``Zeros'' are financial instruments that are bought at a deep discount (e.g., $250), pay no interest, and pay off (in this example, after about 12 years) at par, $1000. Merrill Lynch opened the gates in mid-1982 with zero treasury bonds, followed by zero CDs, zero municipals, zero corporates, zero mutual funds, etc. Nichols explains the mechanics of zeros and outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the different manifestations. He claims they are suited to all aspects of an investor's portfolio, but taxes on zeros held outside IRAs/Keoghs are ``exceedingly'' complicated and have a ``thousand qualifications,'' because the phantom interest they pay is taxed yearly by the IRS. Nichols leaves out nothing in this comprehensive treatment of a relatively new phenomenon. Recommended for all business collections. Alex Wenner, M.L.S., Bloomington, Ind.