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on November 24, 2009
I can't give it lower than 3 stars, because the book is generally titled "Understanding exchange traded funds". I should have known it would be somewhat basic. It provides good, accurate information in layman's terms.

That said, it doesn't really go beyond that. If you are an academic or practitioner, this would only be used as an entry level quick read. It's very short. If you're an individual investor, this is probably a great digestible way to learn about ETFs.
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I've been an investor for some thirty years. I now invest almost solely in ETFs. I found this book extremely valuable.

To begin with, it is well written and organized well. In addition, it offers the reader lots of current information on almost all of the EFTs currently offered.

It starts out with the basics. So I skipped a lot of that but if you're new to investing, you should read every word. This fantastic book tells you more about EFTs than you'd ever find elsewhere. I was amazed at all the material covered and the information given.

I didn't agree with the author when he advised the reader to use FolioFN. I find Buyandhold better in that the fees for one year at $14.99 per month is less than a year with FolioFN. (This is for unlimited window trades.) But that's the only area in which I had disagreement.

Well, perhaps one other area. He seemed keen on a 60/40 allocation for everyone at all times. I'm not so sure I can buy that. At my age and in a recession, I sleep better with closer to 50/50. But, having said that, I found his idea of nine EFTs wonderful. He showed how to actually lower your risk using more equities and asset classes.

While he doesn't give but one suggested portfolio (which is also on his Web site), it is a good portfolio. It's a bit different from mine but I don't follow any particular advice.

I keep this book together with my other favorite EFT books --- right beside me. If you're interested, the other books are:

The EFT Book
All About Asset Allocation

To me, these are valuable books that I wouldn't part with.

But Richards gives the reader the key elements of ETF costs, redemptions, the three basic categories, tax consequences, and much more. I found the part about taxes especially useful. Oh, and he doesn't believe in IRAs! This is perhaps the first time I've read this in a financial book. But his reasons make a good deal of sense. This book is revolutionary.

Highly recommended.
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