cover image No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren

No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren

John D. Spooner. Grand Central/Business Plus, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4555-1155-6

One of the nation's leading financial advisors, Spooner (Confession of a Stockbroker) holds forth in this advice-filled book comprising warm and straightforward letters written to his grandchildren, but with wisdom for anyone about to enter adulthood (and for those who are still shocked to find themselves in the midst of it). Each epistle covers a different topic%E2%80%94from writing personal notes to identifying stock market fads%E2%80%94, contains cogent tips, and ends with an easy-to-remember one-liner (e.g., "If you ever have clout in life, ask gently for more.") Some of Spooner's counsel is a bit rarefied, as when he suggests that instead of buying cheap stocks ("The conventional boring way" to make money), why not just "buy the companies themselves?" However, within these occasionally too-precious gems exist glimmers of universal insight; as with the previous example, Spooner maintains that in order to be successful, one must be creative. When he recommends ditching a loquacious lawyer for a plainspoken one, even those without a legal team waiting in the wings can appreciate his admonition to speak plainly. "Papa" Spooner's better half, Mimi, even pipes in to offer well-worn, though apropos, sartorial advice: "Classics last, and they are timeless." Indeed, while recent grads (of both high school and college) will likely get the most out of sagacious Spooner's timely words, like Mimi's classics, many of these lessons are timeless. (Apr. 3)