It has been some time since I’ve done a book review here. With that said, today I am reviewing Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money by Paul Merriman. I’ll just tell you from the start that this is a definite must read.
Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money Summary
The book itself teaches its readers how to build a perfect portfolio for their situation. Mr. Merriman has even built recommended portfolios for you to use as well. These portfolios are built off of funds from Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, and Schwab. You can view his website to find all of his sample portfolio’s, or save yourself the time and check out my model portfolios which has many of the elements that Merriman talks about.
Getting more detailed, the book starts off with the first few chapters talking about investment philosophy and what makes some investors successful and others unsuccessful, mainly the two biggest enemies that most overlook: fund expenses and taxes. He breaks both down showing readers why you need to take these into account when building a portfolio and why you are crazy if you ignore them. (I also talk more about fees in this post.)
From there the book builds a portfolio over the next few chapters. Each chapter looks at a specific part of the portfolio and shows you why you need to invest in certain asset classes.
The book concludes with how to live on the money in your investment portfolio.
My Take On Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money
Aside from the overall content, the one thing I really enjoyed about the book is that it is outlined in a very useful fashion: Each chapter has what I call “a short summary”. This short summary provides you with a good brief overview of the chapter topic. In essence, you could just read these short summaries and be done with the book. But the chapters themselves go into excellent detail.
Another thing I enjoyed was how all of the chapters were smartly laid out, with each one building perfectly from the last. While you can jump around, it is best to read from beginning to end.
Other things I enjoyed about this book:
- Mr. Merriman’s writing style is great – not too complex for the non-investor but enough meat for the person that has been investing for some time.
- The chapters are short, which shows he does not use a lot of filler. In fact, most chapters are just 10 pages long. This makes it a great book to read just before bed.
- There are text boxes scattered throughout the book that go into greater detail for those looking for more. I like how it is up to the reader to dive into this information as opposed to the books where the author simply assumes everyone wants the added information.
While he provides sound advice, what I enjoyed most out of Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money was the fact that anyone can pick it up, read it over a weekend, and set up his or her ideal portfolio. The book doesn’t weigh you down with overly complex financial terms or statistics. It is presented in a straight forward manner that is easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to both the beginning and seasoned investor and have added it to my bookstore. There you can find other books I reviewed and a link to Amazon to buy the books.
[Photo Credit: Enokson]