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A Fool and His Money: The Odyssey of an Average Investor Paperback – Mar 30 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Reprint edition (March 30 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471251380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471251385
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"If you think it's right it's wrong, and vice versa," quips freelance writer Rothchild in this picaresque odyssey of his search for a surefire way to multiply money. With a $14,000 grubstake, he invested in stocks and made the rounds: visiting brokerage houses, interviewing financial advisers, studying market newsletters, appraising mutual funds, penetrating the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve purlieus and Chicago's commodity trading pits (where putting one's money is "like holding up bread for the seagulls"). His education complete, Rothchild found that most of his capital evaporated even before the October '87 Crash, which completed the job. The average investor, the author concludes in this rueful, ironic and doggedly humorous tale, is "a born loser." Nevertheless, readers will be vastly entertained while learning investment essentials and idiosyncrasies they never knew they ought to know about.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This book is an exemplar on how not to invest, but it is not helpful on how to invest intelligently. The author describes his unsuccessful journey investing in stocks, futures, etc.; his use of investment newsletters and attendance at seminars; and his investigation of investment markets. Other than painting a grim picture on how easy it was for him to lose money, the book has little substance. While well written and at times entertaining, it would have been much more valuable if the author had analyzed his judgments and errors and discussed investment alternatives. Instead, the book is darted with "tips" that are more humorous than useful. Arthur J. Lieb, Library of Congress
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inside This Book

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I WAS TOLD THAT BEFORE YOU CAN ENRICH YOURSELF, YOU HAVE to want to get richer. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"A fool and his money" is the story of buyers remorse of one very lucky investor, who walked away with 50 percent of his money. Zero game means one person is a winner and another person is a loser. John got a bad taste, as he discovered the hazards of his margin being called and being forced too come up with 8600 dollars, too cover his investments and learned once again the average investor can not afford too invest. Bottom line, the lucky disappear into anomity, no one knows there name only their story; the losers feed the winners; and the winners are always looking for new losers.
John made a few mistakes, acted on weak advice, and held on too long after realizing his mistake. John gave some very insightful information about mutal fund managers. At the time of the book 9200 fund managers were controlling 75 percent of the wealth. John says, mutal fund managers don't outperform the averages because they collaborate between each other on selection. Outperformance is shunned because it distinquishes one mutal fund manager above another and makes the other look bad; and his claim for why mutal fund managers don't beat the average.
The Federal Reserve buy Bonds and use bonds too control the money supply. The Bonds represent assets which banks can loan money against increasing the available money supply to the consumer. If inflation increases, the Fed sells Bonds decreasing the money supply and increasing the interest rate. So, the Fed regulates inflations by controlling the amount of money supply.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2001
Format: Paperback
Mr. Rothschild did something in this book that you should never do. He took a year off to learn how to invest, and looked into every financial category available. As a result, he was soon inundated with advice that he often followed. Usually, he didn't understand the risks of what he was doing, and he almost always ended up making costly and unnecessary mistakes. You will find this book a funny cautionary tale about the relevance of keeping it simple and focusing on what's important.
The book is filled with short bits of advice that give you a flavor for its content.
"Never buy the June call nor sell the October put simultaneously, unless you know what they are." This is a reference to a strategy for making money in very volatile stocks. The stock he used was not volatile enough, and he lost on the position.
"'Expert' advice does not agree." So who can you believe?
Mr. Rothchild's downfall was that he is an obviously intelligent, curious person who was too good at finding sources of information. Along the way, he met more different investment brokers, security analysts, professional portfolio managers, market makers, commodity traders, and options experts than you can shake a stick at. Although no one held his hand into a fire, he often tried out an idea that he heard about along the way. The salespeople were all trained to let the investor do whatever he wanted, so he was able to get himself into deep water in the process of trying these things. Someone should have pointed out that he could have learned the same lessons by simply taking a theoretical position on paper, and tracking the results.
One hilarious sequence has him changing hotels during a vacation to avoid the margin calls that came every few hours.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was first published in 1988, after the 1987 crash. The wisdom and essence of the book is still as valuable now in 2002. It is entertaining as well as educational. The author went out of his way to describe his experience or experiments in various areas of investing, giving knowledge and first hand information on how the investment world runs from different perspectives. The author took a year to study investing and invest with his real money, with the assignment of writing this book about it at the end. As a result, his investment decisions and variety and frequency of his investment may be atypical of an average investor. However, his description of the phychology of an average investor is quite accurate.
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By A Customer on May 6 1999
Format: Paperback
Rothchild writes with a very negative or should I say sarcastic perspective. But his sarcasm is very well directed. I think this book has tremendous value for an investor that has been around the block once or twice and is looking for more insight to market mechanics. Some areas of great insight covered:
Selling newsletters or get rich schemes.
The Stockbroker (1 notch above a used car salesman).
Insights to the mechanics of stock prices.
Sell side - buy side analyst relationships and the Fund Manager.
This book belongs in your collection AFTER you have the basics down and have some experience to understand what Rothchild is really talking about.
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Format: Paperback
I must say that Rothchild has successfuly written a book that an average investor loke you and me can identified with.
Just think about it, how many times we purchase a stock because we heard a conversation in the toilet about a particular company and regret for our action later.
We always insearch of a get rich quick formular in the financial market, but we ended up poorer instead. Rothchild illustration of how an average investor trying to make the big bucks definitly can make people like myself to identify with him, thus relating out own experience with his character in this book.
Great reading for the weekend!
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