Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week!

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Overview

Phil Town is now a very wealthy man, but he wasn't always. In fact, he was living on a salary of $4000 a year when some well-timed advice launched him down a highway of investing self-education that revealed what the true "rules" are and how to make them work in one's favor. Chief among them, of course, is "rule #1": "don't lose money." Other rules are: don't diversify...think like an owner, not an investor ... never, ever be seduced into thinking the market is efficient. Town also believes strongly in "betting ...

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Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week!

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Overview

Phil Town is now a very wealthy man, but he wasn't always. In fact, he was living on a salary of $4000 a year when some well-timed advice launched him down a highway of investing self-education that revealed what the true "rules" are and how to make them work in one's favor. Chief among them, of course, is "rule #1": "don't lose money." Other rules are: don't diversify...think like an owner, not an investor ... never, ever be seduced into thinking the market is efficient. Town also believes strongly in "betting on the jockey," putting your faith in managers who've proven their financial mettle. Not only does Town reveal fresh methods for identifying who the truly reliable managers are, but he shows you how to test whether they really have faith in the businesses they're running.

By far, the most controversial of the audiobook's assertions will be that giant 401(k) type mutual funds can't help but regress to the mean, and in the next twenty years, the mean could be very disappointing indeed. There's a very real chance that a 401(k) investor could see his holdings not grow at all in the next few decades. Fortunately, Town's stockpicking techniques are meant to walk investing phobes through the do-it-yourself process, equipping them with the tools they need to make quantum leaps toward financial security.

Rule #1 says something new, and it says it in a way that every listener can understand.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Phil Town asserts that this entire book is built on a simple, easy-to-remember investing philosophy: "DON'T LOSE MONEY!" Without an ounce of authorial pretension, Rule #1 lays out a homework-driven plan for Warren Buffett–style value investment.
Publishers Weekly
For amateur investors who admire the incredible returns produced by Benjamin Graham-Warren Buffett-style value investing but can't figure out how to replicate these billionaires' methods at home, Town's investment guide is manna from heaven. A former river-rafting guide, Town learned how to calculate such crucial numbers as Return on Investment Capital and Equity Growth Rate from "Wolf," a wealthy rafter whom Town saved from a rapid in 1980. Under Wolf's tutelage, Town learned how to turn $1,000 into $1 million in five years, but the selection of lucrative stocks took weeks of library research. In this engaging and accessible book, Town shows readers how to replicate that sort of exhaustive market research on the Internet-and shorten the research time to just a few hours per stock. Fans of The Intelligent Investor will recognize that Town's Rule #1 formula-"1) Find a wonderful business, 2) Know what it's worth as a business, 3) Buy it at 50 percent off, 4) Repeat until very rich"-is a variation of Benjamin Graham's investment philosophy. (Graham and Buffett are cited heavily throughout the book.) But Town's ability to break down that philosophy into a detailed, step-by-step program that can be understood by any reader with basic math skills is unique. His chummy, reassuring tone ("If you're finding yourself already a bit overwhelmed, take a deep breath") will leave readers feeling empowered and ready to manage their money themselves. (Mar. 21) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Town's investment guide is manna from heaven… engaging and accessible… Town’s ability to break down that philosophy into a detailed, step-by-step program that can be understood by any reader with basic math skills is unique… will leave readers feeling empowered and ready to manage their money themselves.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Extraordinarily readable…provides investors with surefire tools to outperform costly advisors. Follow Town’s simple, time-tested precepts, and even unsophisticated investors will leave most mutual fund managers in the dust.” —Arthur Levitt, author of Take on the Street and former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

“A really smart, homework-driven read that tells you precisely how to do it. Rule #1 may be the clearest and best book out there to get you on the path to riches. This one’s special!” —James J. Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” and Markets Commentator, thestreet.com

Rule #1 is an investment Bible for our time. In fun, easy-to-understand words, Phil Town tells you how to buy quality stocks at a discount.” —Rich Karlgaard, publisher, Forbes magazine, and author of LIFE 2.0

“For the individual investor, Rule No. 1 should be, ‘Read Rule #1.’ This book debunks a lot of myths in the market and provides pearls of common-sense wisdom…Indeed, Rule #1 rules.” —Gene Marcial, Senior Writer, Business Week

Rule #1’s common-sense, pragmatic approach is money in the bank.  This step-by-step guide is methodically researched and terrifically accessible … Can you really beat the mutual fund mangers and so-called experts at their own game?  Hell yes!” —Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund, and regular contributor to Fox News Channel

Rule #1 is probably one of the most inclusive, no nonsense, fundamental books about investing in the stock market I’ve ever read. This book is a must-read for everyone; from beginner students of the market to super know-it-alls.” —Danielle Hughes, President and CEO, Divine Capital Markets LLC

A refreshing departure from those boring investing books… If you're tired of being shut out of how exactly the rich guys on Wall Street make money, this important book will teach you how to run with the bulls. It's priceless.” —Elizabeth MacDonald, Senior Editor at Forbes Magazine; regular, “Forbes on Fox”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307336842
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 235,838
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

He isn’t your typical Wall Street guy. An ex-Green Beret and former river guide, Phil Town is a self-made millionaire several times over and America’s most widely sought-after speaker on investing. In his new book, RULE #1, he describes the Rule #1 personal financial strategy in detail so that anyone, even first-time investors,can get–and stay–rich.

