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The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor by Burton G. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis — oh, man, this book is the BEST. If you read only one book about investing, read this one. I came to it late and only just recently read it for the first time — and as soon as I did, I knew I’d been missing something great.

The book is modeled on Strunk & White’s Elements of Style, which might just be my favorite book of all time (nerd alert!), and is designed to be a simple, straightforward go-to guide to the basics of investing. It covers pretty much everything you need to know as a DIY investor in a clear and accessible way. It also provides advice about specific investment funds and allocations — but, unlike many other similar guides, without any ulterior motive or potential financial gain for the authors. Like my Investing 101 pielosophy, the authors recommend a strategy based on low-fee index funds and a KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid — or, in the words of my 9th grade physics teacher, Sweetie) approach.

The book is divided into six chapters, each covering a core element of investing (including topics like saving, index funds, diversification, and avoiding common market blunders), and the new addition includes an appendix on taxes. There is so much meaty financial goodness here that I won’t even attempt to cover it in a review: cop-out, I know, but it’s more than worth it to read the book. Best of all, it’s short — everything you need to know with no baloney in one tidy little package. Enjoy!

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