My Vast Fortune My Vast Fortune

My Vast Fortune

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The title was my editor’s idea — basically, all my over-reaching, superlative titles have been my editors’ ideas (that’s my excuse: “I was just following orders”) — and, well, it was a joke. Except that the jacket of the hardcover had me next to a pile of gold bars (painted wood, as I would quickly explain on the talk shows), and all too many people got the impression I meant it.

Not that I’m pleading poverty. I’ve had more than my share of good fortune. But the jacket of the paperback has me standing on a penny — the O in FORTUNE — which is much more the tone I was after.

This book will not make you rich. It is not an investment guide. I suppose reading about my lunacies and occasional scores could make you a little savvier about money, but the point is to entertain and then to engage. Because I have an agenda. Part of it is more an obsession than an agenda, and it is this: unless you live in Michigan, you pay too much for your auto insurance and are likely to be woefully undercompensated if you are ever badly injured in a crash. This led to the chapter called (of all things, given my background as a Sixties liberal), RALPH NADER IS A BIG FAT IDIOT.

But part of it is even more exciting than auto insurance reform (if you can believe it). We’re alive at an amazing time, and if you struggle all the way through the book to nearly the end, you will find a BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE that, for me, at least, puts it all in context. (It is a sobering thought that, as I write this, Bill Gates has three dollars for each year since time began.)



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