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Book Review - Online Investing Hacks by Bonnie Biafore

Category Book Reviews

Online Investing Hacks by Bonnie Biafore (O'Reilly) is one of those books that can pay for itself in short order, as well as over and over.  

Chapter list:  Screening Investments; Hacking Excel for Financial Analysis; Collecting Financial Data; Analyzing Company Fundamentals; Technical Analysis; Executing Trades; Investing in Mutual Funds; Managing Your Portfolio; Financial Planning; Index

I worked at Enron from 1998 through 2001, and spent plenty of time during that dot.com era following my stock portfolio.  I watched my Enron stock value go from incredible value to a point where it cost more to sell the stock than it was worth.  I won a few bets (face it, that's what they were) on a few dot.coms and lost many more.  What could have been an incredible nest egg, isn't.  This book would have been a lifesaver if I had read and paid attention to it a few years ago.  Biafore shows you how you can analyze and invest wisely using a variety of tools available to everyone.  

If you're an Excel user, you'll find it an invaluable tool for analysis.  She'll show you how you can use it to create financial charts (#13), calculate compound annual rates of growth (#26), and use rational values to buy and sell wisely (#36).  #39 - Spot Hanky Panky with Cash Flow Analysis (using Enron as an example) would have literally saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars had I known about it.  Even if you don't care about the investing tips, the hack on downloading data via Excel web queries (#7) was something I didn't know how to do (or that you could even do it!).  The book has a little something for everyone.  

As with all Hacks titles, you probably won't be interested in every single item.  Some may not be applicable to your situation or may be too complex for what you care to handle.  But all it would take is one hack to work out and change your investing for this book to pay huge dividends.  If you do your own investing, you owe it to yourself to get this book.

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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