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Personal Finance

Easy Money (5 Stars)

There were five main things that appealed to me about this book. First, it’s not a long book (173 pages in the main body of text), and it is simply written, so an average person not good with finances could make his way through it. Second, even though small, it is pretty comprehensive for the finances of an average person or family. Third, I think she gets most issues right for average people who have relatively simple financial problems. Fourth, it provides advice on where to get more data, without marketing herself directly. Fifth, it summarizes action points for each area of personal finance.

To buy the book: Easy Money

That Thing Rich People Do (5 Stars)

Only neophytes will benefit from this book.  It’s not long at ~140 pages; the chapters are easy to read at an average of 6 pages.

If you want to, you can buy it here: That Thing Rich People Do: Required Reading for Investors.

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning (4 Stars)

That said, I found it to be a useful guide for average people that might not be up on the nuances of strategy for retirement that an average person might use.  Wealthy people should retain specialized advisors, because they will be aware of strategies that would not make sense for average people.

This was a book that I skimmed half and read half, because I’m familiar with the material and would just check aspects of sections that I was familiar with to see if they got it right.  If you want to buy it, you can find it here: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning.

The Insured Portfolio (4 Stars)

Only the very wealthy could benefit from this book, and many of them have wealth advisers already, who can help them with tax avoidance and estate protection.  But this gives a good introduction to the topic so that a person could be wiser in hiring an adviser.  He would know what the issues are.

If you want to, you can buy it here: The Insured Portfolio: Your Gateway to Stress-Free Global Investments (Agora Series).

How to Be the Family CFO (1 Star)

Most of my readers I expect are good at handling their money, but perhaps you have family or friends with self-inflicted money troubles.  If they lack motivation, you could get them a copy of Family CFO (with my caveats).  If they have motivation but lack knowledge, you could give them Easy Money.

Available from Amazon:

How to Be the Family CFO


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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