you had fallen asleep in 1995 and awoke on the dawn of the new millennium,
you would have missed much more than a worldwide fireworks melody.
In that half decade, a revolution swept through the investment firmament,
with online brokers, online news outlets, and online data providers
paving the way for a new chapter in the do-it-yourself world pioneered
by outfits like The Home Depot.
investing revolution coincided with the emergence of all sorts of
strange companies that swiftly became enormously valuable. Yahoo!
leapfrogged General Motors, and America Online set out to gobble
up venerable media giant Time Warner. Wireless outfit Qualcomm defied
the loftiest expectations, and optical networking firm JDS Uniphase
made a name for itself in the span of a quarter. It all occurred
at lightning speed. And it still does. Funky companies pop up, grab
our attention, and soar into the stratosphere. Sometimes they come
crashing and burning to earth just as quickly.
way we invest has been radically transformed as well. Trades can
be placed from our desks, at work, for less than the price of lunch.
And where it once was a huge leap to get a delayed quote online,
now investors insist on real-time portfolio tracker updates, real-time
news, and after-hours trading to boot.
the old-time, smoke-filled country club world of investing, the
new arena sparkles with increased access, opportunities, and risks
for the small investor. Individuals get rich, 20-something entrepreneurs
become famous, and the rest of us search desperately for a game
plan that will work in this topsy-turvy world.
the late 1990s marked the early part of the revolution, we are now
in the teeth of the transformation. Each day more people venture
online, taking a stab at controlling their financial destinies.
Wall Street and the keepers of the institutional flames scramble
to maintain an advantage. But the people keep coming. They continue
expecting more, and they devour new learning at a ferocious pace.
all the fancy electronic footwork and online stock market research,
books that can synthesize and make sense of the cacophony remain
an essential tool in gaining confidence in the investing process.
most investment books offer either not enough or too much. On the
dummy end of the spectrum, guides are so basic as to be useless
for anyone except, well, dummies. Our book aims to be understandable
and usable for newbies without skirting the meatier material that
really anyone can grasp if it's explained right. As for the books
aimed at more sophisticated readers, you'll find blather so incomprehensible
that even the wizened professionals are left scratching their heads.
Or at the very least, they're put to sleep.
Guide to Smart Investing in the Internet Era aims to walk the
untrod middle ground. We know from our experience at TheStreet.com
Web site that millions of investors have picked up some learning
and at least a patchwork sense of the market. What they are looking
for is some guidance that will give them a firm footing, take them
to the next level when they're ready, and help them put it all together.
Written in the spunky, shoot-straight style of our online news operation,
TheStreet.com Guide to Smart Investing in the Internet Era
provides just that information and help. We take you on a journey
of learning that will help you cast off understandable fear. Wall
Street may be jammed with big institutions promising you sage advice.
But Wall Street's sizeand the conventional thinking that can
tend to accompany itis as much a liability as a strength.
We help you figure out how to pick the spots where the giants might
stumble, so you can go toe-to-toe into the investing marketplace
you've finished reading this book, you will understand the market
in the same manner that a pro understands the marketor better.
You will understand how to decipher the wild mood swings that have
become a regular feature of the investing world. You will be able
to arm yourself with the information that will help you enrich yourself
and your family.