Grady's Reviews > Dollars and Common Sense: Taking Charge of Your Investments in the Tumultuous 21st Century

Dollars and Common Sense by Peter G. Andresen
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's review
Jul 26, 2012

it was amazing

The Finest, Most Well-Grounded Book on Personal Finance on the Market

Peter G. Andresen may not appreciate it yet, but he has thrown a life preserver to those of us who are near drowning in the economic tsunami that is overwhelming our ability to think clearly about finances - much less survive the state in which we flounder at present. Much of what Andresen has to offer is found in the subtitle to this book - `Taking charge of your investments in the tumultuous 21st century.' This book is rich in information delivered in a calm, warmly sensitive style that makes reading the book alone restore a least a modicum of confidence.

While it is evident from the title that this is a book to inform and guide each of us in the art of investing, offering more definitions of those strange economic terms we thought only financial advisers and bankers speak, what Andresen fails to mention in his introduction is that first he has some very necessary advice to all for us both at this time in our lives and for young people just beginning their careers. Those subjects include reassurance that economic and physical hardship are an inevitable part of life (look at history) and this, too, shall pass; the importance of budgeting to live within our means by avoiding debt and SAVING (trash those credit cards); manage our own irrational mind; use caution with investments seeking help when we fall short of knowledge; invest only in mutual funds; and care for our financial state with a yearly `weeding the garden' evaluation of where we are and where we can go.

But once the reassuring arm around the shoulder period is over, Andresen launches into the most user friendly, economic Luddite easy to understand teaching course on just what are investments styles, types, and the history of personal investment. He is cautious and freely shares with the reader that seeking assistance either from a discount brokerage or a professional financial assistant is not a weakness but a sign of maturity. And from there he gives histories and graphs and references about portfolio management, international mutual funds, diversified asset allocation mutual funds, bonds - all of those entities that usually pass as mumbo jumbo to the uninitiated. Finally someone addresses tax-deferred investments, how to approach information about investment Bubbles, and other areas of personal finance that for many seem so alien that continuing in that lack of knowledge will lead to financial ruin in retirement.

At the end of every information packed chapter, Andresen summarizes his points, and once the book is digested that is a factor that makes his book one that deserves a place on the desk for easy reference when we slip off track. The design and layout of this book, full of color graphs and charts, make it an auspicious addition to the serious library. But most important, reading Peter G. Andresen's book leaves the reader with the feeling that a friend has entered our rather chaotic lives. This book is a gift, a very well timed GIFT!

Grady Harp

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