Andrew Allentuck

Friday, October 20, 2000

RRSPs & RRIFs for Dummies
by John Lawrence Reynolds with Charm Darby
CDG Books Canada, 360 pages

Financial writer John Lawrence Reynolds and investment advisor Charm Darby have assembled a guide to mutual funds thorough enough to be a shelf reference. Filled with basics on what mutual funds do and how their investments can predict their likely performance, the book also deals with technically tricks issues such as using Registered Retirment Savings Plan assets for loan collateral, what to look for in a mutual fund prospectus, and how to evaluate index-linked guaranteed investment certificates.

Unlike many RRSP books that offer little information on what to do with registered investments when their beneficiary reaches retirement, this book has extensive and intelligent commentary on converting to annuities, which are fixed payment systems based on accumulated investment value, and Registered Retirement Income Funds, RRIFs, that allow their underlying RRSP to run while paying out sums subject to minima prescribed by the federal Department of Finance. Their advice - balance income, growth and security in a RRIF - is utterly intelligent. For a fine balance of data and opinion, one can hardly do better than to put RRSPs and RRIFs for Dummies on one's shelf of investment books.