The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need Paperback – Jan 1 2002
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From Library Journal
You've probably got the original it was a million-copy best seller so here's a revised version covering new laws and the joys of the Internet.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The certainties in life must now include death, taxes--and Andrew Tobias. Every three to five years, the financial reference industry's most modestly titled book gets a remodeling job, whether or not it is needed. Aside from his My Vast Fortune (1997), this is Tobias' annuity--and a true labor of love. How else could anyone explain the easy-going conversational style that lures the reader into a nodding complacency about a specific kind of investment vehicle until the three words, "don't buy them?" He succeeds in holding our interest precisely because the examples are pulled from real life, the same-old-same-old explanations (like compounding interest) are avoided, and he ruthlessly skirts platitudes. So his "trust no one" chapter begins with life insurance commercials and concludes with speculative can't-miss deals. Everything is up-to-date here; it would be a risk to miss this, the eighth, edition. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on March 6 2004 by ReedFloren.com
It is really the only investment book you will ever need. It covers lots of basic materials. When I first read the book, I thought it lacked details. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by Eugene Siu
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2004 by Joe Cool
If you have a bunch of cash but are unsure how to invest it properly, this is your book. Interesting to read with a humorous touch. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2004 by JFrancis
The author discusses a wide range of investment vehicles aimed
at increasing wealth incrementally. Read more
Andrew Tobias provides an excellent guide on how to avoid losing. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily amount to winning. Read morePublished on June 12 2003
Tobias is a good writer with a keen understanding of the "little guy's" financial world (although he clearly isn't a "little guy"). Read morePublished on Dec 20 2002 by triskaidekaphilia
Whether you are rich or poor this man has advice you should read! he is no nonsense and a pleasure to read. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2002 by Amazon Customer
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