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Financial guidebooks have become something of a cottage industry of late. Gurus and investment geniuses alike have now crowded onto shelves of the business and finance sections of your bookstore, some promising to decipher the ins and outs of the stock market, and others claiming to contain secrets to choosing the best shares available. So, if you’re new to the world of stock investing, or even if you want to bone up on the best tips and strategies out there, what’s the best book?
BLACK ENTERPRISE posed just that question to three portfolio managers to get their recommendations on the best guides available. First we asked Randall Eley, head of the Edgar Lomax Co. in Springfield, Virginia, and portfolio manager of the Profit Lomax Value Fund. Eley, as you might recall (see “A Fund Manager is Born,” April 1997), is largely self-taught. For beginners who are looking for a good roundup of the stock market and solid investment strategies, he’s strong on Beating the Dow, by Michael O’Higgins and John Downes (HarperPerennial; $13.50). “It’s a book that’s written in plain English and has very good advice on just how to go about investing,” he says. Eley’s second choice is The Intelligent Investor, a widely touted guide by famed value investor Benjamin Graham (HarperBusiness, $30; audiocassette. $18). Whether you’re hunting for cheap shares or the next big growth trend, says Eley, Graham’s guide is chock-full of invaluable basics and tips for investors of all types.
According to Nathaniel Carter, a money manager who heads the newly founded Victory Lakefront Fund, it’s best to study the modus operandi of the best in the money management business. His recommendation, The New Money Masters by John Train (HarperBusiness; $14), is a collection of interviews with famed portfolio managers including John Neff, the strategist behind Vanguard’s Windsor mutual fund. “You can’t do better than following just what the successful managers have done and still do,” says Carter.
Lou Holland, head of the Lou Holland Growth Fund, agrees. “Reading investing guides sometimes might get boring, but each week Barron’s has interviews with money managers who are beating the market,” he says, “so there’s always something investors of all levels can pick up.”