Frank bought me The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias for Christmas, which finally arrived at my doorstep on Saturday. With the assistance of Tobias’ great sense of humor, it’s a quick and enjoyable read. The book provides sound advice on when it’s appropriate for people to begin considering their investment options, and what those options are.

About the Book

His basic advice is to get your financial life in order by following these steps:

  1. Minimize your expenses
  2. Pay off your credit cards
  3. Save, save, save
  4. Build a rainy day fund
  5. Contribute to your retirement accounts (using mutual funds)
  6. Invest in stocks (optional)

Seems pretty simple, and is similar to advice given by other authors such as Suzie Orman and David Bach. I would recommend the book for those new to investing and personal finance, and as a quick read for those who may already have some experience. Is it the only investment guide you’ll ever need? Maybe for some, but certainly not for those who want to invest seriously.

Despite enjoying the book, I felt there were some issues with the content. In my opinion, Tobias spends too much time discussing how to be thrifty and create a budget, and seems to cover more topics in less depth, instead of focusing more on the important subjects. This is not a totally bad thing, however, since most Americans save way too little.

To be fair, the reader will walk away knowing most terms commonly used in investment circles, and generally what to stay away from. His investment advice for almost everyone is invest in index funds, something that I have talked about at length on this site. Overall, Tobias presents a good amount of content in a very enjoyable way.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Best Suited For: Those without a strong personal finance background, and those unfamiliar with retirement plan options.