Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: How To Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio
Amazon Vehicles Up to 80 Percent Off Textbooks Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Totes Amazon Cash Back Offer ElvisandNixon ElvisandNixon ElvisandNixon  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Florida Georgia Line Water Sports

Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$17.46+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Ben Stein uses reverse psychology to share the benefit of his experience with novice investors. He conveys the message that prudence may not be exciting, but it helps keeps us solvent. In "How to Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio," Stein, an economist, actor, journalist, and comedian, provides handy tips to help the reckless and impulsive empty out their retirement accounts, enrich brokers, and shrink their beneficiaries' future inheritance. If you follow Stein's advice to the letter, you can have fun riding a financial roller coaster to disaster.

This slim, informative, and sarcastic volume has brief chapters outlining paths to self-destruction. A few examples: Use your gut instinct/and or clairvoyance to pick stocks; get into hedge funds, currency trading, and commodities in a big way; buy on margin and sell short; and follow the celebrity financial gurus' advice slavishly. What could go wrong? In addition to his monetary advice, Stein includes useful recommendations for destroying your career, sometimes before it even gets started.

Stein's father, Herbert, was "a famous economist," his mother was a savvy investor who left behind a solid portfolio, and he has friends (including Warren Buffett) who are knowledgeable and wealthy. So why has Stein made so many stupid mistakes over the years? It must be that he is human; when the siren song of speculation called to him, he was powerless to resist. Investing, like gambling, can be addictive, and we all know how successful most gamblers and addicts are over time.

"How to Really Ruin Your Financial Life" is a light and fast-paced primer about the basic principles we need to follow to keep us from making ill-advised and poorly timed decisions. If you take nothing else away from this book, know that "great investors are not swayed by fads and fancies." "The ones who make money over their lifetimes are steadfast of purpose, well informed, [and] listen to wise guidance." Ben Stein is a spoil-sport who takes all the fun out of living on the edge. Although much of what he says is common sense, we all know that common sense is uncommon.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 23, 2013
This is late 2012 copyright I believe and is even better than the 2010 edition. I believe I said 2011in a review of his first "How To Ruin, book.
This one takes on your portfolio along with the common sense and easy to understand advice.
I Highly recommend this one for your kids. Ahhh heck I'll tell the truth, Not only your ked but Yourself and any Friend that sees it on your coffee table. Because as Ben says, "You don't know Anything!" Believe me it's not an insult or put down. He's right. Something for everyone in this one.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 11, 2013
I love Ben Stein. This short book was an exceptionally easy read and a nice break from the usual dry investing books.

Stein's advice is solid and time-tested. It's a good, basic intro for a those new to investing (as long as you have enough of a foundation to understand where he's being sarcastic--which is about 60% of the book) and a good refresher for those with experience. I also found it to be useful as a reality check-- a source of solid, time-tested investing wisdom.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2012
...but you should have included a chapter about SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY
on Amazon purchases! Just kidding, Amazon, glad you're here-we all know that Books
and Music take precedence over Food and Clothing.
I wanted to give Ben five stars for this book, but really, most of the advice he's giving here
is just common sense-most importantly, not trying to be your own financial advisor by
'picking' individual stocks, etc. A good read, worth a few laughs maybe, but not great.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2012
I really like Ben Stein and I like Iistening to him on financial shows. I think he has a lot of common sense when it comes to money. Unfortunately, this book is excessively repetitive. He chooses every financial way there is to make money [stock markent, bonds, ETF, etc] and lets you know all the ways a private investor can go wrong considering the advantages giant financial institutions have when investing. Unfortunately, all the ways you can make mistakes are pretty much the same for every type of investment. It all comes down to the fact that giant investment houses are also trying to make money and they employ thousands of people all around the world to gain an advantage in the market, and as a private investor you can never match that. His advice: Don't think you will beat the street. Invest with the crowd. Sadly, you will have learned this in chapter one, and by chapter three it is monotonous. I didn't read the last chapters.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 30, 2013
I have a few of Ben Stein's books, and they all have good content. This one is simplified and has only a few new points, but they are always worth reading and not expensive. I love Ben's advice and have resisted some previous pitfalls.
11 comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2014
Funny, amusing and good advice.

My one criticism : for real beginners in financial planning and investment advice like me: it would be good to know when you are being facetious and when you are being serious. a change in font for say /expect sly humor,.... /another kind of font for clues to real straight investment principles.

If you have ever herd Ben Stein talk, you know what I mean.
But this book just fails to deliver his wit and wisdom. Too bad.
Ben Stein had a good idea but the publishers failed to deliver.

Ben, get another publisher!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 6, 2016
Pretty quick read...but sometimes he switches from straight up informative writing to being facetious mid-paragraph & you have to re-read it to figure out when he changes the tone. Ironic humor is hard to pull off w/the written word. (There's a reason Bill Murray isn't a N.Y. Times bestselling author.) Would have killed it in an interview style where Stein could go into perfect dead-pan & a journalist would be trying to hold back laughter...probably couldn't figure out how to market something like that...or maybe the audiobook is in development? I could tell from some of the other reviewers on here that they didn't always get the joke.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 26, 2016
I liked he idea of the book about teaching us what not to do in I eating and using humor at the same time. While the points on how to ruin your financial life where present I did not pick up on the humor. Overall it is a short book with good concepts to help point out downfalls of various investment types.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 21, 2012
This book is both informational and entertaining. It provides sound advice with the dry humor that Ben Stein is known for. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to you. It is especially good for folks who have just enough knowledge of finance and economics to get themselves into trouble.

I especially liked the section on investing for retirement. When most people calculate their net worth, they fail to include that massive unfunded liability that is retirement. This book is worth every bit of its price.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse