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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Financial Freedom
I read this book several times in the early 1980s. I read it until it fell apart. Since then I've been through dozens (more like hundreds) of other investment books, but this is the one that taught me first principles and taught them the best. Basically this guy is a really fine writer who happens to write about investments and personal finance. He's witty,...
Published on July 7 2002

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3.0 out of 5 stars Avoiding losing is not winning
Andrew Tobias provides an excellent guide on how to avoid losing. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily amount to winning. While this common-sense book is extremely logicical on the surface I have yet to meet or hear of the first person who acheived financial independence by following its recommendations even though it has been in print for decades. Sadly, the title is...
Published on June 12 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Financial Freedom, July 7 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
I read this book several times in the early 1980s. I read it until it fell apart. Since then I've been through dozens (more like hundreds) of other investment books, but this is the one that taught me first principles and taught them the best. Basically this guy is a really fine writer who happens to write about investments and personal finance. He's witty, entertaining, and right on target.
As for the content, the basics of investing and frugality are covered. When you get right down to it the basics are all you need, and you can fit them on a 3 by 5 card. Almost all of my investing mistakes in the past 20 years have been a result of trying to make things too complicated. Tobias keeps his message simple, and that's one of this book's strengths.
Like other reviewers, I've given this book as a gift over the years. However, there's another good writer out there in recent years -- Jason Kelly, author of "The Neatest Little Guide..." series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best investment book out there, Nov. 25 2003
By 
kc "kc31824" (STAMFORD, CT, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
By way of background, I studied finance at a top business school and understand the theory of investing from some of the top professors in the country. But in terms of netting it out into something usable and understandable from an everyday personal investing standpoint, this was better than all of that combined.
Tobias cuts thru all the crap the brokers tell you, and by the end of reading this you'll be able to judge good advice from bad advice (at a minimum) or manage your own finances without a professional (even better).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some good advice, esp. if you are a couch potato, July 31 2003
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
The best line in Andrew Tobias's 25-year old classic is, one penny saved is two pennies earned. Why? Because when you save two pennis, close to one is taken away by the government, unless you are some dirt-wealthy person protected by tax shelters and a carribean passport. So by not eating that $... sushi meal, it's the same as you just earned $..., minus the cost of the McD burger.
Tobias also points out the pitfalls in many popular investments, ranging from stamps to whole life insurance to insider stocks. The book is refreshing, even after 25 years. I totally wish I had had heeded his advice all these years. Indeed, if I had just bought some long-term bonds back when interest rate hit double digits, I would have retired long ago. Instead I played the equity market and in all these years, came out flat at best, not counting the uncountable number of sleepless hours and numerous occasions of near heart attacks.
Because Tobias aims to keep the volume slim -- although the latest edition is bigger and 3 times more expensive than the last one I bought back in 1989 -- a lot of important things are left out, e.g., real estate, trusts, etc. Half of the book is devoted to stocks. While the advice is must-read for every small investor, I was hoping to see more content on bonds and also chapters devoted to hedge funds and real estate. Sure Tobias can say something about these increasingly popular vehicles.
A timeless classic marred by some missing chapters, but still a gem in a world populated by useless investment advice, in book form or in person.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction To Personal Finance, Sept. 17 2002
By 
Peter Hupalo (MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
"The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"is a fun-to-read introduction to personal finance.
Tobias tells us that, due to the power of compounding, it's important to start saving early. Tobias has a great way to explain compounding to kids. Start with a cookie jar and $1. Tell the kids they can earn 10% daily on their investment in the cookie jar. (Essentially, we squeeze a year's compounding into a day). At the end of the first day, the kid 'earns' 10 cents. At the end of the second day, you pay him/her 11 cents and so on. (to get the next day's value, just multiply the previous day's value by 1.10, using your handheld calculator, or the use cheesy calculator that comes with Windows.) The kid will quickly learn how fast compounding grows money. After 30 days, he'll/she'll have $17.45 in the cookie jar.
Tobias points out that Ben Franklin grew up in a time of no income taxes and no social security taxes. Back then, a dollar saved was a dollar earned! Today, for every $1 dollar in earnings, you might pay 33% in federal taxes, 8% in state taxes, and about 7% in Social Security taxes. Added up, that's about 50%, especially if we add in a sales tax. So, for each dollar you spend, you'll need to earn $2. To buy a $20 pizza means you need to earn $40! So, effectively, Tobias says a dollar saved is two dollars earned.
