Financial Sorcery, by Author (Hardcover, 2012)|
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Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
This book is clearly intended for a specific demographic, of which I am not a
member. Much of the material does not apply to, or interest, people outside that
demographic. However, even for us it has good information and that information
easily justifies the cover price.
Mr. Miller covered
all the basics of personal financial management and went beyond those in many
cases to some "outside the box" but very effective concepts similar to those
that appear in the Mindconnection electronic newsletter. Because the book is
well-organized, it's simple enough for "us" to skip over the parts that don't
interest us and focus on what we would consider the practical information.
The key to the identity of the target demographic is in the title. They
are people who believe in sorcery. So there is specific advice on performing
certain rituals to help achieve specific goals.
This gives rise to the question of why an author would write to this fairly
narrow demographic. If you have a following in a particular "community,"
then tailoring your material to its members makes sense. Other reasons include such things
as sharing cultural and language cues, having special expertise in that
demo's common area of interest, and genuinely caring about people who share
your hobby, vocation, or other special interest. Not every author is out to
appeal to the widest possible market, and those who take that route usually
are making a mistake.
Since I know nothing about sorcery, my review will exclude coverage of
First of all, I like Mr. Miller's writing style. It's clear, direct, and
easy to follow. His writing has a certain rhythm that moves the reader along
(some writers don't get this, and the "beat" in their word flow can make it
difficult for the reader to stay awake). If there were grammatical errors, I
was too, er, entranced to notice.
I also like the fact that he shares where he personally has erred in this
or that principle, rather than talking down to the reader. I've seen some
authors do this as a copout and others do it in a manner that actually
undermines the point of reading the material. It can be a fine line, but I
think the key is sincerity. That comes across in how he discusses where he
went wrong and what he did about it, or where he just makes a single remark
about how he wished he'd learned that particular lesson earlier.
Most of the practical advice comes out of the standard personal financial
management literature. There are no crazy theories about how to get rich
quick. There are no counterintuitive exhortations to go deeply into debt and
"get rich off other people's money."
In the first chapter, Mr. Miller lays the foundation for having a sane
perspective on money. He points out that many people try to serve money. And
he discusses why this is self-defeating.
A friend of mine used to teach entrepreneurs in a program run by the Kaufmann
Foundation. He would
ask budding entrepreneurs what motivated them to go into business. Most of
them had a real passion for what they were doing. For example, one student
was passionate about restoring expensive wood furniture to make it
stunningly beautiful. It was flawless when he was done with it. I know this,
because in my home I look at his work every day.
these students, however, said they just wanted to be rich. Your passion
shows in the quality of your work. Which businesses do you think were able
to build a base of seriously devoted, high-referring customers?
That's my illustration of just one of the principles Mr. Miller goes
into, here. He covers several others, such as understanding the difference
between being rich and being wealthy. This, like the others, is a
fundamental concept in money management.
In other chapters, he discusses how to target your needs versus your
wants (not his words exactly, but that's the idea), how to eliminate debt
(most of what he recommends is the classic strategy), and general financial
management tips. He also has a chapter on finding a job, and this is also,
like some other advice, mostly from the standard literature. And in one
chapter, he discusses how to supplement your income with part-time work,
freelancing, and passive income. All good stuff, mostly from the standard
literature, all with a solid track record, and all generally not followed by
people much to their loss.
So even if you share my non-belief in sorcery, you will benefit from
reading and applying the practical advice in this book. That is, unless you
are already financially sophisticated. But if you have money problems of any
sort, this book can probably help you.
Financial Sorcery consists of an introduction, thirteen chapters,
and a conclusion (titled "Parting Words) across 194 pages. It's also
indexed, has backnotes, has a short "about the author, and has a short
"about the illustrator."