A short, anecdotal course in equity investing from a Wall Street veteran whose record commands respect and attention. As managing director of Fidelity Magellan Fund (with over $9 billion in assets, the largest in the US), Lynch has outperformed nearly all of his industry rivals in recent years. Not too surprisingly, he considers stocks a game well worth the candle for most individuals. Drawing on experiences and expertise accumulated during a career spanning more than two decades, the author offers nonprofessionals an uncommonly sensible three-part guide to the market as well as its longer-run risks and rewards. At the outset, he provides encouraging background on how alert do-it-yourselfers can beat the crowd into promising situations, mainly by virtue of the fact that they are inherently more flexible than institutional portfolio managers. Next, Lynch tackles the iffy art of identifying issues with superior appreciation potential, avoiding also-rans, and maximizing gains while minimizing losses. In this context, he explains the use and abuse of tools of the analytic trade--book value, cash flow, debt service, hidden assets, price/ earnings ratios, quality of earnings, etc. Last but not least, the author delivers down-to-earth counsel on when to sell as well as buy. He also includes general commentary on American enterprise, capital markets, and related topics. The bottom line: a fine up-to-date introduction for fledgling investors that doubles in brass as a worthwhile refresher for their more seasoned (or bloodied) counterparts.