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The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need Paperback – Jan 5 2011
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About the Author
ANDREW TOBIAS is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers Fire and Ice and The Invisible Bankers. He has been a regular contributor to such magazines as Time, New York, and Parade, and cohosted the PBS series Beyond Wall Street. He currently serves as a treasurer for the Democratic National Committee.
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this for people that are starting their investment career, however it doesn't go into too much details on any particular subject.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Inspiration is a rare and precious gift. Andrew Tobias has been a blessing to me and my family and he doesn't even know us! If you are looking for an overnight path to riches this book will not help you. But if you can formulate a plan and stick to it, buy this book. It changed our lives for the better!
I promptly bought my own copy and have been reading and highlighting since. Tobias is a gifted writer with a knack for distilling complicated financial topics down to simple explanations and recommendations, without talking down to his readers. He steers people away from investments they should avoid (commodities, collections -- unless you're an "expert") and recognizes the time/reward trade-offs of financial and investment decision-making. I found his advice to not obsess over the differences in returns at most banks (pennies -- why bother?) and to not flog yourself if you forget to write down every last expense refreshing. He's succinct, funny, and disarmingly self-deprecating.
Tobias doesn't try to "dazzle with detail" -- the book is appropriately detailed to make the case for simplified, low-cost investing, but not so burdened by charts and graphs that you grow quickly disinterested. He shows great respect for his readers. I'm going to get this book for several young people in my life who are just starting out.
I've often looked at the bookstore for other investment guidebooks, and read a fair number of them, but this book is by far the best. This book is at least two books in one. First, Tobias tells you some common sense things to do before sinking thousands in stocks or other investments. I loved this section of the book, and have gone back to it to again and again for clarity in monthly money management. The rest of the book goes through the menu of investment options and shines a bright light on each one. I learned from this section of the book, and ultimately concluded that Vanguard index funds were the best option for me. Once someone clearly explains to you that it is irrational to try to pick individual stocks that beat the market, you can't help but agree. Sure it is a lot more fun to pick stocks (and Tobias explains this side of it too), but it just can't really be a rational choice for the average individual investor that does the honest yearly math.
The only minor problem I have is that Tobias seems to dismiss bond funds. I think Vanguard Wellington (VWELX) and Wellesley (VWINX) are both really "index" funds that include bonds (VWINX about 2/3 bonds and VWELX about 1/3 bonds), though they don't fit the definition of an index fund. Both should be mentioned in this book because they are solid performers, especially during volatile stock swings. At the time of writing this, VWINX is up 7.39% YTD compared to the Total Stock Index (VTSMX) down YTD. VWINX also has a mere 0.28% expense ratio (0.21 if you've got 50K for Admiral shares) -- for a single fund with stock exposure, few performed better this past year than VWINX (full disclosure: today I only own VTIAX and VFIAX).
Overall this is a great book that delivers and can actually be used as a reference throughout life. I can't think of any other book I own that I've thought more often, "Where is that book?"
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