Phil Town is the classic Everyman, albeit one whose education and resources were more limited than most. An average high school student, he completed college on his fourth try. Of his early working years, he says he “mostly got dirty for a living,” taking on jobs such as digging ditches and pumping gas. Town spent three and a half years in the Army. He returned from the Vietnam War and found a job in the States as a river guide.

Drifting through California, Utah, and Idaho, he subsisted at poverty level, combining his wages from the guiding season and unemployment. He wore black leathers, sported a goatee, lived in a teepee in the woods near Flagstaff, Arizona, and “drove around in a really loud black Harley Davidson.”

In the early ‘80s, Town’s life changed radically. He was guiding trustees from the educational program Outward Bound down the nastiest rapid on the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River, when his split-second decisions saved a boatload of people from a whitewater disaster. A grateful and financially astute client returned the favor by guiding Town into serious, successful investing using the first rule of investing as ascribed to by Warren Buffett: Don’t lose money. Within five years, Town had built a borrowed $1,000 into $1 million. His fortunes improved radically, and rapidly, from then on.

Phil Town appears regularly on the same dais as Rudy Giuliani, Jimmy Carter, and Colin Powell as part of the “Get Motivated” touring success seminar. He speaks to more than 500,000 people annually about Rule #1.

Town lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Before I became “Phil Town, teacher of investing principles to more than 500,000 people a year,” I was a lot like you: someone who viewed individual stock investing as way too hard to do successfully. As a guy who barely made a living as a river guide, I considered the whole process pretty impenetrable, and I was convinced that to do it right you had to make it a full-time job. Me, I was more interested in having full-time fun.

So I was tempted to do what you’re probably doing right now: letting some mutual fund manager worry about growing your nest egg. Let me tell you why that decision could one day make you absolutely miserable.

The fact is, because of natural market cycles, the mutual fund industry is likely to soon be facing twenty years of flat returns. That means that if you’ve got your nest egg tucked away in funds—especially the type found in most 401ks—your egg won’t get much bigger than it is now. Translation: Get ready for a retirement filled with lots of cold cuts, plenty of quality TV-watching time, and a place to live that’s too small to accommodate your visiting kids.

In this book I’ll show you how I turned $1,000 into $1 million in only five years, and then proceeded to make many millions more. I came to investing as a person who wasn’t great at math, possessed zero extra cash, and wanted a life—not an extra three hours of work to do every day.

Fortunately, I was introduced to The Rule.

Rule #1, as famed investor Warren Buffett will tell you, is don’t lose money. Through an intriguing process that I’ll clarify in this book, not losing money results in making more money than you ever imagined. What it comes down to is buying shares of companies only when the numbers—and the intangibles—are on your side. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because the mind-set I’ll be introducing you to leads not to bets but to certainties. Believe me, if there were anything genius-level about this, I’d still be a river guide collecting unemployment much of the year.

Part of the secret is thinking of yourself as a business owner rather than a stock investor. Part is taking advantage of today’s new Internet tools, which drastically reduce the “homework factor.” (We’re talking a few minutes, tops.) Part is knowing the only five numbers that really count in valuing a potential investment. And part—maybe the most important part—is using the risk-free Rule #1 approach to consistently pay a mere 50 cents to buy a dollar’s worth of a business.

What I won’t waste your time with is fluff: a lot of vague parables reminding you of what you already know and leaving you exactly where you started. This is the real deal, folks: a start-to-finish, one-baby-step-at-a-time approach that will allow you to retire ten years sooner than you planned, with more creature comforts than you ever imagined.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Make Money No Matter What 1

