Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Money  --  How It All Started
Life was tough when the only way to do business was swapping. Having a lot of fat pigs to swap was good, but you couldn't hide them under your mattress. There had to be a better way. A thing called money turned out to be the answer.

Chapter 2. Banks -- A (very) Short History
Once money arrived on the scene, the money changers (banks) soon followed. They performed a much needed service right from the start, but they have a somewhat checkered history that you should know about.

Chapter 3. Banks -- Sleeping With the Enemy
O.K., banks aren't really the enemy. But they're not your kindly old uncle either. If you let them. They'll take more of your money than you might think. The more you understand about how they work, the easier it will be for you to deal with them.

Chapter 4.   Where Else Can I Stash My Cash?
We all need banks, but once you have more than a few bucks stashed away, there are a lot of better places to put them. How the basic non-bank investments work, and why it is absolutely essential that you learn about them.

Chapter 5.   Rounding Out Your Investments
Plain vanilla investments are O.K. and they may be all that many people need. But if you want to get the most out of that hard-earned money you've socked away, you must learn how to fight Demon Inflation. This chapter will show you how.

Chapter 6.   Credit -- a Double-Edged Sword
Your grandfather may have paid cash for everything -- may have even hated the idea of credit. Today, though, SMART use of credit can be one of your best investments. But if you don't know the dangers of careless use of credit, you could be in for big trouble. Here's how to make credit work for you.

Chapter 7.   The Tax Man Cometh
Before income taxes were visited upon us, there was only one kind of dollar. Today there are two kinds: before-tax dollars and after-tax dollars. In this chapter, you'll learn how important it is to know the difference . . . and what to do about it.

Chapter 8.   Cover Your Assets
You and everyone else in our society are affected by insurance companies. Some types of insurance are absolutely essential for the smart money manager. But some forms of insurance are a waste of money, or worse. Here's some important guidance on one of our trickiest financial pathways.

Chapter 9.   What Rules?
There are a lot of people and companies out there making up "rules." They make them for their own benefit, not yours. Here's how to profit by breaking some of those rules, and have fun doing it.

Chapter 10.   Important Decisions -- Think Twice, Act Once
Life would be a lot easier if we didn't have to make so many decisions, especially ones that affect our pocketbooks. Here are a number of important decisions you'll be called on to make, and what you should do about them.

Chapter 11.   Scams and Other Untidy Behavior
Since some of the most infamous scams have been around as long as money, you'd think that people would wise up to them. But they haven't. Scam artists are determined to separate you from your money. If you let them, shame on you.

Chapter 12.   Preparing for Retirement
Retirement can be the most serene and pleasurable part of your life . . . or it can be your worst nightmare. Which it turns out to be is largely up to you. No matter what your age, the time to start preparing for a comfortable retirement is right now. Here's how.

Chapter 13.   Keeping Your Golden Years Golden
O.K., you've done everything you're supposed to do. You've prepared for retirement by socking away a nice nest egg. But will that egg crack before you die? Smart financial management can't end just because you're retired. Forget how long your grandfather and your father lived after retirement. Statistics show that you're probably going to live a lot longer. Here's how to make sure that your money lasts at least as long as you do.

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