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Book Review: Retirement GPS


This book encourages you to invest most of your savings abroad, away from the imperfect but good protections offered by US law.  I wrote a piece on this idea a few years ago that pointed out the problems with this idea.  (Note to those reading this at, Google “Aleph In Defense of Home Bias” and you will find my article.)

Now don’t get me wrong — I invest in foreign companies.  One-third of the assets that I run are invested abroad, in both developed and emerging markets.  International investment is good, but it is not a panacea.  There is no inherent advantage to investing abroad versus investing in the US.  Even if emerging markets are growing more rapidly, that doesn’t mean they are better to buy. because valuations are higher, and government policies are more fickle.

This book is rather facile about problems in emerging markets.  Problems with Brazil led me to sell my stocks when Dilma Rousseff was elected President.  Lula promoted markets, Dilma did not.

I found this book to be long on cliches, and short on sharp ideas.  If you try to take the advice as an amateur, you will have a hard time doing it.  If you decide to hire an advisor other then the authors, you won’t get what the book offers.  Thus I can tell you that the book is merely a marketing pitch for their services, and so I tell you to avoid it.


Already expressed, though I would also add that the book didn’t feel right.  Too casual in the way that it treated topics.

Who would benefit from this book: Few would benefit from the book; the theory is flawed.  If you want to, you can buy it here: Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing.

Full disclosure: The publisher sent me the book after asking me if I wanted it.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.

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One Response to Book Review: Retirement GPS

  1. JSS says:

    Our company is just completing an industrial project in Brazil, and it was a big loser for us. The workmen there are paid 2X after 9 hours; so the local contractor we hired got behind on the project and said they had to work OT to complete the project on schedule. The labor wound up costing nearly triple what we had in the estimate. I am told by upper management this will be our company’s first and last project in Brazil.


David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

Also, though David runs Aleph Investments, LLC, this blog is not a part of that business. This blog exists to educate investors, and give something back. It is not intended as advertisement for Aleph Investments; David is not soliciting business through it. When David, or a client of David's has an interest in a security mentioned, full disclosure will be given, as has been past practice for all that David does on the web. Disclosure is the breakfast of champions.

Additionally, David may occasionally write about accounting, actuarial, insurance, and tax topics, but nothing written here, at RealMoney, or anywhere else is meant to be formal "advice" in those areas. Consult a reputable professional in those areas to get personal, tailored advice that meets the specialized needs that David can have no knowledge of.

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