57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
I learned about dollar cost averaging and about Vanguard Index funds through reading this book. I followed the advice and systematically deposited each month in my children's savings accounts. The money grew and my daughter had a nice down payment for a house. My son is using his money to start a business.I also saved for my own retirement using these methods. I am not very good at investing but this book laid down a path for me and I was able to follow it.
Inspiration is a rare and precious gift. Andrew Tobias has been a blessing to me and my family and he doesn't even know us! If you are looking for an overnight path to riches this book will not help you. But if you can formulate a plan and stick to it, buy this book. It changed our lives for the better!
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
Andrew Tobias is a gem. He is smart, witty, sensible, and self-deprecating. Even the titles of his books ("The ONLY Investment Guide You'll Ever Need," followed by a sequel entitled, "The Only OTHER Investment Guide You'll Ever Need") are funny. If you have a son or daughter who is embarking on young adulthood, or a newly-divorced friend who knows nothing of finances, this is an ideal book for you to give to him or her to encourage financial independence and stability. Tobias speaks in terms that everyone can understand. His were among the first financial books I ever read, decades ago, at a time when I was just starting to save for children's college tuition, retirement, investments, etc. His books are still my fond favorites. You'll like this book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2011
I bought this book's first printing in 1978. Following its advice, I was able to retire at 59. I lived below my means and invested in stocks (and was helped by the bull market through 2000). Tobias is a really good writer. He is fun to read. If you've thought about investing, this is the first book you should read.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2011
I checked this book out at my library after reading an interview with Tobias in a financial magazine. I am in the accounting/finance profession and have read lots of investment books over the years. This is the best -- by far!
I promptly bought my own copy and have been reading and highlighting since. Tobias is a gifted writer with a knack for distilling complicated financial topics down to simple explanations and recommendations, without talking down to his readers. He steers people away from investments they should avoid (commodities, collections -- unless you're an "expert") and recognizes the time/reward trade-offs of financial and investment decision-making. I found his advice to not obsess over the differences in returns at most banks (pennies -- why bother?) and to not flog yourself if you forget to write down every last expense refreshing. He's succinct, funny, and disarmingly self-deprecating.
Tobias doesn't try to "dazzle with detail" -- the book is appropriately detailed to make the case for simplified, low-cost investing, but not so burdened by charts and graphs that you grow quickly disinterested. He shows great respect for his readers. I'm going to get this book for several young people in my life who are just starting out.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
Amazing that the title is true, it is the only investment guidebook you'll ever need!
I've often looked at the bookstore for other investment guidebooks, and read a fair number of them, but this book is by far the best. This book is at least two books in one. First, Tobias tells you some common sense things to do before sinking thousands in stocks or other investments. I loved this section of the book, and have gone back to it to again and again for clarity in monthly money management. The rest of the book goes through the menu of investment options and shines a bright light on each one. I learned from this section of the book, and ultimately concluded that Vanguard index funds were the best option for me. Once someone clearly explains to you that it is irrational to try to pick individual stocks that beat the market, you can't help but agree. Sure it is a lot more fun to pick stocks (and Tobias explains this side of it too), but it just can't really be a rational choice for the average individual investor that does the honest yearly math.
The only minor problem I have is that Tobias seems to dismiss bond funds. I think Vanguard Wellington (VWELX) and Wellesley (VWINX) are both really "index" funds that include bonds (VWINX about 2/3 bonds and VWELX about 1/3 bonds), though they don't fit the definition of an index fund. Both should be mentioned in this book because they are solid performers, especially during volatile stock swings. At the time of writing this, VWINX is up 7.39% YTD compared to the Total Stock Index (VTSMX) down YTD. VWINX also has a mere 0.28% expense ratio (0.21 if you've got 50K for Admiral shares) -- for a single fund with stock exposure, few performed better this past year than VWINX (full disclosure: today I only own VTIAX and VFIAX).
