Thinking About Money

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Thinking About Money

Steven Lagerfeld

A thinking person's guide to personal finance.

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1m 15sec

Personal finance isn’t one of the areas we normally cover here at the WQ, but Robert Z. Aliber’s Your Money and Your Life is not the usual personal finance tract. It’s more of a thinking person’s guide. Readers of the WQ may recognize Aliber as the author of two articles in the magazine, “The Global Savings Tsunami” (Summer 2009) and “The Dollar’s Day of Reckoning” (Winter 2005). A former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and professor emeritus of international economics and finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, he’s the author of The New International Money Game (a revised edition is forthcoming), and he’s managed money for clients. The delight of Aliber’s new book is that he can be as direct and prescriptive as Suze Orman when he thinks it’s justified, but informative and open-ended at other times. If you want to know not just how much life insurance to buy but how insurance markets function, Aliber is your man. Setting an investment strategy? “You’re going to have to decide on the anticipated rates of return that you might earn on stocks in the next several decades,” he writes, after laying out the interesting facts about past returns. When it comes to the big questions, Aliber often hands you a fishing rod rather than a fish, but the instruction manual is exceptionally good.