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A Fool and His Money : The Odyssey of an Average Investor - John Rothchild

A Fool and His Money

The Odyssey of an Average Investor

Hardcover Published: 30th March 1998
ISBN: 9780471251514
Number Of Pages: 272

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"There is one thing that can be said about A Fool and His Money that cannot be said about any other colume of investment advice: You will never make a penny from the information in this book. No work on the subject of personal finance has even tried to make this claim before. That is because works on the subject of personal finance are all lying. John Rothchild is the only fully honest author in the genre."--from the Foreword by P. J. O'Rourke.<br> <br> A veritable gold mine of comic insight into the predicament of an average investor's avid pursuit of wealth, A Fool and His Money is John Rothchild's critically acclaimed personal account of a year devoted to investing his money in the markets. The entire investment world--its characters, institutions, customs, and myths-passes under Rothchild's sharp and profoundly humorous scrutiny.<br> <br> Acclaim for A Fool and His Money<br> <br> "What makes this book so good is that Rothchild can explain things like naked puts . . . and leave the reader both edified and laughing. . . . Witty, fast-paced, and educational."--The Washington Post.<br> <br> "You'll relish John Rothchild's comic tale. . . . The book nears guaranteed delight."--Newsday.<br> <br> "A Fool and His Money may be the funniest book about investing ever written. It's a reader's capital gain."--New York Post.<br> <br> You set aside some money, quit your job, devote yourself entirely to studying the markets, and start to invest. Then, through hard work and your own magical intuition, you become so wealthy your major concern is finding a fashionable hobby to soak up your abundant leisure time. All in about a year.<br> <br> Now, thanks to this hugely entertaining and informative book, you can live out the fantasy without risking your money, your job--or your sanity.<br> <br> Since its acclaimed debut a decade ago, A Fool and His Money has become a treasured investment classic. It's the comic, firsthand account of a first-time investor who sets out to make his wildest money dreams come true.<br> <br> In a surge of optimism and enterprise, financial writer John Rothchild drops everything to devote an entire year to learning how to invest a modest sum of money. Motivated by a sincere desire to get rich, he undertakes his mission by systematically studying as much as he can about the markets and how they really operate. He fearlessly asks the most basic questions, observes the professionals at work, studies the newsletters, makes investments, and reports back on everything--including his own highly personal and often hilarious reactions.<br> <br> With Rothchild as your guide through the marketplace, you will: <br> * Eavesdrop as his broker explains in fluent double-talk why he should buy a certain "hot stock" <br> * Share in his buyer's remorse as Rothchild purchases an unknown technology company stock that puts him on an emotional roller coaster <br> * Be humbled as he enters the almighty Federal Reserve Bank and struggles to understand its omnipotent power over his personal finances <br> * Witness the excitement and confusion of the Commodities Exchange and find out what pork bellies really are <br> * Hear firsthand the enigmatic and undoubtedly wise words of various wizards of Wall Street <br> * Sympathize with Rothchild as he explains his transactions to his loved ones <br> * Blush as he shamelessly attempts to deceive them.<br> <br> <br> In a gesture of pure magnanimity, Rothchild also includes the hard-won bits of wisdom he calls his "25 Useful Tips"--which include such sage advice as "Never buy anything from a broker at an airport"--and his handy "Fool's Glossary," which clarifies many of the technical terms used in the book.<br> <br> Clever, funny, and informative, A Fool and His Money will reward investors at all levels of experience with a revelation on every page.

Industry Reviews

The notion of logging a Wall Street novice's yearlong quest for investment profits during what turns out to have been the height of a roaring bull market in common stocks has a certain everyman appeal. Unfortunately, Rothchild did not execute the order nearly as well as he might have. The author, a Miami-based free-lancer, ventured into the financial services marketplace at the start of 1986 with high hopes and about $14,000 in cash. At the end of his random-walk tour, which took him through Chicago's commodity pits, the NYSE, a cram course for aspiring brokers, and other of capitalism's outposts, Rothchild was deeply in the red after allowance for travel expenses as well as losses of principal and transaction costs. At its best, the author's ruefully anecdotal recap of how he and his money were parted in easy stages offers antic insights, e.g., expecting broken to be knowledgeable about finance is akin to supposing shoe salesmen are steeped in podiatry. In like vein, he cautions that "past performances improves with age." As a practical matter, the frequently shrewd nature of Rothchild's observations undercuts his credibility as a naif who throws money away on unpromising option straddles and obscure over-the-counter issues. Nor is it easy to accept that a reporter able to secure productive interviews with some of the financial community's leading analytic lights (including Henry Kaufman of interest-rate fame) would put much stock in an astrologer - or call the SEC to inquire about the legality of holding a garage sale of his less rewarding securities. The bottom line: a fitfully amusing account of capital punishment that's literally too absurd to be believed. (Kirkus Reviews)

My Expert Credentials.

Wanting to Be Rich.

Money in the Bank.

The Financial Checkup.

The Lessons of History.

Some Practical Advice.

Shopping for the Broker.

Buyer's Remorse and Other Side Effects.

How the Experts Pick Their Stocks.

A Fool at the Stock Exchange.

On the Floor.

My Second Investment.

What the Fed Was Going to Do.

Going Over-the-Counter.

Seeing the Analyst.

A Walk on the Buy Side.

Among the Billion-Dollar Brains.

On Becoming a Stockbroker.

Selling Myself Short.

Reflections on My Progress to Date.

On to Chicago.

Opening a Commodities Account.

My Killing in Commodities.

My Doubts About Futures.

My Ethical Dilemma.

A Bout with Loews.

A Household Correction.

In Search of a Forecast.

My Inside Information.

A Street Gone Mad.


A Fool's Glossary.

ISBN: 9780471251514
ISBN-10: 0471251518
Series: Wiley Investment Classics
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 30th March 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.9  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1