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On the Bookshelf

Gail MarksJarvis continues to strike a good balance between personal finance and investing in her updated and revised edition of “Saving for Retirement (Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery)” (FT Press, 2012). She provides a frank discussion of saving, choosing the right investments and developing an asset allocation strategy. MarksJarvis does a great job of emphasizing the importance of compounded returns, proper allocation and approaching investing with a long-term view.

The syndicated financial columnist draws on her conversations with various readers to provide real-life examples of questions and scenarios facing many investors. The tone is educational and respectful, explaining where investors often make mistakes or find themselves led astray. In all cases, she is clear and to the point with useful advice.

This book is particularly well-suited for novice investors who want practical advice on how to get their retirement savings on track. MarksJarvis takes a middle-of-the-road approach, encouraging readers to be neither too conservative nor too aggressive, but rather simply focus on what has worked over the long term. More experienced investors will find the content interesting, especially with many reminders about what they should be doing to best manage their investments.

“The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett in His Own Words” (B2 Books, 2012) is a collection of quotes from the well-known investor. Editor David Andrews categorizes comments, insight, advice and tidbits from Buffett into categories such as investing, speculation, politics and life lessons, among others.

This text provides a wide overview of Buffett’s philosophy. What it doesn’t do is cover new ground. The book also does not go into detail about any single subject. Rather, this is simply a collection of various tidbits of Buffett’s homespun commentary. Fans of the Berkshire-Hathaway CEO will find the book to be entertaining. Those who are looking for information on how to invest like Buffett should look elsewhere.

The book is small in physical size, making it easy to carry around. It is also a quick read, with many quotes being 100 words or less. Sources for all quotes are notated for those who want to research the original longer-length text.


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