• The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money

  • Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs
  • By: Jill Schlesinger
  • Narrated by: Jill Schlesinger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You’re smart. So don’t be dumb about money. Pinpoint your biggest money blind spots and take control of your finances with these tools from CBS News Business Analyst and host of the nationally syndicated radio show Jill on Money, Jill Schlesinger.

“A must-read...This straightforward and pleasingly opinionated book may persuade more of us to think about financial planning.” (Financial Times)

Hey you...you saw the title. You get the deal. You’re smart. You’ve made a few dollars. You’ve done what the financial books and websites tell you to do. So why isn’t it working? Maybe emotions and expectations are getting in the way of good sense - or you’re paying attention to the wrong people. If you’ve started counting your lattes, for god’s sake, just stop. Listen to this book instead.

After decades of working as a Wall Street trader, investment adviser, and money expert for CBS News, Jill Schlesinger reveals 13 costly mistakes you may be making right now with your money. Drawing on personal stories and a hefty dose of humor, Schlesinger argues that even the brightest people can behave like financial dumb-asses because of emotional blind spots.

So if you’ve saved for college for your kids before saving for retirement, or you’ve avoided drafting a will, this is the book for you. By following Schlesinger’s rules about retirement, college financing, insurance, real estate, and more, you can save money and avoid countless sleepless nights. It could be the smartest investment you make all year. 

Praise for The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money 

“Common sense is not always common, especially when it comes to managing your money. Consider Jill Schlesinger’s book your guide to all the things you should know about money but were never taught. After reading it, you’ll be smarter, wiser, and maybe even wealthier.” (Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle and The $100 Startup

“A must-read, whether you’re digging yourself out of a financial hole or stacking up savings for the future, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money is a personal finance gold mine loaded with smart financial nuggets delivered in Schlesinger’s straight-talking, judgment-free style.” (Beth Kobliner, author of Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) and Get a Financial Life

©2019 Jill Schlesinger (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Jill Schlesinger is one of the smartest voices in personal finance and money management I know. Ignore her words of wisdom at your financial peril.” (Helaine Olen, blogger for The Washington Post and author of Pound Foolish)

“The vast majority of people, including highly sophisticated investors, will recognize one if not several of the thirteen ‘dumb things’ Jill Schlesinger brilliantly discusses in this engaging and important book. I know I did. Drawing on a highly accomplished career- not just as an astute observer of personal finance but also as a planner and options trader - she arms readers with knowledge and tools to help correct existing financial planning mistakes, as well as avoid potentially costly ones in the future.” (Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser, Allianz, and author of The New York Times best sellers When Markets Collide and The Only Game in Town)

“We don’t talk nearly enough about money, which is odd given its central place in most of our lives. And it’s shockingly easy for even smart, accomplished people to get tripped up by bad habits or just plain lack of knowledge about money management. Jill Schlesinger has written an eye-opening, practical, and funny book about how we screw up and how we can get it right. I needed this book ten years ago! I’m glad I have it now.” (Alison Green, author of Ask a Manager)

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What listeners say about The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money

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Opinionated; tmi about the author

I could not care less if the author has 2 failed marriages or 2 dogs or does not have any kids. Stupid interruptions like “pst I’ll tell you a secret” and things of that nature.

The advices themselves are mostly good, but very opinionated. Often times the author bends the data a bit to fit the narrative.

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Too much profanity

Not a novel, so profanity is definitely not needed. Her sass and conviction comes through without it, so I wish it wasn't there at all.

Otherwise, very informative.

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Damn Good Advice

Great book. Wonderfully narrated. Like getting advice over a long lunch. Anyone and everyone can take something from this book. I know I did. (care for aging parents)

2 people found this helpful

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curse words

If you like hearing curse words, then this is a good book to listen to. The author uses the S word three times in the first minute of the introduction.

2 people found this helpful

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Smart Advice from a Really Smart Woman!

Jill covers all the bases. Just because a person is smart at doing what they know—surgery, law, psychology, whatever—doesn’t mean they’re smart with money. I love how Jill makes it ok to acknowledge that and move forward. She has a great way of talking with her audience, so I was excited to see that Jill wrote AND narrates this wonderful book. I’ll be recommending this as a great client appreciation gift idea for my coaching clients (really smart professionals). —Jody Jacobson, PhD

2 people found this helpful

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Basic

Its a solid first book for those looking to inform themselves about basic financial stuff

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Diet Culture Disguised as Money Advice

If you hate fad diets, and judgmental diet culture then this book is not for you. She obviously has a lot of experience, and some of the advice is definitely useful. She reminds you to keep on eye on the basics and on your habits. However, it’s weirdly wrapped up in 90s diet culture and “lean in” mentality that simply isn’t helpful if you’re looking for hands on advice. The stories come across as judgmental rather than moments that inform her point. I was hoping to learn more than I did. Overall, I don’t think I’d recommend it.

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Excellent information

The book is a little wordy, but the information is excellent. I disagree with Jill regarding real estate as an investment, as long as its not bare land. Never invest in bare land! Outside of that, trusting a commissioned financial planner, not passive investing, trying to time the market and the lack of a will are my dumb things. I'm glad I read the book, I'm financially wiser for it.

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Good Book!

This book had lots of great tips, and I feel safer moving forward with my financial goals after reading it. Thanks for all the great tips!

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Actually Useful

A lot of people who write about money make it a mindset thing and act as if they are your life coach. This author actually shares legal tactics and real world advice which is factual and useful for investing. She also shares common pitfalls and the kind of documents needed for specific situations. One of the most useful financial books I have purchase to date.

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  • Happy surf girl
  • 03-20-19

Very easy listen

I found this easy to listen & understand. The only improvement for me would be to have a British version as she speaks only about American finance & tax subjects.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-19-19

the best finance book on Audible

This might just be the recency bias that Jill talks about but this was probably the best book I've ever listened to on the topic.
Jill is a real professional at using her voice. very entertaining. she doesn't talk down to you and she doesn't use pointless jargon. Lots of the advice here is very useful. some of that isn't because I'm in Australia. but still it's very interesting to hear about the differences between your States. thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive guide.