Pathway to Prosperity: Your Guide to Money and Economics by Mark Lazar

A Clearly Written Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Finance.

This incredibly informative book really is the definitive guide to finance. Mark Lazar is a Certified Financial Planner, and senior vice president of investments for a national wealth management firm, who has not only worked in the industry for twenty-five years but has a Batchelor of Science in Finance, and a MBA.  However, it is his personal experiences watching his parents struggle to make ends meet, and hard personal circumstances, which motivated him to do better. Working from the age of twelve, this self-made man “quickly learnt the correlation between effort and reward and became a millionaire by age forty.” What better recommendation could anyone ask for, when seeking financial advice?

Set out in five sections, beginning with the basics, the author covers important subjects such as balance sheets, cash flow, credit scores and taxes. Then in Section 2, he discusses ‘The Head Versus the Heart,’ getting down to the hard tacks of get rich schemes, education funding, and wants, versus needs. Or as he says “It’s important to understand the difference between essential and non-essential spending: wants versus needs.” These days, pressures such as these are very real and cause great financial hardship. I just loved this excellent quote he used, “Too many people spend money they earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like – Will Rogers.”

Then he tackles the ‘big’ financial decision we make during our lives, either alone or with a partner, our home. He advises the reader on how to decide which option would be better for them, to rent, or buy, and mortgage options. Then as life continues, how to plan for the future, investment properties, risk management and onward…

Until, the year’s roll quickly by and you find yourself considering retirement plans, assets, social security, income in retirement, and the many options available to you. Perhaps you would like to know how to work the Stock, or Bond Market. Well, this incredibly knowledgeable author demystifies these, and discusses other options which are available too.

Finally in Section 6: The Big Picture, he provides ‘Economics 101,’ and talks about inflation, deflation, Fiscal Policy and other important subjects.

I hope the author doesn’t mind me quoting this paragraph. “The bad news is there is no magic formula or get- rich-quick scheme. The good news, however, is that by building your wealth the right way—by understanding and incorporating sound financial principles into your everyday life and doing a handful of things a little better—over time you will become financially secure. Furthermore, the very same principles that enable you to achieve prosperity will also ensure you won’t lose it once you have it. For me, it explains perfectly why I believe this book should be on every high school reading list.

I have never read such a comprehensive guide written in such an easy to understand way. Highly recommended!

About the Author:

Born to a blue-collar family, Mark watched his parents’ ongoing struggle to make ends meet. After his parents divorced, Mark lived with his father in a run-down one-bedroom apartment for many years. Rather than discouraging him, these hardships provided motivation to never let the past define his future and to always strive to become better.

Today, Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and senior vice president for a national wealth management firm. He has worked in the investment industry for over twenty-five years, in addition to being an adjunct professor of finance at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business for fifteen years. Mark earned his Bachelor of Science in finance at the University of Utah and his MBA at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Mark lives with his wife, Savina, their two dogs, Molly and Buster, and their cat, Gracie in Salt Lake City, but spend summers at their cabin in northern Idaho. They enjoy hiking, biking, waterskiing, and travel. Mark’s passion is helping others become financially independent.

Start your journey today at pathwaytoprosperity.com.

Author’s Website: https://pathwaytoprosperity.com/

About the Book:

Pathway to Prosperity is a comprehensive financial literacy program that takes the mystery out of money. Investing, credit, budgeting, risk management, taxes, and economics are explained in a practical, easy to understand manner. At the end of the journey, you will have a clear understanding of personal finance that will instill confidence and empower you to make better decisions in your day to day life. Knowledge is power. Take the first step down the path to a brighter tomorrow.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08K2ZMF2Q/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

In God We Trust: Morally Responsible Investing by George P. Schwartz

 

 

How to combine investing wisely with your moral responsibilities and beliefs.

What a refreshing book, I thoroughly applaud the ethics behind the Ave Maria Funds and its policy to offer investors the opportunity to invest in a manner consistent with their faith. Sounds too good to be true? Well read on, and discover how the Ave Maria Funds came to be and the values of the people who set up and manage them.

As indicated in the Forward by Lou Holtz, this is the sequel to ‘Good Returns, which he contributed to. In this new book, ‘In God We Trust the reader discovers the ever increasing more morally conscientious investors. In 2001 Gorge Schwartz the CEO of the Schwartz Investment Council Inc. was approached by Tom Monaghan the founder of Domino’s pizza and the late Bowie Kuhn Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Dedicated Catholics, they wanted to launch a series of investment vehicles – the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, which enabled investors to invest in a manner consistent with their faith. The funds would provide Morally Responsible Investing, identifying with companies which do not participate in, contribute to, or support abortion or pornography.

There are now five different mutual funds, all pro-life, pro-family, and dedicated to investing in companies which don’t violate the core principals of the Catholic Church.

These mutual funds each have a different objective, they are:

Ave Maria Value Fund

Ave Maria Growth Fund

Ave Maria Bond Fund

Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund

Ave Maria World Equity Fund

What I loved about this book is that in it George Schwartz gives his reader a real insight into his life, upbringing, and the values he has been taught, and has lived by, in the Catholic faith. It is these things which has made him the man he is today, and the help of his wife Judi of course. It is also these strong moral principles which form the basis of the Ave Maria Funds.

However, right from the very first page this book’s subject is paramount. This is investing and principally about how to invest morally and responsibly. The authors offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field accumulated through many years. Throughout, sound, practical advice is freely given. In a world where greed is rife and everyone is keen to make a fast buck, wouldn’t you rather invest in a fund with strong, good moral principles?

This book’s values touched me personally, although I am not a catholic, and I found it extremely thought-provoking and interesting.

About the Book:

This book is both timely and timeless.

In God We Trust delves deeply into current economic and market developments and reflects on how U.S. prosperity has returned in 2018, as capitalism has again been unleashed. The author says, “What a relief after eight years of economic stagna­tion and government over-regulation.” Oddly, as the U.S. economy has benefited from pro-growth policies, like tax rate cuts and deregulation, there exists a rising tide of sympathy for socialism among leftist politicians and young people.

This timeless divide between capitalism and socialism is explored within the context of the economic and moral ramifications for society in general and long-term investors, specifically.

Readers with historical perspective will appreciate the logic of what should be obvious, i.e. that socialism has never worked anywhere on earth. Or aptly put by President Ronald Reagan, “Socialism can only work in two places, heaven where they don’t need it, and hell where they already have it.”

This book is about participating in the capital markets while avoiding morally objectionable businesses. As a lover of the free enterprise system and a portfolio manager, George Schwartz chronicles how Morally Responsible Investing is helping long-term investors put their money to work in accordance with their moral beliefs. His firm manages Ave Maria Mutual Funds, which were founded in 2001. These pro-life and pro-family mutual funds have attracted over 100,000 shareholders, who have invested more than $2.2 billion in five separate award-winning mutual funds.

In God We Trust is available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/God-We-Trust-Responsible-Investing-ebook/dp/B07KKKM9SK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1551097867&sr=1-1

and Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-god-we-trust-george-p-schwartz/1130056048?ean=9781505113464