Financial markets will remain vibrant only if ordinary folks consider them an attractive place to invest their hard-earned cash. For many, investing is simply a matter of ticking a box (let’s say for a 401K) or hiring a professional. They can reap the benefits of investing without knowing much of anything about stocks or bonds. Just like they pay people to mow their lawns, wash their cars, take care of their kids, they pay people to manage their money.
Then there are the DIYers. And those who, though they may opt to hire a professional, at the very least want to understand what he’s doing.
Everybody has to start somewhere. The Beginner’s Handbook for Stock & Bond Investing by John G. Belcher, J., is a short, ridiculously inexpensive introduction. And it’s surprisingly thorough. It covers stock pricing and valuation, bond pricing, stock and bond categories, mutual funds and ETFs, and sound investment practices.
If you’re trying to convince your teenager to become an investor, this is probably not the best place to start. The book doesn’t have a hook. But for the person who has some interest in investing but knows next to nothing about it, this is a fine primer. It would also be useful to someone who knows a little bit about stocks but for whom bonds are a black hole. Actionable knowledge for the price of a donut.