Monday, January 5, 2015

Hallman & Rosenbloom, Private Wealth Management, 9th ed.

My niece recently asked me whether I manage other people’s money (I don’t). She did not intend this to be a job offer since she and her husband, both pediatric orthopedic surgeons who make a lot of money but have zero interest in managing it, already have a financial planner. But her question made me realize that I didn’t know just what kinds of expertise financial planners are expected to have.

In Private Wealth Management: The Complete Reference for the Personal Financial Planner (McGraw-Hill, 2015) G. Victor Hallman and Jerry S. Rosenbloom, both affiliated with the Wharton School, lay out a daunting curriculum. The wealth manager should be skilled in investment planning and financial management, income tax planning, financing education expenses, retirement planning, charitable giving, insurance planning and risk management, estate planning, and planning for business interests.

In over 600 pages the authors cover a head-spinning number of topics. Unless you’re a masochist, this is not a book you read straight through. Even I, usually a conscientious reviewer, picked my way through it, choosing some areas in which I felt competent and others about which I knew next to nothing. The reason for this strategy was to see whether the authors did a good job with material with which I was familiar and whether they presented the unfamiliar in a way that was easily understood. They scored well on both fronts, which is probably one reason this book is now in its ninth edition.

Private Wealth Management is a reference/textbook that should be in the library of every financial planner.

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