A reasoned approach to making long-term decisions about money and investing.
In this debut personal finance guide, Luna and Kisner, co-workers in a financial management practice, present cogent, practicable advice for the average investor. The bulk of the book focuses on long-term retirement planning, from the effective use of Social Security distributions to the value of insurance. (A brief section addresses saving for education expenses.) Throughout, Luna and Kisner emphasize the risks that average investors run when they attempt to outsmart financial markets, or place too high a value on their own knowledge: “The human mind so desperately wants to believe that you can reduce complex, random, and sometimes irrational markets into a pattern recognition system that follows simple moving averages.” The book opens with a review of the inherent biases (such as confirmation bias, recency bias and so on) that drive individuals to invent logical explanations for random actions. At several points, the authors turn to behavioral studies to support their contention that people are rarely the best custodians of their own investments. They urge readers to work with financial professionals who are able to devote sufficient attention to the movements of individual investments and respond accordingly. However, they don’t blindly endorse their own profession (“One of the biggest mistakes financial advisors make is they are afraid to disagree with you”), but instead provide guidance for choosing a financial planner. The majority of the book is concerned with providing readers with a basic understanding of the tools and techniques to plan for a reliable income stream after retirement. At the same time, the authors embrace the emotional aspects of personal finance, and stress that any understanding of returns and payments should take a back seat to living an enjoyable life.
A realistic guide to retirement planning.