Financial Planning

A Superb New Book On Financial Planning

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Financial Planning

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If you are looking for an applied framework for tackling the topic of financial planning, you should read Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement, by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan. This book serves as an excellent resource for those tackling the extremely difficult and complex task of “getting one’s financial house in order.” I’ve got a PhD in finance, but haven’t even earned my G.E.D. in how to ensure I can retire someday! Like most people, the topic of retirement planning is frightening and often overwhelming.

Fortunately, this book tells a story about planning that is intuitive, easy to follow and checklist driven, making the seemingly impossible achievable.

Swedroe is a prolific author who has written over a dozen books and numerous articles on investments and financial planning. He currently serves as the director of research at Buckingham Strategic Wealth.

Grogan is an expert in the fields of investment and financial planning and has published multiple books and articles on investing and financial planning. He currently serves as the director of investment strategy at Buckingham Strategic Wealth.

What did I like about the book?

I spend way too much time thinking about investing and markets. And, most of that time, I am buried in the minutiae of quantitative-factor investing. Factor investing is complex and summarizing the subject is exceedingly difficult.

Or so I thought.

Swedroe and Berkin‘s previous book, Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing, provides readers with the best summary of factor investing I have ever seen (my review is here). After reading that book I sat back and thought, “Wow, Larry and Andy summarized a 1,000+ academic papers in less than 200 pages – and no math was involved. Amazing.”

I was confident I’d never see as an elegant story summarizing an inherently complex subject. But Swedroe outdid himself. This book is modeled on the factor book. The book summarizes a topic that is even more complex than factor investing and one that I would not be brave enough to tackle – retirement planning!

The book’s organization is excellent, well-structured and easy to follow. The chapters are outlined as follows and serve as a great reference list if the reader wants to quickly access a specific topic:

Chapter 1. Retirement Planning Beyond the Financials

Chapter 2. The Discovery Process

Chapter 3. Asset Allocation

Chapter 4. The Investment Policy Statement and the Care and Maintenance of the Portfolio

Chapter 5. Monte Carlo Simulations

Chapter 6. Investment Strategy Part I: Implementing the Investment Plan

Chapter 7. Investment Strategy Part II: Reducing the Risk of Black Swans

Chapter 8. IRA and Retirement/Profit Sharing Plans

Chapter 9. Health Savings Accounts

Chapter 10. The Asset Location Decision

Chapter 11. Spend-Down Strategies

Chapter 12. Social Security

Chapter 13. Medicare

Chapter 14. Longevity Risk: The Role of Annuities

Chapter 15. The Role of Insurance: The Management of Risk

Chapter 16. Reverse Mortgages

Chapter 17. Women’s Unique Retirement Issues

Chapter 18. Estate Planning

Chapter 19. Preparing Your Heirs

Chapter 20. The Threat of Elder Financial Abuse

After powering through the book in a marathon session, I sat it next to my bed stand confident I wouldn’t pick it back up until I wrote this review.

I was wrong.

Read the full article here by Wes Gray, Advisor Perspectives


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