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The Only Guide You'll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan: Managing Your Wealth, Risk, and Investments Hardcover – August 2, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're looking to sharpen your financial thinking, let Larry Swedroe be your guide. With insights fromThe Only Guide You'll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan, you should be able to raise your financial game—and maybe boost your family's wealth."
—Jonathan Clements, author,  The Little Book of Main Street Money
 

Review

"Larry Swedroes work comes as close to being the definitive investment book of our time as any that I can imagine. His greatest gift is his ability to communicate with profound simplicity, bringing clarity to the daunting challenge facing investors who are intent on reaching their financial goals."
Bill Schultheis, author of The Coffeehouse Investor

"If you're looking to sharpen your financial thinking, let Larry Swedroe be your guide. With insights from The Only Guide You'll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan, you should be able to raise your financial game—and maybe boost your family's wealth."
Jonathan Clements, author of The Little Book of Main Street Money

"Just as every successful builder needs a blueprint, so too does every successful investor need a personally tailored investment policy. How much stocks, how much bonds? Foreign versus domestic? When and how to begin Social Security or withdrawing from your IRA? Larry Swedroe plots your financial life from cradle to grave (and even beyond). Don’t invest without it!"
William Bernstein, author of The Four Pillars of Investing

"This is a most excellent book! Either as a great educational read or an indispensible reference, The Only Guide You'll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan will pay you back many times over the cover price."
Harold Evensky, President, Evensky & Katz

"If you have investing experience, and want to improve your portfolio, this is the book to read."
Taylor Larimore, coauthor of The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomberg Press; 1 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576603660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576603666
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As someone who owns a large collection of investment books, this latest contribution from Mr. Swedroe ranks at the top of the list. His gift is taking a complex subject and making it accessible to "the rest of us" yet not in any way "dumbing down" his presentation. It's the rare financial writer who can hold your attention chapter after chapter.

In this book Mr. Swedroe carefully but succintly provides superb information on asset allocation (with sub-chapters on the various types of equities, bonds, alternative investments etc.), even including valuable discussion on whether or not to prepay your mortgage vs. increase your tax-advantaged savings, and asset location (i.e., in which retirement or taxable accounts to place particular investments for maximum tax-efficiency. With tax rates going up in 2011, that's more important than ever).

When you read this book you will also see he has included cogent chapters on college savings plans, long-term care insurance, IRAs, Social Security, and determining a safe withdrawal rate for your golden years.

This is the kind of investment book you will refer back to over and over again. If you read just one investment book this year, this should be it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is brief, but it contains a great deal of helpful information for managing your portfolio.

For example, I particularly enjoyed the authors' discussion of risk tolerance as having three components: need to take risk, desire to take risk, and ability to take risk. In my experience, most investors don't take the time to consider that last one--ability to take risk. If you don't have a specific plan of action for what you'll do (specific ways you can cut your retirement spending, for example) if your portfolio doesn't put up the returns you expect, then you can't afford to take much risk in your portfolio.

Bravo to the authors for pointing that out.

My one caution would be that, if you're brand new to investing, this may not be the book to start with, as Swedroe and crew make no apologies about using technical terminology. If that sounds intimidating to you, I'd suggest starting with Swedroe's "Wise Investing Made Simple" instead.
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Format: Hardcover
If you own or have read most of Larry Swedroe's books on investing (like I have), there isn't anything really new in his latest book. However, if you have not, and are into Do-It-Yourself financial planning, this book is priceless. Larry Swedroe's principles on index investing, risk management, asset allocation, portfolio diversification, choosing an adviser, fail-safe retirement withdrawals, and estate planning are concisely explained in this easy-to-read text. In short, this book summarizes all his previous works into a well written guide that removes the mystery and complexity out of financial and retirement planning. I started reading Larry's books when he first published in 1998, and it is so refreshing to know that his investing principles have not changed after 2 rip-roaring bull markets and 2 brutal bear markets that have followed. Unless you are a multi-millionaire with no concern about money, applying Larry's principles will not make you wealthy in retirement, but at the same time, you won't die poor and destitute in retirement either. Larry along with John Bogle, William Bernstein, Rick Ferri, Burton Malkiel, Jason Zweig, Jon Clements, and all the other wonderful Bogleheads, have truly given empowerment to the Main Street investor, and in so doing have made the so-called Wall Street gurus look like over-rated village idiots that they are. Larry, thank you for another one-two punch on enlightment and simplicity, and please keep the hits rolling !!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You're likely to be a fan of this book if you accept two premises: 1.) passively managed, low-expense, index funds or ETFs generally are better investment vehicles than actively managed funds; and 2.) Determining and maintaining the proper asset allocation among fund types is a better path to achieving your investment goals than attempting to time the markets. The text is organized into four parts and seventeen chapters that attempt to cover financial planning from beginning (creating a personal investment policy statement) to end (estate planning and preparing your heirs). People with some exposure to financial planning probably will be able to follow the author's thought process most of the time. Occasionally, I got lost, such as when he describes "efficient frontier models" (no matter, he doesn't believe in them, anyway), or when he plows his way through a long list of alternative investments like "covered calls" (which he doesn't recommend). He describes as well as anyone I've read the reasons why your home probably doesn't add "real estate" diversification to your portfolio, mainly because one home can never be as "diverse" as the total real estate market. One new (for me) and counter-intuitive thought I'm still pondering is his assertion that a small allocation of collateralized commodity futures may reduce the overall volatility of your portfolio in a way similar to fixed-income instruments. I was introduced to Swedroe's work by Jack Naldi, who used to write a personal investing column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Naldi is a champion of passive investing strategy, which probably did nothing to attract advertising dollars from financial services providers, and may be one reason that his tenure didn't seem to last very long.
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