3 Finance Titles to Raise Your IQ

By David Pitt, AP Personal Finance Writer

Once you get past the hesitancy of buying a book written for dummies or idiots, you can get some very practical information out of the titles in these series.

Penguin Publishers, provider of The Complete Idiot's Guide series, has dozens of business and personal finance titles. A couple of the most recent books on investing and boosting your financial IQ provide guidance for everyday things like buying a car, getting a credit card or choosing a bank. They also address financial planning and investing for college or retirement.

Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc., the creator of the more than 1,400 "For Dummies" books has titles focusing on investing, insurance, taxes and many other topics.

"Asset Allocation For Dummies" is a good primer on spreading out your investment risk. It's helpful whether you're an individual investor dabbling in the market or simply hoping to better manage your retirement and college savings plans.

Here's a glance at three titles that can help speed you up the learning curve:

TITLE: The Complete Idiot's Guide To Investing

AUTHOR: Edward T. Koch, Debra Johnson

PRICE: $19.95 (paperback)

SUMMARY: Whether your goal is simply to budget better or to put money aside for college or retirement, this guide to investing is a good primer. In this fourth edition, the authors review the current recession, explain how it came about and how it affects consumers. The discussion moves quickly to helping readers with understanding their own financial planning, risk tolerance and goal setting.

The authors walk through resolving debt issues and credit problems, discuss home ownership and saving for a child's education. The investing coverage features chapters on stocks, mutual funds and discusses life changes like marriage and divorce and how they affect finances. But the book covers more than the basics. Readers will also find an introductory discussion of more advanced investment options like hedge funds and venture capital.

QUOTE: "Start by becoming an intelligent investor, not a trader. Traders live and die on the gains and losses they experience each day. You are in this for the long haul, so forget about day trading — that's an emotional game. If you need some drama in your life, go to the racetrack; it's a lot cheaper! To become an intelligent investor, start thinking in 10-year time chunks. Here's the best piece of advice we can give you: don't look at the price of your stocks and/or mutual funds every day."

PUBLISHER: Alpha Books (Penguin Group)

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