Owning Main Street: A Beginner's Guide to the Stock Market

Patrick Pappano, illus. by Ben Aronson. Cardyf, $39.95 paper (646p) ISBN 978-0-9889127-0-0
Former stockbroker and Columbia M.B.A. Pappano's disdain for the sages of finance provides a unifying theme for this massive outpouring of ideas and opinions aimed at the everyman-turned-investor. The author's conventional wisdom, often expressed in banalities, stand out among folksy and sometimes irrelevant anecdotes. Pappano suggests that beginners should avoid frequent trading and complicated financial products, but his paean to fiscal self-reliance sometimes veers into dubious logic and leaps of faith. The contradiction between Pappano's insistence upon simple investment guidelines and the complexities of the market is also problematic, and his own experience in the world of finance is seemingly at odds with his distrust of financial experts. Readers who plow through this guidebook may find merit in the author's faith in traditional investment aphorisms: buy dividend-rich blue chip stocks, invest at regular intervals, and leave your investments alone. But Pappano's frequent warnings to avoid financial professionals are unconvincing, leaving some to wonder whether his book is really required reading for aspiring investors. Neophytes may glean a few useful tips from this book, but many readers will find themselves no wiser than before.
Reviewed on: 12/16/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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