Put your financial house in order

Book Review: 'The Truth About Money'

Money matters rank at the very top of most Americans’ New Year’s resolutions lists. In fact, a recent poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that reducing debt was the No. 1 resolution set by respondents — 69 percent said this was their top mission for 2011.

And when it comes to finances, people tend to set big, sweeping goals rather than to set a smaller list of easily attainable aims. Rather than "pay off Visa," people tend to aim for "paying off their debt"; instead of "setting up autodeposit into savings account," many resolve to "save and invest more."

Many behavioral and finance experts point out that big, sweeping goals are less achievable. Nevertheless, at this time of massive money missions, it is perhaps appropriate that Barron’s financial adviser and radio personality Ric Edelman has just released the fourth edition of his big, sweeping title, "The Truth About Money."