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Straight Talk on Investing: What You Need to Know Reprint Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471475460
ISBN-10: 0471475467
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With a Harvard Business School degree and 20 years' experience at the world's second-largest mutual fund company, one might expect chairman and CEO of The Vanguard Group Brennan to produce a sophisticated and detailed investment tome weighted on equities. Instead, he offers readers a plain-speaking primer on how to build a sensible long-term investment portfolio. While Brennan applauds the "democratization of Wall Street" that has allowed anyone to become an investor, he notes that the resultant explosion of investment advice includes much that's "dangerous to your wealth." This guide, he says, is the book he himself would have liked to have received when he began his personal investments. The emphasis is on long-term goals and balance rather than playing the market: throughout, Brennan cautions against micro-managing the profile or getting sucked into fads. Though his guidance comes well after the bursting of the stock market bubble, the principles stated within would have steadied the nervous investor through the phenomenon and its nasty aftermath. Filled with practical "do your homework" and "trust diversification" advice, this book is an easy-to-read first title on investing. For readers who closely follow Brennan's common-sense instructions, a second investment book will probably be unnecessary.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Ready for a postholiday smorgasbord? Here's a taste of four recently released financial titles for your investing pleasure.
If you're familiar with The Vanguard Group's mutual funds and heard that Vanguard's "Jack" has a new book out, your first thought was probably of John Bogle, founder of the fund family who's also an author and champion of the individual investor. But since Bogle's retirement, another Jack has taken over the helm and written a book of his own. Jack Brennan teamed up with Marta McCave, a senior financial writer at Vanguard, to write Straight Talk on Investing, an investing primer that reflects the firm's emphasis on simplicity and efficiency.
Straight Talk offers three steps beginning investors should take when starting out, the most important of which is living below one's means. Brennan bolsters this point and others with lively anecdotes and imbues the book with a highly personalized tone. He frequently addresses his readers directly while sharing the wisdom he's attained in his 21-year tenure at Vanguard and the mistakes he's made in his own portfolio. These stories add a warm yet authoritative touch to Brennan's commonsense advice and make Straight Talk as enjoyabl e as it is educational.
As you might expect, Straight Talk is a fantastic resource if you'd like to learn more about mutual funds. Somewhat predictably, Brennan recommends that investors concentrate their "serious" investment dollars in mutual funds rather than individual stocks. His major reasons center on diversification, which he believes can be too difficult or costly for investors to achieve with individual stocks. He admits that professional fund managers have difficulty beating broad market indexes over time but still thinks professionals hold an advantage over individual investors, who might let their emotions interfere with important investment decisions.
To Brennan's credit, the sections on mutual fund investing don't read like advertising for Vanguard funds. He shares insights into the fund industry and gives investors valuable information to use when studying funds. He stresses the importance of balance and diversification in constructing a portfolio and of understanding the role risk plays in investment choices and results. Asset allocation and four tips for surviving a bear market are other featured topics.
Brennan treats his subject with great seriousness without taking himself too seriously. The glossary isn't called a glossary, but rather "Some Investing Jargon." His recommended reading leans toward books examining the social phenomena surrounding investing than to sober tomes filled with theory. This lighthearted attitude is the spoonful of sugar that makes his investment education completely palatable.
Straight Talk is just what the title suggests: a book filled with basic investment advice and solid strategies for creating a profitable portfolio. Brennan presents a reasonable approach that allows investors to filter out market distractions while investing. (Better Investing, February 2003)

"...Brennan's book...which succeeds as an excellent guide for beginners." (Business Week, February 10, 2003)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Reprint edition (February 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471475467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471475460
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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on October 18, 2002
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