"Having spent a lifetime building up assets, in retirement you have the new responsibility of managing them," he writes in a section on being prepared to take on the role of wealth manager. "To cover your obligations and meet your goals for a period that may last for two and possibly three decades or more, you need to develop a plan that is resilient and comprehensive."
Kamen thoroughly favors using professionals to help in the task. (He is, after all, in the business himself.) But don't, he cautions, make the mistake—as some of his clients apparently have—of misconstruing roles: Your accountant isn't your financial planner, for instance.
He identifies three goals: reducing risk, producing income and offering potential growth. Sounds simple. But Kamen is realistic about the challenges that some—especially the newly retired—face. "Financially, you have to make what may be the biggest transition of all, a complete 180-degree turn—changing your focus from aggressively adding to your reserves to drawing on them as cautiously as possible."
Kamen's penchant for colloquialisms makes for lively reading (his co-author Dale Burg may also deserve some credit here). "If we were born with expiration dates on our rear ends," he notes in the first chapter, "retirement planning would be a piece of cake."
He also points out, in a chapter called "Ignore the Noise," that the business media can be a distraction, especially to new retirees who suddenly have time to watch television and read extensively. "I find that the media shine light only on the surface of stories," he writes, adding, "Today's news is just today's news."
Ouch! I've known Kamen professionally for several years, and have used him as a source in stories. Regardless of whether he exempts me from the above, I recommend his book. (Barron's, May 2, 2011)
Noted financial adviser Kamen (president, Mercadien Asset Management), writing with Burg, offers a practical guide to building a retirement nest egg. He writes, "this book is about finding your own strategy—one that suits your budget, your temperament, your lifestyle, and your goals." Lack of control over the nest egg can be caused, according to Kamen, by "irrational and impulsive" decisions, pressure by salespeople, and noise from the media that can divert one from reaching financial goals. Additionally, investors are faced with fluctuating markets, including various historical declines, the latest being the 2008 market free fall. Kamen offers advice on long-term planning, investments in stocks and bonds, asset allocation, buying life insurance, finding the right financial adviser, and diversification. Case studies of suggested portfolios and recommendations for fictional investors (by age, income needs, investment sentiment, and investment objective) are especially helpful. VERDICT With sound advice and perspectives on taking charge of one's life goals and management of assets, this will be of interest to investors planning for retirement. Recommended. (Library Journal, September 15, 2010)