Retro money rules to live by

Book Review: 'Smart is the New Rich: If You Can't Afford It -- Put It Down'

I review a lot of finance books. A lot. And, so, for the past few years, I’ve traced the roughly parallel paths of the economy "IRL" (in real life) and the personal finance titles that are published in an effort to appeal to wherever consumers’ mindsets are at any given moment.

Pre-2007, pundits and gurus had no compunction about publishing books literally promising super-easy steps to getting rich. Post-recession, books like "Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live"; "Living Well with Bad Credit" and "Getting Started in Rebuilding Your 401(k)" abound.

Just out from Christine Romans, the anchor of CNN’s "Your $$$$$," is "Smart is the New Rich: If You Can’t Afford It — Put It Down," a mashup of "old meets new" money-management tips and insights.