Summary of The Portfolio Bubble

Surviving Professionally at 60

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The Portfolio Bubble book summary
Everyone ages – it beats the alternative. Prepare for the "red zone" (60+) by branding yourself and your skills.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


Just about everything that J. Michael Willard has to say is useful, even insightful - but basic. As Willard himself notes, it is simply common sense that you’ll deal better with the transitions of aging and the unequal treatment that almost always accompanies them if you prepare for these changes. What differentiates the best of Willard’s advice from mere common sense, though, is the specifics. He immediately cuts through most people’s great self-deception regarding aging: that it won’t happen to them. However, most of the book falls into three categories: reviewing facts that aging readers may already know; making suggestions they’ve probably heard before (present yourself professionally, stay fit, etc.); and telling stories about people who successfully made the professional changes that aging demands. Since Willard tells a good story, the book is always entertaining, but ultimately short on substance. recommends it to those who are nearing what Willard calls the "red zone" (age 60 and older), as well as to those who want to plan their professional lives, but haven’t done much thinking about it yet.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the "portfolio bubble" is
  • What dangers and opportunities this stage of life presents
  • Why you must prepare for it


Life in the "Red Zone"
You’re cruising along in your career - in fact, you recently received a promotion. Your kids have graduated from college and you’ve even got grandkids. Sure, there’s a bit of gray in your hair, but professionally, you’re still sharp, and earning more than ever before...
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About the Author

J. Michael Willard has been a journalist, an adviser to a U.S. senator and an entrepreneur in the former Soviet Union. The author of several books, he was a founder of The Willard Group, a leading public relations firm in Eastern Europe.

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