Select one of the keywords
The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing    by Paul B. Farrell order for
Lazy Person's Guide to Investing
by Paul B. Farrell
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing is an entertaining guide, full of advice that de-mystifies the world of investments. Written by Dr. Paul Farrell, a columnist for CBS Marketwatch, this book is more about a simple philosophy applied to investing, rather than a how-to book.

The premise is simple: allocate money across two to five basic types of funds, focusing on those that track popular indexes such as the S&P 500. Decide on what ratio to apply, the number of indexes and types, then sit back and watch the money grow, without doing anything other than moving money around once a year to keep the same ratios in place. Using an index approach takes much of the risk out of investing even in bearish years, especially if people diversify across several types of indexes, as the author advises.

Dr. Farrell provides an enjoyable introduction and guide to the world of finance, with helpful information for investment newbies on compound interest, brokers and how we don't need 'em, 401(k)s, mutual funds and many such tidbits. He liberally sprinkles amusing anecdotes from well-known financial authors and other sources throughout his guide; I especially enjoyed the Monkeydex story! However, for the true investment newbie, like myself, there is a lack of explanation on certain terminology, such as 'no-load funds'. A section on how to actually get started investing would be helpful, too, once the lessons offered here are absorbed.

I found the chapter on 401(k)s to be particularly informative for our family, as our retirement money is invested in a federal employees program, the TSP, where the participants can choose how to allocate money across several indexes. The explanations offered were clear and concise on basic principles to take full advantage of these types of plans.

Those who've decided that now is the time to start investing, or who want a clear explanation of just what their retirement money is actually doing, will find The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing a good introduction to a safe and easy approach to investing, that anyone can apply.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews