Contact the Author | sample_mail@mail.com

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

 

ASK THE MAILMAN

David L. Hawkins
Westbow Press (188 pp.)
$19.99 paperback
ISBN: 978-1-973660-90-3; June 24, 2019
 

BOOK REVIEW

 
This stock-oriented financial guide features unconventional investment advice based on a traditional mathematical principle.

Debut author Hawkins first learned about investing in stocks that paid dividends from his mailman father, who studied copies of the Wall Street Journal—hence the book’s title. Setting a goal of 15 percent return on investment, Hawkins later chose to take part in high-yield stock investing, which is the focus of this short book. Anchored in the sound principle of compound interest, the author’s investment strategy sometimes flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Examples of his contrarian advice include borrowing from a bank’s line of credit to invest in stocks; using a short-term, adjustable-rate mortgage to refinance for stock-investment purposes; and using a stock-trading account instead of a traditional IRA to fund retirement savings. Hawkins begins with an informative overview of the workings of compound interest, demonstrating its power through relevant examples, all of which assume reinvestment of interest over time: “Using the principle of having your money earn interest on the interest is the greatest force you can put into play to make your investments grow exponentially,” he writes. He encourages investors to open a brokerage account, create an investment plan, and buy high-yielding stocks. However, he’s not a fan of investing in real estate because it reduces investing agility: “Selling real estate is like turning an ocean liner, and selling stocks is like turning a jet ski.” One of the more illuminating parts of the book concerns buying a home, as Hawkins relates his own experience of starting on the road to home ownership with a land contract—an unusual first step that avoided the need for a conventional mortgage. He also engagingly discusses construction loans, the difference between a fixed-rate and an adjustable-rate mortgage, the pros and cons of owning versus renting, and whether to consider a vacation home. Equally intriguing is the author’s unconventional view of drawing Social Security benefits; he explains his rationale for taking monthly payments earlier rather than later “to add to my compound interest generating model.” Throughout, the author’s writing is lucid, and the excellent illustrations enhance the content.

Bold investment strategies that aren’t for the risk-averse.