This authoritative guide from the staff of United Business Service, a respected advisory organization, works as both a comprehensible, comprehensive introduction to the widening world of investment and a ready reference for those with some market experience. In addition to providing thorough coverage of the basics--common stocks, corporate bonds, tax-exempt municipal issues, mutual funds-the text considers such often-overlooked opportunities as federal agency debt, unit trusts, tax shelters, precious metals, put and call options, and savings accounts of various sorts. The UBS crew recommends nonetheless, that equities comprise up to 80% of most private portfolios; common shares, they point out, provide an inflation hedge superior to that afforded by fixed-income securities or other investments. Accordingly, more than half the book is devoted to various aspects of stock investment. Included, for example, is a wealth of material on evaluating specific industries, using economic indicators, understanding charts, measuring the market's performance from indexes or averages, reading annual reports, and spotting trends. There are also practical tips on the mechanics of investment, including the use of options in trading and capitalizing on so-called special situations. Further, a personal-finance section offers worthwhile insights on retirement programs, tax and estate planning, safeguarding securities, and choosing a broker-now that negotiated commission rates have effectively raised individuals' investment costs. Separate chapters dealing with the needs of singles and woman are signs of more liberated times, while a lengthy glossary defines virtually every business, economic, and financial term important to investors of any ilk. And, as a further dividend, the book has a detailed index that enhances its considerable value for both newcomers and veterans.