Anything to do with stock markets has always been scary and completely foreign to me, and I will be the first to admit that I never understood any of the financial mumbo-jumbo connected to investing. Therefore I was even more surprised that I actually enjoyed reading Master the Markets with Mutual Funds by Jon R. Orcutt, and that it just might have given me the little push needed to gather the courage and one day take a step in the direction of investing.
The book is divided into three distinct sections. The first one deals with the basics, explaining to the potential investors how markets should fit into their life, and also teaching them what kind of investors they are by nature. The most important lesson that I’ve learned from this first part is that investing can be very emotional, and in many cases actually is nearly overly so. The author deftly discusses this topic and presents arguments that sound very convincing and realistic. This part concludes with a description of mutual funds and the importance of knowing what type of questions to ask before making decisions.
The second part was a very hands-on and detailed strategy section, complete with numerous pages of tables, which at this point in time are still very confusing to me, but I am certain that they would make lots of sense to any investor. There the author explains why he believes his investing strategy makes sense, and documents his views on rebalancing with hard numbers.
The last part offers even more practical advice on implementing those strategies and the best ways of doing it, concluding with the statement that the ultimate success lies in the investor’s own hands. The author has graciously provided the reader with the tools, advice and suggestions, but each individual will have to make his or her own decisions based on their particular situation. I particularly liked the author’s honesty, since he clearly states several times that he cannot and will not promise any miracles, but simply helsp you by pointing out the most obvious obstacles to success and the easiest ways to avoid or eliminate them.
I believe that Master the Markets with Mutual Funds is a very useful guide on how to learn or re-learn the important basics of investing, and how to successfully start building and maintaining a well balanced portfolio.
Master the Markets with Mutual Funds: A Common Sense Guide to Investing Success
Jon R. Orcutt
Outskirts Press (2011)