Dave Kansas has worked at TheStreet.com since Sept. 1996, helping to build the news organization from its infancy. He became editor-in-chief in April 1997 and has directed the opening of the San Francisco bureau. Kansas also sits on the board of TheStreet.com.

Prior to TheStreet.com Kansas worked for five years at The Wall Street Journal, most recently as the newspaper's senior financial markets reporter. While at the Journal, Kansas also reported from several other cities on many subjects, including a stint in Tokyo covering the financial markets and Japanese economy.

He has provided commentary for several television programs, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC and CNN. He has also appeared on Bloomberg and Dow Jones television. His writing has appeared in The New Republic, Red Herring, Upside, The Industry Standard and the New York Observer.

Kansas received a bachelor's degree in history from Columbia University.

If 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.

That 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.

The 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.

Unlike 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.

If 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.

Despite 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.

But 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.

TheStreet.com 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 size–and the conventional thinking that can tend to accompany it–is 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 with confidence.

When you've finished reading this book, you will understand the market in the same manner that a pro understands the market–or 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.

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