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Ask Money

Book Recommendation on Investing

Chris Farrell Jun 24, 2008

Question: Do you have a suggestion for a book on basic investing? I’m looking for something that covers the basic investment vehicles: stocks, bonds, CDs, and cash. I want to know how to analyze each type of investment and how best to determine and allocate risk. Thanks! Grant. Anaheim, CA.

Answer: I’ve swiveled in my chair to look at some choices for you. Of course, I can’t just pick one. But here are several choices. I’d go to the library or bookstore and see which one you like:

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel. It’s a classic. Malkiel translates the quantitative, highly abstract insights of modern finance theory into everyday language. He taps into the colorful vein of financial market history–booms, busts, bubbles, and castles in the air–to bring alive the capital markets. Lots of practical investment advice, too.

Informed Investor by Frank Armstrong. A former pilot, Frank sold insurance, became a broker, and, eventually, independent investment adviser. He detests Wall Streets steep commissions and high fees. He’s a strong advocate of indexing. He is wary of Wall Street’s insatiable appetite for picking the pocket of the individual investor. Dull, but comprehensive.

Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel. First published in 1994 (there have been later editions), it remains one of the best introductions into the pluses and minuses of investing in stocks over long periods of time. He also deals with other investments.

Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People, by Jane Bryant Quinn. You can’t go wrong with the Queen of Money. Written with wit and wisdom..

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