The Only Other Investment Guide You'll Ever Need Summary

Andrew Tobias

The Only Other Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The “other” investment guide to which Tobias is alluding in his title is his own work, THE ONLY INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU’LL EVER NEED, which published ten years ago and has been rendered obsolescent by the radical changes that have taken place in the interim. Tobias, who has been called “the Mark Twain of finance,” is genuinely witty and has a facility for explaining complex financial matters in simple English. These qualities have made several of his previous books best-sellers.

His new book is directed to the middle-class American who may have managed to put a little money aside and is thoroughly confused by all of his options. Tobias starts by offering some sound advice about accumulating capital in the first place by budgeting and bargain-hunting. He then explains the various ways in which this capital can be put to work. He does not have any secrets for getting rich quickly, but he has a lot to say about how to avoid getting poor quickly. His first chapter is titled “Trust No One,” and this is a theme that is sounded with variations throughout the remainder of the book.

Tobias has had his share of painful investment experiences. He explains sophisticated stock market forecasting and hedging schemes with a tongue-in-cheek humor that really does remind the reader of Twain. Tobias’ tone grows increasingly skeptical as the investment options he is discussing become more exotic. (“Diamonds are great if you’re fleeing somewhere on foot. . . . Buy silver only if you have china and crystal of like caliber. Otherwise, stick to stainless steel.”) He is even amusingly skeptical about his own advice, since he frankly admits that he has often been wrong. (He bought farmland just before the bottom fell out.) THE ONLY OTHER INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU’LL EVER NEED may not be the best investment guide available, but it is certainly the most amusing. Tobias’ rueful and cynical humor ought to appeal to many sadder-but-wiser individuals who have been whipsawed and sandbagged in the recent stock and commodities markets.