Wealth Summary (Everett Mattlin, Michael Stolper)

Everett Mattlin, Michael Stolper


(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Michael Stolper is a professional investment manager with clients who usually have more than a million dollars in net worth. This book is written for such people. It is also, however, written to tell people how to attain that amount of wealth. Stolper is very clear in stating that his advice does not involve get-rich-quick schemes and that anyone following his advice must have a fairly high income aside from investments or must have been fortunate enough to inherit a fortune, win a lottery, or be bought out of a business.

Stolper’s key message is that for wealth to be valuable, it must open opportunities rather than creating problems. With this in mind, he recommends investing enough money in virtually riskless U.S. Treasury bills to generate enough income in retirement to live on. The stock market should be left for any wealth left over and for those still accumulating their fortunes. Stolper advises that the stock market historically has yielded the highest return of traditional investments while also offering liquidity. He recommends investment in stocks or mutual funds for middle-aged working people, then a gradual shift into bonds to provide a safe retirement income.

Investor psychology is key to Stolper’s advice. He understands such things as the fact that people understandably become more averse to risk as they age and that most young people find it difficult to save unless they are forced to. His advice factors in such psychological considerations. Unlike many books of investment advice, this one does not tell readers how to find the highest rates of return on investments; in fact, it specifically advises against trying to do so. Stolper’s investment plan is meant to be simple and to free the investor from having to spend inordinate time and emotional energy managing his or her wealth.