FAMILY INVESTMENT GUIDE: A Financial Handbook for Middle Income People by John Dorfman

FAMILY INVESTMENT GUIDE: A Financial Handbook for Middle Income People

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of Consumer Tactics Manual (1980) and the syndicated column ""Count Your Change"" approaches family finances from an unusual, safety-first perspective. For Dorfman, indeed, risk seems to begin with a common stock that doesn't pay a dividend. But middle-income families, especially those with coilege-bound youngsters, stand to gain from his conservatism. At the outset, he lists 20 common-sense rules, e.g.: try to invest 15 percent of your after-tax income; keep three months' income in a NOW or savings account; keep another three months' income in either a CD or money-market fund; if possible, own your own home (a superior tax shelter, in Dorfman's view); hold stocks for the long term; diversify investment holdings; and, ""in getting advice, consider the source."" Within this framework, he reviews investment alternatives ranging from fixed-income vehicles and precious metals through real estate and collectibles--making it a point, in each case, to anticipate questions the average person might ask: how to read bond quotes in the daily paper, for instance, or the rationale for dual-purpose mutual bonds (in which investors can take income and/or growth positions). Now and again, his objectivity falters (as per his reference to ""the blood-drenched historical record"" of REITs); more often, he picks up what others miss--see his observations on the subjective valuation of collectibles, his closely reasoned caution against the fluctuating returns afforded by single-premium, tax-deferred annuities. And, consumer-wise: how to go about selecting a competent broker. A readily accessible reference--Dorfman is one of the better organizers around--firmly grounded in the old-fashioned virtues of prudence and forethought.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum