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The Wall Street Journal Complete Money and Investing Guidebook (The Wall Street Journal Guidebooks) Paperback – December 27, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0307236999 ISBN-10: 0307236994

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Product Details

  • Series: The Wall Street Journal Guidebooks
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307236994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307236999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neither a hands-on investment manual nor a basic introduction to investing, Kansas's book straddles the divide between those two extremes, but has trouble finding a comfortable spot. Kansas tries too hard to reach casual readers, as when he compares the New York Stock Exchange to a lemonade stand or a trading specialist to a traffic cop, two simple analogies that give way to a stream of jargon and technical details that may overwhelm readers unfamiliar with big finance. Luckily, Kansas never strays far from the wry humor he uses to enliven the finer points. For example, in a discussion of the high risks of venture capital, Kansas writes, "Venture capital is a lot as its name applies, though one is tempted to place 'ad' before 'venture.'" The book isn't afraid to wade into controversies such as Henry Blodgett's questionable stock recommendations, and at its best it feels as though an experienced financial journalist is gossiping with the reader over drinks. As its title suggests, this book is a primer, providing backgrounds on every major type of investment or financial activity, with a pleasing economy of style that incorporates sidebars for people seeking more in-depth information on how to read stock listings or the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The ideal reader of this book isn't a total financial novice, but readers with an at least cursory understanding of trading, investments and economics will find Kansas' book a rewarding read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dave Kansas is editor of The Wall Street Journal’s Money & Investing section and the author of The Street.com Guide to Smart Investing in the Internet Era. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

This was an interesting introductory investing book read.
R. Brooks
I found this book very useful and examples quoted are simple and easy to understand.
Vadi
The coverage is as "complete" as can be expected from a 200-page book.
Puneet S. Lamba

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By B. Mann VINE VOICE on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "Getting Going" series in the Wall Street Journal is a good one, well worth reading, and has helped the WSJ become more relevant to those of us who have less than a billion dollars net worth. (In my case, $999,999,999 less.) That's why I had high hopes for this book. While it does its job admirably, the question is: What is it's job? The title suggests it is "Complete" and a "Guidebook." In reality, its job is to be "A brief, concise introduction at a high level to financial and economic terms."

THAT job, it does admirably. You'll get a overview of all the terms you're likely to run into: stocks, bonds, options, futures, etc. But a brief overview is about all it does. There are some pearls, a few insightful comments, and (the best part) a nice selection of web sites for future reference.

If you're looking for a quick read, and a concise overview of finances and American economics, this book is very good. But if you think it will actually help you do something practical with your own finances, you may be disappointed by its superficial treatment.

Scoring note: The book would have been a 4 if the title had been "A Brief Overview of American Economics and Investing."
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By NGNEER on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good general book describing financail terms, invetsting, and monetary tools. Historical background is provided. Very readable. I got this to use as a primer for my teenager. It worked well for that. Very up to date with descriptions of even recent investment instruments.

Does not pretend to give investement advice or guidance.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Puneet S. Lamba on November 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
As often happens, the marketing title does not accurately reflect the author's purpose in writing the book. As a brief introduction to Wall Street terminology, history, and trivia, this book is an absolute gem. It is not, however, a "complete guidebook" to "money & investing." The book does offer excellent layman overviews on "money & investing" topics including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures, real-estate, and retirement investing. The coverage is as "complete" as can be expected from a 200-page book. The author's emphasis is in clarifying concepts at the operational level rather than getting lost in the mathematical details. True to the spirit of a "guidebook," there are sections on "online resources" and "suggesting reading" at the end of each chapter. However, even the "suggested reading" does not go deep enough. So, when you're ready to dig deeper, you would be well advised to pick up a college text on corporate finance.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Mitton on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been paging through this book for a few years now - this is the latest rendition - and always find useful stuff. The writing is clear and concise and the concepts are adequately explained. This won't satisfy the more seasoned investor who will want books that delve more deeply into the arcania of individual investments but for most people who simply want to better understand investing and money management this is hard to beat.

For beginning investors this will be a trove of information. The authors explain how particular investments work, what to look for in different vehicles, and how to make decisions concerning investments and your portfolio. For more experienced investors it serves as a reminder for the basics that seem to get lost so easy in all the options of more sexy investments (that are usually less profitable.)

Great book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. CRACK on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am 50 pages into the first edition (2005). It's an enjoyable read because I love the subject area, but its lack of depth makes it a little unsatisfying, and it does contain errors.

Was it worth $11? Yes. Is it a good introduction for a novice? Yes, but it's only a first step and you'll need deeper more specialized knowledge to actually invest/trade/work in the markets.

In the introduction, on page 7, the contents are sold as good for slipping into dinner party conversation. The errors in the first 50 pages do not, however, give me confidence about the next 150 pages. Don't use this (first edition) at a dinner party with market professionals unless you want to break the ice by asking about the errors.

I would be happy to buy the second or higher edition to give as a gift to a friend or family member (assuming these and any other errors are cleaned), but I would not give the first edition.

Examples of errors in first 50 pages:
First example: the discussion of ticker symbols on page 36 may have been correct 20 years ago, but not now. NASDAQ stocks are no longer restricted to four-letter symbols, and five-letter symbols are not necessarily primarily listed overseas (look at CA, or PWX, or CMCSA as counter examples). Second example: the definition of a "growth stock" on page 26 is just plain wrong; I almost coughed my lunch up when I read it. I showed it to two CFAs in my office who each laughed out loud. Third example: in the discussion of the dividend payment timeline on page 35 and 37 the "date of record" has been confused with the "ex-dividend date." Even after correcting that, the discussion is still misleading.

A WEEK LATER: OK, I kept reading. No more blatant errors.
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