Book Review > Investing in Your 20s & 30s for Dummies

Author: TYSON, Eric Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 9781118411230
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey Price: 22.95 Reviewed by: Peter Schiff
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Eric Tyson is well qualified to give financial advice having earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale and an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also a best-selling personal finance book author. His best known work, Personal Finance for Dummies, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Business Book of the Year.

Investing in Your 20s & 30s for Dummies is set out in five parts:

Part 2:             Preparing Your Investment Foundation

Part 3:             Beginning Investments

Part 4:             Advanced Investments

Part 5:             The Part of Tens

The advice offered in each section is sound and the text is easy to follow. It reflects the author’s extensive experience in the finance industry, and is a good introductory read for anyone dipping their toe into investing for the first time. I do, however, have one caveat that significantly affects the value of the book for an Australian audience. The book is written by an American for American audiences, and some of the detail is not relevant in this country, e.g. investing for college costs or understanding FIDC bank insurance.

Tyson places emphasis on the obvious advantage of planning for retirement as early as possible, whilst acknowledging that the many financial pressures on young people make it difficult to set aside money for long term investments. The advantages of time (ability to recover from false starts) and the magic of compounding are emphasised.

In Part 5 Tyson sets out his ten, time-tested principles for investment success. They are:

  • Regularly save and invest 5% to 10% of your income
  • Understand and use your employee benefits
  • Thoroughly research before you invest
  • Shun investments with high commissions and expenses
  • Invest the majority of your long-term money in ownership investments
  • Avoid making emotionally based financial decisions
  • Make investing decisions based on your plans and needs
  • Tap information sources with high quality standards
  • Trust yourself first
  • Invest in yourself and others

Although self-evident to experienced investors, these principles are ones that investors of all ages should review regularly throughout their investment lifetimes.

I found the book interesting and easily readable, but there are too many anomalies for me to recommend it for an Australian audience.