The past few years have shocked and dismayed investors who had been relying on the stock market to pay for their future goals. After 20 years of almost uninterrupted gains, stock prices have declined sharply. Millions of Americans who had believed the mantra that stocks are unbeatable in the long run are now worried about achieving their retirement goals and their hopes of paying college tuition for their children.
Are you one of these worried investors? If so, this book is for you. In these pages you will learn that:
- There is a safe, worry-free way to beat inflation--invest in Consumer Price Index (CPI) linked bonds. In April 1997, the U.S. Treasury began issuing these bonds, which protect investors against increases in the cost of living for up to 30 years. In 1998, the Treasury introduced convenient tax-advantaged CPI-linked saving bonds in denominations as small as $50. The Treasury's stated intention was to encourage personal saving by providing a safeway to invest money for retirement and other long-term goals. Yet today, only a few years after they came into existence, many Americans are not even aware that such securities exist. We provide step-by-step instructions for using them to safely achieve your financial goals.
- There are ways to invest in inflation-protected retirement-income contracts that are guaranteed to last for as long as you live.
- There is a worry-free way to invest your savings for a child's college tuition--buy tuition-linked Certificates of Deposit (CDs). These tax-advantaged, government-insured accounts are even safer than CPI-linked bonds, although they promise a lower rate of interest.
- Buying your own home may be your biggest investment. We show how to use your own home as a means to invest safely for retirement and to pay for your living expenses in old age.
- If you are willing to accept the risk of losing some of your money, there are sensible ways to increase your potential gains by investing in stocks, or in mutual funds, or inrelated securities, such as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). We help you decide if you can afford to take such risk and provide step-by-step instructions for doing so without paying large fees to brokers and money managers.
- Stocks are not safe in the long run. Stocks offer the potential for large gains, but they expose you to the risk of large losses. This is true even when your stock portfolio is well diversified across different companies and industries. Don't believe those who try to convince you that the risk goes away if you hold stocks for more than5, 10, or even 30 years. This is wishful thinking.
Inside these pages, you make some important evaluations and ask yourself the most important question of all in relation to investment and risk, which is, "How much can I afford to lose?" With that in mind, you will consider several ways to substantially reduce your risk to its lowest possible level. The objective, by the end of this book, is for you to understand and implement a plan for worry-free investing.
The simple formula that governs this entire approach is for you to know and use ways to invest that take less chances--ones that are backed by guarantees or that hedge the taking of chances. Why is this important to you? Because investing in ways that take chances (whether in the stock market, 401(k) plans, or mutual funds) can make great gains, but can as readily make great losses(as we all have witnessed). The only way to eliminate worry is to eliminate risk. If making consistent investment gains with as little worry as possible is your objective, then this is the book for you.
"This book is a must for those timid souls who don't enjoy risk taking . . . like me."
--Franco Modigliani, Nobel Prize Winner, Economics
"Worry-Free Investing will enable you to achieve your retirement plans no matter what the stock and bond markets are doing. Bodie and Clowes present a safe way to build and control wealth. The methods are thoroughly and simply explained. Yet, the ideas stem from rigorous research and state-of-the-art science. This book is just what millions of investors need in these tough times."
--John R. Nofsinger, Finance professor, Washington State University, author of Investment Madness, Investment Blunder, and Infectious Greed
"Zvi Bodie and Michael Clowes have presented the proverbial 'missing link' to reliable investment management and worry-free financial planning. Considering the thousands of books available on equity investing, there is a remarkable shortage of information on risk-free bond and alternative income asset classes. This unique book will single-handedly help you balance your knowledge base as well as your portfolio.
"Uncomplicated and unbiased, this is a must read for everyone who needs to provide themselves with a sustainable income throughout their retirement. You won't find this material in any other investment book. When you are done lend your copy to a Financial Planner."
--Barry Cook, Do-It-Yourself Investor
"Bodie and Clowes' book is the most timely personal finance book of the year. Retirement investors, severely affected by the dot-com market bubble and employers' 401(k) malfeasance, are given simple ideas that will restore their hope in planning for retirement. It is a clarion call for 401(k) innovation and adding choices for TIPS (Treasury) bonds and equity funds containing downside protection. Such sensible, powerful retirement advice is truly a public service. Both authors deserve the Pulitzer Prize!"
--Clinton E. Day, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor
"Bodie and Clowes' book is a useful compass for navigating the uncertain and sometimes treacherous waters of investing. Their insights deliver results."
--Louis Columbus, Senior Analyst, AMR Research
"A provocative and powerful debunking of the sovereign myth of equities as the camino real to retirement adequacy. This lucid and assuring guide is like none other in answering the individual investor's call for practical, trustworthy advice for safely achieving financial security. Highly recommended."
--Alan Cleveland, of Counsel to Sheehan Phinney, Bass and Green
Now that you've been betrayed by the stock market, how can you be sure your retirement or college money will be there when you need it? In Worry-Free Investing, two respected investment experts outline the ideal investment program for every investor worried about asset protection. Drawing on three powerful risk-reduction strategies, their plan virtually eradicates risk--and is virtually guaranteed to beat inflation!
The authors first demolish the myth that a diversified stock portfolio is your safest long-term investment. Next, they introduce U.S. government-backed investments that are protected against inflation and outline little-known investment techniques that are ideal for risk-averse investors.
Once you're sure your fundamental needs are covered, Worry-Free Investing helps you decide when to consider modest risk in the pursuit of higher returns--and how to strictly control whatever risk you do take on.
Clear and easy to understand, Worry-Free Investing is the only book for investors who want to protect their assets, no matter what.
Why the conventional wisdom about stocks is wrong
They are risky no matter what your time horizon
Safe, inflation-indexed U.S. government investments you've never heard of
How to be sure of your returns--regardless of the markets or inflation
Taking charge of your investments with Six Steps to Worry-Free Investing
Reducing your risk to the level that is appropriate for you
Diversification isn't enough
Risk-reduction strategies that work when diversification won't
Controlling the risks you choose to take
Practical techniques for increasing your potential upside while strictly limiting risk