Book Review: If Your Money Talked What Secrets Would It Tell By Gary Sirak

Gary Sirak’s primary insight in his book If Your Money Talked What Secrets Would It Tell – an insight I happen to agree with – is that the psychology of money, our personal relationship with money – is usually our biggest personal finance problem.

Financial insecurity often plagues the professional making half a million dollars per year, even while financial sufficiency is possible for a person earning one tenth of that per year.

Whether you love money, or hate money, whether you accumulate it to excess like Scrooge McDuck or spend it wildly like Brewster, the underlying problem starts in our head, not in our paycheck.

Each person’s own personal money secret may be what Sirak calls a “self-limiting belief,” a deeply – probably unconsciously – held belief about money.

Self-limiting beliefs, Sirak explains, form at an early age.  To overcome self-limiting beliefs we need to commit to self-examination and – one presumes – the additional intervention of a financial professional and personal finance books.

I particularly appreciated two things about If Your Money Talked.

Brevity

Sirak keeps this short enough to read on a flight between Chicago and New York.  Pick this up at the airport bookstore, crack it open upon takeoff, and you’ll be done before the wheels touch down, with extra time leftover to solve the easy Sudoku puzzle in your inflight magazine.

Memorable Anecdotes

Sirak – just like anyone who has ever written a book like this – has a set of “8 Principles of Money,” common sense ideas not unlike ideas from, say, Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door.

To makes his principles concrete, however, Sirak tells good stories.  Over a thirty-year financial-planning career for individuals, Sirak accumulated illustrative anecdotes about people and their unhealthy relationships to money.

For each of his 8 Principles of Money, Sirak provides a brief and telling sketch from his own financial planning clients as illustration.

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