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All-inclusive yet jargon-free and easy-to-navigate investment advice.

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An encyclopedic financial reference offers tips for the common investor.

Authoritative information about stocks, bonds, and other investments is not necessarily hard to come by. But it is challenging to find in-depth details about virtually every investment vehicle in one place. This third paperback edition is exhaustive, containing current material about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments, including life insurance, annuities, unit trusts, and commodities. That is merely the contents of Section I; Section II covers IRAs, 401(k)s, employee stock options, rental real estate, and more, including a review of such areas as gift and estate taxes, living trusts, and wills. There are several aspects of the book that make it valuable, not the least of which is the credentialed author. As an “Enrolled Agent,” a designation licensed directly by the Internal Revenue Service, and someone who has 40 years of experience with tax returns and audits, Chute is uniquely qualified. The 400-plus pages are intelligently organized into two sections (“Investments” and “Life Planning”) and seven parts (“Equities,” “Bonds,” “Mutual Funds,” “Other Investments,” “Financial Planning,” “Death & Taxes,” and “Other Important Financial Considerations”). Just as helpful is the organizational scheme employed for investments; for each type, the author includes a clear, nontechnical description followed by short but illuminating discussions of specific areas: Planning Tips, Taxes, Legal Compliance, Successful Strategies, and Pros and Cons. To these, he adds a section that may represent what sets this book apart from similar reference works: “Horror Stories.” These anecdotes, mostly of a buyer beware nature, are sometimes sad, sometimes amusing, and always engaging. Whether it’s about a “Reckless Internet Trader,” a fraudulent real estate deal, the hidden risks of high-yield mutual funds, or securities fraud, Chute’s tales are cautionary, enlightening, and entertaining. In addition, he provides helpful information, such as bond ratings, and financial examples along the way. The book’s material has been updated to account for the most recent tax act, which went into effect in 2018. While the appendices of stock and bond certificate photographs are only mildly intriguing, a “Glossary of Investment Terms” is quite useful.

All-inclusive yet jargon-free and easy-to-navigate investment advice. (appendices, glossary)

Pub Date: June 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73288-553-0

Page Count: 508

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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