Showing posts with label Paul Merriman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Merriman. Show all posts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Paul Merriman's Book - First Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money - Review

Investing for retirement can be one of the most confusing jobs we have to deal with in our financial lives. It not only confuses people, it also scares them to death when they see their investments declining in a down market. The only way to overcome these impediments is to have a good solid plan. With all the different voices out there, with conflicting advice, who do you listen to? There is a new book out that explains, in plain English, how to do it right. 

The "How To Invest" series - "First-Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money" by Paul Merriman with Richard Buck is Merriman's latest book on educating young and old on how to invest and handle their money. The title of the book says "First Time Investor" in big bold type. This is one of the things that I like about Merriman's continuing goal of helping the new and equally confused investor. 

The first thing I wanted to do with the book was to dive in and get to the meat and potatoes of where to put those investing dollars. I was surprised to find the first half of the book teaches the many foundational things you needed to learn before investing any money. It reminded me of when I read Paul Merriman's last book, "Financial Fitness Forever". Merriman is a teacher at heart. He wants you to be educated as to the reasons things work the way they do. Just listening to an author and following a to-do list leads to failure. Knowing why and really understanding why you are investing in a certain way, with certain investments, keeps you on track when the markets are going crazy. The average investor does great when markets are doing well. It's knowing what to do when the markets are in turmoil and your afraid of losing you hard earned dollars. 

The book is an easy read of a 114 pages. It's divided into 11 chapters and each chapter divided into easy to read and understand topics. As you will find in all of Merriman's books this book also has data, figures, and illustrations backing up what the author talks about. Whether Merriman is explaining 401(k)'s, mutual funds, or bonds you will always find the data to back up the information.

Why listen to Paul Merriman?
Paul Merriman has been advising people on how to manage and invest their savings for over 30 years. He believes it's necessary to explain the risks, mistakes, and stumbling points many investors will encounter. He explains the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can make informed investing decisions. His many years of meeting with clients and putting together investment plans has given him the knowledge and a passion for helping people learn how to be successful investors. 

Who is this book for.
While reading this book I come across many things I already know and many things I didn't. But I consider myself well read on the subject matter. But this book is for the new investor as well as the old. You won't be overwhelmed or bored. The new investor will learn what to do before even putting one dollar into an investment and shown the best places to invest. The young will gain a firm foundation for investing. The seasoned investor can compare notes and learn a thing or two. 

I recommend you get this book because if want to learn where you should invest your money you will get that knowledge and more in this book. You can purchase the book on or at where digital copies in a variety of formats are available for all your electronic reading devices. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Paul Merriman's - Financial Fitness After 50 Kit - Review

Recently, financial adviser and teacher, Paul Merriman has been appearing all across the nation helping the fund raising efforts of your local PBS stations. At these PBS stations he has been offering a "Financial Fit Kit" as a gift when making a pledging. I received a copy of the kit for review.

First Impression.

I've been following Paul Merriman's work and podcast program " Sound Investing" for several years. He has a passion to teach people how to invest. This passion is obvious in the sheer volume of information served up in this learning experience. It took me quite a while to go through 5 DVDs and 6 CDs. Plus, Paul Merriman's latest book " Financial Fitness Forever". And don't forget a 100 page workbook. Mistakenly, I thought I had heard all that Paul Merriman had to offer, but I was wrong. I learned much more than I ever thought I would.

The 5 DVDs.

The 5 DVDs running times range from 37 minutes to 90 minutes. They answer a lot of questions that most people have about investing. In the DVDs, Paul Merriman teaches his concepts in front of a audience ranging in age from young to old. With a mix of story telling and hard facts he gets his point across in a compelling way.

These video presentations contain a lot of teaching so have a pen and pad ready to jot down a few notes. When investing, learning how and where to invest can be the easy part. The trouble comes when something goes wrong. These videos explain what could go wrong and what to do about it. Most investment and money coaches give you just the "everything is going to be great speech". Where these videos excel, is they tell you the flip side.

Paul Merriman believes it's necessary to explain the risks, mistakes, and stumbling points many investors will encounter. With over 40 years of meeting with clients he knows what to expect and wants to convey this to viewers. The hardest part of investing is to stay invested. While portfolios go through hard to stomach declines, many investors jump ship and go to a cash position. These videos explain what to do during periods when your portfolio is losing money. His main focus is to help you build a portfolio that will you ride out the tough times. These videos help you stay in control and give you a confidence that helps you make better decisions.

