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Investing 101, 2nd, Updated and Expanded Edition


In the newly updated and expanded edition of Investing 101, Kathy Kristof shatters the myth that investing is impossible for the average person to do successfully. "Investing doesn't have to be difficult or nerve-racking," Kristof maintains. "In fact, wise investing is simple. Ask yourself this question: Will I have the amount of money I need when I need it with my present investment strategy? If the answer is yes, you're doing it right. If the answer is no, you need to change something. It is that simple."

With the most up-to-date material on 529 college savings plans, Roth IRAs, reverse mortgages, and why even bad markets can be good for you, Kristof carefully explains how to invest safely and successfully. She even provides a "Lazy Investor's Portfolio Planner" for those who don't want to spend more than a few hours a year managing their investments. This book is for anyone who needs simple, straightforward advice on how to start investing wisely.

Business writer Kathy Kristof is nationally known for her weekly syndicated personal finance column in the LA Times, which reaches 40 million readers online through more than thirty major newspapers. Cited as “maybe the best reporter of all the personal finance columnists" in the TJFR 1999 Blue Chip Newsroom ranking of the top 100 American business journalists, she has received numerous writing awards and honors, including the title of 1998 Consumer Advocate of the Year by the California Alliance for Consumer Education. She is a sought-after speaker for investment conferences and appears regularly on radio and television news programs. Kathy lives in Los Angeles with her two children.

1 Fixing Money Problems.
Finding and fixing the psychological ills that keep us from investing wisely.

2 Risk and Reward.
The basics about how taking a few risks can reap long-term benefits.

3 The Starting Point.
How to allocate your assets based on your goals.

4 Diversification.
Dividing your assets among different investment categories is easier when you think about what different types of investments can do for you, rather than what they are. When you boil things down that way, there are just five investment categories, each of which offers an array of specific investments. Here are the categories and the choices within them.

5 Picking Individual Stocks.
Using fundamental indicators of value to pick good stocks.

6 Tough Sell.
How to figure out when it's time to call it quits with an investment.

7 Investing in Bonds.
Where to put bonds in your portfolio and which bonds to choose.

8 Mutual Funds.
A primer on mutual funds, from what they are to where to find one that suits your needs.

9 Socially Responsible Investing.
What socially responsible investing is about and how to find socially conscious mutual funds.

10 Real Estate Investment Trusts.
REITs allow individuals to invest in commercial real estate to diversify their portfolio and stabilize investment returns.

11 International Investing.
The basics on investing outside of the United States.

12 Tax-Favored Investing.
Uncle Sam gives Americans lots of ways to defer taxes while we save. Using these tax-favored vehicles can give your portfolio a boost. Here are your choices and what they can do for you.

13 Starting Small.
Think you can't invest because you don't have a pile of cash to start? Never fear. There are several choices for people with as little as $20 or $25 a month.

14 The Lazy Investor's Portfolio Planner.
The quintessential hands-off portfolio for the wise investor with very little time on his hands. You can do well quickly and easily with only a few hours a year.

15 How to Fix Your Broken Records.
Record keeping is one of the most important—and widely ignored—steps in wise investing. But good records can help you monitor your portfolio and help you determine when to buy and sell. They can also save you a small fortune in taxes.

16 Getting Help.
Read it all, but still don't want to go it alone? Here’s a quick guide on how to hire someone to help you.

Definitions for commonly used jargon so you can interpret Wall Street speak.


Worksheet Reference.

Monthly Budget.

Risk Quiz: How Much Risk Can You Take?

College Cost Calculator.

Is It a Buy?

Calculating the Tax Implications of Selling Too Soon.

Picking a Fund That Suits You.

Determining What You Have.


Income Investments.

Growth Investments.

Real Estate.


Keeping Tabs on Your Investments.