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Investing in One Lesson Hardcover – October 19, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Why are the smartest, most successful professionals so often failures when it comes to investing? Can stock prices really be so illogical that even doctors and lawyers can't figure them out? Ultimately, is it possible for anyone to decipher the financial markets?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. In Investing In One Lesson, investment guru Mark Skousen clearly and convincingly reveals the reasons for the seemingly perverse, unpredictable nature of the stock market. Drawing upon his decades of experience as an investment advisor, writer, and professor, Dr. Skousen explains in one spirited, easy-to-follow lesson why stock prices fluctuate with such apparent irrationality. Lifting back the veil of perplexity and confusion that surrounds the workings of the stock market, Dr. Skousen explains:

*Why good news for the economy is often bad news for the stock market
*Why stocks of old, established companies in shrinking industries tend to be a better investment than shares in rapidly growing firms in cutting-edge fields
*Why stock prices can suddenly skyrocket or collapse--regardless of market fundamentals
*Why initial public offerings often enrich insiders at the expense of the majority of investors
*How Wall Street is like a giant casino--and how it isn't

The perfect investment primer, Investing In One Lesson provides an introduction to everything from day trading to contrary investing to chart-based techniques. Dr. Skousen's book concludes with a comprehensive but simple investment strategy to maximize your returns without having to dedicate countless hours to researching the market. Dr. Skousen packs his book with entertaining personal and professional anecdotes illustrating his central point--that the business of investing is not the same as investing in a business. He offers investors a wide-ranging but accessible course on investing history, psychology, and strategy--all in one lesson.

From the Back Cover

"If you could identify one lesson of investing, what would it be?"

This question, repeatedly asked of Mark Skousen by everyday investors, intrigued the stock market expert. Could he sum up his decades-long experience as an investment advisor, professor, and writer in a single lesson? Was it possible both to explain the cryptic workings of the stock market and also relate a comprehensive investing strategy in just one book? This book represents the definitive answer to that question. With Investing In One Lesson, Dr. Skousen has compiled a primer that will put even the most baffled investor on the road to success in the stock market. Mixing sober investment guidance with compelling stories from Dr. Skousen's years of exploration in the stock market jungle, Investing In One Lesson is an engaging, indispensable guide for surviving and thriving in the peculiar universe of Wall Street.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; 1st edition (October 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596985224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596985223
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a financial journalist for 25 years, I'm constantly asked to review investment books. Due to time constraints, I generally don't.

However, in the case of Mark Skousen's Investing in One Lesson, I found it well worth the time to both read and report on his new work.

Throughout the book, Mark systematically eliminates all the "noise" that makes investing appear overly complex. By simplifying many concepts that investors often view as incomprehensible, he leaves readers with a clear understanding of the difference between price and value, a company and its stock, and a business venture from a publicly traded entity.

When he begins teaching his investment classes at Rollins College and Columbia University, Mark Skousen holds up two pieces of paper -- a lottery ticket and a stock certificate. He asks, "Are these mostly the same, or are they mostly different."

Knowing the answer to this seemingly simple question could be the difference between investment success and failure.

It's a must read for the novice investor who frequently does not understand the counter-intuitive notions that a good company is not always a good stock or that good news does not necessarily spell higher prices for a company's shares.

Even for the most experienced investor, he offers compelling insights into the "efficient" market, investor psychology, the real stories behind the 1987 crash and the Internet bubble, the pros and cons of technical analysis, the misconceptions of growth versus income, and an in-depth look into his unique brand of contrarian analysis.

Despite a world of increasingly "sophisticated" computer models and technical strategies, Mark's exceptional new work helps remind us all that a combination of experience, knowledge and common sense remain the long-term investor's most important ally.
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Format: Hardcover
Twenty years ago, economist and libertarian Henry Hazlitt did something no one had done before.

He took dreary subjects like wages, profits, savings, taxes, tariffs, unemployment, unions and monetary policy and discussed them in a short, highly-readable book that was easily accessible to the layman.

The book was "Economics In One Lesson." And it remains a classic, one perhaps especially appreciated by those of us without the time or inclination to read a boring, stuffy economics text.

Now Mark Skousen has done the same thing for investors. It's called "Investing In One Lesson." It, too, is destined to become a classic. In fact, I can't imagine an investor who wouldn't benefit from reading it.


During my 16 years on Wall Street, I quickly learned that many investors have an implacable enemy standing between them and investment success: themselves.

They lack a thorough understanding of important investment principles. This causes them to cast about, trying (and abandoning) one investment system after another. Or buying hot tips from friends and colleagues. Or reacting emotionally - and usually regrettably - to rapid changes that regularly occur in financial markets.

Skousen's new book provides a much-needed antidote.

In straightforward language - replete with stories from his own experience - he explains how you can use the stock market as a foundation for financial independence.

Especially important, he reveals why a company's share price generally fluctuates much more dramatically than the prospects for the underlying business.

These fluctuations - often unjustified - create enormous opportunities. But you can't capitalize on them if you don't understand what's happening... or why.
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Format: Hardcover
I have worked in the financial services industry for more than 30 years and have been astonished by the dearth of good, solid investment advice that is available for people trying to understand the vagaries of the stock market. Mark Skousen has filled that void with his new book, Investing in One Lesson, recently published by Regnery. Skousen takes a common sense approach to the equities market, stripping it of insider jargon and arcane concepts, and offers beginners and experienced investors alike a sound plan for buying stocks. He writes about this unnecessarily complicated subject in simple English. Too many so-called professionals have deliberately confused the investing public in an effort to enhance their own careers. Skousen lifts the fog of confusion surrounding equities and discusses the essentials in his straightforward style. If you are interested in establishing a core portfolio of sound stocks that will serve you well over time, you can do no better than to start with Dr. Skousen's new book.

Jerome Tuccille
Vice President and author of
Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Alan Shrugged, and other books
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a book about how to pick stocks that only go up or how to draw magic graphs that will lead you to stock market riches. Instead, what Mark Skousen provides is a sound orientation to what investing is really all about, why investing in stocks is very different than buying a share of a private business, why income investing (dividends) makes a great deal of sense, and a look at other types of investments such as buying bonds and real estate.

He starts by telling the sad tale of someone he knew who was a very intelligent professional who ended up putting all his money in an off-shore fund that lost all his and his wife's retirement money; $750,000. Skousen notes that many very well-educated, successful professionals put so much effort into becoming experts in their field, and yet they take the precious fruits of their study, work, and saving and invest it haphazardly, without any real study, and chasing the latest fad just after it has begun going out of style. Of course disaster is likely to follow such a program.

This book is easy to read and understand. What Skousen says is sound and makes a great deal of sense. If you were to follow his principles you will, in the long run, likely be very much better off. The main lesson to remember is that "Wall Street is not Main Street" and "The business of investing is not the same as investing in a business". He takes you through the perversities of Wall Street and provides a primer on how stocks are issued, what affects stock prices, the problem of investor psychology, fads, momentum, and more. The thing he comes down to is that "dividends don't lie". Even so, he does offer some cautions and honest arguments against dividends. Still, I think his case is sound.
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