Investing Essentials: How To Make Extraordinary Investment Decisions Using Your Own Unique Investment Filtering Scorecard

Robert S. Olsen, CFP, CPA

Publisher: Outskirts Press Pages: 138 Price: (paperback) $21.95 ISBN: 9781977221988 Reviewed: July, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

As a family wealth advisor with 40 years of experience, CPA and CFP Robert S. Olsen is used to assisting clients in shifting their mindsets as well as their assets. His investment scorecard was developed as a tool to help them. The scorecard allows readers to analyze potential investments based on (among other variables) the “Four Gold Rings of Financial Liberty”: cost, transparency, liquidity, and understandability.

Olsen bills himself as an “industry insider” who’s going to “spill the beans” about investments, but very little detailed investment advice is included. He rightly counsels that there are no right or wrong answers, just different choices for different people, but offers no direction about what kind of life circumstances or preferences might be a good match for what kinds of decisions.

Olsen notes that readers will need to learn to sort through choices, plan appropriately for tax time, and determine how, where and when to invest, but skims over those subjects in favor of advising the development of an “investment mindset.” Even the titular scorecard simply raises some questions for analyzing investment opportunities, without providing substantive guidance for how to perform the analysis.

Olsen’s audience seems to be those with very basic or no financial knowledge; he repeatedly congratulates readers for “making it” even a few pages into the book and dedicates space to such starter concepts as the fact that saving and investing are not the same thing. While his approach is measured and calm—he advises a focus on risk management over get-rich-quick investment schemes—much of the content seems like filler. He discusses why he’s writing the book, why being clear about money is important, etc. Thus, readers may feel as if the book is intended solely as a brochure to sell his tax and wealth planning services.

For those interested in simply getting into an investment “mindset,” this book fills the bill. Readers looking for concrete strategies, however, will want to look elsewhere.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.


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