Big personalities

Love ’em or loathe ’em, you can’t ignore these characters — or their new books.



From the February/March 2007 issue of the magazine.


Love ’em or loathe ’em, you can’t ignore these characters — or their new books.

The Only Three Questions That Count
by Ken Fisher ($33.99, Wiley)

Fisher, one of the best-known money managers in the U.S., believes you should invest only when you have an edge on others. In this entertaining book, he explains how to look for that edge. He also explains why you shouldn’t worry about government deficits, overburdened consumers or giant trade deficits.

Our take: You have to respect a guy who’s managed to beat the market over the long haul. Fisher comes out swinging and makes you think twice about many of your most cherished investing beliefs.

The Big Picture
by Barry Ritholtz (free,

Ritholtz, a market strategist who runs an institutional research firm in New York, delivers his take on what’s ahead for stocks in this smart and funny blog. Count on healthy doses of music and humor to go along with a heaping helping of economics and market stats.

Our take: Ritholtz seems like a nice guy. He’s also a great read, especially when he tears into shoddy statistics. Watch Super Barry punish the bad guys, then cheer as the data go flying!

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich
by James Cramer ($32, Simon & Schuster)

The title says it all. Cramer, the bald and bellowing host of the television spectacle Mad Money, pounds his chest, explains how he made his fortune, then delivers a lecture on how you can strike it rich too — by watching his television show.

Our take: There’s something fascinating about watching a huge ego sprawl in all directions, but if you don’t love Cramer’s show, you won’t like his book either.

Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men — One Message
by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki. ($29.95, Rich Press)

Trump, the real estate mogul, and Kiyosaki, the author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of personal finance books, offer their philosophy of creating wealth. Expect a lot of emphasis on psychology and motivation, not much on financial specifics.

Our take: Remember those special edition comic books when two superheroes — Batman and Superman, say — joined forces to combat a particularly nasty villain? This work is in the same vein. Which is to say, it’s not to be confused with reality and will appeal most to 12 year olds.

Money, a Memoir
by Liz Perle ($17.50, Picador)

Perle, a former publishing executive, believes that women are raised to be voluntarily blind when it comes to money. Her own divorce opened her eyes to how little she knew about investing, negotiating or looking after her own financial well-being.

Our take: Whether you’re a man or a woman, we think there’s a lot to be learned from Perle’s frank discussion of the different ways in which the sexes regard money.

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