Uninve$ted – A SavvyReview and Giveaway

Uninvested Book CoverRobert “Bobby” Monks is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and led nineteen businesses in the financial services, real estate, media, and technology sectors. He was chairman of Spinnaker Trust, managing over $1 billion in assets; chairman of Institutional Shareholder Services and Proxy Monitor, the two largest corporate governance and proxy voting services; and founder and director of Atlantic Bank.

Mr. Monks is on the board of ProPublica. He has appeared on Bloomberg Radio and has contributed to MarketWatch and TheStreet.com. As busy as he is, Mr. Monks has found time to write Uninve$ted: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money & How to Fight Back with contributors Justin Jaffee and Bree LaCasse.

In Uninve$ted, Mr. Monks argues that the financial system is a dysfunctional beast that works against the small, individual investor. He notes that when it comes to investing for retirement, most people are operating in the dark. Not only do they not understand where their money is going, they don’t know how much they are paying in fees … a killer. A key point that Monks makes, which may come as a surprise to most, is that the majority of financial advisors and money managers have no legal requirement to act in their client’s best interest, to act as what is called a fiduciary.

My favorite chapters were the second and sixth. Though brief, at 17 pages, Monks gives a nice summary of how we moved from defined benefit plans (pensions) to the 401(k), a defined contribution plan, in the second chapter, Sleepwalking into Retirement: The Shift from Pension to 401(k). This shift changed the retirement game in the United States. The sixth chapter, Awakened: A Better Way to Invest, makes what I believe is the most salient point, one I often make here on this blog, individuals need to take control over and responsibility for their investing. Monks notes:

There is a better way to invest –  a simpler, more sustainable way. It requires only that investors, individually and collectively, take back what is rightfully theirs: control over and responsibility for their investing.

Doing so offers the best hope for meeting their financial needs in retirement.

At a brief 138 pages, Uninve$ted can be read in one sitting; perfect for a long flight, bus or train ride. I will be giving away one copy of the book to a reader. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below. For those not fortunate enough to win the copy, the book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover formats. While I believe it is a worthwhile read, the prices, $12.99 for the Kindle version and $15.49 for the hardcover version, strike me as a little high. Hopefully the prices will drop soon, making the book a little more appealing.

The Giveaway will end, and the winner selected, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, November 1st.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

11 Comments

  1. Looks like a very good book to read Thanks for the chance!

  2. The idea of taking responsibility for investing seems daunting to me. It makes me think I need to become a stock market nerd – and there is no chance of that happening. I hope I’m wrong in having that impression. I hope that the advice given points to a “responsibility” that is attainable for everyone. (I hope I’m the winner this time : )

    • I actually believe that you don’t have to become a stock market nerd to find success and assuming responsibility for your investment decisions isn’t really that daunting; in fact, I would suggest it is quite liberating. Good luck on this giveaway, my friend and be sure to check back on Sunday.

    • Congratulations! You have been selected as the winner of this giveaway.

  3. Investing can be a scary proposition. I would be interested to see if this book sheds any light on the subject.

  4. Sounds like a topic that I’m very passionate about. It doesn’t take long to learn basic portfolio management skills which is really all that most people need to know.

    • Agreed. I firmly believe that if people can learn a few basic concepts and adopt a few practices they can substantially improve their financial well-being.

  5. Sounds like a good book to try and win. Count me in.

    • You’re in, my friend. Check back on Sunday when the winner is announced.

  6. I believe many people just don’t know where to start when it come to investing. The important thing is to, at least take advantage of a 401k match if your companies offers it. There is some much information available online and in books you can begin to learn and improve your overall knowledge.

    • Agreed. The largest stumbling block for a lot of people is not knowing where to start or what their first few actions should be. In fact, my own book, RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit, is geared for those that a) know that they should be saving/investing but are not sure how to get started and b) those that are saving/investing but admittedly are doing it blindly, without clearly defined objectives and a detailed plan on how to reach those objectives.

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