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The Smartest 401k Book You'll Ever Read: Maximize Your Retirement Savings...the Smart Way!

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The guide readers need to retire richer—from the international bestselling author of The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read.

In this New York Times bestselling guide, author Daniel R. Solin takes issue with the commonly held belief that participating in defined contribution retirement plans is a “no-brainer” because of the employer match.

While providing readers wit
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Perigee Trade (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  253 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Great practical and concise book on the pitfalls of 401(k)s and the pros and cons of other investment vehicles. Here are a few of the take-aways from this book:

• A minimum savings rate of 15%, including your employers match, is critical for a successful retirement. But you need to be a smart investor.

• Don't assume that brokers add value. You may be the best advisor you will find.

• Advisors with conflicts of interest may not place your interests first.

• When constructing a portfolio, nothing is
Jenny GB
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for advice on 403(b) retirement savings and this was the only book that came up in my library system, but I'm glad it did. It was a nice introduction for a beginner like me on good investing principles as well as common pitfalls. It seems like Solin is advocating using your best common sense when investing and trying to make the most of options presented to you. I'm sure there are many different ways to grow after reading this book, but for now this is a good push to get started. U ...more
Dynah Zale
Jun 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Definitely not the most turn page worthy book I’ve read this year but he stuffed enough useful information in here to realize that I need to do more then just contribute to my 401k at work. I need to take an i. Depth look at the investments my money is being applied to and that I need to add a total of 15% (Eek!!) to my retirement.
Andrew Mutch
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for anyone who's saving for retirement through a 401(k) or its cousins 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans. After reading this, you may find yourself re-evaluating where and how your money is invested. While Solin provides a number of good tips on investing, this isn't primarily a book on how to invest. Instead, its primary focus is to warn you of all the ways that those managing your retirement funds are undercutting your future through the fees and bad investment vehicles th ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 401k Contributors
Recommended to Gforward by: books2go

It's a tough road to retirement for us working stiffs, and any help is appreciated, especially this honest little wakeup call.
Worth a read, and doesn't ask a big investment of your time (it's short & concise). You may be shocked
to discover how many thousands per year your fund provider is paying itself, subtracting it directly from
your balance. You may even be inspired to transfer your holdings to funds having lower expense ratios.
Already five years old, some of the book's content may need to
Jun 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book basically falls right in line with the message of A Random Walk Down Wall Street: don't try to beat the market, invest in low-cost index funds, diversify, invest regularly and DON'T PANIC.

Probably the most interesting thing for me was the author's explanation of how it may be better to invest after-tax money and only pay a long-term capital gains tax upon withdrawal rather than putting pre-tax money in a 401(k) and paying a larger income tax upon withdrawal. I'm going to look into this
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It means a lot when industry professionals and sometimes just beneficiaries of an industry take time to reflect on What's the Deal? It's great that stocks exist - to support company growth, stocks may be sold and purchased, and that economic fuel is a system of trust. There are many perspectives today, regarding inside information, if market knowledge being more transparent in general just improves that market generally, and of course the conflict in that is the landslide overnight fortune ralli ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent reinforcement of indexing principles. But I don’t see evidence that international indexed funds are counter cyclical to the S&P 500 in the intertwined global economy. Just check 10 year return (as long a timeline as my diminutive brain can grasp) and I like the security of the U.S. Likewise, currently LT bond funds, with their low returns, seem a real stretch as a safe (think inflation) investment. I hope for the day of 4-5% returning bond funds (with 1-2% real returns) but I don’t see ...more
Chan-joo Moon
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview of the things that are out there for retirement investing. Healthy dose of warnings to watch out for employers, insurance people, folks selling retirement plans, because they often have their own interests in mind. Also to watch out for yourself thinking you can make stock picks and time the market. He advises a balance of low cost index funds. I'd say a good read for anyone who is planning to invest in retirement. It was written well but it is pretty dry reading - the topic is wha ...more
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quick, concise and densely packed with information. Provides abundant context, pro's and con's for all accounts, mentioned on the cover. The book is basic enough to bring a beginner up to speed, but has enough information in it that even readers with an intermediate level of understanding will have plenty to takeaway. The only thing that can be improved upon, is a revision to bring it up to speed with where we are right now as it has been a while since it first came out.
Nonetheless, highly reco
Nov 11, 2020 rated it liked it
A lot of this info in this book is outdated and requires you look up new tax rules for the current day (e.g, income limits for contributing to a Roth IRA). The core message of this book is useful: evaluate your employer provided retirement plans, advocate for better plans, and stay informed. However, it could have done a better job of introducing concepts - if you don’t know what a no-load mutual fund is, or any of the other financial terms used, lot of the advice will go right over your head. I ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
About as close to a how-to book as you can get without having a step 1, step 2, etc. guide to 401k selection. Quick read, really narrow scope to help a lay reader decide on how to invest into a 401k plan, common pitfalls, and what to expect as you approach/reach retirement age. This not a book on financial history so if you're looking for more background story, look elsewhere.
As with any book about time-sensitive subject matter, the specific plans discussed are a little dated so they might be ca
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book looks like it would be a snooze fest but there’s a lot going on in 401(k) plans that I can give props to this book on shedding the light on them. Mostly how 401(k) plans are mostly for the betterment of employers, and mutual fund salesmen and not the workers of any give private corporations.
Kirk G. Meyer
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-finance
The book is well written and extremely basic. It would be an excellent book for an investor with a 401k that is not financially savvy. Has some good points and tips that are well worth reading about. Overall a good and informative book.
Mo Coghlan
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really useful book. Blew my mind in a few ways. I will definitely be re-evaluating how my 401K is invested and will be checking out instant annuities. This book is a bit dated, but the basic premises still apply. Interesting, eye-opening stuff.
Zakiyo Fields Jackson
Great book!

