HOW TO STAY AHEAD IN THE MONEY GAME by James Jorgensen

HOW TO STAY AHEAD IN THE MONEY GAME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How to cope, that is, with changes in the financial-services marketplace--taking advantage of an IRS code with lower rates but tougher rules. Middle-income individuals who manage their own affairs should find the book useful on several accounts. First, Jorgensen (The Graying of America, Your Retirement Income) covers the rise and role of the one-step financial/investment purveyors now challenging commercial banks--American Express, Merrill Lynch, Prudential Insurance, Sears, etc. He reviews banking's countermoves into money-market accounts, discount brokerage, and insurance. And, for those confused by the cross-fire of claims, there are down-to-earth advisories. Jorgensen recommends limiting fixed term deposits to six months or less, for the sake of flexibility and liquidity, and carefully investigating how interest rates are calculated. Interest-bearing checking accounts may be a losing proposition, he warns, because of service charges. Similarly, the annual returns on original-issue-discount and zero-coupon bonds, a Wall Street favorite these days, are treated as ordinary income by the IRS. (Mutual funds that levy up-front commission charges have their drawbacks too.) On the plus side, Jorgensen approves of annuities, IRAs, cafeteria-type employee-benefit plans, and other commitments that can defer federal tax liabilities--and thus free money for investment/savings programs. Also covered are insurance industry innovations. The concluding section offers thumbnail strategies with varying tolerances for risk--but not, with wise consistency, highly specific prescriptions. A useful text altogether for those charting their own financial course in these tricky times.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1984
Publisher: Stein & Day