Financial wisdom passed down from a father-in-law and tendered here as a bighearted gift.
Burns’ father-in-law, Bill Fisher, experienced plenty of financial setbacks during his life, but he put together a plan to nurture a small nest egg into something more substantial by the time he turned 72 and to turn a $50,000 bequest into $1 million by the time he died at 92. Burns tracks Fishers’ strategy, and it’s not exactly brain science; but $1 million speaks for itself. Burns is a forthright, blunt writer, and what he says is homespun but sage, humbly tendered in both tone and clarity. Readers clueless about their savings, no matter how meager, will appreciate his frankness. First, get enough income to cover your monthly expenses, which might mean getting a second job. A job, it’s noted, can be an emotional and social boon as well, offering health benefits, etc. Burns then advises when to tap into Social Security—wait until you’re 70—and how to maximize IRAs. He explains why to vest your 401(k)s in mutual funds and how to fund a sensible price-to-earning ration for your high-dividend stocks. He includes several smart rules of thumb to help avoid panic in market cycles, especially good counsel for dividend reinvestment programs: “[L]ook for quality stocks that pay a good dividend (2-5 percent), have an attractive P/E ration (from 7 to 18), and are diversified industries!” He even plumps for municipal bonds: “Muni bonds are very boring. They are like watching paint dry or grass grow,” but they earn a nice income every year. In this economic climate, Burns thinks residential real estate is a vulture’s game, yet the mortgage rates are a steal; your call. The short but dense book closes with Fisher’s stock preferences and master agent wholesale buy rates.
Practical financial wisdom told with authority.