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Can you read yourself rich?

The Times
June 27, 2009
Can you read yourself rich?

With sales of financial self-help books on the rise, we look at five bestsellers and ask the experts to give their verdict

The economic crisis has prompted many people to seek help from personal finance books, with Amazon reporting a significant uplift in sales. Classics of the genre promise a quick route to riches, while recent examples, written since the start of the downturn, tend to be more cautious and realistic in their claims.

Times Money has looked at the five bestselling financial self-help books at Waterstone?s and asked financial planners for their views on the key ideas, rating the books from one to five stars. All have a snappy style and are accessible to the novice, but some are considerably more helpful than others.

The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns
Harriman House, £12.99
The cover of this 2007 edition sets the laddish tone, showing the author naked at his laptop.

Burns says that anyone can make money trading shares. He explains how by outlining the mechanics of trading online and listing ?winning strategies? and rules, with the classic caveat: ?Only play with money you can afford to lose.?

Much of the other advice is conservative, too. For example: ?My research involves finding out everything I can about a company before I consider buying.? He does offer some more original tips, such as to consider shares in companies moving up from an AIM listing to the main stock market.

Expert?s verdict

Mr Ghadially has doubts about ?anyone? being able to make significant sums in the markets. He adds: ?If he had a ?system? to make easy money, he would not be writing books.?

Times Money rating: 3 stars
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