Friday, September 25, 2009

The Great 401(k) Hoax by William Wolman and Anne Colamosca

When it's obvious by page 4 that a book is specious, overtly biased and poorly argued, why continue to read it?

Good question. And so I broke from my typical practice of finishing every book I start--no matter how bad--and I stopped on page 11, when two things became painfully clear regarding the authors of The Great 401(k) Hoax:

1) They have no knowledgeable insights on the stock market,
2) They don't even understand the basics of simple financial statements.

When I got to this quote, which betrays elitism and appalling ignorance on several levels, I simply had to throw this book away:

In effect, 401(k)s ask American workers to ape the investment behavior of the rich, even though they obviously do not have the resources to ride out bad markets of the kind that we believe will prevail for the next decade.

Rather than remaining above ground, where it might pollute naive and unsuspecting minds, this book is best left to rot, slowly, at the bottom of a landfill. Don't waste your time.

Here are four other investment books for you to consider, all of which are helpful, insightful and inarguably worth reading:
1) Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel
2) A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
3) Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher
4) The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

1 comment:

Holly said...

This just goes to the point that it's easier to tear down something another has built than build something of your own. Books like this are sold on fear. "What? You mean my 401k won't help me retire with dignity?!" and another purchase is made. This is why I hate the local evening news. All those fear-promoting teasers just to get people to watch. "Is your drinking water poisoning you? Watch at 10:30!"