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The Four Horsemen of the Investor’s Apocalypse: The Four Evils That Will Crush Your Portfolio, and How to Fight Them by Robert J. Klosterman, CFP

The Four HorsemenReviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

The Four Horsemen of the Investor’s Apocalypse by Robert J. Klosterman, CFP, is a book that all investors should read and learn from, as it deals with four of the deadliest hindrances to investors finding success in their efforts to preserve wealth and maintain growth over time. The book is rightly subtitled “The Four Evils That Will Crush Your Portfolio, and How The Four HorsemenFight Them,” because the four hindrances that Klosterman details have often caused the best laid plans of investors to go terribly astray.

What are these four horsemen? To put it simply, they are Inflation, Volatility, Groupthink, and Global Displacements and Transformations. Any one of them can prove to be disastrous to the portfolios of investors, and if any of them act in combination with each other, a potentially bad situation can get much worse.

The astute author of The Four Horsemen of the Investor’s Apocalypse goes into detail about how each of the four horsemen can derail what might seem, on the surface, to be reasonably sound investment strategies. The good news is that Klosterman offers suggestions about how to deal with and overcome the evil, deceptive, and threatening forces that could otherwise possibly lay waste to the landscape of what investors might perceive to be carefully tended gardens of future wealth and income.

In easy to understand, brief, to the point chapters, Klosterman relates anecdotes, provides spreadsheets and diagrams, and allows the readers of his helpful informative guidebook access to his four decades of knowledge and experience as a financial planner. While nothing is ever 100 percent guaranteed, Klosterman’s book is a good reference to raise awareness in the minds of investors about why apparently wise investment strategies might not be as sound as they might think, when more closely analyzed, and it is a guide to ways of avoiding becoming prey to the four horsemen and to have a better chance at being successful in the investing world.

Klosterman warns readers that the book is not for people who are interested in get rich quick” schemes. It is for people who want “to preserve the wealth you have.” It is designed, as Klosterman puts it, to help people preserve a certain “standard of living.” It also is meant to aid investors in finding the right people to help them do this, and it goes into key things that investors should be wary of as they attempt to achieve their goals.

The first chapter of The Four Horsemen of the Investor’s Apocalypse is called “Rules of Thumb and Other Urban Myths.” Right from the very beginning of Klosterman’s book, he gets into certain beliefs that many investors have, and explains why they should not always be believed. He writes that “most of us will take the easy way,” when given a choice; but, for people who have been investing for the long term over several years, wise investors have become aware that the supposed “easy” way or answer often “has hidden costs and consequences.”

Right away, Klosterman discusses the first of the four horsemen, Inflation, and how it sometimes relates to what many people consider to be a “Rule of Thumb” when investing — that is, the percentage that a person has invested in stocks should be 100 – the person’s Age = Percentage in Stocks. That might sound wise or sound, but, as Klosterman writes, this 100 -Age rule “ignores the impact of inflation over time.” Because of this, investors are left with no protection against the first of the four horsemen, Inflation.

The Four Horsemen of the Investor’s Apocalypse by Robert J. Klosterman is an invaluable resource guide to increasing investor awareness of each of the four horsemen most often responsible for waylaying the wealth investors already have. Instead, he goes into methods of defeating the horsemen and maintaining and growing the wealth of investors into even bigger nest eggs. Klosterman’s book is a Must Read for anyone who is interested in avoiding some of the numerous pitfalls that investors face, and making sure that the four horsemen have as minimal of an impact on their investments as possible.

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