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Customer Review

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment! But Average Investment Advice, May 11, 2000
This review is from: The Motley Fools You Have More Than You Think: The Foolish Guide To Investing What You Have (Motley Fool Books) (Paperback)
Investment books are rarely entertaining. The Gardners and Andy Tobias are the exceptions. If you can't bear to read about investing and know nothing, you should give this book a try. You may find it to your taste.
The weakness of the book is a bias towards encouraging you to be out of debt and into common stocks, based on formulas and your professional knowledge. If the financial markets were at an average or below average price level, that would be all right. But the financial markets are at an all-time high, so future returns should be below par.
There is a historical ratio between household wealth in stocks and housing that favors buying housing right now rather than stocks. Few will be able to buy a home without a mortgage.
The most frequent path to major wealth in this country has been to found one's own business. Few can do this without incurring reasonable debt to finance receivables and other needed investments. The Gardners don't really address this investment opportunity.
The formula the Gardners propose for buying high yield stocks in the Dow has had to be revised every few years to be a good way to invest. This formula probably won't work well in the future either, because too many people follow the formula. Markets are bested by only a small percentage of all investors over time, and this rule is no exception going forward.
The advice about avoiding credit card debt, saving wherever you can, and so forth is quite good. You'd find it in any decent investment book.
If you decide you want to go into the stock market, I suggest you also read John Bogle's book, Common Sense About Mutual Funds, to round out the perspective that the Gardners provide here before buying stocks. Be sure to consider first how much you want to do with housing and starting your own business. Good luck with your investing.
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