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Edelman is a big time financial planner and he doesn't let you forget it. His friendly and easy to understand exhortations are all more or less on the money and well worth heeding, except for one major exception--he is heavily biased toward mutual funds and talks down privately managed or "wrap" accounts. The reasoning he gives for this is very weak. For example: the minimums are too large (says who?); they tempt investors to micromanage their stocks in the accounts (huh?); they generate too much paperwork and you'll need to buy a new filing cabinet (wrong: you can opt out easily and palm this job off to an advisor--like Mr. Edelman!) This major flaw by itself does individual investors a huge disservice and frankly, I detect a large dollop of self-serving here.
Privately managed accounts are a valuable and efficient option that is available increasingly to "smaller" investors, often for as little as $10,000 and they are the universally preferred choice for substantial investors, both individual and institutional. That being said, mutual funds do have their place in today's markets. Almost no other vehicle works as well in 401(k)s or other "systematic" investment programs for example. But they certainly should not be the only choice.
If Edelman had been more rigorously objective about all the options available to investors and not lamely promoted his personal preferences to the complete exclusion of others, this program would have gotten 5 stars. If you can tune out this one major bug, go buy it. It'll help you navigate the investment jungle better.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful