Ask The Business Librarian 5-1

A:    Actually, there are!  Fortune magazine just released their 2006 list of the top 100 companies to work for.  The list includes five organizations from Michigan.

* Bronson Healthcare Group (health care), Kalamazoo, MI (number 68 out of 100)

* Plante & Moran (consulting services), Southfield, MI (number 12 out of 100)

* Quicken Loans (commercial banks), Livonia, MI (number 13 out of 100)

* Republic Bancorp (commercial banks), Owosso, MI (number 17 out of 100)

* Valassis (advertising & marketing), Livonia, MI (number 69 out of 100)

    To see the rest of the Fortune 100 best companies to work for list visit the CNN Money website at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/full_list/.  This link will also take you to the complete list of 100 companies.

Q:    With the start of a new year, I’m thinking about trying to get my personal finances better organized.  Do you have any recommendations for books or websites on this topic?

A:    Yes, there are a number of books, websites and upcoming programs available at the Capital Area District Library that can help you get your personal finances in order.

Financial Planning/ Budgeting

* The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money by Suze Orman

* The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life: Keep What You Have and Create What You Deserve by Suze Orman

* Rescue Your Financial Life: 11 Things You Can Do Now to Get Back on Track by Kimberly Lankford

* The Budget Kit: The Common Cents Money Management Workbook by Judy Lawrence

* Don’t Mess With My Money: The Dolans’ No-Nonsense Lifetime Money Plan by Ken Dolan

* The Everything Personal Finance Book: Manage, Budget, Save, and Invest Your Money Wisely by Peter Sander

* Blindsided: Financial Advice for the Suddenly Unemployed by Edie Milligan

* Don’t Spend Your Raise: And 59 Other Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break by Dara Duguay

Debt Management

* The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beating Debt by Steven D. Strauss

* Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day by Jean Chatzky

* The Credit Diet: How to Shed Unwanted Debt and Achieve Fiscal Fitness by John Fuhrman

* Real Solutions for Getting Out of Debt by Mike Yorkey

* Empowerment to Wealth: Nine Steps to Debt Reduction by Ingrid D. Knox

Consumer Credit Management

* The Credit Repair Kit by John Ventura

* Managing Credit by Robert McKinley

* Everyone’s Money Book on Credit by Jordan E. Goodman  
    There also are some reputable websites covering the topic of personal finance that you may find of interest.

* www.annualcreditreport.com

Allows you to request a free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). 

* www.kiplinger.com

    Covers tips on the basics of personal finance including credit, banking, taxes and insurance.  Also has planning, investing and spending tips.

* www.smartmoney.com

Under “Personal Finance” look for information on debt management.  Site also contains numerous other resources including investing and small business information.
     Lastly, some personal finance programs will be offered at various Capital Area District Library locations throughout the month of February.

* Real Estate Investing 101, February 2, 6:00 p,m,, Main Library

* Investment Fundamentals, February 7, 6:00 p.m., Williamston Library

* Financial Planning 101, February 9, 6:00 p.m., Main Library

* Personal Tax Planning, February 16, 6:00 p.m., Williamston Library

* Home Re-Financing, February 23, 6:00 p.m., South Lansing Library