Stripped down investing
Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street (1973) is truly an investing classic. The 500-page book contains all kinds of wisdom, but it's a tough, dense read for everyday investors. Now 30 years later, Malkiel has written The Random Walk Guide to Investing , a blessedly brief only 160 pages bare-bones guide to investing. Not that Malkiel skimps on the advice; he's comprehensive without the jargon or academic stuff. In fact, he claims it's "truly the only investment guide you need."Malkiel backs up that bold claim by saying that achieving above-average returns is strikingly easy. After you master the basics (fire your advisor, focus on just four investment categories, understand the risk/return relationship), you're ready for the 10 "simple, time-tested" rules. Yes, saving is one of them, and he has some innovative strategies for socking away extra dollars. Learn how to stiff the tax collector and how to balance your portfolio with Malkiel's favorite index funds. Invest in indexes of all kinds stocks, bonds, real estate. Put your money in a broad-based fund (he gives a list) that buys and holds almost all of the stocks in the market, he advises. Investing strategy changes with age, so check out the life-cycle investment guide and start beating the professionals.