A comprehensive debut guide to smart, do-it-yourself investing with an emphasis on saving for retirement.
Minnucci, a former mining engineer who retired early, seems to have cracked the code of retirement investing and become his own best adviser. Thankfully, he shares his considerable knowledge in a book that’s highly readable, remarkably thorough, and filled with fact-based, sensible investment counsel in which the author serves as both educator and cheerleader. He offers a solid historical basis for having faith in stocks, replete with examples and tables, while also recognizing the value of “high-volatility hedges,” such as precious-metal equities, and “low-volatility hedges,” such as bonds. He provides a cogent, well-written overview of multiple investment vehicles, including U.S. and international large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, value stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. But these are just building blocks; the real strength of the book is its detailed, step-by-step approach to structuring a well-diversified portfolio and understanding how to protect and preserve its value over time. Along the way, Minnucci covers such key concepts as diversification (with a stimulating discussion of “the principle of compromise” and “the principle of correlation”), portfolio optimization, dollar cost averaging, tax-loss harvesting, and, perhaps most important, portfolio rebalancing, which he calls “the secret sauce.” He targets his investment discussion specifically to those thinking of retirement, focusing heavily on reducing risk. To that end, he provides a simple formula for calculating a withdrawal rate, discusses how to reduce expenses, and considers the impact of Social Security benefits on retirement income. One of the book’s more intriguing chapters, “How to Do Nothing,” features a “Rational Decision-Making Pledge” designed to help a retired married couple ensure their commitment to a buy-and-hold investment strategy, supplemented by a “six-step process” to avoid the mistake of making emotional investment decisions. Also included is intelligent retirement investment advice for those who are still working.
A superb how-to manual for the motivated self-investor and an authoritative retirement handbook for anyone who wants to know how to put investment theory into real-world practice.