Saturday, May 18, 2013

Financial Self Defense Book Review

I read Financial Self-Defense Program by Steve Kanney, in exchange for review from Tomoson. The book is currently .99 on Kindle and free to borrow from Prime. The book also can be downloaded here.

My review: 

I chose this book because I need to learn more about saving and managing money. I have a basic savings account, but I do not do regular deposits. I also am taking a course at church on managing money God's way. Next, I do have a budget, but can do more as far as investments to save for the future.

The book teaches people how to safely manage their money and achieve financial objectives. The process is not easy. People need to take a hard look at money coming in and money going out. The first step is to create a financial plan, which requires planning and preparation. You also need to determine your short-term objectives, long-term objectives, and any future investments.

Short-term objectives include cash reserves, insurance (home, health, renters, life), capacity to borrow, and liquid investments. Other things to consider:

  • Do you know your credit score? 
  • Can you withdraw against lines retirement accounts, in times of emergency? 
  • Can you liquid investments be sold with minimal costs?
  • Do you track your spending? Do you have a budget?

Long-term objectives include college, retirement, and pensions.

The book also discusses areas, where you should not spend your time. These areas include:

  • Picking actively managed funds to beat the market
  • Using insurance for tax-deferred investment (variable annuities). 
  • Picking individual stocks

The book also contains links to websites like Social Security and articles on managing finances. Next, the book provides information and links to financial models such as Discretionary wealth, asset allocation, and Tipster. Then, the book discusses financial advisors, types of investments, consumption, monitoring performance, and provides a resources page. Finally, the book discusses excess funds and what to do with them. For example, you can donate to charity, invest the money, or plan your estate.

Author Bio: (Copied from Amazon)

In order to achieve both financial health and happiness, we need to seek advice from someone trained in both. Martial arts training is an optimal way to learn how to engage in an activity in the most effective manner while still enjoying life to its fullest. According to the martial approach, one needs philosophical understanding as well as technical abilities. Steve Kanney, CFA began the study of martial arts in 1972 and Aikido in 1978. He further studied the philosophical aspects of the martial arts through meditation training, particularly Zen, beginning in 1996. The connection between Zen and Japanese martial traditions is quite extensive. He opened Scarsdale Aikido in 2003 for the purpose of teaching both the philosophy and the art and currently continues as the chief instructor.

Many problems/concerns in the financial arena have been well-resolved in the institutional marketplace, but not addressed with individuals. Steve Kanney, CFA simultaneously pursued a career in the institutional financial markets beginning with a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Emory University in 1983. He completed a CFA in 1993. He worked in institutional fixed income sales based upon asset/liability matching analysis from 1984 up until 2000, 11 years of which was at the infamous Lehman Brothers. Recognizing the long trend of decline in the ethical conduct in the brokerage segment of the financial industry, he left Lehman and began work at a hedge fund as a risk manager in 2001. He also developed some statistically-based trading strategies for the interest rate markets during that period. In late 2003 he began a martial arts school, Scarsdale Aikido. He left his formal occupation in finance at the end of that year. He managed assets privately (without fees) for individual investors from 2004 onwards.

He has a unique background for bridging the gap between the strategy of martial arts and the incremental analysis of finance. As the chief instructor of a Scarsdale Aikido he teaches the philosophy both through physical movements and discussion on a daily basis. He also worked extensively with the complex nature of the financial decision-making matrix advising multi-billion dollar banks, investment advisers and to a lesser degree insurance companies for many years. As the skills and discipline of institutional finance continue to trickle down to the individual investors through improved technology, his skills are particularly cogent. Combining the philosophy of martial arts with the technical knowledge of finance can help anyone, regardless of their financial status, find a greater sense of purpose in life and express it with a more precise financial acumen.

For more information see for finance and for martial arts background.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie