Julie Jason: Readers recommend their favorite financial books

Last week, we talked about finance books. I heard from a number of you suggesting additional books that you found helpful enough to recommend to others.

Julie Jason

J.F., a California reader, likes three of Ben Stein’s books because they are “short, entertaining and very informative.” First is “The Capitalist Code: It Can Save Your Life (And Make You Very Rich),” which J.F. gives to 20-somethings, the book’s target audience. J.F. adds, however, that anybody of any age will enjoy the book.

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Legendary investor Warren Buffett agrees: “My friend, Ben Stein, has written a short book that tells you everything you need to know about investing (and in words you can understand).”

J.F.’s second choice is “How to Really Ruin your Financial Life and Portfolio,” which also received Buffett’s endorsement: “A wise man once said, ‘All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.’ Ben Stein has applied this instruction to the investment world with his special brand of humor and insights. Pay attention!”

J.F.’s third recommendation is “The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing: Do’s and Don’ts to Protect Your Financial Life.” JF mentioned that he reads “all” of Stein’s books and articles, and views Stein as his “unofficial ‘financial adviser.’” Now that’s a real compliment.

J.T., also of California, and C.W. (no state) both recommended “Where Are the Customers’ Yachts? Or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street” by Fred Schwed Jr. which was written in the 1920s and rereleased in 2006. Schwed was a stockbroker who lost “a bundle” in the stock market crash of 1929, according to the book jacket.

To give you a sense of Schwed’s point of view, consider this: He starts the book with “Wall Street … is a street with a river at one end and a graveyard at the other. This is striking but incomplete. It omits the kindergarten in the middle.”

Even Michael Lewis, author of “Liar’s Poker,” found this book compelling: “Once I picked it up I did not put it down until I finished … what Schwed has done is capture fully — in deceptively clean language — the lunacy at the heart of the investment business.”

If you are wondering about the title, John Rothchild, author of “A Fool and His Money,” tells this story: “The title refers to a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers. Naively, he asked where all the customers’ yachts were? Of course, none of the customers …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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