The book starts by giving some money-saving tips, such as buying in bulk, insulating your house, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and cutting your own hair (I always knew I should have purchased one of those "Flow-be's" advertised on late night TV many years ago! It combines a vacuum attachment to a barber's clippers. As advertised, it said the vacuum would suck your hair in, the trimmer would cut it to the proper length--Just pass it over your head like a comb, and you're done. And, you've saved fifteen bucks...)
Tobias's discussion of bonds is as good as I've seen anywhere without going into teeth-gnashing mathematics. He discusses treasuries (bills, notes, and bonds), junk bonds, zero-coupon bonds, inflation adjusted bonds, municipal bonds, and saving bonds. Tobias suggests skipping corporate bonds and buying treasuries.
I especially enjoyed the chapter, "What to Do If You Inherit a Million Dollars; What to Do Otherwise." After discussing a Zen approach to personal finance, Tobias writes: "I believe happiness lies less in how much you have than in which way you're headed. ..."
Peter Hupalo, Author of "Becoming An Investor."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start, Sept. 11 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "Chris Hudson" (San Antonio, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
This is a good book. Tobias' main point is that you need to start saving 10% of your income, and he also gives advice on ways to cut costs and where you can put your money. I've read a lot of investing books and some of what he said was not new to me. However, I did learn some new things. Some parts of the book that I found helpful were Chapter 5 which explains Treasuries (bills, notes, and bonds). I also liked his advice in Chapter 10 about what to do if you fall into a large sum of money (Lottery or inheritance). There are also some useful resources in the appendices in the back of the book such as contact info for discount brokers, mutual funds, a compound interest chart, and finally a quick summary of his main point (save 10% of your income). I gave the book four stars instead of five because I don't agree with ALL of his advice, for example I do not believe in purchasing rental properties (too big of a headache), and I think that home equity loans are a BAD idea. Other than that, a great book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not the only guide needed., March 6 2004
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This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
Although in my opinion this isn't the only investment guide you need, it is a great book that really sheds light on some of the more boring aspects of personal finance.
This entertaining book gives you a good understanding of personal finance, saving, investing, and various strategies to boost your net worth.
I highly recommend getting a copy of this book for yourself and one for a friend, believe me if they follow the tips they'll be thanking you later.
Here's what different national publications have to say about the author:
"Andrew Tobias is one of the financial community's pithily perceptive observers." Forbs
"So full of tips and angles that only a booby or a billionaire could not benefit." The New York Times
"The only investment guide many will indeed ever need." Barron's
Reed Floren
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4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, well written guide to personal finance, Dec 20 2002
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
Tobias is a good writer with a keen understanding of the "little guy's" financial world (although he clearly isn't a "little guy").
The 2002 edition of the book is the third update I've purchased, plus the original. This is the best update so far with much of the book re-written rather than "updated" with a few additional sentences here and there.
Although the reader will not get rich from following Tobias' money management advice, he or she *will* avoid many of the traps (if he or she follows Tobias' advice) that can so easily hurt the small investor (for example, Tobias's advice on using margin to buy stocks: "Don't").
I've given this book to my family and friends in the past and will continue to do so. It's well worth the money and time spent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Tobias, Feb. 4 2004
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
The author discusses a wide range of investment vehicles aimed
at increasing wealth incrementally. He discusses the benefits
of zero coupon bonds that are sold cheaply but yield $1000
at maturity. The author lists the 401K plan as a superior
investment. Stocks are historically a good tax shelter if they
are held for price appreciation and dividend reinvestment.
The dividend reinvestment mechanism forces consumers to save
money that they otherwise might spend foolishly. Whole life
insurance policies require an expert because policies tend
to pay low interest rates and there are significant penalties
for dropping them. Overall, the work is a good investment
for the personal investment portfolio.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Avoiding losing is not winning, June 12 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
Andrew Tobias provides an excellent guide on how to avoid losing. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily amount to winning. While this common-sense book is extremely logicical on the surface I have yet to meet or hear of the first person who acheived financial independence by following its recommendations even though it has been in print for decades. Sadly, the title is incorrect. While this is a good book on saving and cutting one's cost of living, it is not the only investment guide you will ever need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Only Investment Book You'll Need, But a Good Start, Feb. 15 2004
By 
Joe Cool "thedancingcrab" (Bronx, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Paperback)
I read this book more than ten years ago, when I saved enough money from my first job to start dabbling in the stock market. The new edition also has information on Roth IRA's and still offers good advice. For example, selling life insurance to a single person is like selling ice to an eskimo is a mantra that is still ingrained in my mind. Another is that discount brokers are better than full brokers. The book is easy to read and understand. It complements, Engel and Hecht's "How to Buy Stocks."
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The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias (Paperback - Jan. 4 2002)
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