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Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Title:Smoke and Mirrors: Financial risks that will ruin your retirement dreams
Author:David Trahair, CA
Publisher:Self-Council Press

Before you rush out to top up your RRSP before the March 1st deadline you may want to pick up a copy of Smoke and Mirrors. In this book David Trahair describes in plain language why you are best to optimize, not maximize, your RRSPs.

In this book the author challenges the belief that RRSPs are the most important retirement solution for Canadians. Using easy-to-follow examples the reader is shown how they may benefit more from paying down debts such as their mortgage. Readers are given a simple method of calculating how much money they will actually need when they retire, which may be significantly less than what most financial planners would recommend.

To help you assess your own financial situation readers can use the CD-ROM that comes with the book; it contains 6 spreadsheets that will help you analyze your personal financial position. The following spreadsheets are included on the CD-Rom:

  • Car Lease vs. Buy Analyzer
  • Cash Flow Projector
  • My Income and Expenses
  • Net Worth Calculator
  • Personal Rate of Return Calculator
  • Retirement Optimizer

If you are comfortable with the concepts of how to invest your money you may be interested in the associated workbook, The No Smoke and Mirrors Workbook. Both the book and workbook include the CD-Rom.

To make use of the spreadsheets in either product you will need to take a close look at your financial situation and determine how and where you spend your money each year. Considering the benefit of doing these calculations - being prepared to save enough money so that you can comfortably retire - the time and effort may be the best investments you ever make.

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