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The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need Paperback – January 3, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0156029636 ISBN-10: 0156029634 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (January 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156029634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156029636
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

You've probably got the original it was a million-copy best seller so here's a revised version covering new laws and the joys of the Internet.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The certainties in life must now include death, taxes--and Andrew Tobias. Every three to five years, the financial reference industry's most modestly titled book gets a remodeling job, whether or not it is needed. Aside from his My Vast Fortune (1997), this is Tobias' annuity--and a true labor of love. How else could anyone explain the easy-going conversational style that lures the reader into a nodding complacency about a specific kind of investment vehicle until the three words, "don't buy them?" He succeeds in holding our interest precisely because the examples are pulled from real life, the same-old-same-old explanations (like compounding interest) are avoided, and he ruthlessly skirts platitudes. So his "trust no one" chapter begins with life insurance commercials and concludes with speculative can't-miss deals. Everything is up-to-date here; it would be a risk to miss this, the eighth, edition. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

The book is easy to read and understand.
Joe Cool
One of the few investement books I recommend One of the best investment book I have ever read.
M. Zimerman
Those looking for a book with stock/mutual fund investing howtos should keep looking however.
James H. McDuffie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a good book. Tobias' main point is that you need to start saving 10% of your income, and he also gives advice on ways to cut costs and where you can put your money. I've read a lot of investing books and some of what he said was not new to me. However, I did learn some new things. Some parts of the book that I found helpful were Chapter 5 which explains Treasuries (bills, notes, and bonds). I also liked his advice in Chapter 10 about what to do if you fall into a large sum of money (Lottery or inheritance). There are also some useful resources in the appendices in the back of the book such as contact info for discount brokers, mutual funds, a compound interest chart, and finally a quick summary of his main point (save 10% of your income). I gave the book four stars instead of five because I don't agree with ALL of his advice, for example I do not believe in purchasing rental properties (too big of a headache), and I think that home equity loans are a BAD idea. Other than that, a great book.
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Paul Skinner on January 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Andrew Tobias weaves through the dizzy world of T-bills, municipal bonds, alternative minimum taxes, and a host of esoteric personal finance topics. But the bottom line he preaches is simple: be happy living on less than you make, and save the rest in safe no load mutual funds, diversifying between domestic and international stocks. Tobias tries to assure most of us average Joes that we are a fool if we think we can outsmart the Warren Buffetts of the world, so don't go crazy speculating on individual stocks. At best, you will make a broker happy. At worst, you will lose your shirt. There now - I just saved you $14 you can add to your no load mutual fund account (lol).
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a young and overwhelmed newlywed twenty-some years ago, I read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need. It was clear, fun to read, and full of good advice. I was recently surprised to see it is still in print, revised and updated.

If you're already the sort of person who reads personal finance books, it won't be the only one you'll read, but it may be the one that holds up the best over time. Tips such as "invest" in staples such as coffee when they are cheap and ride out times of inflated prices by using your surplus are as useful today as they were in 1978. (Although if I remember, Tobias used canned tuna as the example in the earlier editions, and now uses cases of wine to illustrate the point.)

Tobias has updated the book to include investment advice that we never considered in 1978. He includes tips on how to find the best online air fares, when and when not to use eBay, TiVo, and reverse mortgages. He has some simple and effective ideas on how to make Social Security viable for the foreseeable future (without resorting to privitization). He gives specific advice to couples who are married and couples who aren't or who can't be.

One of my favorite sections is on what to do if you win the lottery. How many long drives have I passed by planning that very thing? (My first step: get an unlisted phone number.) Tobias's advice on this unlikely event is excellent, especially step 5b.) Don't buy a boat.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By GreenEggs-N-Ham on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helped me (a novice) understand a lot and gave me the confidence I needed to deal with a chunk of severance money from a former employer.

In that situation, obviously you need access to the cash if necessary, but maybe you also want to score some interest. Before reading this, I was confused about several instruments with about the same level of risk (CDs, money market funds, money market accounts, I-bonds, TIPs, and Treasury bills). Tobias laid it all out very clearly--and humorously--and helped me to evaluate the options intelligently.

There's also a great chapter on everyday savings you can make. It's sort of like David Bach's Latte Factor, but Tobias's take is a lot (dare I say) smarter in its outlook and scope.

This author started early as a whiz kid and is very accomplished, but he's self-effacing and honest about his own mistakes--so you really do trust him to be straight with advice. Most people will definitely get something out of this book.
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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Coronet Blue VINE VOICE on May 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun book and a great start if you know nothing about investing. But if you know the basics (stocks, funds, real estate, etc) you won't learn much.

I doubt you can get rich or even have a comfortable retirement by simply not losing money, but it doesn't hurt and that's the best part of this book. Again, if you know you should pay off your credit cards, buy large quantities at Costco, drive a small used car and get plane tickets from Priceline, you won't find much new.

But what about building some wealth? Now here, we have a problem. The correct "answer" is, you start putting money in a Roth IRA and an index fund, when you are in your 20's. In just 30 or 40 short years you will have a pile of dough. Even better, with 30 or 40 years, no matter what the stock market does, you can ride it out.

But alas, hardly anybody in their 20s or even 30s has money to put aside and leave untouched for all those years. Say you're 40 and decide its never too late. As I write this, the stock market is hitting a new high almost every day. Yet the news about jobs, housing and Iraq is all bad. So sooner or later (and probably sooner) the market will tank and it may take 10 years to recover. Now you're age 50 and you've got just 10-15 years to earn enough for retirement.

Its not the fault of this book that there is no solution to this dilemma. But I think a more realistic approach would be to offer these four possible "solutions". (1) Inherit lots of money. (2) Be very lucky in the stock market, (3) Get a job that offers a pension, preferably written into law so they cannot screw you or, best of all (4) Get a high paying job early in your career, so you can put all that money aside.

The strength of this book is in what it tells you not to do. But minimizing mistakes only takes you so far.
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