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Reclaim Your Nest Egg: Take Control of Your Financial Future

ISBN: 978-1-57660-370-3
214 pages
September 2010
Reclaim Your Nest Egg: Take Control of Your Financial Future (1576603709) cover image
Expert advice for changing how you think about money in order to rebuild and protect your retirement assets.

Investors who suffered tremendous losses in the market meltdown of 2008 want to know how to protect themselves from being so vulnerable in the future. In Reclaim Your Nest Egg: Take Control of Your Financial Future, Ken Kamen shows investors how they gave up control of their finances and how they can get it back again. Kamen explains:

  • How to recognize the psychological pitfalls, the distracting “noise” from the media and the internet, and the bad financial advice that derailed your planning.
  • How to develop a set of investment principles that can serve as your personal Commandments and keep you on course.
  • How to adopt an investment approach that maximizes the potential for growth while reducing risk, and how to implement it without being confused or overwhelmed.

Reclaim Your Nest Egg helps readers find a customized investment strategy that suits their budget and temperament and gives them their best chance of meeting their retirement goals.

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Prologue.

1 Reconsider the Future.

2 Rightsize Your Plans.

3 Dump the Head Trash.

4 Ignore the Noise.

5 Check the Fine Print.

6 Embrace a Game Plan.

7 Establish Your Rules.

8 Reconstruct Your Portfolio.

9 Employ Defensive Moves.

10 Take the Helm.

Epilogue.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Index.

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Ken Kamen is the president of Mercadien Asset Management, which offers comprehensive wealth management consulting services to individuals, families, and business owners. A former chairman of the National Investment Banking Association, Ken also chaired a special business advisory group that reported to the U.S. House of Representatives. His thirty years of experience in the financial services industry and his ability to explain complex concepts in an easily accessible way make him an oft-quoted source for national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fortune, Forbes, and BusinessWeek, and for Reuters and the Associated Press. He is also a frequent guest on national and local broadcasts that include CNBC, NBC, ABC, Fox, and PBS.
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The book addresses, realistically, the fears that folks have about making decisions on how to finance their post-career lives, especially in these times of tumult in the capital markets. Kamen urges investors to think of all their assets—not just their 401(k), but their income, their home and even their time—as integral parts of their nest eggs.
"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)

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