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Vanguard Q&A, Polishing the Money Guide

I48 and Counting WAS RECENTLY INTERVIEWED by a writer from Vanguard Group. The resulting Q&A provides a good recap of my financial thinking and various writing projects, plus you can read about my brief foray into market-timing. I promise not to do it again.


It's been five months since I returned to the life of the ink-stained wretch. Not surprisingly, things are a tad different from 2008, when I was last writing a regular column. Perhaps the biggest change is the comments from readers that are posted at the bottom of every column. I don't spend much time perusing these comments, in part because they're often only tangentially related to what I wrote. Instead, many of these folks seem to know each other and banter back and forth, but instead of meeting at Starbucks they meet at the bottom of my column.

The over-the-top public comments stand in sharp contrast to the emails I receive, which are typically less confrontational and more thoughtful. I recognize many of my correspondents' names and email addresses from six years ago, with the same hazy recollection you have when bumping into distant cousins at the family reunion. The tone of the emails has also changed. There are fewer performance-hungry questions about stocks and real estate, and more heartfelt questions about how to make the best of rough financial circumstances.

Want to keep tabs on my weekly column? It appears in The Wall Street Journal Sunday, a special section available in 70 U.S. newspapers with a combined circulation of seven million. In addition, the column is posted to WSJ.com and MarketWatch.com. I also keep links to past articles on this site.


After more than a year hunched over the keyboard, I finally have a first draft of my new book, the Jonathan Clements Money Guide, an annually updated personal-finance book. The 2015 edition will hit bookstores next January. At 108,000 words, this is easily the longest book I have ever written, but it's also the most comprehensive, covering the full array of financial-planning topics.

Now, the fun part begins, taking this mass of words and trying to kick them into shape. Over the next few months, I'll probably take three or four passes through the manuscript, endeavoring to polish up the writing.


You can, of course, still buy my earlier books, including my novel 48 and Counting: A Story of Money, Love and Bicycling and my last personal-finance book, The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money. The novel tells the tale of amateur cyclist Max Whitfield (whose character, in case you're wondering, is not modeled after your favorite personal-finance columnist). The book is available through Amazon as both a $9.99 paperback and a $3.99 Kindle e-book. Meanwhile, The Little Book of Main Street Money was named one of SmartMoney's 10 best financial books of 2009 and includes a foreword by William Bernstein. What’s the book all about? Take a look at the introduction.

Last updated: August 2014





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