Erskine Financial Advisors      James R. Erskine, CFP(R)


April 2010

Recommended Reading

Fools Gold by Gillian Tett - an entertaining and informative account of how, starting in the mid-1990s, a team at JPMorgan started the derivatives boom that would escalate out of control, and contribute to the near collapse of the financial system in 2008.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay - written in 1841, a historical perspective that might convince you nothing ever changes!

The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You'll Ever Need - the Good, the Flawed, the Bad and the Ugly, by Larry Swedroe -  reviews the merits of a variety of investment alternatives.  Worth considering especially for perspective on his Bad and Ugly categories which include Hedge Funds, Variable Annuities, Equity Indexed Annuities, and Structured Products.

The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein - greed, stupidity and delusion are all featured in this account of how the financial crisis developed.  It's a pretty good education on MBS, CDO, credit default swaps and other exotic instruments of self-destruction.

Professional Organizations and Governmental Agencies

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has helpful information about the financial planning process  and the CFP certification.

The Financial Planning Association website is a useful resource about the financial planning process.

Visit the SEC website to check out your broker or investment advisor

FINRA has a wealth of information to help the investing public, as well as an explanation of the various professional designations (you know, those initials everyone likes to attach to their name!)

The California Department of Insurance