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More basic book on investing fundamentals than Four Pillars?
Old 04-06-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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More basic book on investing fundamentals than Four Pillars?

I have a family member about to enter retirement who has a chunk of change currently managed by a financial advisor. She would like to become more cognizant of the basics of investing so she can be on even footing with the FA. She has no desire to manage her portfolio herself, she just wants to be a little more educated about the issues. I recommended Bernstein's The Four Pillars but she found it very dense and could not get through it.

Can anyone recommend a book that starts at a beginner's level and covers the basics about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and a few concepts such as risk versus return, the importance of diversification, and what questions to ask about the pricing of a FA's services? He is certainly entitled to compensation for his services but I want to make sure he is not taking her for a ride.

I shudder to ask, but is there a Suze Orman book that focuses on investments and doesn't get into budgeting and all the rest?
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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How about the Boglehead's new book? I think it is simple, but comprehensive enough to at least make one aware of what they don't know and should know.
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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If you mean the Boglehead's guide to investing, yes that's an easy one to understand. I read the Four Pillars first and that was a mistake.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
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I'd second the boglehead's guide to investing. Fairly basic book. ~20 chapters or so, and each one can be read in 15 minutes or so. Not too heavy on math and numbers.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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Financial Planning for the utterly confused by Joel Lerner
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #6
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Financial Planning for the Utterly Confused is VERY basic and only just skims each topic. It is however an easy read and maybe that's all she's looking for. I'd recommend Bogleheads guide or Coffeehouse Investor, which go a little deeper but maybe she isn't interested in that. I'd stay away from Suze as she tends to wander you'd have to preview the book before recommending it. She might go for Bach's Automatic Millionaire? It's also a pretty easy read.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I'd second the boglehead's guide to investing. Fairly basic book. ~20 chapters or so, and each one can be read in 15 minutes or so. Not too heavy on math and numbers.
It's well written, too. Interesting to read, and not tedious.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:44 PM   #8
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IMHO, she ultimately needs to be able to slog through (maybe even enjoy!) Four Pillars if she wants to be "on an even footing" with the FA.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:24 PM   #9
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How about The Coffeehouse Investor? Without knowing more about your family member, it's a very easy read with sound fundamentals. If he/she wants more after that, work up from there like Bogle...my 2. Too bad about Four Pillars, happens to be my favorite.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:39 PM   #10
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I enjoyed "Investing for Dummies". It's simple, explains things pretty thoroughly, but not in a boring, brainiac manner.
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(from AMAZON.com review) "Investing for Dummies is a good, all-around investment guide for the rest of us. Author Eric Tyson covers all aspects of investing, from stocks and bonds to real estate and collectibles. Tyson points readers towards investments that actually work and raises warning flags about strategies you should avoid."
I also found "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need" by Andrew Tobias very concise and helpful.....
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(from AMAZON.com review) "It's packed with ideas about stocks, living beneath your means, tax planning, retirement, and just about everything else in the financial world. And all of it is presented with Tobias's trademark brevity and ingenuity."
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input everyone. I've recommended Coffeehouse, we'll see if it sticks.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:26 PM   #12
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The Wealthy Barber is an easy read.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Ric Edelman's "The Truth About Money" and "the Lies About Money". Both great must haves
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