978-0-684-86499-0 / 9780684864990

Squandering Aimlessly: On the Road with the Host of Public Radio's "Marketplace"


Publisher:Simon & Schuster



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About the book:

David Brancaccio's Squandering Aimlessly is a rare treat--an insightful look at economic matters that is also a terrific read. Through his award-winning Marketplace radio program, Brancaccio has become a popular commentator with a distinctive take on financial issues. In his first book, he smoothly transfers this perspective to the description of an entertaining literary pilgrimage designed to answer the eternal question "How should one spend an unexpected windfall?" It was, after all, a query Brancaccio felt compelled to explore. "As host of a public radio program about money, I am asked all the time about what to do with it," he writes. "I needed to answer that question for myself before I could have anything meaningful to say about other people's money."

In a journey as personal as it is universal, Brancaccio crisscrosses America to examine possible responses to a monetary bolt from the blue: "spend it on a shopping spree, do good, start a business, gamble with it, give it away, invest it in the markets, buy a house, go back to school, retire early, save it for a rainy day." Hooking up with an array of savvy individuals who are focused upon these divergent alternatives, he ultimately discovers that true fiscal fulfillment is achieved only when individual needs and wants are really understood and successfully balanced. More to the immediate point, however, he also uncovers a perfect way to judge the expenditure of any honest-to-goodness surplus: the ability to answer yes when asked if the money's use, whatever it is, will have a lasting, positive impact on your life. --Howard Rothman

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