A beginner’s guide to investing in the stock market.
Debut author Hauptfuhrer offers a brief, accessible personal-finance tutorial designed for the first-time investor who has no knowledge of the field. Specifically, he offers counsel for long-term speculation, with the goal of transforming an amount of money that could pay for a month’s worth of expenses into a year’s worth. To that end, he advises the reader to think like a committed consumer and identify a product “addiction”—a purchasable item that he or she consistently, repeatedly buys—and then consider investing in the company that makes that product. He then lays out the basics for assessing the company’s future prospects for success, analyzing everything from its current profitability to the strength of its CEO. For a long-ball investor, he says, the point is to buy and hold, studiously refraining from micromanaging one’s stock holdings. This “stupidly simple strategy maximizes dollars-per-hour while minimizing taxes, fees, and stress,” he writes, effectively highlighting the strength of amateur investing, which is having the luxury of patience. Indeed, the whole point is to do as little as possible, so there’s no real incentive to hire a professional brokerage house or seek out costly consultants. The author describes specific companies that have proven to be successful picks and candidly discusses his failures, as well. This very brief work comes in at less than 50 pages, so it’s more like a pamphlet than a full-length monograph. The entire text is written in a very breezy, conversational style and presented with the aesthetics of a comic book, replete with cartoonish illustrations, which makes it an enjoyable read. Its message is clear and well-organized, and it provides immediately actionable instruction. Some of it is more philosophical than financial; Hauptfuhrer points out, for instance, that a successful long-term investor has to learn to trust his instincts—or “fact-based faith”—and resist the fear of short-term losses and the allure of quick windfalls. Overall, this is a sound, unpretentious primer for beginners.
A well-crafted, easy-to-follow seminar on long-term investment.