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  1. Tan Huynh "Mr.Huynh" says:
    166 of 172 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Start here, then read more!, March 25, 2012
    By 
    Tan Huynh “Mr.Huynh” (New Orleans, LA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    I’ve read four investing books so far because I’m a beginning investor. I wished I had read this book first because the other ones were so dense, and starting with this book would have given me a better context of investing. “Less is more” is the author’s writing style – clear and simple. It assumes that if you’re a beginning investor, you’ll do further research as you become more competent.

    Two things I learned from this book that I didn’t learn from the other four:
    1. The actual number I need to save each year to meet my retirement goal. The formula is clear and immediately applicable.
    2. How to create a truly diversified portfolio by investing in different types of assets. He taught me how much to purchase of each assest class and even suggested ETFs by their name.

    What a deal for a $1.

    Also, I emailed Alex, the author, and he wrote back with an answer. WOW! That never happened before.

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  2. muroo says:
    77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    pretty much exactly what I wanted, March 20, 2012
    By 
    muroo

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    If you’re like me and have been blissfully ignorant about retirement accounts beyond putting money in them and choosing mutual funds based on the criteria you feel like at the moment, it’s a really good primer. I already knew or had a vague idea of the basics, but it was good to read about them in a short, clear, format that was easy to understand.

    The (kind of dumb) metaphors worked for me (comparing different methods of saving/investing to cooking yourself, getting take out, a private chef, or a tv dinner, for example) and the best part of the book, in my opinion, is that it is short and simple. The books I’ve been recommended are too comprehensive for me now, since I don’t have millions of dollars to place in different accounts. Plus my attention span is not-so-good. Since financial stuff can change a lot very often, in terms of the tax rates, max contributions, types of bonds (so many these days!), etc, I think I’d prefer my information to come in a little booklet rather than an in-depth book to keep on my shelf.

    It might not be the best book out there, but as I was telling someone today, as long as it contains valid investing strategies, even if not the “best”, it can’t be worse than what I’m doing now.

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  3. Amazon Customer says:
    21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Concise and helpful, but could have been more technical, December 28, 2012
    By 
    Amazon Customer (Camarillo, CA, United States) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    As I inch closer to retirement, I am becoming painfully aware that I have not done a very good job managing my retirement accounts. Don’t get me wrong – I have always seen the value and contributed to my retirement, and I have my savings and my 401(k) and my company-sponsored ESOP. But the recent recession and fluctuations in the market helped me realize I haven’t really been in control. I know I have options where to put my retirement dollars, I just don’t know what the best options are. I purchased A Beginner’s Guide to Investing (BGI) to help educate myself about my options.

    The best thing about BGI is that is is very concise. It is difficult to find a book these days that doesn’t seem to have a page count in mind, and an author who doesn’t just keep writing to fill up that page count, when a much shorter book could convey the same information. Frey keeps things very simple and short, explaining what various market options exist, and how and why investing in a diversified portfolio can improve your chances of coming out ahead in the game. He uses everyday analogies to explain market concepts, which will be welcomed by many novice investors.

    However, the tone was a bit too familiar for my taste – I would have preferred a more technical approach – and many of the concepts introduced seemed simplistic to me (e.g., compounded interest, the difference between stocks and bonds, and how tax deferral benefits an investor). But I understand this is supposed to be a primer, and not everyone has the same knowledge, so Frey had to hit all of the basics. Even with this approach, I also learned a great deal from BGI, especially the relationship of alpha and beta, the benefits of index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), and how diversification can improve returns and minimize risk at the same time.

    It is important to note that the ultimate purpose of BGI is not to define the technical aspects of the market, but rather to introduce concepts that will educate the reader enough to support the long-view diversification investment strategy proposed by the author. This is not to say that Frey is pushing any particular fund or portfolio. His premise is that your primary purpose to be in the market should be controlled, minimal risk growth, and he lays out one plan to achieve that. Though Frey presents his case well, it is too early for me in my research to know whether I would agree or not.

    I liked the book overall, as I did learn some market concepts I had not known, but I would have preferred more technical depth. I will continue to educate myself on how the market works, and perhaps revisit Frey’s strategies later to see if I agree with them.

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