากเปนหนังสือประกอบบริการผานเวบ LearnVest กเลยมีการนำเสนอบริการเปนชวงๆ ซึงจะอานขามไปกไดถาไมสนใจ ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Chelsea rated it did not like it
Not a good book. The LearnVest plugs at every turn made me lose the actual point of the book. It seemed to just want to sell you her program, not actually help with anything. And if you're not in debt, or have even one iota of financial knowledge, this book is not for you. Super basic, sometimes inaccurate information that definitely does not fit every type of person out there. There are better books out there; try any other financial book instead, it'll be a better choice! Happy hunting!
Jan 26, 2014 Jo'ie rated it really liked it
I'm always looking for great financial advice and I really liked the 50/20/30 rule and although it sometimes feels unrealistic for those of us living in an expensive city, I still think its a great strategy and have started to make decisions based on getting in line with the 50/20/30 rule. I use the website learnvest as well and together it helps me understand a better way to manager my money.
Steve Peifer
Feb 18, 2014 Steve Peifer rated it liked it
I really like how the author made you think about your first concept of money, and how that has framed our perspective toward money. And I thought her views on emergency funds were wise. Otherwise, pretty standard stuff. My question is 'Why are financial writers so full of themselves?' This one is no exception.
Suzanne Van Horn
May 05, 2015 Suzanne Van Horn rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-finance
I like von Tobel and her company. This book was on par with other general personal finance books I have read. The biggest takeaways for me were the "cost per happy" calculation and the 50/20/30 budget. I like the idea of having less strict budget categories for non essentials. After reading this I did check out the Learnvest app and found the interface more user friendly than Mint's.
Mar 04, 2014 Frenie rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Learnvest. I follow their blog and had a Learnvest advisor. So, the book shared the same information about the basics of finances and creating a budget. The author's ideas are easy to understand and it feels like you are having a conversation with a girlfriend. I still refer to the "best times to purchase items during the year."
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