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Are You a Stock or a Bond?: Create Your Own Pension Plan for a Secure Financial Future

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Are You a Stock or a Bond?: Create Your Own Pension Plan for a Secure Financial Future


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For the growing number of Americans who do not have access to a Defined Benefit (DB) pension plan, they must figure out how to generate a sustainable income they cannot outlive. This book provides the answers.

  • A new and effective way of thinking about financial planning that helps people more feel more secure and effective in their financial decision making.
  • People need to take a much broader look at their “personal balance sheet”, and start managing all financial risks in their lives accordingly.
  • Heavily illustrated with many easy to read charts, graphs, and tables to clarify the most important concepts in the book.


  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-712737-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-712737-5

“Moshe Milevsky offers an original and clear re-thinking of the most fundamental concept in one’s financial lifetime: the management of risk, in all of its not-so-obvious dimensions.”—Nick Murray, author, Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth

 “This book is another example of Moshe Milevsky’s ability to make the complex understandable...an excellent primer—for both advisors and their clients alike—on the ‘How Tos’ of effective retirement income planning.”—Jim Rogers, CFP, 2008 President, The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)

“In this new book, the author presents a holistic framework for investors and advisors to think about critical issues that impact investment decisions, such as human capital, mortality risk, and longevity risk. But even more importantly, Milevsky presents practical solutions that we can all follow to achieve financial security throughout our lives. This book is a must-read for everyone in the financial services industry.”—Peng Chen, CFA, Ibbotson Associates

“This is an extremely timely and valuable book. Our financial lives have never been more complex, and the challenges for many are daunting. Milevsky provides a new perspective that can really help people make better financial decisions and attain a greater level of financial security.”—Matt Greenwald, President, Mathew Greenwald & Associates

“The author has written an instant classic that will help people become better-educated retirement customers and also help financial advisors improve their professional skills.”—Francois Gadenne, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA)

“Milevsky delivers one of the best books to date on personal financial planning—a refreshing blend of content, conceptual correctness, and clarity. Buy it. Read it. Do it.”—Richard M. Ennis, Chairman, Ennis Knupp & Associates; Editor, Financial Analysts Journal

In an era when traditional corporate pensions are disappearing, Social Security’ s sustainability is in question, healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and society is dumping more and more financial risk squarely onto your shoulders, Moshe Milevsky helps you comprehensively integrate all the opportunities and risks in your life: your career risks, your portfolio risks, your housing risks, and even your personal inflation and longevity risks that could lead you to financial regret and a ruined retirement. Then, he introduces a powerful, new framework for thinking about and managing your financial future that you can use to systematically reduce your vulnerability to each of these risks and, thus, generate long-term financial security.

To maximize your investment returns and protect yourself and your family, you must learn to think of yourself as a small company, with assets, liabilities, a balance sheet, an income statement, and real shareholder equity. The composition and choices you make with your financial capital should reflect the nature and security of your career or job, which is your unique “human capital.” So, for example, if You, Inc. is like a “stock,” make sure your retirement savings are tilted toward “bonds.” If your job is more secure and You, Inc. is essentially a “bond,” then make sure your retirement savings are tilted toward “stocks.” Get personal with your investments and make your financial capital serve and protect your human capital. Factoring in your unique “human capital” adds a new dimension to financial planning which is a critical next step for sound and effective investing.

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You, Inc.: Create Your Own Pension Plan for a Secure Financial Future

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Table of Contents

Preface: How Much Risk Are You Really Handling?         xiii

Introduction: Pensions are Dying; Long Live Pensions      xvii

Chapter 1: You, Inc.   1

Chapter 2: Insurance Is a Hedge for Human Capital          21

Chapter 3: Diversification over Space and Time     37

Chapter 4: Debt Can Be Good at All Ages  59

Chapter 5: Personal Inflation and the Retirement Cost of Living  75

Chapter 6: Sequence of Investment Returns           87

Chapter 7: Longevity Is a Blessing and a Risk       107

Chapter 8: Spending Your Retirement in Monte Carlo       117

Chapter 9: Annuities Are Personal Pensions           141

Chapter 10: Product Allocation Is the New Asset Allocation          163

Chapter 11: Conclusion: Plan for Managing Your Retirement Risks      185

Appendix: Additional References and Notes           195

Index   201


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