An eminently readable, authoritative little book that offers sensible advice about major financial decisions.
Financial planner Bourke proves a bit of wisdom goes a long way as he tackles such weighty topics as whether parents should financially assist their children, what happens to assets when someone dies, the importance of budgeting, investment strategies and identity theft. He examines these topics with precision and an economy of words, keeping the jargon to a minimum. His writing is as easy to read as an advice column, and he conveys key concepts in everyday language. Even his chapter titles will hook readers: “How to Invest like a Billionaire” is a smart yet utterly simple discussion of asset allocation, while “Diworsification” demonstrates the faulty thought process behind splitting assets between two or more financial advisers. When discussing fluctuation in the stock market, for example, he writes simply: “If you panic, you will make mistakes.” He follows this with a story of a couple in their 40s who panicked during the 2008 recession and moved most of their investments from the stock market to fixed income investments. As a result, when the S&P recovered by the end of 2009 with a nearly 65 percent gain, the couple missed out on an opportunity to recoup their losses. “It’s like watching someone step on a nail in slow motion,” writes Bourke. The two could have left their investments alone, he adds, and “enjoyed the rebound.” Whether it’s providing a list of 10 useful steps readers can employ to deter identity theft or offering an easy formula for evaluating a nest egg, the author’s counsel seems to be right on the money. In his conclusion, Bourke’s motivation for writing this book becomes evident: “Finances, for many, are in a black box that seems impenetrable. Money can be mysterious, difficult to manage, difficult to understand, and difficult to hold on to.” While clearly not intended to replace a financial planner, his book elegantly makes the case for the necessity of financial planning.
Invaluable for anyone with an interest in preserving capital over the long term.