Transition

Transition ISBN: 9780986103698, Lasting Press is an e-book detailing “How to Prepare Your Family and Business for the Greatest Wealth Transfer in History” by David Werdiger.

Following the usual copyright material and two disclaimers, the author embarks upon explaining the uniquely challenging intricacies of transitioning individual roles and wealth from one generation to the next. He describes in detail how “With planning and awareness, you can experience a smooth and successful transfer that will allow the business to continue to thrive while also bringing happiness to all involved.” To accomplish this transition, the unique thoughts, beliefs, insights, values and idiosyncrasies of each generation must be realized and respectfully considered in interpersonal relationships; clear roles must be delineated for each participant dependent upon their personal strengths; and “the business must have clear values and goals regarding wealth and philanthropy.” Twelve chapters of specific suggestions on how to attain these goals and buttress their positions are provided to understand the generational differences and issues that might arise, creating a legacy, identifying values, place of entrepreneurs within the family, burdens vs. opportunities, intergenerational wealth transfer, the delicate problem of raising children with wealth, problems that can evolve from cross-generational thinking, and perhaps even more important, the search for balance.

Discussion: In this reviewer’s opinion, the author has set forth a remarkably complete dissertation on this subject and has done so quite clearly with amusing but cogent touches included; e.g., citing the old proverb “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” that warns of problems with multi-generational family wealth and explains that it exists in many cultures – Scottish “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” Later, a quote from Warren Buffett: “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

5* Interesting for all readers; essential for targeted group.

Money Can’t Lie

Money Can’t Lie, ISBN: 9780998185347, Schlegel Press, Book One, The Sleeper Series, A spy thriller in e-book by Anna Schlegel, translated from Russian by Alla Koshechkina.

Plot: Vlad Holt, once a Russian ‘sleeper spy’ and American citizen working in San Francisco as Harvey Smith was a dummy agent in a huge money scheme that largely consisted of shadowy inter-bank transfers of debts, both real and imaginary, allowing the silent partners to make large amounts of cash. The action involved several countries and numerous transactions. Time had arrived where a person had to be named responsible and the United States, Great Britain and the German Intelligence/Counter Intelligence agencies all were involved along with a couple of small banks in Poland and the Czech Republic which were implicated in money laundering because a man also involved and wanted for questioning, had accounts in these banks. The story then unfolds as the action proceeds to attempt to find a legal witness to the processes’ actual legal transaction that had taken place at the time. Vlad Holt/Smith becomes aware that he has been targeted when he learns of the death of another sleeper spy and realizes that the ear marks of the advancing endeavors points rather specifically to the British Intelligence Agency because they refused to compromise their integrity and have never varied from their tried and true methods. The complicated tale of international intrigue involving legitimate and illegitimate banks, money and individuals with mostly ‘shady’ pasts and/or presents is set forth by Anna, a Moscow securities trader until ‘the bottom dropped out’ and now intimately involved with the protagonists.

Discussion: This reviewer previously had read the first volume of the Dead Bank Series that was set in Moscow. It was, as the author explains, a book in which “…there are no cops, no killings. There is much about the illegal takeover of banks, and a powerful amount of money….(as seen) … thru the eyes of a swindler – (and) …there are no good guys.” My conclusion with respect to the volume of this series was: “An absorbing and totally different type of thriller `peopled’ with engrossing characters that provide flashes of intimate thought patterns of individuals we seldom encounter. It should be especially enjoyed by persons knowledgeable of business practices but regrettably difficult to follow for those of lesser understanding. However, for ALL readers it imparts a provocative insight to the thoughts of many native Russians similar perhaps to those generated by the motion picture Doctor Zhivago; i.e., it brings an intangible sense or `feeling’ of the country and its people that is even emphasized by the occasional slightly missed translation. In fact, this factor alone may be enough to induce the undecided to read the story even though comprehension of the fraudulent practices may be limited.”

This new series regrettably loses much of that quality in that it takes place in Germany and provides even more of a complicated, interwoven plot. However it does retain, and project much of a seeming sense of fear of surveillance with possible ensuing disastrous results that seemed to be widespread among much of the Russian population in the pre-Glasnost era and particularly anyone associated with the government or financial activity. (A personal observation/opinion.) Even several years later after the changed policies this same ‘sense’ still appeared to exist, although to a lesser degree. Amusingly, the characters here in the new series also seemingly continue to enjoy endlessly their vodka and cigarettes. The translation is not as well done as in the first book.

Conclusions for this book of the new series: another totally different thriller; a most complicated plot, difficult for those unfamiliar with finance; `peopled’ with engrossing characters; action – largely flashes of intimate analytic thought patterns by individuals seldom, if ever, encountered by the usual reader; the story’s appeal will be for those who like ‘something different’ with a complicated plot and characters introspectively reviewing past activity that could provide dangerous results that now are closing in.

3* Unique, complicated plot and characters in a story not for everyone.

Money RX your prescription for financial success

Money RX your prescription for financial success ISBN: 9781534631649, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, an e-book by Joseph C. Newtz.

