Best and Worst of the Little Books

Bogle's wins for 'best investing advice'; Greenblatt's gets 'worst entry.'

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There are now so many books in the "Little Book" investment series that it's hard to keep them straight. Luckily, someone has done that for me. Here, the Simple Dollar reviews all five books and weighs in on the best and worst of the bunch.

John Bogle's The Little Book of Common Sense Investing wins for "best investing advice," thanks to its simple premise of investing in index funds. "Bogle's is really the only one yet that has truly convinced me of the benefits of that strategy," says Simple Dollar. Chris Browne's The Little Book of Value Investing gets a nod for "most worthwhile read," because it's essentially a more easily digestible presentation of the concepts in Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor.

The "worst entry" of the series is the original: Joel Greenblatt's The Little Book That Beats the Market. The book, says Simple Dollar, "only really succeeds in one respect: It explains in extremely simple terms how the stock market works. After that, it gets into an investment strategy that seems to be flaky at best." Tell that to the 2,759 devotees of Greenblatt's "Magic Formula" approach on this Yahoo Group.

Of the two remaining books in the series, The Little Book That Builds Wealth and The Little Book That Makes You Rich, "both do good jobs of laying out their specific strategies and are good follow-ups to The Little Book of Value Investing in that they can provide a great background on specific individual stock-picking strategies," says Simple Dollar. Got all that?