Financial planner Jonathan Pond has one small piece of advice about making money: Use common sense.
In Grow Your Money, he proves, once again, that you don’t need a stern lecture or a rousing wake-up call to get your money life in order. “If successful financial planning can be boiled down to two words, they are common sense,” Pond writes. Add to that a dollop of self-discipline and attention to how you spend, save and invest.
Pond is not out to alarm readers that their financial world is about to explode if they don’t take action immediately. He does note, however, that “contentment is good for the soul but may not be for the pocketbook.”
He offers such a wide range of advice you’ll want to hang on to his tome to refer to down the road.
•”Your career is your single best investment. … If you have a choice between spending an hour a day studying the stock market or spending that hour becoming a more skilled employee, the latter will be your more lucrative investment by a long shot.”
•”Financial security is not a function of how much you earn. It’s a function of how much you save. A lot of people with fat salaries are one paycheck away from financial trouble.”
•”If you’re stuck with a mediocre 401(k) plan, and heaven knows a lot of employees are, there may be a glimmer of hope. Many plans let workers who are at least 59½ roll their 401(k) plan investments into an IRA of the employee’s choosing while continuing to participate in their company’s 401(k) plan.”
•”While the best that index funds and exchange traded funds can do is generate average investment returns, average is pretty good, particularly if you want to take a hands-off approach to your investing.”
•”You don’t have to be an adult to qualify for an IRA. You just need work-related income. … Giving an IRA to a younger-generation family member conveys the importance you place on saving for the future.” And remember: “There’s no requirement that the same dollars that were earned be used to fund the IRA. You can gift the money to the child.”
The easiest way to achieve your financial dreams: “Avoid taking financial responsibility for anything that eats.” Alas, he doesn’t always practice what he preaches.
Pond resides in a Boston suburb with his wife, three daughters, ages 19, 17, and 13, and one “slothful” dog.
Grow Your Money! 101 Easy Tips to Plan, Save, and Invest</STRONG></EM> by Jonathan D. Pond Collins, $26.95, 352 pages.