The 5 DVD collection titles are:

DVD #1 — “Financial Fitness After 50!” PBS Program Plus “10 Investment Guarantees Every Investor Should Know”
DVD #2 — 15 Risks Of Managing Your Money
DVD #3 — The 20 Most Common Investment Mistakes Retirees Make
DVD #4 — 20 Money Losing Investment Myths
DVD #5 — 20 Steps To Double Your Income In Retirement

The 6 CDs.

Like the DVDs, the CDs are chocked full of informative investing topics. They are great to play in the car or your CD player. I copied them to my computer to listen to, on my iPod. I listened to them at work and in the car. They are not a repeat of the DVDs, but are more informative teaching and information.

The subject matter of the CDs consist of explanations of index funds, different investments, financial advisors, and lessons from famous investors. The CDs are interesting because you getting good information from someone on the inside that knows how things really work. Investors can sometimes feel like they are not being told everything about how to invest. These CDs leaves no stone unturned in how investing works.

A 6 CD collection of money management topics:

CD #1 — Maximizing Your Financial Fitness. Topics: The Perfect Investment, What You Should Know About Index Funds.
CD #2 — Rules Of The Financial Fitness Road. Topic: Understanding How Investing Really Works.
CD #3 — The Whole Truth. Topics: 21 Things Mutual Funds Won’t Tell You, How to Avoid the Big Mistakes Pre-Retirees Make.
CD #4 — Fine Tuning Your Retirement Investments. Topics: How to Get More from Your 401(k) and IRA, Target Funds—The Lazy Investor’s Best Friend.
CD #5 — Defense, Defense, Defense! Topics: 10 Ways to Protect Your Investments from the Next Bear Market, How to Get the Most Out of Your Bond Funds.
CD #6 — Finding The Best Financial Fitness Coach. Topics: How to Select the Best Financial Advisor, Lessons from the World’s Most Famous Investors.

The Workbook.

The “Financial Fitness After 50!” workbook is designed to create an action plan and help you make the best investment decisions. This, exclusive to PBS contributors workbook, is over 100 pages and includes, 100 Investment Decisions Guaranteed To Change Your Financial Future plus recommendations for 50 more of the nation’s largest 401(k) plans. The book, “Financial Fitness Forever” by Paul Merriman, includes the first 50. And if you have your investments in any of the 10 largest fund families, you won’t want to miss recommendations to maximize your returns whether you are a conservative, moderate or aggressive investor.

I'll say it again, the amount of good information taught in this kit is very thorough. It can be compared to a mini-course in investing. The workbook explains in simple terms the basics of investing. It has information that never has been published anywhere else. It is exclusive for this kit. The workbook is divided into 101 questions that help you explore and learn what's right for personal investment goals. It has actual portfolio recommendations for all the different 401(k) investment choices or employee sponsored retirement plans. The questions are subdivided by subject.

If you weren't satisfied with all the information the DVDs and CDs have, the workbook adds much more information. It shows you in black and white even more ways to invest for higher returns. Some people don't like to watch or listen to media for long periods of time. This workbook solves that problem.

The Website.

When purchasing the Financial Fit Kit you receive a card with an access code to use when going to Paul Merriman's Financial Fit Kit website. This website is only for those that have made a donation to PBS and received the kit. At the site you can download a digital copy of the workbook to print out or view on your computer screen. There is a blog where new content is updated regularly. Also Paul has his specific investing recommendations for whatever 401(k) plan you have. Using Vanguard Funds, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, and TIAA-CREF funds you can build a portfolio using Paul Merriman's recommendations.

At this website Paul Merriman and other experts will personally help you figure out what it takes for you to take better care of your savings. Here you will be able to ask Paul Merriman questions to help you be more successful with your money. This alone is worth the price you pay. This website is only for PBS contributors who have donated and received the kit.

What's the cost of this Financial Fit Kit?

For a pledge of $65 you receive a DVD of the PBS program, “Financial Fitness After 50!” along with a bonus presentation.

For a pledge of $150 you receive the complete Financial Fit Kit including Paul Meriman's new book “Financial Fitness Forever!” I recently wrote a review of the book. The review can be found here:

Book Review - Financial Fitness Forever: 5 Steps to More Money, Less Risk, and More Peace of Mind by Paul Merriman

I recommend this kit if you want to be successful in your retirement investing. I like this kit because it teaches you how to invest correctly and shows you how to do it at a minimal cost. You can eliminate having someone do your investing for you because you will learn how to do it yourself. If your a hands-on kind of person this kit is for you.

Final Take Away:
All through this material, I saw references and academic information to back up what was presented. I felt confident that this information wasn't just opinion but fact. This will be a great reference that can be used over and over again. Having this kind of knowledge will only help you make better investment decisions. 

You can get your own Financial Fitness Kit here, here and here.

While donating to PBS your helping a great cause and benefiting yourself at the same time.

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