Planning To Retire – A Financial Autobiography – Intro – Dedications & Acknowledgments

Here are the folks whose shoulders I depend on in writing these articles.


To Marina, for providing no help what so ever. While most authors speak at length of the suffering and perseverance of their families during the authoring process my wife made it clear from day one that our marriage came before everything, writing and such be damned. Frankly, I feel sorry for those other authors. Some things should not be borne and family does come first.

To BG, so you'll have the freedom to soar.


If anyone one person can be said to be the intellectual inspiration for "Planning to Retire" it has to be William J. Bernstein. To be clear, I've never met Mr. Bernstein or even exchanged an e-mail with him. But after several years of feeling extremely frustrated about what to do about retirement planning in general and investing in particular I read his first book "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" in 2000. It gave me hope that I could master the skills necessary to plan intelligently for retirement. His newsletter, Efficient Frontier was also an inspiration, showing what an intelligent person could do if they were willing to get a bit of education.

But it was Mr. Bernstein's "The Four Pillars of Investing : Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio" that changed everything. In fact "Planning to Retire" began life as an attempt to turn Mr. Bernstein's instructions in Four Pillars into a set of concrete steps I could follow to execute on my own investing plan.

While Mr. Bernstein provided the big picture ideas it was Professor Peter Ponzo (a.k.a. Gummy) who helped me understand the math that makes finance work. Thankfully most of the math needed to deal with finance isn't much more sophisticated than algebra but it was Gummy's tutorials on his website Gummy Stuff that convinced me that I could do the necessary math. While I have exchanged a few e-mails with Gummy (he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me), like Mr. Bernstein, he can in no way be held responsible for the contents of these articles.

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