Book Review: The Aspirational Investor

I read this book this summer on the recommendation of venture capitalist Fred Wilson.  It's good.  It's good for an investor who already knows the terminology a bit because it goes pretty deep into the mathematics of market returns. 

Basically don't put all your eggs in one basket- have three different baskets-1)  a safety net of investments that will sustain you and maintain its value pretty well if the market crashes or you lose your job, 2) something in the market to keep up with inflation, and 3) an "aspirational" fund, like something you can take more risks with and if the market collapses it won't be the end of the world.  The author is pretty level-headed and gives you get a sense of how much to allocate to each pot depending on your age and your financial priorities.  The other piece of advice he hammers home is don't try to outsmart the markets.  You won't be able to, so buy and hold, rebalance every once in a while, and avoid paying big fees. 

Speaking of banks, I was at the bank today, and while I was waiting in line, this young 20-something guy walks in with this tupperware full of change.  He pours it into the big machine at the back that sorts the coins and counts it all for you- and everyone could hear it.  It put a smile on my face.  It was the sound of delayed gratification rewarded.  Then the machine prints him out a receipt and he goes to the teller to collect his cash in bills.  I could see the teller was all smiles too.  It's such a great feeling when you reach a milestone and can be rewarded for your discipline.  It was cute- who does this as an adult?  They have a peanut butter jar set aside for pocket change or whatever and at a certain point, go and deposit it to a special account or take the money and go buy something they've saved up for?  Good for him.