The Missing Semester Helps Students Stay Out of Debt & Achieve Financial Freedom and Security

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Seven million students will take out student loans this year to finance their education while others will find themselves drowning in credit card debt. Will they know how to pay them back and prosper or will they forever remain slaves to debt?





Matt Kabala & Gene Natali, Jr.

Seven million students will take out loans this year to finance their education. Will they know how to pay them back? Or will they become slaves to debt? Will they be able to prosper financially in a struggling economy still mired in a recession? THE MISSING SEMESTER by Gene Natali, Jr. and Matt Kabala shows students and young adults who have just entered the workaday world how to take care of their financial lives today and prosper in the years ahead no matter what the economic climate.

The statistics are grim: Outstanding student loan debt now stands at more than one trillion dollars and continues to soar. It may prove to be the next major financial crisis in the America’s financial horizon. The sticker price of a college education has increased almost 500% over the last thirty years. Textbooks costs alone have skyrocketed by 82%. The average student graduates from college with student loans in excess of $25,000 and more than $4,000 in personal credit-card debt. That is, if they are lucky.

To make matters worse, today’s educational system is largely designed to prepare students for careers in specific fields. Some institutions do an exemplary job of that. But few, if any, teach students “how to live” in relation to money.

THE MISSING SEMESTER, which won the 2013 Institute for Financial Literacy Award (EIFLE), is based on the principle of ownership—ownership of one’s financial future. It starts from the premise that the financial future of students is their responsibility and that they cannot plan for or expect financial help. It shows how to build a strong financial foundation, prepare for the unexpected and confront the inevitable financial challenges everyone will confront. THE MISSING SEMESTER is, in short, the course many people wish they had taken in school before they set foot in the workaday world.

Among the many key issues, THE MISSING SEMESTER covers include:

  •     Two cardinal rules can keep students to live within their means, not beyond them
  •     How students and the gainfully employed can increase their net income so they can pay down their debts and start saving
  •     Why every adult ought to think twice before they take out a car loan
  •     Four key rules to keep debt in control
  •     How to pay off student loan debt as smartly as possible and save thousands of dollars
  •     How many credit cards one should have and how to use them wisely
  •     Cost-effective career moves that can help advance one’s career while saving him or her tens of thousands of dollars in additional schooling.
  •     Learn the advantages and disadvantages of home ownership and the other options available
  •     Why to begin investing today and why one should do whatever one can to invest still more in one’s retirement portfolio

Financial decisions from a very early point in one’s life can have long-term effects. Whether those decisions will be for the best or the worst depends upon the choices one makes. Students and young careerists are responsible for their decisions and are therefore in control of the outcome. If they take responsibility today, they will be better off later. THE MISSING SEMESTER can help men and women from all walks of life and achieve financial prosperity through financial self-discipline and responsibility.

About the Authors
Gene Natali, Jr. is a Senior Vice President at C.S. McKee, LLP, a Pittsburgh investment firm. He holds a BA in economics from Allegheny College and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently a Level III candidate for accreditation as a Chartered Financial Analyst. Matt Kabala is a graduate of Ohio University and holds an MBA from the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business.

Book reviewers / bloggers, journalists, and other media professionals wanting to review THE MISSING SEMESTER or interview the authors should call GK Zachary 845-493-0468 or email him via his website at

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GK Zachary
Pro Book Marketing
since: 07/2012
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