Generally described, the author has presented and discussed to varying degrees such diverse matters as life, property, casualty and disability insurance, Social Security benefits, checking and savings, the money market, certificates of deposit, annuities, IRA’s, real estate, employer participation in savings/health plans, stocks and bonds. He also has included various areas for investment – utilities, energy, technologies, aspects of the medical/pharmaceutical, etc. In the discussions he has attempted to present a picture of the intricacies of combining all of these individual elements into a meaningful pattern of investments that will satisfy your goals. Suggestions have been offered with respect to: emphasis on the importance of setting YOUR goals to meet YOUR desires and expectations with special regard to truthfully examining them to make sure the parameters are realistic; consider your age of commencement; adhere strictly to the pattern you have chosen to reach your goals; do your homework; stick to ‘the “Rules of the Game’ with respect to asset location; be patient; rebalance your portfolio when necessary BUT know when and how to do it; be aware of adjustments that must be made with changing economies; and especially don’t be greedy because “Bulls and Bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered”. Further suggestions are offered in Chapter 9 by a long list of ‘what not to do’, and the simple, logical recommendation is offered that if you cannot afford the considerable time it takes to be prepared to make the best possible decision with respect to making the best decision, it would be wise to search for a competent advisor BUT with the further caveat that this by no means is an easy task because of the reasons he describes and reiterates throughout his presentation.

Discussion: The author has set forth an introductory course for aiding the neophyte investor through the labyrinthine course of investing that is replete with cogent suggestions and advice. He also has provided an excellent caveat for the investor who timewise cannot properly prepare and maintain a sufficient level of expertise to be successful in his/her endeavors – obtain an advisor you can trust. Further he has provided recommendations as to how to find such a person which even with his suggestions would appear to be a most difficult task to say the least. The author’s presentation does not provide many of the exact details for which the confused investor endlessly seeks. However, he perhaps has provided as much detailed material as is possible on this constantly shifting subject. Thus, he most probably should be considered very thoughtfully because: 1) as described, he is an investment counselor or adviser with an apparent excellent reputation of long standing in the profession; 2) perhaps even more importantly, he seems to be a person who sincerely is interested in aiding the investor through the labyrinthine course of investing and has provided seemingly the best advice possible to aid in finding such a person.

5* for most individuals seeking financial success.

No More Magic Wands

No More Magic Wands

Dec 16, 2016John H. ManholdAll Reviews, Business, Non Fiction, Political, Reference, Self-Help, Social Issues

No More Magic Wands ISBN: 9781533538923, an e-book by George Finney.

The book begins with a statement heard almost ad nauseam: “Security is everyone’s job.” This follows with another truism: “That’s what we say as security professionals. But we don’t always act like we believe it. It really does take everyone working in concert to make an organization truly secure. Why, then, do we do so little to enable those outside the cybersecurity field to do their part of the universal security job?” The author continues to enumerate the perfunctory band aids usually provided and then provides a summary statement: “If security is everyone’s job, everyone needs the right tools to actually do the job. Not some of the tools. Not a little of the information. All of it.” He then proceeds to provide the reader with all of the tools AND information required to establish a secure cyber site.

Discussion: First, the material is presented by a man whose credits would appear to make him eminently qualified to furnish information to secure a cyber network. Second, he has set forth chapters that describe in detail the necessities to obtain/maintain cybersecurity, chapter summaries, important takeaway points, open-ended questions and a final summation of the presentation. Third, and perhaps most importantly for presentation of a subject most people just ‘wish would go away’, he has used quite adroitly simple stories in a parable like manner as a lead into each point or series of points he wished to establish for each chapter. AND he has managed to do so in a quite inoffensively effective manner.

Conclusion: The author has delivered/emphasized the importance of a significant number of tools/activities and their interaction for the proper function of a cybersecurity system. This is especially well-worthwhile and a most timely contribution, not only for those intimately involved, but provides a better understanding for the populace of the extent of the problems existing in the international hacking about which the media so endlessly is bombarding today’s population.

5* Cybersecurity, its problems and solutions, cleverly presented.

SELF PUBLISHING

SELF PUBLISHING, The Secret Guide to Becoming a Best Seller, an e-book by Richard McCartney.

This is the third book offered by this author with respect to selling your self-published book. In the first, he provided “The Secret Guide to Becoming A Best Seller”. In the next (which he graciously offers to readers of this present volume) he added a most useful marketing ‘Cheat Sheet’ of “some of the lesser-known facts about buying and selling books on Amazon”. In five chapters he explains how to work your way through the Amazon jungle to best market your book AND does so in explicit, detailed steps. The present volume does contain some repetition of a small portion of material presented earlier, but is acceptably compatible in context.

Further in this present volume he has added definitions and highly pertinent discussions with respect to how Amazon works to employ ‘click through rates’ (CTR), ‘conversion rates’ (CR), etc. in determining book sales. Also set forth are ways for placing your book on listings other than only the ‘Best Sellers’. There also are comparative descriptions of the sales success rates to market one’s book gained from social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter versus those of alternative means such as Book Subscription Services. A list of the more prominent ones available is included. Even more importantly, he provides comparative statistics of value received for dollars spent (ROI – return on investment). Perhaps one of the most helpful discussions is about, and the importance and value of, book reviews, their honesty, and how to obtain them.

