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Apprenticed Investor: More Reading Ideas

Don't think you need a full reference library; all you need is one reference book to help you occasionally.

Short Selling

Surprisingly, there haven't been too many books on shorting -- or even on the art of selling. One I like is Sy Harding's Riding the Bear: How to Prosper in the Coming Bear Market . It came out in late 1999 -- how's that for auspicious timing! If the "buy & hold" investors had read this back then, they would have saved a lot of money. It's just as sensible today.

Another well-timed book is When to Sell by Justin Mamis. This was published in 1929(!). It's a bit slow going, but is filled with good observations about developing a sell strategy.

A basic approach to shorting is William J. O'Neil's How to Make Money Selling Stocks Short . Pure fundamentalists should be forewarned: it is very technically driven, and may be hard going for those with an aversion to charts. That's just as well; fundamentals can tell you what to buy, sell or short -- but not when. And timing is especially crucial when it comes to shorting.

Fundamentals

Given my inclination towards quantitative, trend, sentiment and macro economics, I am admittedly an outsider on pure fundamentals. But I have found these books to be valuable additions to my knowledge base.

Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel is a terrific overview of all things equity. It's a great place to start, although many fundamentalists would advise you to begin with The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham, which is considered the bible of value investing.

I find Warren Buffett intriguing. His annual reports are legendary; reading them is an education in itself. Start with Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor by Janet Lowe. If you want the unvarnished words from the man himself, then choose The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren E. Buffett.

I would be remiss if I left out Peter Lynch. You can read any of his books, but I like One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market . Lynch shows how people can use their own experience to gain an edge on Wall Street. (We discussed this last year .)

One of the reasons I am not a fundie is that I don't do forensic accounting (bor-ing!). However, a readable approach to getting at those footnotes is Financial Fine Print by Michelle Leder. Those of you who are technically oriented may find this is a tough slog.

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