Outsmarting the Crowd by Bogumil K. Baranowski

Outsmarting the Crowd

A Value Investor's Guide to Starting, Building, and Keeping a Family Fortune
Email this review


A short, comprehensive coaching manual explains the intricacies of personal investment.

Baranowski places his debut guide to money and investing on bedrock factors that are psychological rather than financial: the human desire to grow and innovate and the human weaknesses of insecurity and greed. This underscores the broad-based aim of his book, which is plainly aimed at young investors and which opens with sentiments so obvious as to be banal, things like “Find something you like doing, get paid for it, save, and invest that money” and “Over time, good things will happen.” Or “aim high, go for it, and be a little smarter today than you were yesterday.” Even his more specific advice and strategies often retain a refreshing relativity; in these pages, Baranowski consistently tries to avoid prescription in favor of encouraging his readers to break step with the crowd and follow their own instincts. The principles he lays out for the most part are very basic (although, as he rightly points out, that doesn’t stop most people from failing to follow them): spend less than you earn, avoid debt, save, let your money work for you, etc. He advises investors not to overthink things: “Shamelessly go for the easy picks,” he writes. “If it is too difficult, it is likely not worth it.” He gently admonishes investors who chase fads, urging them to have a distinct purpose behind each choice: “What you want is a nice, clean, focused portfolio.” Deftly combining the lessons of financial self-help books, Baranowski stresses the main enemy of personal wealth remains inactivity; inflation will inevitably erode even the largest fortune if the owner simply sits on the money. The lucidly written book’s second half takes the reader calmly into the deeper waters of business-investing complexities, all explained in a clear, accessible voice and illuminated with many real-world examples. Beginning investors—especially those who’ve come into some kind of sudden windfall and need to know what to do with it—will find a great deal of useful information presented here.

A clearheaded and invaluable walk-through of how to handle money and make it work for an investor.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5227-3301-0
Page count: 226pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


IndieTHE JOURNEY TO WEALTH by James E.  Demmert
by James E. Demmert
by Mark S. Slauter