Discussion: At a time that extended through part of the advent of POD and the earlier phases of self-publishing this reviewer provided a university level course in writing/publishing. After studying what was available for marketing and being particularly disenchanted with the limited helpfulness of social media (strengthened by statements, and even limited studies performed by one highly respected author), my straightforward advice to my classes was: “It is my firm belief that to be even moderately successful in today’s market, you must have a sizable group of readers with whom you share a common interest. Without it, publishing and selling novels is quite simply a crap shoot. So, if you don’t have a sizable group with whom you have established a common bond, or if you cannot establish one, you had better really enjoy writing, because your sales may not come anywhere close to your expectations. There is an adage that has been around for many years in the writing profession: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to give up your day job’. AND, if you still wish to become ‘a published author’, bring your expectations to a plausible level, continue to write for the pure enjoyment and sense of accomplishment that the activity brings, and accept any monetary recompense as a most pleasant and additional result. If you still wish to reach a more meaningful level of book sales, either prepare to work as hard or harder marketing them than you spend in the writing, or be willing to spend a sizeable amount of money to accomplish the goal.” Obviously and regrettably the material presented by this author was not available at the time.

Conclusion: McCartney has set forth a well written treasure trove of information literally vital to the independent author IF after thoroughly examining the true purpose of their desire he/she wants to attain a level of respectable compensation. It indeed is regrettable that this information was not available at an earlier time when attempts were being made to shepherd a group of neophytes. Once more, as with the previous book, it is strongly suggested that this book is a must read for Indie authors.

5* Must read for serious Indie authors.

 

Top 5 Cheat Sheet

TOP 5 Cheat Sheet, The unofficial Author’s Guide, an e-book by Richard McCartney.

An introduction details why “self-publishing authors are not playing on a level playing field against the traditionally publishing houses.” Specifically: 1) Indie author presence in actual bookshops (except for a few small ones) is negligible to zero even if reaching ‘best-seller’ status – unfortunate because many readers still prefer printed books; 2) Their titles are not included in the online catalogues from which most libraries and bookstores order; 3) They receive little to no coverage by traditional media – known book reviews (Kirkus and 1-2 other exceptions) rarely cover them and most ‘better known’ reviewers seldom, if ever, publish their reviews in other than traditional papers/magazines. Reasons stem from: 1) the large number of new titles published; 2) a lingering belief that they are poorly written/produced; 3) also amusingly perhaps, because of an unrecognized underlying discomfort about the reviewer’s ‘stature’ being affected if they should deign to review one of these ‘lesser offerings’. If this statement appears absurd to the reader, consider that basically in everyone’s psyche is the belief that accomplishment depends upon attainment (doing) as described by a very old adage: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach.” If a reviewer has not personally successfully ‘published’ but has attained a certain ‘status’, he unconsciously may be less secure in departing from the ‘traditional’ track – a track most regrettably remaining from the early days of POD and the many inferior publications that followed. Fortunately, this really no longer applies. This reviewer recently has read many excellent ‘indies’ and conversely, some quite inferior offerings by well-known authors and/or publishers. Thus, as McCartney suggests, indie authors may counteract this regrettable ‘loss of recognition’ situation and achieve a well-elevated position close to that derived from being published and/or reviewed by the establishment. You can join the new age of publishing where “online position visibility rapidly is approaching that held by appearance in brick-and-mortar stores” and you can achieve this if you “sell within the Amazon universe, “the biggest online store in the world.”

The author previously provided a book for Indie authors, “Self-Publishing: The Secret Guide to Becoming A Best Seller”. Now, he has added a most useful marketing ‘Cheat Sheet’ of “some of the lesser-known facts about buying and selling books on Amazon”. In five chapters he explains how to work your way through the Amazon jungle to best market your book AND does so in explicit, detailed steps. Chapter one explains how to circumvent the fact that “Amazon hides most of the best categories for your particular book”. The second chapter explains how to reduce the extra charges Amazon places on international buyers of your book. The third provides a detailed method “to get your book into the Amazon Hot New Releases”. Four, an opportunity for linking “a Best Seller book in your genre to your own book”. Chapter five explains “How to remove bad reviews of your book”, with an important caveat. The author then sneaks in a sixth chapter because, as he bluntly states: “What is the point of a cheat sheet, if it doesn’t provide a cheat itself?” AND this chapter describes a real treasure for the author struggling for recognition. It describes how to manage to have your book exhibited “alongside Best Seller and other famous books”.

Discussion/Conclusion: McCartney has set forth a book which is a boon to the indie author. It provides exactly the ammunition required to market a self-published book at the top level of competition. It presents explicit directions in a clearly understood, step-by-step manner that the reader easily may follow to gain top exposure in the rapidly exploding online market. In this reviewer’s opinion, this is a remarkable book that can place the indie author almost immediately on an equal footing with those in the ‘establishment’ group. It is a must read for any self-publisher or author whose work has been published by any other means.

5* A must read for indie authors.