Financial Literacy 101: Where to Begin

in In the News
December 19th, 2012

We asked the experts to recommend the best books for an investing novice. Here are five of them.

From Reuters
By Sarah N. Lynch
November 30, 2012

U.S. savers have some $10 trillion sitting in IRAs, 401(k)s and similar retirement plans. But how much do they really know about investing? When Americans are tested on their financial literacy, the results are troubling, at best.

Educational standards are starting to improve, with more states requiring personal-finance and economics courses for K-12 students. But if you graduated from high school a decade or three ago, where can you go for Investing 101?

We spoke to financial advisers, mutual-fund experts and academics to get their take on the best books and other resources for people who want to learn the investing basics. Many worthy resources aren’t included here; consider this a starting point…


Risk Less and Prosper | Zvi Bodie and Rachelle Taqqu

With its focus on goal-based investing, this book offers concrete steps to help beginning investors detail their specific needs and wants for the future, and to invest based on those goals.

Zvi Bodie, a management professor at Boston University, advises investors to take on risk only with money they can afford to lose. For the rest, he recommends specific inflation-indexed government bonds.

“Stocks can be a winning strategy, but they can also bring tragedy, and Bodie carefully sets out the risks and rewards of the alternatives,” says Dallas Salisbury, chief executive of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit think tank.

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