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A boom in financial self-help books

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Not what most advisors want to hear, but apparently Suze Orman is doing just fine. The Wall Street Journal reports on one sector of the economy that isn’t faltering — financial-themed self-help books. They could make your job a lot easier, or a lot harder, depending on the advice they dispense.

“We’ve seen the stock-market plunge, the foreclosures surge, the layoffs and the bankruptcies mount,” writes The Journal‘s Eleanor Laise . “Now comes the inevitable next stage of the economic downturn: a rash of personal-finance books that promise to help readers navigate their way through the rubble — and even to prosper amid it. To some observers, it’s the surest sign yet that the worst is over.”

According to Laise, a year or so ago, the personal-finance bookshelf was a happy-go-lucky place where everybody and their neighbor was about to become a millionaire.

“Now it’s more like a bomb shelter stocked with canned goods for a long battle. Pugilistic titles like “Fight for Your Money” and “Gimme My Money Back” are pushing aside sunnier fare like “Millionaire by Thirty” and “You Can Do It!: The Boomer’s Guide to a Great Retirement.” At Amazon.com Inc., the top-selling business book in mid-January was “Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound.” At the same time last year, the top seller was “Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat.”