Chapter 1: The Myths of Investing 11

Chapter 2: Rule #1 and the Four Ms 33

Chapter 3: Buy a Business, Not a Stock 39

Chapter 4: Identify a Moat 53

Chapter 5: The Big Five Numbers 65

Chapter 6: Calculate the Big Five 95

Chapter 7: Bet on the Jockey 111

Chapter 8: Demand a Margin of Safety 132

Chapter 9: Calculate the Sticker Price 145

Chapter 10: Know the Right Time to Sell 172

Chapter 11: Grab the Stick 186

Chapter 12: The Three Tools 196

Chapter 13: Take Baby Steps 216

Chapter 14: Eliminate the Barriers 246

Chapter 15: Prepare for Your First Rule #1 Purchase 259

Chapter 16: Q&A 274

Glossary 293
Acknowledgments 301
Index 303

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Rule #1 by Phil Town is among the top 10 investment books ever written

    I've read other investment books such as Intelligent Investor, The Millionaire Maker, and a host of other financial books, but Rule #1 is one of the clearest and most exciting books on making money I have ever read. It gives you the possibilities, the history, the practical tools, and a real sense of the markets that can make even a high school student get going with investing immediately.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Must read

    Everyone should read this book

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    A must have!

    I recently listened to the audio version of this book and just had to have it in print. Phil presents a very direct approach to investing; one which is easily "learnable" by even the most inexperienced investor. For those of you who like to tinker with Excel (like I do), there's a tremendous opportunity here to further automate the tools he's created to make your investing even more enjoyable and rewarding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2011

    The most wonderful book you can

    This is a really great self help book that will change your life. With some easy steps you will see changes instantly.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Purchase

    This is a great purchase to have..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is amazing!

    This is the best investment book I can ever hope to read. Phil does an amazing job illustrating his key points with entertaining stories, as well as real life examples. He proves over and over again that anybody can make some serious cash investing in the stock market, if you only know what to look for. He shows you exactly what to look for, and takes you step by step through the entire process of researching and buying stocks. Using the strategies he lays out, I've already made about a 40% return on my investments in only 2 months! Everybody everywhere should read this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Read

    A Must Read for the first time investor or value investor! Outlines and provides resources to help develope a working investment strategy! Just the first step thought you will need to learn and know alot more to invest successfully! Great Book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    So Basic and so great.

    Im just getting into investing and theres so many books out there. I stumbled upon Rule #1 and what Phil Town did that makes him different from the rest is that he broke down the numbers for me and showed me how i can do it all myself. Lots of other investing books seem to beat around the bush this one teaches you how to invest wisely and not lose money. You can read it over and over again. Great,great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    Helpful advice on building your investment dollars

    Confess. You read the business section of the newspaper you receive the latest bulletins from Wall Street and you even nod earnestly when your favorite stockbroker reviews your accounts. But face it, in part, you think Wall Street is just one big casino and you¿d rather park your hard-earned cash in a low-risk, low-return T-bill. That¿s your reality check. Fortunately, author Phil Town provides useful, profit-proven solutions for stock market investors, starting with the first rule from Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett: don¿t take a loss. With helpful charts, common sense explanations and savvy financial insights, he offers a map for finding retirement treasure. Occasionally, his book gets lost in repetitive details and number-crunching exercises, but the investment advice may help you strategize ways to attain your retirement dreams. We recommend this book to puzzled investors and future retirees.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2006

    One of the best books on value investing.

    The best book in investing by far. After reading The Intelligent Investor and attempting to read the Security Analyses, now everything makes much more sense. This book is the key to unlocking the door, it brings everything together. Easy read. This book will increase your book value. Thank you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2006

    wow!

    This has got to be one of the best books I've read. Its an incredibly easy read, writen by a man with a charming sense of humor. Mr Town explanes how to invest in the stock market step by step... and makes it seem easy! As far as investing goes, there is nothing out there like this book. I honestly can't imagine how it could be any better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Excellent Book!!

    What a wonderful book that Mr. Town has written. It explains the simple steps to approach investing and not rely on people to do it for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    I Couldn't Put It Down

    This is the most interesting book on investing I have ever read. I saw Phil speak about a month ago. That is what lead me to read the book. He is a very entertaining and charismatic guy and it really carries over into his book. It is simple enough for a beginner and can give a new way of thinking to a more seasoned investor. This book is a must read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    Finally!

    I've been waiting for this book for months! It just arrived yesterday, and I'm about halfway through already because it's so readable. For anyone who doesn't know Phil Town, he's an investor and speaker who has a really great blog and website that teach beginners how to get started in safe, low-risk, common-sense investing. I love his approach. Even if you don't have immediate plans to invest, this book is a real eye-opener about the stock market and how it works. It's also written in a very easy-to-understand, chatty style that seems consistent with Town's charming, down-to-earth (non-day-trader) personality. And for the math phobes like me, everything's laid out really clearly, and you're given options on how to do the math -- in your head, with spreadsheets or otherwise. I haven't seen that anywhere else. Good book. Can't wait to finish it!

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    Posted May 9, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2010

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