Sunday Musings: How (Not) To Read An Investment Book

I used to feel guilty. There I had bought this new business/investment book I was looking forward to reading when, somewhere half way through, my fascination waned. I then either forced myself to finish it (with regret and lack of interest) or I shelved it and never picked it up again.

I believe it was one of my favorite authors, Robert Ringer, who said that, if a book can’t hold your fascination, it’s not your fault, but the author’s. Whoa! That opened my eyes, and I realized that in today’s world of instant do-it-yourself publishing, many books come on the market that may have material for a chapter but not enough to fill some 200 pages.

Looking at any book from this kind of viewpoint, I have read a number of them where the author totally strayed from his theme and went off on some tangent that really had nothing to do with my reasons for buying the book in the first place.

For a couple of years now, I have read a new book every week (which is my goal). Most of them are business and marketing related and some deal with investments. For all of them, I now apply a strict rule. I bought the book, because I am interested in the subject based on the reviews I’ve read. If the author can’t hold my interest and “loses” me along the way, I have no problem putting the book down and going on to the next one. No more guilt feelings!

There is so much to be gained by reading good content that is of interest and value. It has greatly broadened my horizon but I refuse to waste my time and be stuck with books that either don’t fulfill their promise or could have been written in a couple of chapters.

I’m trying to improve my reading skills to work my way faster through more material. If you have had any experience with speed reading courses, good or bad, please share them with me.

About Ulli Niemann

Ulli Niemann is the publisher of "The ETF Bully" and is a Registered Investment Advisor. Learn more
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