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Plan Your Prosperity: The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need, Starting Now--Whether You're 22, 52 or 82


Forbes columnist, bestselling author and billionaire CEO Ken Fisher offers guiding principles for developing a retirement investment plan—no matter if you're retiring next week, next year or in four decades.

Best known for his "Portfolio Strategy" column in Forbes, Ken Fisher is the author of numerous bestselling finance and investment books. In his latest book, Ken tackles a subject most investors must face: retirement planning. Drawing upon his decades of experience as head of one of the world's largest independent global money management firms, he arms readers with straightforward principles to help them develop their own investment plan. No book can supplant the retirement planning process. However, this book aims to help readers develop an appropriate plan that increases the odds of achieving their long-term goals.

An indispensable retirement planning resource no matter where you fall on the investment continuum, Plan Your Prosperity busts pernicious myths and rules-of-thumb about retirement and replaces them with sound concepts that can guide you now and for the rest of your investing time horizon. Whether you're in your twenties, forties, sixties or beyond, it's never too late to plan your prosperity.

KEN FISHER is best known for his prestigious "Portfolio Strategy" column in Forbes magazine, where his over 28-year tenure of high-profile calls makes him the fourth longest-running columnist in Forbes's 90-plus-year history. He is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Fisher Investments, an independent global money management firm managing tens of billions for individuals and institutions globally. Fisher is ranked #263 on the 2011 Forbes 400 list of richest Americans and #764 on the 2012 Forbes Global Billionaire list. In 2010, Investment Advisor magazine named him among the 30 most influential individuals of the last three decades. Fisher has authored numerous professional and scholarly articles, including the award-winning "Cognitive Biases in Market Forecasting." He has also published eight previous books, including national bestsellers The Only Three Questions That Count, The Ten Roads to Riches, How to Smell a Rat, Debunkery and Markets Never Forget (But People Do), all published by Wiley. Fisher has been published, interviewed and/or written about in many major American, British and German finance or business periodicals. He has a weekly column in Focus Money, Germany's leading weekly finance and business magazine.

LARA HOFFMANS is Vice President of Content at Fisher Investments, managing editor of, a regular contributor to and coauthor of the bestsellers, The Only Three Questions That Count, The Ten Roads to Riches, How to Smell a Rat, Debunkery and Markets Never Forget (But People Do).

Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1: What? Me? Retire? 1

The Imagined Dichotomy 3

Two Goals … and Some Non-Goals 4

Definitions and a Pencil 9

Start Immediately. Now. Right Away. 13

Plan Your Prosperity 14

Chapter 2: My Goals Are … What? 17

Why Is This So Hard? 20

Your Investing Goals, Simply 24

Potential Pitfall: Capital Preservation and Growth 26

Inflation’s Insidious Impact 29

Three Percent, Compounded 35

Chapter 3: The Secret Code--Asset Allocation or Benchmark? 37

Benchmark--A Road Map and Measuring Stick 40

Picking a Benchmark 42

The Big Decision--Asset Allocation 45

Potential Pitfall: Age Doesn’t Equal Asset Allocation 49

Benchmark Versus Asset Allocation--What’s the Difference? 50

Chapter 4: Time Horizon--Longer Than You Think 59

Potential Pitfall: Ignoring Opportunity Cost 62

Time Horizon--What Is It? 64

Time Horizon and Benchmark 68

Chapter 5: What’s in a Return? 73

Growth Defi ned 77

The Past as a Guide? 81

Gordon Moore and Endless Innovation 90

Potential Pitfall: Unrealistic Expectations 92

Chapter 6: Getting That Cash Flow 97

Potential Pitfall--The All High-Dividend Portfolio 100

How Much Do You Need? 103

Monte Carlo--Not Just a Casino 107

Let’s Get Bootstrapping 109

Chapter 7: Can I Get There? 117

How Much Do You Have? 120

A Savings Plan 123

Chapter 8: Putting It All Together 131

To Benchmark or Not to Benchmark 134

State Your Goals 136

Know Where You Are 137

Picking an Appropriate Benchmark 138

Finding Professional Help 140

Avoid Being a Fraud Victim 143

And You’re Off! 143

Appendix A: All Hail the Mighty Dow 145

Appendix B: Cash Flow Versus Expenses 155

Appendix C: Expense Categories 161

Appendix D: Personal Balance Sheet 165

Notes 169

About the Authors 173

Index 175