Overall this is a great book that delivers and can actually be used as a reference throughout life. I can't think of any other book I own that I've thought more often, "Where is that book?"
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2012
This is one of the best common sense book on savings and investing out there. Rule No. 1 "Trust no one with your money except yourself". The majority of brokers and investors that want your money are out to make the highest commissions. Tobias also stresses the importance of compounding interest.......start saving early and always live below your means. This should be mandatory reading for every young adult. I've found this to be a great for young graduates as they start their carriers.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2011
When my husband and I married, we had two paychecks and an apartment full of used furniture. We were completely broke. We heard about Andrew's book on an AM radio program. We immediately went out and got Andy's book. We read it, and started following the advice. That was 20+ years ago, so a lot has changed. I'm always uncomfortable saying the number, but here goes. I emailed Andrew Tobias about our success story last year. At that point, our net worth was $700,000. That's old news. With the downturn of the economy, we knew how to protect our money and take advantage of cheap stock prices. Others were running away from investments. We couldn't wait to get in, buying little pieces of companies that we knew were going to be OK in the long run. That $700K is so old news. Can you say a net worth of $800K? We have never had CEO incomes. My husband drives a truck, and I work in the medical field. Buy the book. Read it, and pay attention. Andrew Tobias is a very smart man. He will show you the way.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2012
If you haven't read this book, you should. If you have read it, you should be doing better financially than before you read it. If you have read it and you are not doing better, you didn't learn anything, or didn't have the sense or the discipline to apply what you read. I don't know whether or not it is really the only investment guide you'll ever need. That may depend on how much money you need to worry about managing. But it seems like a pretty sound one for the average person who wants to use money more sensibly and plan for the future without doing extensive research or daily monitoring. A modicum of common sense and a fair amount of discipline are the primary prerequisites for following Tobias's advice. If you have those, and you are interested in putting your money to work for you, you will find that Tobias has advice that is both sound and reasonably simple. His basic advice: regular investment in a no-load mutual fund is the best way to go for most people who want to do something more with their money than leave it in the bank and wonder. But there is a lot more in the book than that (it doesn't take 300 pages to deliver that message, even though he does deliver it more than once), from an opening chapter designed to save you $1,000 a year on everyday expenses, to details about brokerages, investment instruments, and much more. Adding to the appeal of the book is Tobias's writing style, combining clarity, knowledge, and humor. It really is enjoyable to read, which a person like me would not be predisposed to say about an investment book. I should have read it 30 years ago (the first edition appeared in 1978 and there have been several revisions since then; this 2010 edition says it is completely revised and updated), but perhaps it is not too late for me to get a little bit smarter.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
The book teaches simple stuff how to be frugal and is it better to buy random crap or pay off your loan?
Just stuff that you wouldn't have think of but once stated you end up asking yourself, "It's simple why the hell I haven't thought of it?"
There are bunch of tips the books gives, including using mint.com which I have for a while now. I believe the author is nice and genuine in trying to help the reader be more responsible in investment and financially stable.
Overall, it's a good book to help yourself to be financially responsible.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2011
We first bought this book fifteen years ago when we were just married and had had our first baby. We loved it! Now with that baby in high school and our finances in a much different place, and things like college tuition and retirement that much closer, I bought the revised version. Although perhaps NOT the only guide you'll need, it is an essential one. It is basic advice: get rid of debt, spend less than you earn, not spending money has the highest return, and invest the rest in prudent investments.
Tobias is funny, has relevant stories (usually of what NOT to do), and the book is easy to read... it is NOT boring! This book is not a book about how you can make millions like BOB or JANE did. He also doesn't give story after story of successes people have had from reading and/or following his advice (like another popular book I know).
This edition adds a new chapter: All in the Family. Kids, parents, life insurance, long term care, estate tax, beneficiaries... Already suggestions have helped me in working with my parents to make sure their financial house is in order.
It's not the only investment book I ever needed, I do confess I bought a book about municipal bonds.