Everyone's guide to financial planning

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Everyone's Guide To Financial Planning

Roger Helen

WINN: When, If Not Now?

Preface

I took liberties with the last line of a famous quotation attributed to Hillel (60 B.C. - A.D. 10) and used it for the title of this book:
"When, If Not Now?"
The entire quotation reads: "If I am not for myself then who is for me?
If I am only for myself what good am I?
If not now, when?"
Thesecond line gave me the motivation necessary to write this book. The third line is meant to give you motivation to do something about your life.
Many people feel they cannot afford professional advice when it comes to planning for their productive and financial future. In reality they cannot afford to be without this advice!
What can advice do for me? How much will it cost (or benefit me interms of savings)? How do I choose an advisor? The answers to these and other questions are found in this book.
This is as close as one can get to a "do it yourself" book in a field that does not easily lend itself to the self-help concept. The purpose of this book is to educate you to the fact that you can benefit from professional advice and to show you that such advice should save rather thancost you in terms of time and dollars.
However, it is up to you to choose your advisers wisely and to monitor their counsel. Rare is the person who has not suffered at one time or another at the hands of an incompetent professional whether he be plumber, mechanic, investment adviser or doctor. The incompetence of an attorney dramatically changed ten years of my life -- in response I studied law. Idon't suggest you pursue surgery as a career if you have been the victim of an unnecessary operation, but study you must. Gather information and compare opinions before making the decisions that are ultimately yours alone to make. To purchase stock solely on the recommendation of your broker is foolish. Listen, get other opinions and check out the recommended company. This book and others will tellyou the many things you must take into consideration before choosing the insurance, savings, investment, retirement and estate plant hat is best for you. Remember, advice in the area of financial planning must always be taken as a whole, not piecemeal, and in the light of your unique circumstances.
The purpose of this book is to educate not indoctrinate. The only point of view I wish to advocateis the need for critical analysis. No one has your interests more at heart than you do! No one knows your situation, your hopes, desires and needs as well as you. In the long run you and no one else is responsible for the satisfaction or disappointments you get out of life. You can respond to events haphazardly as they work on you or you can, through advanced planning, anticipate and controlevents rather than always being controlled by them.
Isn't it time you took charge of your life? W I N N
WHEN, IF NOT NOW?

Section One
Self Analysis

W I N N
When, If Not Now?

Planning is one of those things everyone knows he should do but usually puts off until a more opportune time. Living without a plan is like drifting in a boat. You may, with the proper attitude, have a marvelous timeand even eventually reach the destination you had in the back of your mind all the time, but that happens only rarely. Shakespeare put it this way: "Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered." More often the drifter encounters storms for which he is not adequately prepared and may crack up on unseen rocks. Even if he manages to survive he may find he has had to put in at a port fardifferent than the one he would have chosen. Even the lucky ones who seem to do all right without charts and maps to guide them, could have reached their destination and gone on to even more fascinating places with a little planning and discipline.
A lot has been said lately about financial planning; a relatively fledgling profession in its own right. Much of what the new financial planner does was...
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