When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, the first thing I thought of was- Was this book going to preach to me about money? In short, that answer is no. As a matter of fact, you soon forget that this book is being written by a televangelist.

Right On the Money begins by explaining how our current financial crisis began. For those without a background in economics, Robertson explains this in terms most would understand.

Most of us need to get a grasp on our money but have not been educated on exactly how to do this. Within these pages are ways to set financial goals to help achieve what we hope and dream about. Most of this is simple yet effective planning and budgeting. Robertson lays out the foundation of building a budget, even for those who have never done it before.

Robertson then moves on to the subject of credit cards and debt, detailing how to pay down your debt. Robertson believes in paying off smaller balances first. This allows you to see positive results and makes you “feel good” about your efforts. He also advises against consolidating your balances to one account because of the psychology of paying on a huge balance. He also stresses that eliminating debt is a lifestyle issue. For those needed extra help in reducing their debt, he suggests contacting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Robertson details the importance of having a savings account, noting that many times this is your buffer during periods of financial hardship as well as part of your support system for when you are no longer working. It is estimated that approximately 3 months of living expenses should be saved for rough financial times. A common rule of thumb is to save 10% of every paycheck. He then goes on to describe the savings account options that banking institutions provide, including money-market accounts.

Robertson does not pull any punches when it comes to the “false security” many believe Social Security will provide. He points out that Social Security is in need of a financial overhaul as well.

It is at this point that we move onto the subject of investing. Robertson points out that you do not build wealth with savings alone, since there is no risk involved. There are no guarantees in investing, but you can build your nest egg at a greater pace. There are many various investment options but you must understand the risks involved before making the initial investments. Robertson explains stocks, dividends, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures, and gold in great detail. He goes into specifics of each type of investment in terms that are easy to understand.

I’m guessing that Robertson placed the subject of home ownership after his chapter on investing, since we do invest in our homes. I was surprised that Pat Robertson and I agree on the subject of home ownership-“Not everyone is meant to be a homeowner.” Home ownership requires a great deal of financial strength, due to many financial obligations (property taxes, insurance, homeowner association fees). This is not factoring in the actual upkeep of the property. Many times the financial pressure can cause strain in your personal relationships. Robertson stresses that your personal circumstances will determine if you are a homeowner or renter. We are then into specifics of different types of mortgages and how they are defined.

We are given specific instructions on how to purchase a home, including obtaining pre-approval. Once you have purchased your home, Robertson writes about prepaying your mortgage, which is paying more than required on your mortgage thereby paying off your home quicker.

At the mid-point of this book, we are introduced to retirement and retirement planning. We are given explanations for the different options on how to save for retirement. Robertson explains 401ks, IRA’s, asset allocation, and diversifying your investments across different types of assets in great detail. Robertson also goes into great detail into investing in foreign markets, explaining the different types of foreign investments and risks.
Robertson reminds us to “Be Prepared”. Bad things can happen at any time and the only way to protect ourselves and family is to carry insurance. Many of us regard insurance as spending money for a service we don’t expect to use. Insurance is the first thing used to protect your assets, (life, health, auto, home, etc) and we are given many reasons for each type of insurance policy as well as explanations. Robertson has many tips on purchasing insurance policies. He even goes as far as explaining annuities, which can be confusing.

Robertson wraps up this book by talking about families and businesses. While I disagree with Robertson about couples having separate bank accounts, I do see his point about each having their own investments. He dives into the generalizations of the 3 types of businesses-but you can see that he favors business to be a simple stock corporation. I was impressed with the positives regarding running a business as a corporation but found sole proprietorships and partnership information lacking as well as the complete absence of LLCs in the mix.

As an added bonus, this book contains a glossary in the back, that you can actually use as a “cheat sheet” as well as an Index that you can really use.

All in all, this book was an “easy” read for me. I thought Mr. Robertson effectively explained a lot of terms that have been thrown around because of the current economic turmoil and provided financial advice to everyone. Even though this book is geared towards “tough times”, there is information contained that we can all use at any time.