on June 9, 2009
The title of this book, "Investiphobia: You can Invest Without Fear" really addresses only half the book. The title conceals a true diamond hidden in the second half of he book. That diamond is a very comprehensive and informative treatment of investment advisors. Mr. Puckett is an investment advisor, and he gives us a true and rare perspective from an insider's view. I have thoroughly researched information on hiring investment advisors and I have never seen any source as insightful and complete as this.
Mr. Puckett covers all aspects of hiring an advisor staring from should you even hire one. Without a doubt, the answer to that question is yes for the majority of investors. But so many investors end up with the wrong advisor. Selecting the right advisor is critical to investing success, and Mr. Puckett tells you just how to do it. Bear markets are costly; bad advice is much worse. So I don't just recommend the book, I'd say it's a mandatory read for anyone even thinking about hiring an advisor, and for anyone who already has an advisor for that matter. You may be very surprised when you discover who you are trusting your money to. Everything you need to know is covered in an easy to understand style. I did not get the impression of any bias in the coverage either.
The first half of the book is also very helpful because it addresses 18 fears (Mr. Puckett calls them phobias) investors can encounter. If a fear of something overrides your judgment, you will make a behavioral mistake, which is usually quite costly. Mr. Puckett suggests the best way to deal with these phobias is to hire an advisor to maintain control and help the investor overcome the phobia, and for many investors this may well be the right answer. This suggestion is what links the first half of the book to the second half, but both halves could stand on their own. The information on phobias is also very useful to investors who manage their own assets. Recognizing these fears is half the battle. All in all, Investiphobia is an easy to read book with information ranging from useful to indispensable.
on June 27, 2009
The field of investing is cluttered with far too many "how-to" books. Thankfully, Mr. Puckett's book is that uncommon book written for the common person, i.e., anybody who is not in the investment business.
Because it is not the typical data-dump of investing information, it allows the novice investor to better understand his own psychological advantages and limitations. Nobody should read any investing "how-to" book before reading "Investiphobia"!
Well-written in a breezy first-person singular format, you will more than enjoy this book. You will also learn about yourself and get prepared for one of those "how-to" books!
In troubling financial times like these, it's difficult not to be wary about investing our hard earned money. Last year I lost more than double what I contributed to my 401K. Is any investment safe anymore? Would we be better just stuffing it all under the mattress and waiting for all the craziness in the markets to blow over? How does a person figure out which investments are safe but with enough risk to make a decent enough return to be able to retire in this lifetime? Who do we trust to help us with those decisions?
Paul Puckett couldn't have written Investiphobia at a better time. The first part of this short and easy to read book confronts the various fears people (like me) have about investing and about choosing a financial professional to help us make those choices. He lists and discusses them one by one, the fear of making mistakes, losing control, or the fear of losing access to money, fear of bad advice, fear of disappointing our children and many more. In fact, he discusses fears that I hadn't even thought of. Then he discusses how to deal with these fears in an informed manner.
This isn't a book about how to invest your money, it's a book on how to find someone to work with long term who is a professional and can do it for you and with you, who can follow the markets, handle the details and do it on a regular basis because that's what they do for a living. Just as you might hire a gardener if you have a big yard, or hire a housekeeper if you work and don't have time to do it yourself (or don't want to) you hire someone to keep track of all the ins and outs of your portfolio so you don't have to worry about it on a daily basis. Paul Puckett does an excellent job of outlining what you need to know to make an informed decision on who to hire.
He goes on to talk about the different types of financial professionals and which ones are most likely to put your best interests first. In the appendix there are Investment Advisor Questionnaires, one blank and one filled out by Mr. Puckett as an example of what types of answers you might expect. These go a long way in disclosing everything you need to know about the experience, expectations and how a prospective advisor makes his money. I found these questionnaires very informative in themselves.
He then talks about how to find and choose the right advisor for yourself, what things would make an advisor a good one and what things to stay away from. The professional who is a good match for your friend or relative may not be a good choice for you. I don't think I've ever read anything like this or even thought about some of the questions he's asked. After all, this isn't something that you do more than once or twice in a lifetime. It put into black and white some of the questions you need to ask and have answered and made the whole thing easier to think about and deal with. It's the kind of book that gives you a plan to begin your search rather than just vague ideas that you may have had on your own.
on June 16, 2009
Investiphobia provides the timid investor with a formula for success as he or she enters the investment world. The guidance provided by Paul Puckett (2009) equips the reader with a step-by-step process for financial planning. For those who remain skeptical, Puckett diminishes fears by providing readers with a plethora of on-line resources. Puckett does not dictate precisely how to invest, but he provides useful guidelines for the investment journey. Puckett possesses a keen understanding of the dynamics associated with personal investment and its many variables. Any person can use his guidelines to secure the assistance of professionals in the cloudy waters of the financial world. After reading his book, I felt equipped to embrace the financial matters of the next fifty years of my life. Puckett provides technical jargon that readers can understand and use to eliminate their ignorance of investment issues. I highly recommend this easy-to-comprehend book for anyone who earns income! As a seasoned skeptic, my views changed in a positive direction after reading Investiphobia . I feel adequately equipped to secure the financial services that I need for my future.