Are investors better served reading bluster from Donald Trump or an examination of the lies we are told and tell ourselves? It is a seldom posed question and probably for good reason, but with sincerest apologies to the Donald, The Business Press Maven, who weighs in on business books every other weekend, is going to side firmly on the side of the lies.

Trump comes at the reader like two tons of literary bricks, starting from the lippy photograph of him on the cover, shouting and pointing an aggressive forefinger. Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life (Collins) is the title of Trump's book, written with Bill Zanker, creator of the Learning Annex, an innovative adult education business that has, it bears mentioning, thought big and kicked ass. But the book is what you expect from a man who gave the phrase "You're Fired" pop culture currency and handed out real live currency to those who waited at his book signing recently, a tack most starving authors might find a bit of a challenge. But when The Donald puts pen to paper, the sky is the limit. At least for the first few hundred who showed up in line.

For the rest? Well, whatever Trump has accomplished leveraging family connections, leverage itself and celebrity culture, an investor will garner little but self-destructive impulses from a shove-it-down your gullet worldview. It is worth mentioning, for those who look to books for business advice, that many who have achieved success long-term, specifically in the stock market, are quite, or at least relatively, modest folks, from Warren Buffett to the Allen family to a whole host of Goldman Sachs ( GS) giants.

The stock market, like the ocean, tends to punish those who think too big.

In The Lies About Money: Achieving Financial Security and True Wealth by Avoiding the Lies Others Tell Us -- and the Lies We Tell Ourselves (Free Press), financial planner Ric Edelman, a media creature in his own right though not on the order of Trump, thinks smaller.

He takes a look at the details of the mutual fund business, which are filled with little lies. This is a subject dear to my heart, as throughout my time on Wall Street I found the general public woefully misinformed on two subjects:

1) How off-kilter the business media's portrayal of finance can be and
2) What mutual funds are really all about.

Anyhow, read all about it here. In fact, this book is a must read for anyone with a mutual fund or who is even thinking about thinking about buying one. It obviously gets a Business Press Maven "Help" label.

Fast forward right to Chapter Four, where you can read about everything from costs to stale pricing managers who jump jobs and moonlight for hedge funds when they are not window dressing their funds with hot stocks at the end of the quarter. There is also a timeline of scandal in the chapter, which stretches nearly to the end of time, but scandal is everywhere. The 25 criticisms are more essential to be aware of.

The problem is, much of the public is not equipped to pick their own individual stocks, and Edelman makes that point appropriately clear. So read on for his recommendations, which float from institutional mutual funds to exchange-traded funds to, in some circumstances, variable annuities. (Ugh. But I digress and, again, in fairness to Edelman, he brings up negatives.)

Flip through the suggestions to see what might make sense to you. There is a lot out there. While you are at it, ignore certain aspects of the book outright, like Edleman's reminder not to let a book substitute for a real live financial advice firm like his (probably true, but shameless). Also ignore some historically suspect claims, like ones about how only 20 years ago college savings was a "revolutionary idea" and few had heard of mutual funds and financial planning.

That sounds like it comes right out of a mutual fund sales pitch, which is something Edelman does know a lot about. Mutual fund owners, this book's Chapter Four is as important to understand as anything you will read. And that's no lie.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

A journalist with a background on Wall Street, Marek Fuchs has written the County Lines column for The New York Times for the past five years. He also contributes regular breaking news and feature stories to many of the paper's other sections, including Metro, National and Sports. Fuchs was the editor-in-chief of Fertilemind.net, a financial Web site twice named "Best of the Web" by Forbes Magazine. He was also a stockbroker with Shearson Lehman Brothers in Manhattan and a money manager. He is currently writing a chapter for a book coming out in early 2007 on a really embarrassing subject. He lives in a loud house with three children. Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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