The Brainwashing of the American Investor
by Steven R. Selengut
LitFire Publishing

"Why do you think Wall Street wants you to think you know what you are doing? So that you will transact and move your money!"

Americans in pursuit of investment information may be surprised at the direction advocated in the introduction of this book. With a tongue-in-cheek commentary, Selengut derides common Wall Street recommendations, warning their products are geared to make money for investment advisors. Readers who follow the author’s strategies in the following chapters will discover that managers, consultants, and other advisors are unnecessary, even harmful to gaining steady profits.

According to the author, the goal of every investor should be to own a portfolio of quality, hand-picked securities. He defines quality securities as single stocks from long-standing, respected companies that do not easily lose value. Owning these stocks should preclude buying mutual fund offerings―generally a bundle of stocks pushed by an agency. Stocks combined in bundles are meant to make the agency money, not necessarily the investor. The investor who wishes to pursue Selengut’s method must take time to plot and track his own stock portfolio for several minutes each evening and the next morning. Buy low and sell at a higher price is his motto. One should consider wisely since each transaction generates a fee.

Since he has been successfully working in the industry for nearly twenty years and making money on his own portfolio, Selengut’s advice should be taken seriously. There is much to learn from the sidebars, tables, charts, and quizzes, which help investors discover and track their current financial plan or status. The book includes a short index but a lengthy glossary of terms that simply explains difficult topics, such as the difference between fixed income and equity investing. Emails and social media ads daily hint at similar points in short provocative bursts, but the author takes time to thoroughly teach and share his viewpoints―all for the cost of a single, well-written book.

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