Surveying the burgeoning field of financial planning, Heatter disarmingly concludes that most adults can chart 90 percent of their own course. (Estate, tax, and other complex matters normally require professional aid.) The Boston-based money manager, director of Harvard's Personal Finance Program and author of The Small Investor's Guide to Large Profits in the Stock Market (1983), writes with some authority. First, he makes the conventional recommendation that readers prepare a household balance sheet; then he pays extensive, unconventional attention to the prospective role of so-called fringe benefits. Next, he proposes drafting a budget that not only allows for a comfortable life-style but also provides funds for making more money. Most people, Heatter advises, should also defend themselves against untoward developments. In this connection he delivers first-rate overviews of insurance options (including HMOs), ownership alternatives (sole proprietorships, joint tenancy, etc.), estate planning, and trusts. Covered in addition are a wealth of tax avoidance techniques (with condemnation, however, of inordinately innovative shelters) and the specifics of safety-first investment. (Heatter would grudgingly allow up to 10 percent of a portfolio in speculative vehicles with appreciation potential.) All in all: an excellent concise text for those who seek financial guidance less encyclopedic or specific than that provided by Bob Rosefsky's Money Talks, Judith Briles' Money Phases, or Grace Weinstein's The Lifetime Book of Money Management.