Rich in America: Secrets to Creating and Preserving Wealth

Jeffrey S. Maurer, Author, U S Trust Corporation, Other John Wiley & Sons $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-471-44548-7
While most investment guides try to simplify the subject of personal finance for laypeople, this tendentious primer makes it bafflingly complex. Maurer, ex-chairman of the high-end financial management firm U. S. Trust, writes explicitly for the wealthiest one percent of investors. Two factors justify his decision to target such a minuscule audience. First, he assumes ordinary readers also want to know""what the affluent are like and how they manage their wealth""--that is, they may enjoy fantasizing about the financial hassles of having a multi-million dollar portfolio. Second, only the very rich can make use of the exotic investment vehicles--including zero-premium equity collars, family charitable foundations, and complicated estate-tax evasion plans--that Maurer showcases. These all fit into a""holistic wealth management"" philosophy, which takes careful account of the labyrinthine complexities--risk and returns, taxes, insurance, retirement needs, estate planning, legal liability--that should inform each and every financial decision. Deploying many pages of graphs, tables and mind-numbing spreadsheets, Maurer discusses these issues in just enough bewildering detail to persuade readers that they shouldn't invest in a ham sandwich without the advice of a financial planner--better yet, a team of financial planners of the sort U. S. Trust specializes in assembling. Even professional financial planners, he asserts, need professional financial planners to plan their finances for them. Maurer hammers the point home with many dire cautionary tales about U. S. Trust financial planners who rescue seemingly savvy clients from financial or familial ruin. It all adds up to little more than a book-length brochure for the company's services.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-471-48123-2
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