My Vast Fortune: An Investor's Fiscal Triumphs and Money Misadventures


Tobias, “the funniest of financial writers” (Newsweek), writes a “refreshingly honest” chronicle (Kirkus Reviews) of his own financial exploits and escapades, in a book that is part financial memoir, part investment how-to, and part comedy of errors. Index.

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Tobias, “the funniest of financial writers” (Newsweek), writes a “refreshingly honest” chronicle (Kirkus Reviews) of his own financial exploits and escapades, in a book that is part financial memoir, part investment how-to, and part comedy of errors. Index.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Tobias tickles both your sense of humor andyour fancy. You are inspired, upon closing the book, to rush out and save your money.
Library Journal
Tobias (The Only Other Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, Harcourt, 1996) claims to have started his own personal fortune when his father gave him five dollars for his fifth birthday. Rather than a primer on personal finance, this is more a memoir with a number of financial stops along the way. Tobias recounts buying real estate in Florida that made him something of a slum lord. He tells us about a personal campaign against cigarette smoking in Russia that resulted in his buying time and appearing on Russian television. He describes an almost obsessive quest to reform auto insurance. His advice for beginning investors: "Largely it's a matter of adopting good spending and saving habits." He even titles a section of his book "Giving It Away," in which he talks about philanthropy. Tobias writes with wit, grace, and, at times, a wide-eyed wonderment that such good fortune could have come his way. Recommended for larger nonfiction collections in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/97.]Richard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Kirkus Reviews
This quirky combination of autobiography, politics, and investment advice leaves the impression that being (and becoming) wealthy is pretty interesting work.
Tobias's (The Only Other Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, 1987, etc.) journey from prosperous childhood to extremely prosperous adulthood illustrates his basic financial advice: Hold sound investments for a long time and let appreciation and interest do their work; everything else is serendipity or stupidity. He is refreshingly honest about the role played by the former in the accumulation of his fortune, but the real focus of this volume is what he does with what he's accumulated. From a real-estate venture in a rundown Florida neighborhood to an anti-smoking campaign in Russia to a fight for no-fault auto insurance and tort reform in California, Tobias finds opportunities to do good with his money seemingly at random, then pursues them with abandon. The no-fault discussion (some would say obsession) cuts to the heart of his political message: Liberals should proudly embrace their bleeding hearts without developing jerking knees. In an ongoing battle with Ralph Nader and others, Tobias insists that the unlimited right to sue, adamantly defended by Naderites as the little man's ultimate protection against the powerful, actually benefits trial lawyers far more than the victims of accidents. Indeed, Tobias argues that removing exorbitant legal costs from the present system would allow more money to go to accident victims while also reducing insurance premiums. According to Tobias, Nader's opposition to tort reform doomed the no-fault initiative, for once the saint of consumerism pronounced it flawed, rationaldiscussion among liberals was over. Although Tobias does maintain his considerable sense of humor throughout this section, the battle has obviously left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Rarely is the adjective "hilarious" used to modify the noun "capitalist," but here it is appropriate.
From Barnes & Noble
One of America's most respected personal finance experts tells an inspiring and hilarious tale of how he amassed dizzying wealth, how he put his money to work -- and how he almost lost it all! Snugly tucked amidst the stories of investments paying off handsomely, deals going sour, and good causes that include a campaign to ban smoking in Russia is a treasure chest of advice for investing wisely, living smartly, and having a good time while getting rich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156006224
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/5/1998
  • Series: Harvest Book Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

ANDREW TOBIAS is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers Fire and Ice and The Invisible Bankers. He has been a regular contributor to such magazines as Time, New York, and Parade and cohosted the PBS series Beyond Wall Street. He currently serves as a treasurer for the Democratic National Committee.

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