Worth It...Not Worth it? Simple and Profitable Answers To Life's Tough Financial Questions by Jack Otter is a slim, little book that offers simple, easy to understand answers to a variety of basic financial questions.
The premise of the book is that investing is basically simple, but investors' emotions make it complex. The author also believes that the financial industry makes investing complex so that investors give them their money.
The book is divided into six sections. Section I “Getting Started” covers topics like “Credit vs. Debit” and “Spend It vs. Save It” to “See the World vs. Get a Job”. Most is good advice especially for a young person or college student starting out in life. I don't personally agree with his suggestion for a recent college graduate to see the world for a year before getting a job. I think the rest of his advice is sound.
Section II “Shelter” covers buying or renting a home and various other topics related to home ownership. Again, here is good advice though it leans more toward owning a home.
In Section III “Automotive” the author answers questions regarding automobile ownership. This is the shortest section of the book but has some good information.
In Section IV “Investing” the author covers many of the often debated investing questions such as “Buy & Hold vs. Timing the Market” and “Stock vs. Mutual Fund”. Most of his advice is what you would expect, i.e. that buy and hold wins out over timing the market. His explanations are concise and easy to understand. This information is great for a new investor. It has merit to anyone who has waded through the differing and complex opinions on investing and wants a clear cut answer.
Section V “Family Matters” deals with college costs, insurance, and a few other topics on family matters. Most wives will appreciate his “Mary Ann vs. Ginger” topic.
Section VI “Retirement” covers questions regarding iras, annuities and social security. This section could have been more informative. Topics such as withdrawing from your portfolio could have been added. Also, more information on 401ks would have been beneficial. However, since its meant to cover the main financial issues, it fits in well with the book.
Overall I really liked and would recommend Worth it...Not Worth It. It offers very good advice in an easy to read format. This book would be an excellent gift for a graduating high school senior or college student. It is also a good read for anyone whose busy schedule precludes doing more in-depth money research. Following the author's advice will put investors on a stable path to financial security.
I borrowed this book from my local library to do this review.
This book is available from Amazon.com:
Worth It ... Not Worth It?: Simple & Profitable Answers to Life's Tough Financial Questions