Nonfiction Book Reviews

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Me: Five Years From Now: The Life-Planning Book You Write Yourself by Sheree Bykofsky

Hyperion, June 1999.
Paperback, 205 pages.
ISBN: 078688391X.
Ordering information:

Me: Five Years From Now:
The Life-Planning Book You Write Yourself
by Sheree Bykofsky Anyone interested in planning the next five years of their life should pick up a copy of this reference and workbook. Author Sheree Bykofsky shows readers how to plan out their lives by introducing them to life planning tools and tricks, and by getting readers to write their life plan themselves through questions, outlines and fill-in-the blanks. The workbook is divided into four main areas: emotional and physical health, family and relationships, home and community and work and school. Readers can isolate and work on one of these specific topics or work through the whole book. For each section Sheree invites readers to identify their problem areas, plan out a solution, take action and then evaluate their progress.

By writing out their plans and problems many readers will be more likely to fulfill their goals. The book is also filled with practical and inspiring advice as well, including a forward by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. (author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff) about using the book to discover self-actualization. As Dr. Carlson explains self-actualized people are "confident in their abilities. They do not rely on other to set goals for them, and neither do they depend on external validation a measure of success. They listen to their instincts and trust themselves." With both advice and self-help writing assignments, Me: Five Years From Now is an unusual self-help aide that many will find invaluable in helping them to set and reach their own goals.

The Morgan Stanley Dead Witter Guide to Personal Investing by Robert M. Gardner.

Plume, September 1999.
Paperback, 217 pages.
ISBN: 0452281210.
Ordering information:

The Morgan Stanley
Dead Witter Guide to Personal Investing
by Robert M. Gardner. This investment guide offers financial and investing advice to layman and beginning investors. The book provides instruction on the basics and gives guidance to new investors. The book begins with topics about starting out in investing including: steps to investment success, retirement planning, an introduction to the stock market and a chapter about stock brokers. The rest of the book covers specific investment opportunities including: stocks, preferred stocks, bonds, life insurance, annuities, collectibles, mutual funds, derivatives, insurance, CDs, options, futures and real estates. Author Robert M. Gardiner is a senior advisor to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and former chairman and CEO of Dean Witter Financial Services Group. In this financial aide he gives his expert advice to novices who are just learning how to invest and the basic principles of what makes investing work. Practical advice and fundamentals from a high-ranking insider and coverage of everything from bonds to real estate make this investment guide a valuable find for novice investors.

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