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Higher Returns from Safe Investments: Using Bonds, Stocks, and Options to Generate Lifetime Income Hardcover – March 15, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

As seen on DailyFinance.com, "Why the SEC Is Warning Investors About Leveraged ETFs."  April 20, 2010.


From the Back Cover

"Marvin Appel is a discerning and highly regarded money manager. In this concise but compelling text, he shows how individual investors can use a range of fixed-income strategies to gain superior returns while ably managing risk." --Nelson Freeburg, Editor, Formula Research "This book is a great source of knowledge. While reading I found myself learning things I didn't know, and I've been in this business for over 20 years. Marvin Appel has done an excellent job; I am truly impressed." --Ike Iossif, President and Chief Investment Officer, Aegean Capital Group, Inc., and Executive Producer of "MarketViews.tv" Today, many risk-averse investors simply can't meet their income needs with conventional bank CDs, money market funds, or bonds. This book reveals how you can earn more, without exposing yourself to excessive risk or the costs of a highly active trading strategy. Dr. Marvin Appel shows how to take advantage of high-yield bond funds and income-producing equity strategies...when to purchase individual bonds, when to use bond mutual funds, and which bond funds are best...how to finally make diversification work again. Step by step, you'll build a master portfolio for the coming years: one that can deliver attractive long-term returns "more safely than you ever thought possible!"" "
  • Safer strategies for boosting fixed income returns
    "Smarter ways to mix bond ladders, investment-grade taxable bonds, municipal bonds, and high-yield bond mutual funds"
  • Stock strategies that create new income streams at lower risk
    "Simple ways to use high-dividend stocks and covered call writing"
  • Building the right income portfolio for your situation
    "Practical choices that reflect your temperament, goals, and needs"
You can't survive on what CDs and money markets are paying these days--but you can't live with high risk, either. Fortunately, with this book's powerful, proven strategies, you "can "earn more income without losing sleep! Dr. Marvin Appel reveals smarter, safer ways to use bonds and bond funds...derive more cash from stocks at surprisingly low risk...safely supplement your returns with preferred shares and options..."plan for income you can actually live on!"
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137003358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137003358
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is too thin a book to be truly helpful; there's not much more information here than in many magazine articles. It might make a good one-evening read for some basic introduction, for someone who has never invested at all before. Depending on the topic, the book tends to err by being too general or too specific. For example, the critical discussion of bonds and bond laddering doesn't really give enough information to help an individual select specific bonds -- you'd need to use a broker or an asset manager to help. One the other hand, the discussion of bond mutual funds amounts to suggesting a couple specific funds -- you can do that easily enough yourself, but there's nothing to help you evaluate any other fund choices you might have.

Some of his advice may seem questionable, in that it differs from what it written in many other sources, and there's not enough information to help weigh the merits. For example, he recommends that a portion of even conservative portfolios be allocated to stocks (a common idea), but suggests a surprising weighting in emerging market stocks (commonly viewed as highly volatile). On the other hand, he doesn't even mention non-U.S. bonds (often viewed as a desirable component of a bond portfolio). My point isn't to judge the merits of any of this advice (I'm no pro), but simply to observe that this book won't help in evaluating any of it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have many books that explain in great detail the ins and outs of different investment choices, such as mutual funds, treasury inflation protected securities (TIPS), ETFs, municipal bonds, etc. However there are not many books with sound strategies for when to buy each type of investment. Also, most investment books that exist as of this writing (2011), still cling to the notion that most people should invest in mutual fund stocks and bonds. However, a decade of experience now shows that may not have been the smartest move over the last ten years, and ten years is a long time. Stocks don't always go up, even in the long run. Most financial book authors who wrote books before 2008 didn't realize that could happen. This time it really is different. Inflation is running 3%, stocks are scary and most fixed rate investments aren't even keeping up with inflation.

Longer term fixed rate investments may keep up with current inflation rates, but could be fast money losers if interest rates rise, which is likely since it would be hard for them to go much lower. So what is a poor investor in 2011 to do? I think reading this book is a good start. The author reviews strategies that are specifically suited to investors tired of losing money in stocks who are seeking higher, safer income after the market woes of 2008 - 2010. The author's specific suggestions include the pros and cons of investments such as individual TIPS bonds, TIPS funds, high yield bond funds, municipal bonds, bond ladders and more in a low interest rate, yet average inflation rate environment.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gets a mixed review from me. If I were reviewing it 14 months ago, when everything was in chaos, I would have given it a better review. There are time to take credit risk, and times not to. There are times to extend maturity, and times not to. There are times to seek inflation protection, and times not to. There are times to invest abroad, and times not to.

This book takes a view of income investing that is correct for average credit markets, for the most part. But average credit markets rarely exist. Few investors possess the fortitude to go through the nadir of the credit cycle, and ride it into the next cycle.

With high yield, he offers a simple stop-loss strategy. Good. But he should offer something similar on preferred stocks and dividend-paying common stocks, which are riskier than high yield bonds.

The chapter on writing covered calls is simplistic, but the truth is that most of us are simplistic with covered calls -- we look for free yield, and often gain losses greater than the income received.

The book gives simple and reasonable descriptions of various bond types, and other income oriented assets. In general, it understands the relative riskiness of all of them, with exceptions noted above.

The title is a great title, but I would have loved to have seen a different book that would have taught people to analyze yield spreads, and getting people to think when there is enough compensation for the risk involved, and when there is not.

Who would benefit from this book

If you don't understand income investments, this book could be useful to you, and the book is not long. It is an easy read. In general I don't agree with the way the book is designed, but if you have a lot of self-discipline, the book will prove useful to you.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a novice in the investment arena. I've been trying to get a handle on the composition of a diversified portfolio and learn about some of the different products available with let's hope, less risk. I've studied finance while in school but nothing can really prepare you for how complicated the actual market is. I picked up this book and found it surprisingly readable. It doesn't read like a textbook as what I've come to expect after years of school. I think that it takes a great understanding of the subject matter in order to simplify it for others. Dr. Appel shares his knowledge and reasons for some of his strategies in income generating investments in a MOST READABLE manner.

NOT JUST ABOUT BONDS

The book is filled with examples and introductions to all areas of income generating investments, from regular bonds, bond ETF's to mutual funds. It touches upon preferred stocks as well.
I think this is a fantastic handbook for the conservative investor and for those that are learning how to diversify their portfolio. Dr. Appel shares some of his investment picks with the reader and explains with clarity the reasons behind his choices.

BE WARY OF HIDDEN FEES AND TAXES

I found Dr. Appel's explanation of the different types of fund shares and hidden sales fees, and commission fees to be quite interesting. He also talks about the effect that Taxes have on certain investments. I always thought that TIPS is a safer way to ride inflation, but I'll think twice now about placing it in a taxable account.

It was an easy read and it really gave some good insights and strategies on investing with income in mind. I'm looking forward to picking up his book on ETF's as well. I found his writing style to be quite understandable. Definitely pick this up to get a good handle on "Safer" Investments.
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