Every time I pick up my friend Spencer Sherman's book, I find that it has a profound effect on me. Which surprised me. I have read a lot of books about money, especially self-help books that purport to give you a better "money attitude." In fact I even wrote one. So I didn't expect any big revelations.
But each time I opened the pages, it was like the "Magic 8 Ball" we had when we were kids. The words on the pages answered questions I had in the back of my mind recently or even dealt with questions I didn't want to ask.
I gotta be honest: I don't like the title. It's called, The Cure for Money Madness. I just don't think of myself as a person who has money madness that needs curing. I have a graduate degree in economics from Oxford. I worked on the White House economic team. Money Madness is what other people have, not me.
I started reading it because he's a friend. But I kept reading it because it helped me immensely. I think it's because he is so brutally honest about the areas where money madness creeps into his life and his relationship with his wife. He is a well respected financial advisor, but admits to blind spots, emotional triggers and areas where his upbringing trumps all the logical, adult decision-making -- sometimes without even him realizing it. He has figured out how to tame his own money madness and has a lot of experience helping others to do the same. Here's a quiz you can take to give yourself a checkup: Money Madness Quiz.
As I read, I saw my own little "dark alleys" of the mind that I try to pretend don't affect me. I reaped tremendous benefits in terms of how I deal with money with my daughter and in other important relationships. Spencer's wisdom comes from dealing with himself and his financial clients, but also from teaming up with a couples therapist to provide workshops on money and relationships. He has seen and heard everything. Here's a video so you can hear some immediate tips on what you can do right now: Spencer Interview.
Maybe there aren't earth shattering revelations in this book. And maybe I am not crazy. (Maybe). But one thing I do know, this is the best book I have read that combines both knowledge and experience of investing with a deep passion for people and relationships. He wants all of us to win and to be free of the pitfalls he has watched thousands of people (himself included) fall into.
If only all the Wall Street leadership had gone through his program we wouldn't be dealing with the global effects of money madness. Since real economic change starts with each one of us, reading The Cure for Money Madness is the ultimate bailout for the money market within.
"In these difficult financial times, The Cure for Money Madness offers sanity, clarity, and truly helpful understanding to calm the heart and regain a wise perspective." --Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and Founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.