Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What I'm Reading -- Jim Cramer's Stay Mad For Life

So I graduated from Law School last Friday, which is relevant to this blog because it should allow me to do two things in the next few months: Blog more and read more. Reading for pleasure is something I love but something that during law school, I never really found time to do as much as I wanted. And given I own a library of books just waiting to be read, I plan to take advantage of my extra time. But, given that it's Christmas Night, and I graduated only four days ago and I'm already back in Ann Arbor for my Bar Review classes which start tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., maybe I shouldn't speak too soon.

I did take advantage of my short break and already read one book, by my good buddy pal (as he likes to say) Jim Cramer. Cramer has written a number of books over the years, and his first, Confessions of a Street Addict, a biography of his time as a multi-million dollar hedge fund manager, is probably his best. For anybody interested in the stock market, or for anyone who watches Cramer's shtick on CNBC each day and is curious about whether Cramer's really that crazy (answer: even more so in real life, and proud of it) that book is for you.

His latest book, currently high up on the New York Times Best Seller list, is unlike his other books. It's not a biography, and it's not a book about stock trading (like his other two tomes). Titled "Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich, and Make Your Kids Even Richer" the book is not aimed at stock junkies. Instead, it's aimed at the everyman, breaking down everything from 401K and IRA plans to 527 plans to save money for college to, yes, stocks and bonds and mutual funds, and what you should invest in at every stage of your life, from 18 to 81 and beyond. Everything is explained in easy-to-understand language, and it's peppered with typical Cramer-isms and the wit you'd expect from a somewhat crazy, high-strung, completely entertaining multi-millionaire television personality.

I still have another of Cramer's books to read, but this volume was well worth the two days it took me to go through it. I learned a lot about the basics of investing, and when combined with all of the lessons my grandfather has taught me over the years (he started me with investing in the stock market when I was a kid, buying one or two shares of companies like Topps Trading Cards and Electronic Arts, a tactic Cramer recommends in his book to get kids interested in investing) I have a lot to build on. Whether you are retiring or are just starting out, this book will help you, not just increase your knowledge about the markets, but even maybe make some money. And what else could you ask for?

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