I first picked up a ragged old copy of this book at a used book sale, but since then it keeps popping up over and over again. This week, I’ll review chapter by chapter the latest revision of this personal finance classic (it was first printed in 1978, which means it’s had a much longer lifespan than many personal finance and investment books) and find out whether it’s worth picking up or not.
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need happens to be the first investing book I became familiar with in my life. I discovered it on a bookshelf in my great grandmother’s house when I was in high school, and one lazy afternoon I read the whole thing while laying on a down-filled mattress.
Why? It was – and still is – quite entertaining. This book is a light read with a pretty good sense of humor; it comes off a lot less dense than most investment-oriented books and actually leaves you not feeling weighted down with information at the end of a chapter. That’s not to say the book isn’t informative – it is. Tobias merely has a writing style that lends itself to being quite readable – and I would judge that his style is the reason this book has remained in print for decades.
What of the meat inside the book? It’s a walk through the basics of investing: the personal finance foundations you need to begin, the investment options available to you (and their ups and downs), the planning choices you need to make, and so forth. Does Tobias’ tone set the book apart from the pack? This week, I’m going through the book chapter by chapter to find out whether the tasty flavor of the writing has enough meat behind it to make this book a delicious mental meal.
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need is the twentieth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.