Andrew Allentuck

Saturay, February 8, 2003

Wealth Logic: Wisdom for Improving Your Personal Finances by Moshe Milevsky
by Moshe Milevsky
239 pages
ISBN 1055332-053-6

Moshe Milevsky teaches finance at York University. Author of Money Logic, Insurance Logic and other books, prolific contributor to academic journals, and columnist for a national newspaper, he is a brilliant economist, a spellbinding raconteur, and a good writer to boot.

Wealth Logic is a collection of forty columns written for the National Post's magazine. The book begins with a compelling story of the death of his father, the chief rabbi of Mexico, and moves on to discuss the rates of return on art (it's low, he says) , portfolio management judged by gender (women do more buy and hold than men), the issue of whether professional management can improve performance (yes, he says) and whether professional management is worth fees charged (nope). Prof. Milevsky also discusses portfolio diversification when human capital is considered as part of the portfolio (depends on whether you have a steady job), option strategies for the hoi polloi (worth a look if you can handle straddles), and the value of commodity and hedge funds in portfolios (commodity funds have higher returns in bearish stock markets and are more appropriate than hedge funds under these conditions).

There is probably no one who cannot gain something from Professor Milevsky's combination of wisdom and scholarship. That said, this book could have been much better with the addition of an index. There is neither table nor other indication of the dates of publication of various stories. If there is a second edition, these omissions should be fixed by the publisher. A scholar of Professor Milevsky's stature deserves it.