Take Ben Stein’s Advice: You’ll Win More Than Money

I love Ben Stein. And I especially love Ben Stein’s advice. If you’ve read my rambles here about all things mortgage and home-buying-related, then you’ve read my previous article about Ben and his sage advice.

Ben Stein is a lawyer, writer, actor and economist. He’s probably best known for his game show, “Win Ben Stein’s Money.” He is also the author of many excellent financial advice books. He writes a fairly regular column called “Everybody’s Business” in the Business section of the New York Times.

My Sunday morning routine involves coffee and a visit to NYTimes.com where I proceed to check the headlines. A few sips of hot coffee later and I’m looking for Ben’s column. His wry observations of the stock markets, investing, and corporate shenanigans, combined with sound investing advice make for an interesting—and entertaining—read.

If you are buying your first home, or recently purchased your first home, you would do well to pay attention to what this man has to say. He writes about finance and economics clearly, sanely, with wit and with charm. I’m often confounded as to why Ben’s columns don’t get more “front page” attention—especially when he wrote a very sensible column about the Sub-Prime mortgage mess—while other, more sensational news makes it front and center to the public eye. But, I guess the old newspaper adage “If it bleeds it leads” still rules the day, even at the venerable New York Times. Ben’s articles don’t sensationalize; the man simply calls it as he sees it: truthfully and serenely. He embraces the simple things in life that make living in America a great experience.

Ben’s column Sunday in the Business section of NYTimes.com is a most excellent, and simple, primer on life in general and finance in particular.

I strongly recommend you read Ben’s advice and keep a copy on hand to refer to when you think about investing your money for your and your family’s future.

I have always thought the home-buying experience creates in the homeowner a new sense of financial responsibility not just towards the idea of paying a mortgage, but in a greater sense, to the many other areas of financial success American homeowners achieve over time. When you buy your first home, you are embarking on the greatest financial decision and investment of your life.

I think there is something potent in that process that fundamentally changes you and awakens you to a new and different interest and understanding of your finances.

Almost since my first mortgage client eighteen years ago, I have provided basic advice on finance to my clients as part and parcel of the mortgage approval process. I recommend my clients buy a decent life insurance policy. I recommend they meet with their attorney to prepare a will once they have purchased their home. I recommend they discuss with their tax professional how to maximize their deductions so as to increase the income tax benefits of having a mortgage.

To me, the process of buying a home is the embarkation point on a road to financial security, success and growth. Buying a home is only the first step; take Ben’s advice and you can take the next steps in your family’s financial growth.

[tags]Ben Stein, Investing, Homebuying[/tags]