This post originally ran as a guest post at Insider Monkey. Enjoy.
Meena was nice enough to ask me to write a post for Insider Monkey on the following topic: “Here is Why You Should Buy My Book.” Back in April my book Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere was published and was well-reviewed including this one at Insider Monkey by Brian Tracz.
However my advice to you is to NOT buy my book.
The fact is that most investment books really aren’t all that good. Most forms of media whether it be newspaper articles, blog posts, books, music, television shows or movies aren’t worth the effort. The vast majority of which are soon forgotten after they are released. If you subscribe to Sturgeon’s Law, as I do, then you believe “90% of everything is crap.”
Now do I really think my book is crap? Of course not. The book which compiles lessons I have learned from my (now) many years of investment blogging and was no small effort. I think there are some valuable lessons in there for investors both novice and experienced. However you should be skeptical of my claims, or any other claims, that some book is going to significantly improve your investing.
Here is one way you can change your investing for the better. Consume less financial news. Especially the stuff they call “news” on financial television these days. Tuning out this noise can only help to make you a better, more focused investor. Instead one can commit in the new year, like Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker, to reading more (and better) books.
Nor do these books have to be directly related to finance, economics or investments. I would posit that the best investors embrace the “liberal arts” nature of investing. A well-rounded education in psychology, history, science, etc. is as important for investors as mastering accounting or technical analysis. The greatest challenges investors face is not with the markets, but rather with understanding themselves.
So back to my point about not buying my book. A commitment to reading more books in the new year is potentially a costly one. Rather then spending all your money at Amazon, head on down to your local library and see if they have a copy of my book or other books on this list. If you can’t find them there see if you borrow them or buy them used. In the end, how many books do you own that you end up coming back to again and again? Probably not all that many. A skeptic might say these are small costs, but even small costs add up.
We investors can’t control the markets. The markets will do what they want, when they want. All we can do is to try and control our actions in the face of ever changing market conditions. That and try to control our costs. Higher costs, absent commensurately higher returns, will by definition reduce your net returns.
Here’s another reason why you shouldn’t buy my book. You just got a 500 word synopsis of it, because all of the concepts I have mentioned are taken, in part, from the book. Oh, and by the way, you’re welcome.