Learned lots! For beginners. Quick and easy read! Must have book if just starting to learn about retirement accounts. Great but!
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good solid book. Nothing mind shattering, but after all the books I've read I don't expect mind shattering. If/when I need to hire a financial advisor, I'll pick it up again. ...more
Will Rauber
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good review of retirement planning basics. Certainly a great place to start for those who feel overwhelmed.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance
Good book. Baseline investment strategy for most of the people.
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4 m.p/5

Yugal Jindle
May 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audible
Very basic, no ideas. Not much value unless you don't understand 401k at all. ...more
Alex Barrett
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Good basic guide, a little silly in some of its complaining about fees in funds while at the same time insisting they should have to issue individualized prospectus' (i.e. very costly printing fees that have to get passed on to customers) but if you read this and only this you'll likely do well with your investing. ...more
Elwin Kline
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
After separating from military service, I was at the decision point to invest into my new organizations 401k, or waive the opportunity to utilize this benefit. I picked up this book when I had my time to decide and look over all the different options. My goal was to learn all about 401k’s from this book and how to start a successful investment journey.

This was book lived up to all of its expectations and met all my goals. Coming in with zero knowledge, it taught me everything I needed to know to
Paul Childs
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Daniel Solin is a good honest writer when it comes to investing and this book should be read by anyone that has a 401k. Unlike most of the financial industry and press out there, he is not looking to make some money off of your investments.

The most important point to take away from this book is that no body cares about your investments as much as you do. With a minimum of planning you should be able to make sure you benefit from your investments more than the banks and investment firms whose on
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
For the most part general advice, but it's always good to get a refresher, especially with the way markets have been lately. He really stresses to stay out the managed funds - the high fees get you over time and only 2% outperform a nice low fee index fund. Putting the bulk of funds into index funds like Wilshire 5000, S&P 500, etc is the way to go. He recommends 15% of income (can include company match) go to your retirement funds - which can include company 401k and also IRA's. I'm rebalancing ...more
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good basic overview for beginners in retirement investing. All a little more simplistic than I was hoping for. (I feel like I fall into some middle ground that's not written for - I know the basics, I've drunk the kool-aid on low cost index investing, but I want a little more meat/strategy discussion. But because I've drunk the kool-aid, I don't want complicated stock picking sliced 900-ways analysis of some of the other stuff.)

Oh well. Refreshers never hurt. And I thought the asset allocation q
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it
A very interesting book about how 401K plans are run and how your employer and 401K mangement company may not have your interests as the top priority. It would be interesting to find out how the alternatives suggested in this book (low fee index funds mostly) compare in the current economy compared to past history. At any rate, some informative statistics regarding actively managed funds, fees, and other info about 401K, 403B plans.
Could not have been happier reading this book for all the simple language to a difficult to understand topic. Recommend everyone read this book early in their working career to prevent making serious mistakes in retirement planning and investing.

As a result, I am reading his other similarly titled books, as I am just starting retirement and believe I should live another 40 or so years and will need to have good investments to make my money last.
Kelli Koehler
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great insights from a seemingly reliable source. Very encouraging to read stuff like this at a young age where the impact can be monumental. Loved the author's take on 401k's and how you are better off investing on your own (unless your company matches). I skipped a few parts that weren't relevant to me, but found the majority of this book to be extremely useful. Off to do some investing now... :) ...more
Rich Williams
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a book to give a friend who wanted advice on how to invest her 401K and this was perfect. The philosophy is similar with A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Bogle's books (invest in index funds). Each chapter is short, pleasant to read and focuses on a single well presented point. ...more
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Dan Solin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Smartest series of books which include: The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read, The Smartest 401(k) Book You'll Ever Read, The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read, The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own The Smartest Money Book You'll Ever Read, The Smartest Sales Book You'll Ever Read and Does Your Broker Owe You Money?

His late

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