Rekenthaler Actually Likes This Book
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Friday, September 06, 2013

Rekenthaler Actually Likes This Book

Helaine Olen, author of "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry," has an unexpected fan: Morningstar's John Rekenthaler.

Rekenthaler criticized Olen's Salon article on the 401(k) industry, but he mostly enjoyed the book, saying her criticisms of finance media icons, such as Suzie Orman and Jim Cramer, as well as those selling the investments, were well deserved.

Rekenthaler writes, "As anybody who has spent time in the investment industry knows, the best way to separate a prospect from his money is to scare him. Make him worry about outliving his money by informing him that three times more people live to be 100 years old now than did a generation ago. Don't mention that even so, only 0.02 percent of Americans are currently centenarians."

Rekenthaler did criticize her thoughts on the evils of commission-based sales, however, pointing out that she could have made the argument that asset-based fees are a great improvement and will help investors in the long-run. Overall, Rekenthaler calls the book a "period piece," representative of the "post-2008 funk."

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