The Financial Rules for New College Graduates

Invest before Paying Off Debt—and Other Tips Your Professors Didn't Teach You

by Michael C. Taylor


$5.73 in daily savings, invested each year for 50 years at a 10 percent annual return, can turn into more than $2.6 million.

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Cover image for The Financial Rules for New College Graduates

April 2018


Pages 209
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Finance, Investments and Banking
  Current Events and Issues/Education

An indispensable guide for any recent graduate that provides simple, easy-to-follow rules for making smart personal finance choices during the first decade of one's career.

Having graduated from college with a degree, even the luckiest newly minted professionals—those who are able to quickly find a full-time job and support themselves—are often burdened with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Many of these young professionals grow up hearing that they should not invest until their debt is paid off. Others fall too readily for investment scams or the siren call of instant entrepreneurship. Still others don't invest at all.

From financial expert Michael C. Taylor comes a proposed means by which to not only pull oneself out of debt but to start building wealth from the first day on the job: adoption of modesty, skepticism, and optimism. The Financial Rules for New College Graduates explains that by embodying modesty, the opposite of status-seeking ostentation; skepticism, the ability to recognize scams, false promises, and the hyperbole and short-sightedness of financial media; and optimism, the belief that financial security can be yours with little to no risk, anyone can attain financial security. The early chapters address the role of interest rates, compound interest, and discounted cashflows, while the remaining chapters explore each of the most consequential personal finance choices that recent graduates will make in the first ten years of their career.


  • Demonstrates how simple choices, especially in the years after college, can guarantee (barring misfortunes such as catastrophic illness or drug addiction) a lifelong, healthy relationship with money
  • Illustrates how to apply the attitudes inherent in modesty, skepticism, and optimism to all financial decision-making, both upon graduating and in the future
  • Includes a math refresher for understanding the basic principles of interest rates, credit card debt, investment, and retirement savings
  • Demystifies without boring, simplifies without condescending to, and above all highlights the relevance and practical applications of financial planning during one's first ten years out of school
Author Info

Michael C. Taylor sold bonds on Wall Street, founded and closed a private investment business, and dedicates himself to the mission of teaching, consulting, and writing about finance. He writes a weekly column for the San Antonio Express News and the Houston Chronicle and founded the finance blog



"Not only is Michael C. Taylor on an admirable mission to give everyone a fair shot at building wealth, he manages to make financial literacy entertaining. The book is, as the kids say, 'unputdownable' and readers will come away with ethical, evolved approaches to making key financial decisions with confidence."
—Callie Enlow, Editor-in-Chief, Make Change/Aspiration

"For the average investor, simplicity reigns. MIchael C. Taylor does an excellent job of describing the power of compounding interest in simple terms while addressing the seemingly contradictory requirement for investors to embrace long-term risk to build wealth. This is critically important advice in a world increasingly focused on short-term thinking and fear mongering."—Edward A. Hart, President, Sendero Wealth Management

"The key to success in investing is demystifying the process. If you can do that, wealth should follow. Michael C. Taylor provides easy-to-remember guidelines and principles that anyone could apply."—Lars Kroijer, Author, Investing Demystified: How to Invest without Speculation and Sleepless Nights

In the News, Charged Up! podcast: Financial lessons for millennials, 4/25/2018

Invest Like a Boss, The Modern Investment Podcast with Sam Marks and Johnny FD Subscribe To Podcast? ILAB 95 – Finance Tips Your College Professors Didn't Teach You – Michael Taylor, 6/11/2018

Make Change, The Basic Formula Pros Use to Evaluate Investments, 6/27/2018

Make Change, The Simple Math Financial Infotainment Gurus Don't Want You to Know, 6/27/2018

Make Change, Yes, You Need Some Math to Be Financially Literate…, 6/27/2018

The Enterprise, Former Falmouth Resident Returns To Talk About New Book, 6/30/2018

CNBC, With this strategy, 'You can't avoid becoming a millionaire' , 8/9/2018

CNBC, Should you expect a 10 percent annual return? No, but you don't need to, 8/16/2018

Other Titles of Interest

Financial Literacy for Millennials cover imageBreaking Money Silence® cover imageWorking with the Emotional Investor cover image
The Emotional Life of Money cover imageFinancial Nutrition® for Young Women cover imageFinance Is Personal cover image

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