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Greed Is Good: The Capitalist Pig Guide to Investing Paperback – May 19, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Business (May 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887309847
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Greed, in Jonathan Hoenig's estimation, is passion. It's lust. It has nothing to do with single-minded accumulation and everything to do with freedom, with the ability to pursue the things that make you happy. Hoenig received his first real introduction to greed while working at Starbucks as a teenager. He found that the money he earned after buying a few shares of Starbucks stock greatly exceeded what he made as an after-school wage slave. While in college, he started a radio show called Capitalist Pig, which now plays in 18 states. Greed has been good to Hoenig.

In Greed Is Good, he wants to share the wealth with his post-baby-boom generation by preaching the gospel of investing. But investing isn't just about choosing mutual fund A over mutual fund B. It's about not spending money on useless stuff, leaving more money for the things that are meaningful. Hoenig understands how frills like designer clothes, CDs, and, yes, Starbucks coffee can seem like necessities, when really they're lifestyle add-ons that can be eliminated. Doing without such excesses can be painful, but that's something else Hoenig believes in; not only is greed good, so is discipline, sacrifice, and self-denial. Greed is written in an eclectic style that includes Yiddish phrases, street slang, and generational cultural references ("Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"), which serves two purposes: it's very entertaining to read, and renders the often-dry message of "Save and invest" infinitely more palatable. --Lou Schuler

From Booklist

Given the "slacker" stereotype perpetuated for so-called Generation Xers, it is certainly ironic that adults under the age of 33 are saving at a much higher rate than their "boomer" brothers and sisters. According to the Retirement Confidence Survey, more than 19 percent of this younger group have already set aside $50,000 or more. Beth Kobliner broadly targeted these savers with Get a Financial Life (1996), her cover-all-the-bases guide to financial planning. Now Hoenig zeros in with this advice strictly on investing. Only 23, Hoenig obviously knows how to get the attention of others in his age group. In 1996, he developed a personal finance talk show called Capitalist Pig for Northwestern University's student-run radio station. Since then, the program has expanded to two hours and can be heard in 18 states. Hoenig's approach is decidedly youthful and irreverent. Underneath the fun and games, though, his advice is thorough, sensible, and conservative. He focuses on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, but he also introduces options and futures trading. David Rouse

Customer Reviews

Like I said, read the damn book!
"iguanapastry"
This book was such an easy read that is made this topic easy to understand plus fun as well.
Kara Sugarman
Good book for the beginning investor.
Linda Schmetzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark on September 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books you're either going to love or hate, due to the author's very individual, conversational style. Personally I loved it, that's why I'm writing this and that's why I gave it 5 stars. It's a fast-paced introduction to all different types of investing, from fixed-income to stocks to futures. It's laced with retro-80s references which you'll be familiar with if you're in the target 20-35 age group.

Despite the whirlwind pace the author has some very good substance to offer. His philosophy of viewing every purchase you make as an investment may come as a shock to some but it is the foundation of good personal finances. He also presents the stock market in a very easy-to-understand way, for the beginner.

This is a fun, introductory book, that maybe surprisingly bears re-reading several times (I certainly have). If you're in the target age group and have just started to think about your money, pick this book up. It makes a sometimes dry topic really come to life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Olsen on May 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'd be compelled to give this book 3 stars, but due to the comprehensive information on options on futures, I choice to give it four stars. This is a great book, but it's simple, conversational style can get annoying and there can be too much substance at times to follow (sidebars, quotes, etc.). This is a good book by an up-and-coming hedge fund manager (Jonathan Hoenig). While I don't know if it would be good for kids to read, it definitely is a great book for adults who are intermediately knowledgeable about the financial markets, as it explains terms and operations in a simple, easy to understand mannerism.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mike Renzulli on December 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book that would give an overview of the stock market and investing and I found it in this book. The title alone drew me to it. Johnathan Hoenig is the host and producer of "Capitalist Pig", the first radio program exclusively for the financial needs of 'Gen-Exers'. Hoenig has been investing in the stock market before he could drive and now holds a seat on the prestigious Chicago Board of Trade. In this book, he provides a lively intoduction stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, options, diversification strategies, order execution and other fundamental topics of investing. He encourages investors to take prudent risks and think ahead. Hoenig's philosophy is not just about being rich, but its also about taking control of our future, professionally, personally and financially. His overall philosophy is complete self-reliance. This witty and fun book inspires a delightful spirit of independence and after reading this, I am looking forward to making lots of money investing in the stock market.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Kurson on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Any neckbone could write yet another 'get started investing, kids!' book. It'd be practical, perky, thorough, and sensible. And no one would read it.
Hoenig injected his personality and sense of humor into his book, turning out one of the most readable, informative and original investing primers ever. See, that's the thing about writing about money for those who don't identify themselves as money types -- you've got a few seconds to grab their attention, convince them that the topic matters and assure them that you can render it comprehensible, interesting -- inspiring, even.
As some other reviewers of this book have noted, Hoenig doesn't sound like most other money writers. How that can be construed as a flaw escapes me. Instead, Hoenig observes one of a writer's highest goals: a willingness to do whatever it takes to reach the reader. If that means pop culture references and a strange obsession with '80s music, so be it.
Jonathan Hoenig is a friend of mine. I like him and I admire him. And I quite like this book (even its mistakes are kinda charming -- misspelling the name of a CNBC anchor hardly impugns the advice). So I won't pretend any lack of bias here.
But at least I'll sign my name to my comments.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Furthur Q on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that on a scale of 1-10, I give this book a solid 14. It is a hilarious, and highly educational primer for anyone contemplating entering (or in my case, re-entering) the market. Addressed to the young would-be investor, it nevertheless speaks to everyone. From one of his opening comments: "It's always better to own than be owned. And once you've experienced that feeling, there's no going back.", to his frequent irreverences, "Mutual funds have made stock ownership more convenient than getting a dime bag in Central Park", this book is a pure joy to read. Very obviously a proponent of the "buy and hold" school (nothing wrong with that), the only glaring weakness I can see is that although he points out that bear markets do exist, because of his youth (he's 23) and never having lived through one, he fails to truly factor that into the equation as a reality, rather than a concept. Having said that, though, I've already ordered a copy for my own library, and will gift my son with a copy soon after he's had a taste of what the world of work is really like.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "iguanapastry" on December 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Damn, this guy's fly! I have to admit that I didn't know jack about investing before reading Jonathon's book. But my man words the book in such a way that it sounds like a friend explaining it to you... not some pompous, "better than you" financial guru. I felt emabarrassed that I'm the same age as this cat and I'm so far behind in the rat race. Read the damn book! But don't expect it to be your springboard for some get-rich-quick-off-the-stock-market scheme. I've gotta admit, I was half-expecting the book to give away the secrets to "becoming a millionaire." But even now, after I've completed reading it (and refer back to it frequently), I have absolutely no regrets for plopping down the money. Like I said, read the damn book! Like Hoenig says, every penny you spend is an investment... "Greed Is Good" is a wise one.
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