Andrew Allentuck

Friday, June 22, 2001

6 Steps to $1 Million: How to Achieve Your Financial Dreams
by Gordon Pape
Prentice Hall, 270 pages

Gordon Pape is not just an author, he is an industry. In addition to annual revisions to his guides to mutual funds and RRSPs, he turns out inspirational and instructive guides on how to make bundles of money. 6 Steps to $1 Million is another in the series.

It's chatty, pleasant, a little bit autobiographical and, at the core, a collection of wise things to do with one's money. There are discussions of stock and bond risks, hand holding on the need to be focused and not to lose heart when one's stock is beaten down, and a lot of folksy wisdom on having the right attitude.

The reader should be prepared for a long haul, Mr. Pape says. "the stock market is indeed a place to build wealth, but not overnight." Also, don't trade on hot tips. What goes down may not go up again, be patient, diversify, and so on. A "net worth calculator" at the back of the book is a worksheet to fill in with one's assets and liabilities.

So should one sink $34.95 into this book? For a beginner, Mr. Pape offers value. For anyone who has experience trading stocks and bonds and has made some money at it, it's doubtful there's much to be gained. In spite of dust jacket blather that this is holy writ from the infallible, 6 Steps to $1 Million is conventional advice for the financially inexperienced.