The Motley Fool Investment Workbookby David Gardner
Drawing on lessons learned in the past few turbulent years, the revised Motley Fool Investment Workbook shows how The Motley Fool's popular investment strategies continue to help regular people beat Wall Street's best money managers -- in good times and in bad. Updated to reflect today's whipsaw economy, you will learn how to evaluate a company's financial performance, which mutual funds make sense, and where to find havens for your retirement savings.
Demonstrating how to value companies in a roller-coaster era -- and providing more useful work sheets and space for tracking goals than ever before -- this new edition gives you all the information and calculations you need to make smart investment moves now, including how to:
Figure out how much money you have to invest
Devise a sensible -- and profitable -- investment strategy
Select winning stocks
Purchase stocks in the cheapest and fastest way possible
Protect your investments and learn when -- if ever -- to let them go
Brimming with worksheets, charts, and real-world examples -- all wrapped up by The Fool's trademark sense of humor -- The Motley Fool Investment Workbook will help you take control of your own financial destiny one step -- and one dollar -- at a time.
The Washington Post Funny and flip while containing solid information and advice for individual investors.
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Read an Excerpt
From Chapter One
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Turn on any investing show on television. (OK, you might never have done this before, but humor us.) Chances are that at some point in the next half hour you'll see a person looking quite knowledgeable make a prediction about the stock market. He or she might say something like, "The market is entering a push-pull phase, as evidenced by the inverse parabolic formation that is occurring in the advance-decline line. The Dow will drop 342 points over the next two months, starting Monday." The interviewer nods gravely and sympathetically. You, of course, are mystified, and so is everybody else (including the interviewer).
Is it any wonder that, for decades, most Americans haven't thought they could handle investing on their own?
The good news is that, despite how intimidating investing might seem, never before have so many been this interested in it and never before has the information been so accessible.
These days a lot of us are successfully directing our own retirement money through things like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). And most of us expect that in our lifetimes we'll save enough to buy a house, put our children through school, and cover unexpected expenses. But did any of us think we could expect some Foolish fun along the way, too? Hopefully, you've realized that managing your money can be extremely entertaining and enlightening.
Others, however, have not yet taken to saving and investingeither because the stock market seems indecipherable or because they consider "money watching" a petty, self-interested pastime. Oddly enough, because of their failure to save or invest, they tend to be the very sort who eventually worry most about how they're going to make it to and through retirement. For them, the stock market is a bugaboo. Unlike gaining interest in a savings account, they know, making money through investing in the stock market is not guaranteed. "I could lose it all!" they cry.
While this may be a common worry among those who've never invested in stocks, their catastrophe mentality is equivalent to never crossing the street because they might get hit by a bicycle. Granted, watching financial "experts" on television probably does little to put one's mind at ease; but the first thing we want you to know is that the experts know a lot less than they think. And you know a lot more than you'd ever believe.
Thanks to the recent and unprecedented spread of education about money, it's easier and more rewarding than ever before to take a do-it-yerself attitude about your money. It's a revolution, dear Fool, and if you need proof, just look in the mirror. With this book in hand, you're our latest indicator! And what's particularly important to recognize is that our collective interest these days in managing our own money flies in the face of most Wall Street institutions, which have a strong financial incentive to make investing seem like Newtonian physics. After all, much of Wall Street exists to manage other people's moneythat's the reason these guys work in skyscrapers, not back alleys. And since the whole way they continue to afford their high rent is by charging you to manage your money, part of their sales job has to be showing you that this is just too difficult for you to do on your own. But as we'll demonstrate in this Foolish guide, investing is not Newtonian physics. The Wise men of Wall Street know that well. It's about time that you did, too.
Professional money management in fact contradicts the normal way things work in business. Most professions exist to translate or reduce complex things into simpler forms that are more accessible and helpful to the rest of us. An accountant sifts through difficult tax laws and reams of financial data to tell a corporation how much it owes in taxes. A doctor takes advantage of years of research and education to prescribe a drug that will help your hay fever. An engineer makes use of physics and material science to design the office building you work in. Professionals in the investing world, however, generally try to make everything more difficult, because that's how they make their money. They make your investing decisions sound dicey so that you contract them to guide you. Convenient, eh?
This workbook is designed to show you that while investing may be hard work, it isn't as difficult as you thought. What do you know about investing? We're already convinced that you know more than you think. Everybody knows something about business, and the stock market makes it possible for you to buy shares in companies that are involved in almost any facet of your life.
Do you work with automobiles? Chances are you know which companies make the best parts. Do you play sports? You probably know which companies make the best-selling gear. If you are a doctor, you probably know which pharmaceutical companies are coming out with the best drugs. Successful investing involves, primarily, just looking around you, scratching your head a bit, and saying stuff like, "Utah, that makes sense."
The Motley Fool Investment Workbookhas been carefully designed to provide a roll-up-your-sleeves interactive learning experience. The aim is to have you take control of your financial future. Absolutely no knowledge of any kind about personal finance or the stock market is required.
Copyright © 1998 by The Motley Fool Inc.
Meet the Author
Tom and David Gardner cofounded The Motley Fool, a multi-media financial education company, in 1993. Since then they have co-authored four New York Times bestsellers, including The Motley Fool Investment Guide and The Motley Fool's Rule Breakers, Rule Makers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Informative, but none of the worksheets do not appear in the electronic version of the book.
You will definitely enjoy the humor and laid back style of these characters. I had the privilige of hearing them speak at a conference and they really do wear the hats and try to de-mystify all this investment stuff. I had more of a financial background that some of my co-investors in a newly formed investment club and this workbook was certainly a blessing to them. What's a p/e ratio well you can look anyone in the eye and give them the straight skinny after doing the exercise in this book. As a matter of fact you will come away with a few jokes to help others understand it's no big deal. So if you don't like your financial info dry then give it a try.