For those with a bent for looking one level below the surface and gaining deeper understanding, check out The Future of Life Cycle Saving and Investing, a compilation of papers presented at a conference back in 2006. The papers address subject matter described in the Foreword as this: "Life-cycle finance is the branch of finance that affects everybody. It deals with the questions faced by individuals seeking to get ahead: How much should I save, and what should I invest in to build wealth? When I retire or if I become unemployed, how much of my savings can I spend each year? Is there something I can do to make sure I do not outlive my savings? What can my spouse and children expect to inherit?" You can download the entire 209 page book for free from the CFA Institute on this webpage. Authors include Nobel prize winners such as Paul Samuelson and Robert Merton and many leading academics, not least of which is Zvi Bodie, one of the editors and contributors.
So far, I've only read through Paul Samuelson's witty keynote, which includes a number of juicy quotes and trenchant observations. It is not technical and is accessible for a lay reader. Indeed, the intent of the conference was to translate theory into practical advice and solutions for individuals. I do not need to read the whole book to recommend it since it meets my principles of choosing - go for the best and go for the source. These authors are the equivalent of Wayne Gretzky giving us advice on hockey and Tiger Woods telling us how to play golf.
A delightful presentation of some of the big book's ideas in a nutshell (in fact, that's where I found the link to the book) can be found at Paula Hogan's Financial Management website in the article entitled What's New with Human Capital.
Monday, 3 March 2008
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