Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Review: Klaben, Gary. Changing the Conversation: Transformational Steps to Financial and Family Well-Being.

Navigator Press. 2010. c.299p. bibliog.. ISBN 978-0-9828009-0-4. $24.95.

Let’s face it. Most of us probably “have issues” with money. Money oftentimes gets in the way when it should not. It has an enormous power over us. It causes dysfunctional behaviors, debauches, defiles, and demoralizes. In short, money can enslave us, if we let it become our master. (p. 267-74) In this book, which was written in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, during the 2008-09 recession, Klaben (President, Owner, Financial Advisor, Coyle Asset Management, Glenview, IL; President, Protinus; Master of Science, Financial Services, The American College, 1995; Chartered Financial Consultant, The American College, 1989; Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, 1979), a renowned financial advisor and consultant, sets forth a “call to action” for individuals, families, and businesses, arguing that our conversations about money need to change, if Americans are to achieve a better future. (p. 33) Intending a “journey from dependency to mastery,” the author compiles a series of “conversations” that are meant to function as a “how-to guide to financial realization” (p. 21), a comprehensive strategy for multigenerational financial security and well-being. Each “conversation” or chapter focuses on how individuals, families, businesses, and the world are changing. They were written to help us anticipate future changes, prepare to manage them, and even lead. (p. 32) Kleban discusses a variety of topics, not limited to financial awareness, KASH (knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits), choosing one’s path, how the brain learns, setting goals, the psychology of money, the importance of financial mentors and mentoring, risk management, the significance of understanding and taming complexity, navigating life’s storms and currents, retirement, true worth, property, passing wealth to future generations, and growing greatness. Sufficiently well-documented, based upon the notion of the three stages of life—youth (i.e. learning), middle age (i.e. earning), and old age (i.e. yearning)-- and filled with excellent advice, drawn from many of the author’s own personal and professional experiences, this thought-provoking and noteworthy publication, dealing with the emotional (non-financial) aspects of money, will serve as a must-read for most of us and the precursor to transforming our financial livelihoods and legacies. (p. 282-3) Appealing to general and some specialized audiences, it is highly recommended for most public library book collections. Review copy. Availability:, Barnes &