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Yes, You Can Be A Successful, Income Investor: Reaching for Yield in Today's Market Paperback – February 15, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Aimed at those living on a fixed income or on the cusp of retirement, Yes, You Can Be a Successful Income Investor! explains the basic building blocks of fixed-income investing and offers advice on getting the highest possible yield while minimizing capital losses. At a time when interest rates are unusually low and with more Americans than ever reaching retirement (a trend that will continue for the next 15 years), this is particularly timely information. Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth sift through dozens of investment options and highlight the stocks and bonds with the greatest income yields in recent years as well as some strategies and investments that should be approached with caution. They also discuss how to develop a diverse portfolio, name specific investments and explain their yields and risks, and help readers develop an overall strategy based on goals and needs. There are also chapters on the bond market, annuities, winning stocks, various investment products, real estate investment trusts, and a look at the hard numbers on various mutual funds.

Stein, an economist and part-time TV and movie personality, and DeMuth, an investment psychologist, make a good writing team. They combine a wealth of information, including hard data, graphs, and charts, with a clear and precise writing style that investment novices will appreciate. The book also contains practical tips and advice designed to help readers do their own research and know the questions to ask when dealing with investment professionals. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

        Ben Stein can be seen talking about finance on Fox TV news every week. He has written about finance for Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal for decades and contributes regularly to the AARP’s Modern Maturity (now AARP: The Magazine). He was one of the chief busters of the junk bond frauds of the 1980s, has been a long-time critic of corporate executives’ self-dealing, and has written several self-help books about personal finance.
        Phil DeMuth is an investment psychologist with a longstanding interest in the stock market. He has written for The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, as well as Human Behavior and Psychology Today. His opinions have been quoted on theStreet.com and Fortune Magazine and is president of Conservative Wealth Management in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Beginnings Press (February 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401903207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401903206
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,217,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth are very dedicated to helping people get serious in preparing for retirement. They bring several strong virtues to this task. First, they not only reject investment fads, they believe in and focus on solid investment basics. Second, they believe that you have the final responsibility for your money, so if an investment or financial program is too complicated for you to understand in every detail, they advise you to stay away from it. Third, they understand and preach diversification. Simply, diversification aids the investor by removing the risk associated with investing in just one firm or one market sector and therefore stabilizes earnings.

The idea behind this book is quite good. For the past two or three decades, all the talk around investing has been about growth stocks where you make your money by realizing capital gains. Before the age of double dividend taxation, people invested for the income provided by dividends. The present market for stocks is priced high in historical terms (see Stein and DeMuth's excellent "Yes, You Can Time the Market" to understand why this is true) and it is all too likely that a correction could provide losses instead of gains. In this book, the authors provide an approach to investing that provides a return by gaining dividend income from stocks and interest income from bonds while avoiding the risk of capital losses as much as possible.

Stein and DeMuth begin by talking about bonds. They provide an excellent primer and then talk about the various types of bonds, their risks, and their returns. Their discussion will help the reader understand that a higher return comes with increased risks. In effect, the higher return is a compensation for taking on that higher risk.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the best income investing book I have read. I loved this book, it was superbly well written with practical income investment advice in stocks, bonds (treasuries, corporate, municipal, junk etc) and real estate (REITs). This book would be very useful regardless of the amount of money you have to invest. The authors make specific recommendations without any vague statements. There is income portfolio advice. It is easy to read and I finished it in one sitting. The book had a lot of humor sprinkled throughout. I loved the two stories in one of the earlier chapters in which the authors said that if you understood these 2 stories you would understand the bond market and they were right on! There are plenty of numbers and figures but the authors have accomplished a remarkable feat in that they wrote the subject matter in such a way that any high schooler could understand. Yet the material is far from "dumbed down".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very different investment book. While the books one typically sees suggest ways to get rich-- that is, to accumulate capital-- as quickly as possible, this short, readable book suggests that those near or in retirement should be thinking about how to deploy their resources in a way that maximizes their income. That is, staying comfortable is more important than getting rich.

Stein and DeMuth explain that most investment fads are not only unsuitable for older investors, but, worse, they just don't work. They make a point that many people who lost their money in the market meltdown a few years ago should have thought about: If an investment is too complicated to understand, then it should be avoided. In the end, there's no magic bullet; diversification and adherence to investment basics will pay off. The body of the book is devoted to explaining how to do that.

The book discusses various types of bonds, dividend-paying stocks, real estate investment trusts, and annuities. The one thing that is mentioned in every chapter is the basic principle that risk and reward are in balance; the only way to get a high reward is to take more risk. Striking the correct balance is, of course, an individual decision, and the most important part of the book is the discussion about how to combine various types of investments in in a way that balances risk and reward. There are numerous sample portfolios and many specific bond and stock funds suggested-- and also numerous cautions that investors need to do their own research before they buy anything. The authors provide a link to their website, which provides current information and links.

A bonus is that unlike many investment books, this one is very readable.
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Format: Hardcover
Ben Stein is one of the very few authors whose work is an outcropping of his successes in life - not a reaction against his failures.

If you read this book, or any other work by him, you'll realize that this guy gets it. He understands how to live a successful life and gives advice that's derived from his own experiences - not what he wishes he had done. Savings, investment, love, happiness - he tackles these issues with the realism that is so often slighted by self-proclaimed gurus who haven't got a clue.

My litmus test for authors of books such as these: Would this guy go broke if I nobody bought his book?

Ben Stein is doing all of us a great favor by sharing his knowledge, which has allowed him to live such a well-rounded and successful life.
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