Protecting What’s Yours

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

As the title indicates, Westhem (chairman and managing partner of an assets protection firm with more than 6,000 clients) and Korn (author and co-author of numerous articles and books on personal financial planning) have written a comprehensive “self-help” guide to assist individuals to maintain their personal assets and avoid financial losses.

The book is divided into ten parts, with two to five brief chapters in each part. The authors begin with basic instructions on protecting financial investments—stocks, bonds, and annuities. They give detailed advice on choosing a broker and financial planner and protecting oneself from telephone and investment scams. Next, they discuss a wide range of topics, including buying and protecting property (home, cars, and computers) from theft and natural disasters; self-employment issues (incorporation, differences between C and S corporations, sales, and business entertainment); protecting belongings and security during foreign travel (crime, bookings, baggage handling, and emergencies); health insurance (HMOs, medicare, and medigap), disability, and long-term care; retirement (pensions, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and choosing a retirement home) and living trusts; business partnerships and coping with bankruptcy; prenuptial and divorce agreements; estate planning and life insurance; and personal safety. Each chapter ends with a helpful “summing up” section outlining salient advice.

The book is easy to read, full of practical advice and anecdotes from everyday life. Nevertheless, the superficial coverage of so many topics, tongue-in-cheek style, and vernacular prose may annoy some readers.