My publisher, Crown/Random House, just sent me the first magazine review of Rule #1. Publisher's Weekly is the book industry magazine. They publish weekly as you might have guessed and they review about 140 of the 5000 books published that week -- so getting reviewed at all is good. Out of the 140 they review, they give a red star to 10 books that they think are good books. This helps the book buyers -- the Barnes & Nobles, Amazon.com, Waldenbooks, Costco etc. determine what to stock up on. Rule #1 was favored not only with a very nice review but also with a red star. Here's the review:
For amateur investors who admire the incredible returns produced by Benjamin Graham-Warren Buffett-style value investing but can't figure out how to replicate these billionaires' methods at home, Town's investment guide is manna from heaven.
A former river-rafting guide, Town learned how to calculate such crucial numbers as Return on Investment Capital and Equity Growth Rate from "Wolf," a wealthy rafter whom Town saved from a rapid in 1980. Under Wolf's tutelage, Town learned how to turn $1,000 into $1 million in five years, but the selection of lucrative stocks took weeks of library research. In this engaging and accessible book, Town shows readers how to replicate that sort of exhaustive market research on the Internet-and shorten the research time to just a few hours per stock. Fans of The Intelligent Investor will recognize that Town's Rule #1 formula-"1) Find a wonderful business, 2) Know what it's worth as a business, 3) Buy it at 50 percent off, 4) Repeat until very rich"-is a variation of Benjamin Graham's investment philosophy. (Graham and Buffett are cited heavily throughout the book.) But Town's ability to break down that philosophy into a detailed, step-by-step program that can be understood by any reader with basic math skills is unique. His chummy, reassuring tone ("If you're finding yourself already a bit overwhelmed, take a deep breath") will leave readers feeling empowered and ready to manage their money themselves.
(In bookstores Mar. 21, 2006)
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I have to confess that I am amazed and gratified that at least one book critic and a few pro investors like Jim Cramer think there is something of value in the book. If you decide to get a copy, I'd recommend pre-ordering it online right now (and yes, this is me plugging my book shamelessly). They tell me that you'll get it at your house the day it hits the bookstores and you save like 40%.
The book is about what this blog is about, but in the book I go step by step with screen shots from Yahoo Finance and MSN Money, which I hope will help a lot of you who don't have access to professional tools like Investools. Like I've said a few times, investing is like farming. It's nice to have good tools but you can do the job with a stick if you have to. Same with online tools. MSN is free. It takes longer but you can definitely do Rule #1 investing. (Heck, us little folks didn't even have computer tools at all until about 8 years ago!) So no excuses about getting started.
Now go play!