Abstract

The Cooper Files: A Practical Guide to Your Financial Future, written by investment councilor, Sherry Cooper, contains a wealth of information, theoretical and practical advice with compelling arguments to take charge of one's financial future. Not to steal the thunder of the jacket flap, hers is an entertaining treatise for those concerned about issues shaping Canada within a global economy and how their financial health (and wealth) might be affected.

Macro-economic theory aside, I gleaned three key messages - a reliance on pension plan income alone will be difficult given Canada's economic and social safety-net performance; retirement living and lifestyles will be undermined by inflation, global market forces and currency; and, retirement planning should be managed with the same fervour as career planning.

Like many public-sector employees, I placed my financial future in the hands of administered pension funds like those that recently received media attention with their better than average performance. However, what struck home for me was the realization that I have not invested the energy and effort into retirement planning that Ms. Cooper advocates. Career management and family routine have preoccupied my normal agenda and while I have maintained pension participation, diligently topped-up RRSPs, secured financial and investment counsel and made in-roads with a modest portfolio, such may not be enough. Newfound motivation to explore the facets shaping our family's future needs is the direct result of perusing The Cooper Files. I hope others might discover the same.

The Cooper Files: A Practical Guide to Your Financial Future
By Sherry S. Cooper
Key Porter Books, Toronto, 1999
ISBN 1-55263-81-1

Ms. Cooper was the featured speaker at the Department of Health Administration Society of Graduates' Education Day at University of Toronto last spring.