Safety-first money-management tips for folks with above-average earnings power but comparatively little cash or reserves to show for it--with a low-key pitch for the services of financial planners. By contrast with David R. Nichols' estimable do-it-yourself guide, Life Cycle Investing (p. 783), the nod here goes to professionals qualified to create and orchestrate comprehensive programs. Disarmingly, Krause (co-owner of a California consultancy which specializes in financial planning) confides that his book is intended to give individuals the perspectives they need to chart much of their own course--and get off the money-go-round. To begin with, the author makes the routine recommendation that readers prepare personal balance sheets. All but ignoring such tactical exigencies as credit, he then pays extensive, unconventional attention to grander strategies--for, among other things, estate planning, retirement, education bills, debt, taxes, insurance, housing, and investment alternatives. Though willing to endorse risks that promise handsome rewards, Krause is a conservator at heart. Exchange-listed options, futures contracts, junk bonds, and other speculative commitments are beyond his pale. Nor does he believe those going it alone in the securities marketplace stand much chance of success; in his book, it pays to go with the pros, meaning mutual funds. Most people, Krause concludes, should defend themselves against untoward developments. In this cautionary context, he offers first-rate rundowns on insurance (disability as well as liability coverage), the trade-offs involved in accumulating assets of different kinds (e.g., current yield vs. appreciation potential), the hazards of leverage, the pitfalls of variable-rate mortgages, hard inflation hedges (with precious metals accorded preference over gemstones), and tax-reduction possibilities (municipal bonds, IRAs, non-abusive shelters and such). The text teems with instructive case studies, and there's even an introductory testimonial from entertainer Shelley Berman, whom the author helped recover from bankruptcy. In brief, then, prudent advisories amiably purveyed by a knowledgeable source--who isn't above a bit of soft-sell huckstering for financial planning.