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.
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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.