Book Review: Picture Your Prosperity

Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision Into Reality

Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision Into Reality

There are literally hundreds of personal finance books available today, but many of them are pretty dry or too focused on the complexities of investing. If you are looking for one with a broader appeal, check out Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Move Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng. Offering a different twist on financial planning, the book focuses on the deeper questions of what you really want from your money, both now and in the future. Recognizing that many of us find financial planning too stressful, boring or difficult, the authors take a more inspirational, visual approach to goal setting beginning with defining what prosperity means to you. Throughout the book, they also reinforce the idea that money is really meaningless unless you can connect it to the rest of your life.

The book begins with step by step instructions on how to create your own “Prosperity Picture” and even includes a set of removable colorful images. You can select the ones that you find most appealing, organize them into a picture frame matrix based on whether they would require more or less money and can be achieved sooner or later. The idea is that the more you visualize what you really want, the more likely you are to achieve those goals.

While the authors are candid about the fact that they wrote the book with women in mind (most the real life stories included are about women), the concepts and recommended exercises and activities are gender-neutral and would be beneficial to anyone. Keep in mind that the book is not about how to get rich quick. If that’s what you are interested in, this is not the book for you. However, it does contain most of the basics anyone would require to get on solid financial footing, and ones that you would expect to see in any good personal finance book. You’ll find tips on how to inventory your assets and figure out your net worth, create a budget, reduce debt and save for your goals. These concepts are presented in a more digestible, easy to understand format. In the section on developing what they describe as a winning financial plan, for example, the authors again use visualization to talk about investment risk by having you imagine a single-paned, plate-glass window versus one with many panes that would be easier and less expensive to replace if one of the panes gets broken. They also use a clever car analogy (you’ll have to read the book to find out) to explain different approaches to investment diversification.

On the downside, the suggested exercises and activities contained in the book would be better suited for a workshop setting. However, the instructions are easy to follow for anyone motivated to try them at home. In addition to the Prosperity Picture, you may find the brief financial wellness quiz and the “Prosperity Notebook” exercises especially helpful, for example.

Overall, the authors do a good job of helping you feel that gaining control of your finances and executing a plan to reach your goals is not only doable, but can be enjoyable.

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