| I don't know anything about investing. Up till now, I putting enough of my paycheck to meet company matching into a 401k is about it, and to be honest I kinda assumed I would just work until I died. It drove my "pre-retirement" in my 20s, taken from Cary Grant's character in Hitchcock's Suspicion where he had no job and had fun all through his 20s on the theory that he should get to enjoy the time while he was young and healthy vs. work all his life and finally get time right at the end when you're too old to do anything with it.
Anyway, due to recent circumstances, I've been put in a position where it probably behooves me to know a little bit more about this racket, i mean industry. At first I thought I could talk to someone and get advice but just finding someone who didn't have a clear and obvious conflict of interest was like a huge ordeal (fyi, i wanted a "fee-only" certified financial planner (CFP) or chartered financial analyst (CFA). Any of the roughly two-dozen variations of those phrases, usually attached to "fee-based" are a trap). So, confronted with this much work just to find someone and pay them hundreds of dollars for one hour of their time made me realize that the financial industry is fraught with traps and I should probably know a smidge more than absolutely nothing before I start pissing money away asking stupid questions.
Enter r/personalfinance on reddit. Reading through posts on there almost 10 years ago led me to a good way to rollover a previous tax-deferred employer account that was stuck in a shady-ass private pension fund, so I went there again and, like, immediately - like it's on the sidebar - they recommended this book. So I read it!
This book claims to start from scratch with no presumption of previous knowledge. Even then I got lost in places, like they spend 10 pages explaining the various kinds of bonds and how they work and I retained none of it. And it's also... even though this was the second edition, I think the first edition came out in like 2007 so i feel like some pretty crazy shit ha s happened since then, but I guess the principles they espouse shouldn't be any different, or at least I hope so because I'm probably not reading another book on this shit so this is what i'll be following. My last criticism, if you can call it that, is that the book sounds like it was written by 3 rich boomers. I guess you want a rich guy telling you how to invest your money because it obviously worked for him, but I also couldn't help but feel a little generational distrust at these retired dudes making millions on their part-time hustle (not to mention this book) like it was child's play and here we are in this crypto bullshit wasteland where it seems like the market curve resembles a comb thanks to dudes like Elon playing with the economy while sitting on the throne.
BUT, aside from those few things, I do feel like I got a lot out of this, at least enough to come up with a plan and not feel like a complete idiot when i pay the right person for an hour of their time to tell me if i'm on the right track or not. And that's exactly what I wanted from this book. Actually, the book calls out a few thoughts I've had verbatim, like in this industry it's better to read a damn book and do it yourself vs. pay someone else to do it, or how I should probably stop waiting for the crushing fall i keep expecting any day now to start allocating more funds into this nonsense because, apparently, it will all come back up with enough time. I do still feel like it's 1928 up in here but I guess if I have 20 more years (or more) of working ahead of me, I'll bounce back.
So I'm glad I read this. I'm definitely ready to go back to a DnD book or Stephen King novel, but now I have a huge list of things to set up for my future and inevitable death to generate guilt the longer I put them off, which is necessary. I'm definitely feeling pretty adult right now. Reading a damn investing book two pages at a time before bed... jesus.