Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Who Can you Trust with Your Money? Paperback – February 18, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Featured business leadership and strategy titles
Sponsored by Harvard Business Publications. Explore these featured titles on business leadership and strategy.
About the Author
Bonnie Kirchner, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, holds a B.S. degree in Financial Counseling and Planning from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in Taxation from Bentley University. For several years, she was a fixture on the Boston radio and television scene, providing financial information to millions of people. She was also married to Brad Bleidt–a charming, clever financial advisor who ran one of the country’s largest Ponzi investment scams before Madoff–and gives her extraordinary personal insight into both scammers and their unwitting victims. For more information, go to $ea Change Financial Education, LLC at www.seachangefinancial.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Bonnie Kirchner tells us who when it regards our money in Who Can You Trust With Your Money?; an important, necessary, and timely book. Just as only Nixon could open relations with China, only Bonnie Kirchner could write this book. Kirchner is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, was one of New England's leading TV personal finance reporters... and was a casualty of her ex-husband's (Brad Bleidt) notorious Ponzi scheme.
On November 10, 2004, I was on top of the world. My husband and I were commemorating a major milestone for the radio station we worked so hard to build. Finally we were taking programming twenty four hours, seven days a week. I couldn't have been more satisfied with my career, despite the grueling hours and the toll it was taking on my personal life. The morning after the celebration, our company's receptionist came to my office door with a package. It had my husband's writing on it, and I think we both drew the conclusion that it was an attempt by Brad to be romantic. "Too little, too late" was what I was thinking. Our marriage had been deteriorating since its inception five years prior... I opened the package and found a small recording device with a sticker pointing to the play button, which said "Press here" on it, once again in Brad's handwriting. I hit play. "Hello, Bonnie, it's me. Straight to the chase here. Tragic, tragic news..."
(From the book's Introduction.)
So this guy Bleidt is the largest Ponzi schemer in history (that is, until Bernie Madoff strides into the picture), and he lacks the courage to tell the truth in person, resorting to taped messages so he can continue to hide under his rock. Or fester in jail.
Bonnie Kirchner obviously is a quick study. She offers many tips on how to spot the red flags that could alert you to dishonest financial advisors:
* Do a "broker check"
* Check references
* Ask the right questions about any disturbing regulatory or disciplinary history on the part of the advisor or his/her firm
* Be wary of any discrepancies you discover or a lack of a desire on the potential advisor's part to provide you with requested information
* Don't accept vague explanations when it comes to investment strategies to be employed for your money
* Verify where your investments will be held and what insurance coverage exists
* Uncover potential compensation arrangements and determine whether or not they are in line with your expectations
* Assess whether the advisor is overly eager to accept your assets and if so, why?
Successful investing often confounds investors; Kirchner offers to her readers, in plain English, the answers she found to the questions posed above, and many others; her guidance helps investors of all types, shapes, and sizes.
The true beauty of Who Can You Trust With Your Money?, though, is that Kirchner does not stop with discerning fraud perpetrated by financial advisors, but delves deeply into the topics of wealth management and estate planning. Her book offers no Holy Grail of successful investing, nor how to uncover the next Google/GOOG; it ventures neither topic. Kirchner's subtle message is that successful money management requires effort, just as with successful relationships; no paved road to easy wealth exists.
Not what you want to hear, I am sure. Diligence and effort present their own rewards, though. As with all good things in life, the journey trumps the destination; Bonnie Kirchner shines a guiding light to help you on your way. In doing so, Who Can You Trust With Your Money? earns my highest recommendation; a book that belongs in every investor's library as handy resource, if not read frequently for the many insights it contains.
She uses her ex-husband as an example of what to avoid in investment advisors, and adds in data from the Madoff scandal. She then moves on to be more generic in what investors have to look for in order to avoid being cheated.
The book moves on to explain financial planning, and understand:
Compensation and Fee Structures
All the parties that affect pooled investments
How to choose an advisor
How to employ an advisor
How to maintain the relationship
How to deal with minor and major failure in the advisor relationship.
She covers all of it. It is very basic, and not flashy. The juiciest part of the book is the troubles she had with her ex-husband. The rest is all business, which isn't bad, but it could have benefited from counterexamples to explain why this is the right way to do things.
The book has an exciting start, and it is all business after that. That is not horrible, but could have been more done to motivate the important aspects of protecting investments through citing more case examples.
Who would benefit from this book
Most average investors could benefit from the book.
Bonnie, thanks for surviving and through this book, try to help keep someone else from being scammed.