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Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! Hardcover – March 21, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0307336132 ISBN-10: 0307336131

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Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! + The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307336131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307336132
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. For amateur investors who admire the incredible returns produced by Benjamin Graham–Warren Buffett–style value investing but can't figure out how to replicate these billionaires' methods at home, Town's investment guide is manna from heaven. A former river-rafting guide, Town learned how to calculate such crucial numbers as Return on Investment Capital and Equity Growth Rate from "Wolf," a wealthy rafter whom Town saved from a rapid in 1980. Under Wolf's tutelage, Town learned how to turn $1,000 into $1 million in five years, but the selection of lucrative stocks took weeks of library research. In this engaging and accessible book, Town shows readers how to replicate that sort of exhaustive market research on the Internet—and shorten the research time to just a few hours per stock. Fans of The Intelligent Investor will recognize that Town's Rule #1 formula—"1) Find a wonderful business, 2) Know what it's worth as a business, 3) Buy it at 50 percent off, 4) Repeat until very rich"—is a variation of Benjamin Graham's investment philosophy. (Graham and Buffett are cited heavily throughout the book.) But Town's ability to break down that philosophy into a detailed, step-by-step program that can be understood by any reader with basic math skills is unique. His chummy, reassuring tone ("If you're finding yourself already a bit overwhelmed, take a deep breath") will leave readers feeling empowered and ready to manage their money themselves. (Mar. 21)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Town's investment guide is manna from heaven… engaging and accessible… Town’s ability to break down that philosophy into a detailed, step-by-step program that can be understood by any reader with basic math skills is unique… will leave readers feeling empowered and ready to manage their money themselves.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Extraordinarily readable…provides investors with surefire tools to outperform costly advisors. Follow Town’s simple, time-tested precepts, and even unsophisticated investors will leave most mutual fund managers in the dust.” —Arthur Levitt, author of Take on the Street and former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

“A really smart, homework-driven read that tells you precisely how to do it. Rule #1 may be the clearest and best book out there to get you on the path to riches. This one’s special!” —James J. Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” and Markets Commentator,

Rule #1 is an investment Bible for our time. In fun, easy-to-understand words, Phil Town tells you how to buy quality stocks at a discount.” —Rich Karlgaard, publisher, Forbes magazine, and author of LIFE 2.0

“For the individual investor, Rule No. 1 should be, ‘Read Rule #1.’ This book debunks a lot of myths in the market and provides pearls of common-sense wisdom…Indeed, Rule #1 rules.” —Gene Marcial, Senior Writer, Business Week

Rule #1’s common-sense, pragmatic approach is money in the bank.  This step-by-step guide is methodically researched and terrifically accessible … Can you really beat the mutual fund mangers and so-called experts at their own game?  Hell yes!” —Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund, and regular contributor to Fox News Channel

Rule #1 is probably one of the most inclusive, no nonsense, fundamental books about investing in the stock market I’ve ever read. This book is a must-read for everyone; from beginner students of the market to super know-it-alls.” —Danielle Hughes, President and CEO, Divine Capital Markets LLC

A refreshing departure from those boring investing books… If you're tired of being shut out of how exactly the rich guys on Wall Street make money, this important book will teach you how to run with the bulls. It's priceless.” —Elizabeth MacDonald, Senior Editor at Forbes Magazine; regular, “Forbes on Fox”

Customer Reviews

Very well written and easy to read.
I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking of or currently investing stocks.
A. Price
If you want to learn how YOU can make money in the market, BUY THIS BOOK!
Jeff Bates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

145 of 149 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on August 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
First off I really hate it when people give reviews before they have even tried it. Does anyone else roll up their eyes when someone gave this book 5 stars and havent even finished it yet?! Investing in the financial market isnt reading a Alex Cross novel. A review either pro or con for a book like this should be thoroughly tested before one suggests others to do the same.

That being said; Today is the one year anniversary of trying this method. I have been investing for over 8 years and graduated at ASU with a degree in Accounting (Managerial Accounting) to be exact. But never resting on my laurels, I decided to take 2 grand to "experiment" using this method.

