Review of “The Cure for Money Madness” by Spencer Sherman

While recently thumbing through the personal finance section at the local library, I came across The Cure for Money Madness, authored by Spencer Sherman.

I thought the book was both enjoyable and useful, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

About The Author

Spencer is hardly a newcomer to money management. From Chapter 1:

“Trained in economics, with an advanced degree in business, certified as a financial planner, I advise some of the wealthiest and most astute investors in the United States. I make a lot of money for them. You don’t have to take my word for it. Worth magazine has repeatedly named me to its list of the top 100 wealth advisors in the nation.”

Spencer’s writing style is accessible and easy to understand. Plus, I always love when a book sets up a corresponding website to keep readers up to date. This one is, and includes a blog component that you can follow along with.

Defining Money Madness

You will probably be skeptical about this book unless I define money madness for you. Or rather, I’ll let Spencer define it:

“Money madness is the irrational behavior that otherwise rational people, like you and me, are driven to when the issue is money…it’s acting directly counter to what we know to be the reality…”

Spencer points out that although it affects us through different means, the condition is nearly universal. And so he set on his quest to cure us from the disease…

What Will I Learn?

I approach almost any purchase of a book with this simple question, seeking to understand what I will get out of reading it. So for the benefit of those interested, here’s what you can expect to learn from “Money Madness”:

  • The top 10 money madness behaviors (for example, #4 – striving to get rich quick, or #7 – lying about your money).
  • How we “contract” money madness (primarily through childhood) with exercises to help you discover your own money “maxims” and pre-dispositions to madness
  • Money Madness in your own life (with a thorough checklist), and how much money we’re losing out on as a result
  • Exercises to help tame the money monster (like changing the context to change your behavior)
  • Financial intimacy, or talking about money with your spouse, and how to do it madness-free
  • Madness-free investing, or the last portfolio allocation you’ll ever need. Kind of reminds me of that infomercial...set it and forget it!
  • How to negotiate a raise without sweaty palms and a breaking voice, because you deserve to be paid what you’re worth.
  • How to sell anything, madness-free, and in 5 easy steps. (And how to bill if you’re self-employed).
  • Spending money rationally (and why a budget is not necessarily the most effective way to plan).
  • How to buy a home without falling victim to emotions, and evaluating the biggest purchase you’ll ever make rationally.
  • How to give to charity effectively.
  • Finding your “true” net worth, or when it’s okay to say “enough is enough.”

Worth Getting?

Yes! I thought this was one of the more unique personal finance books you can pick up and approaches things from a new perspective.

It’s a bit more psychological than practical, in that it makes you think about why you do certain things with your money. Once you have that down, it becomes much easier to address the root problem and eliminate doing stupid things.

If anything, the investment chapter alone is worth the read, especially with the tremendous sums of money people have lost in the stock market over the last year.

Get Your Copy

The Cure for Money Madness is available on and through your local retailers. Yes, that’s an affiliate link that will make me some much-needed cash to keep the site going. 🙂

If you get a chance to read it, feel free to leave a comment here to let me know what you thought!