One doesn’t often come across a line like this in a book on investing: “The story behind The Investment Answer is one of friendship, love, dedication and perseverance.” So wrote Gordon Murray in the best-seller The Investment Answer. Murray, a former Wall Street executive, wrote the book with his friend and investment advisor Dan Goldie, while preparing for brain cancer to take his life at age 60 in early 2011.

Murray and Goldie met in 2002, shortly after Murray retired from Wall Street. Goldie had been following an investment approach very different from that of Murray’s Wall Street. Murray became an enthusiastic advocate. At Goldie’s urging, they teamed up to write a brief, accessible guide to investing, which was to be Murray’s last project. “We worked together beautifully, as if it were meant to happen,” said Goldie.

The strategy recommended so succinctly in the 60-page book is basically what we do at Perspective Financial. Our investment clients see it in action and benefit from it. It is obvious and logical to us. And it works. However, the vast majority of investors follow the media-hyped Wall Street way. They take on risk they are seldom aware of and pay high, often hidden costs for indefensibly poor results.

Murray and Goldie describe good investing as a short series of decisions to be made. The first decision they recommend is to find an independent professional advisor, one whose interests are aligned with clients only, not the brokerage, bank or insurance company they work for.

From there, guided by the independent advisor, investors should allocate their portfolio among asset classes based on their goals and emotional tolerance for risk. Next, diversify broadly in a disciplined way that controls costs. Do not take on the added risk and costs of market timing or choosing individual securities or non-traditional assets. Take advantage of the superior resources and discipline a good advisor brings. That’s The Investment Answer.