Im not going to list when and all the companies that I invested in cuz it would frankly just take too much time. This already should tell you that following his chart advice will cause you to get in and out of a particular company a little more frequently then the average person is probably comfortable with.

First off I want to say that for a Novice this is a very good FOUNDATION. But I would strongly hesitate before rolling over my entire retirement portfolio into it. This book has PLENTY of positives to it, and for the beginner it gives you some good pointers and will give you at least SOMETHING to build upon and learn from. This alone beats probably 99% of all the other books out there. Most seem to just offer stocks to buy without giving you a true reason why its a good company to buy. This is a guaranteed way to lose. So for that I give this book kudos.

But this book is far from perfect.
1) The chart idea is mixed at best. It did save me from losing a lot of cash at certain times. But it also prevented me from making huge gains as well.
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354 of 376 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book sight unseen from Amazon because of the advanced reviews. If I had seen it first, I *might* not have bought it. But I'm still glad I have it anway.

What I really like about this book is that it explains key financial figures for calculating the future worth of a company and for deciding what a good price would be to pay for the company today (in terms of the paid stock price.) This aspect of the book is invaluable and is easily worth the cost of the book.

What I don't like about the book is the presumption that you can just sit down, at any given time, and with a little research, quickly find a company that's on fire sale and that will safely reap 15% a year or more, for many years out. It takes special circumstances to find companies in such positions. One of the author's inspirations, Warren Buffet, has not found many such opportunities for years now, which is why he is sitting on 46Billion in cash. He can't find anything to buy that's cheap enough and that would meet the author's criteria!

So the author is disingenuous in suggesting that you, after reading the book, and putting in a few minutes a week looking at web sites, can discover a gem that the greats like Buffet haven't been able to find. Bargains like this don't come along everyday. But they do come along over time.

And that's why I ended up really liking this book. The author's instructions on how to find such gems thrown into the trash by the market, when such situations occur, is the clearest, best, and simplest description I've come across (and I have no less that 3 sagging shelves of investment books.) I'm going to use the information the author gave so that, when the market tanks, say, I can pick up some of the great companies he describes and KNOW, because of his formulas, that I'm buying a jewel at a bargain basement price. I'd been looking for that information for some time, thus, in the final analysis, I really do value this book.
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108 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Q on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall this is the best investment guide I've found yet. Rule #1 is "Don't lose money." Fair enough; no one wants to lose $$. But how? The author answers that question. First, buy wonderful companies. For Town, that means companies with strong and consistent growth: 10% minimum average annual growth for EPS, free cash flow, sales, and book value for the last 10 years. Efficient, well-managed companies, with great return (10% or higher) on invested capital. Once you've found that company, determine the fair value, and buy it ONLY when it's at a 50% discount, thus giving you a "margin of safety" against the vagaries of the "Mr. Market."

He makes it sound easy, but it's not. He admits that it can take 4-8 hours of research on each company to determine if it's "wonderful" or not. And even after you've done a preliminary search with a stock screening tool, you might have to research dozens of companies to find one that's wonderful AND trading at a 50% discount.

One great feature of this book is that Town provides a fairly simple method for determining the fair stock price of a company. This is a notoriously difficult problem, but Town's method is quite good. The problem is that you have to determine the expected growth rate of the company and the future PE ratio. He provides methods for doing so, but the process is necessarily quite speculative. But if you're going to invest in stocks (as opposed to mutual funds), this difficulty is unavoidable. At least his method is fairly rigorous and scientific. There is little guess-work. Town recommmends buying only when the price is at least 50% below the "fair value price."

Once you've chosen a "wonderful" company and sunk your life savings into it, Town outlines a trading strategy designed to avoid losing your money (rule #1).
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More About the Author

Phil Town was working as a Colorado River rafting guide when one day his life changed forever. After saving a group from a whitewater disaster, Phil was rewarded by his client with a crash course on investing, based on Warren Buffett's investing principles. Today, Phil believes that educating others about those same financial principles has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of others. A sought-after speaker and author, Phil has written two books about personal investing: Rule #1, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and his newly released Payback Time.