Yesterday, Part One of this book review on Ric Edelman’s book, The Truth about Money, was discussed but if you missed it, click here for yesterday’s Part One.
Personal finance is a meaty topic that could never be comprehensively covered in a pocket book, but this book’s user tools eliminate the daunting nature of the prospects of wading through such a tome, from its very first pages.
Edelman starts at the very beginning, with Part I, an “Introduction to Financial Planning,” which briefs readers on all the reasons they need to take financial planning very seriously, then covers obstacles to building wealth, explains taxes and inflation, sings the praises of compound interest, and explains the powerful reasons to stop procrastinating when it comes to saving and investing — quick like!
Parts II through VI offer even the totally uninitiated a basic, yet complete, education on traded assets, from the capital markets, to fixed-income investments (e.g., bonds and CDs) to equities (think: stocks) and packaged products (like mutual funds) — then helps readers understand and select the right investment strategy for them.
Next, Edelman zooms out a bit to provide a fire hose-force shower of individual financial strategies for a wide variety of financial challenges a reader might face across her lifespan, from job loss to funeral costs.
Part VIII is a deep dive into housing offering Edelman’s take on sound strategies for “Buying, Selling and Owning Homes.” Edelman’s BLT (Big Long-Term) mortgage strategy might be controversial to those who espouse achieving financial security by paying their homes off, but he does articulate a good argument for alternatively investing the cash to achieve higher returns than the interest saved by an early mortgage payoff. He also pushes readers into taking a long-term view of their mortgages and housing obligations, which is never a bad thing.
The other sections — “Tax Strategies,” “Retirement and Estate Planning,” “Insurance” and “Selecting a Financial Advisor” also all get appropriate shrift, so to speak.
To make a long story short (pun completely intended), this book is like a layperson’s version of the Physician’s Desk Reference for money matters. Yes, there’s a lot of Edelman’s professional opinions and strategies inside, but most of it is unobjectionable, and the bit of controversial material in there is in no way sleazy or even sales-y.
The vast majority of the book is simple education and Edelman’s blunt and occasionally entertaining admonitions to make the basic money moves that create financial security wealth, like planning, saving, investing and strategizing. Financial novices and money mavens alike will value this guide.