HOW TO BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT BEFORE YOU'RE 35 by Jeffrey A. Stern

HOW TO BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT BEFORE YOU'RE 35

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet another financial guide for young adults that fails to live up to the bright promise of its title. Drawing upon his own experience as well as those of friends and acquaintances, the 27-year-old Stem (director of business planning at Newsweek Inc.) offers lamentably sketchy counsel within a notably haphazard format. He starts with the conventional injunction to establish realistic goals and budgets, chiefly to put money into small business, property, or other ventures with growth potential. Next on his agenda is a quick rundown on partnerships, favored as entry-level vehicles for shoestring investors. The author then devotes nearly one-third of his text to an inadequate survey of presumptively rewarding opportunities in the housing trade. Unfortunately typical of his vague advisories is the dubious intelligence that: ""Profiting in real estate mainly requires skills you've already got--the abilities to recognize a bargain and take care of a home."" Oh? Included as well are short-take briefings on tax planning, venture-capital deals, professionals (attorneys, bankers, CPAs), and securities-the latter with the caveat that Stern's ""never met anyone who has made real money in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds unless he was rich in the first place."" The author runs out the string with profiles of a half-dozen personal role models and a series of set pieces in which he provides can-do responses to putatively common excuses for inaction. There's a wealth of far superior guides for go-getting members of the so-called baby-boom generation in search of reliable, systematic direction on the mechanics of material success. One such is Beth Brophy's mid-1985 entry, Everything College Didn't Teach You about Money.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1986
Publisher: Little, Brown