Frank Eberhart’s Procrastinator’s Bible For Financial Success is a wellspring of knowledge about wealth, how to attain it, and how to keep it. A profitable read for beginning investors, procrastinators, and seasoned traders, this “comprehensive workbook” delivers what it promises in a readable, well-organized, easily-followed fashion. From his years of experience and expertise as a financial advisor, Eberhart has distilled nine essential steps for the key areas of planning, budgeting, and investing. If followed, he writes, these steps can “take your finances, your estate and yourself to a new level.”
In his introduction, Eberhart stresses the need for planning, whether the reader is a financial procrastinator or not, and provides a set of five “must-do” items to facilitate the planning process. He follows these with his nine steps which, he says, “are designed to help you understand how investments work, get organized, set your estate plan in place, and put your goals into writing.” A natural born teacher, Eberhart leaves nothing to chance in guiding his readers through the steps. He explains acronyms like QTIP, ETF, JTWROS, and QPRT. He includes definitions throughout the book and a glossary of terms like “front-end load,” “arbitrage,” and “triple witching day.” He includes tips, multiple examples, footnotes that make sense, an entire reference section of relevant Web sites, and frequent advice about consulting experts in legal and financial matters. And perhaps most helpful of all are the checklists and worksheets for specific topics. The one for a retirement budget calculation is an excellent example, with entries for everything from auto expenses to vacation requirements. Equally useful are the six sections of worksheets in chapter two: Personal/Business Information. They provide space to record personal data including the names of family members, prior marriage partners and obligations, wills, assets, debts, life insurance details, estate administration factors, and special needs requirements. Once completed, these pages can be photocopied for use elsewhere if needed.
Eberhart is meticulous in ensuring he thoroughly covers each topic, whether he is detailing how to keep track of investments or discussing how to determine one’s need for life insurance. It’s hard to imagine any questions left unanswered after his chapters on “Step Eight, Understanding Your Investments” and “Step Nine, Mutual Fund Checklist: Items You Need to Address Before Investing.” In addition to his nine steps, Eberhart provides a chapter on learning before investing, which includes topics on the basic classification of funds, the most frequently seen funds, specialty funds of various kinds, a comparison of different funds, an example of his own fund management process, and a note about arbitration. As well there are chapters about bonds, choosing a financial adviser, and a very interesting test on financial trivia.
As his final bit of sage and cogent advice, Eberhart states, “It is up to you to protect your and your family’s financial future. Whether investing or planning your estate, the more you learn, the more you earn—and the more you keep what you earn!” And that, as they say, you can take to the bank.