Smart-money management for folks with high incomes but relatively little cash, let alone reserves--with a low-key pitch for the services of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). By contrast with Gordon Williams' estimable go-it-alone guide, How To Take Charge of Your Financial Future (1983), the nod here goes to professionally-devised, individually-tailored programs: Cohen is a Los Angeles brokerage-house exec and CFP. Largely bypassing credit and other tactical exigencies, moreover, he focuses instead on strategic areas: debt, taxes, retirement, education bills, insurance, and securities investment alternatives. Though willing to run intelligent risks for munificent rewards, Cohen is a hedger at heart. Shelters, he cautions, must make investment as well as tax sense, because of liquidity and related tradeoffs (true, in his view, only for those whose IRS liabilities top $30,000 a year). Commodity and financial futures are altogether out--given the vagaries of the weather, Third World politics, and other factors. Life insurance protection should be constantly adjusted to actual needs, with an eventual goal of zero coverage. Cohen extolls the benefits of borrowing selectively--for those with a home that has appreciated greatly in value, or those with high earnings who have yet to build a sturdy asset base. Contemporary urban characters add appeal to his case studies. In addition to stereotypical executive families with 2.7 offspring headed for costly Ivy League colleges, there is a gay photographer who wows Manhattan's fashion trade and doesn't know how to use a six-figure income to advantage; plus a much-married actress eager to play the stock market between Broadway runs. Worldly-wise insights, amiably purveyed--allowing for a little soft sell on the side.