Review: The First Book of Small Stock Investing

The First Book of Small Stock Investing
The First Book of Small Stock Investing
Samuel Case
Prima Publishing, Rocklin, California, 1998

Review Copyright © 1999 Garret Wilson — March 17, 1999, 2:00pm

"From the author of the bestselling The First Book of Investing" comes The First Book of Small Stock Investing. Samual Case’s first book was a success, and for good reason: in a clear way, it set out the fundamental concepts needed to start investing. It covered a broad range of investment methods, from real estate to houses to stocks.

The First Book of Small Stock Investing, on the other hand, is not diverse in its coverage. It is Case’s attempt to build on the success of his earlier work by concentrating on one piece of the puzzle: small stocks. Since his first book was quite good at covering stocks, you might expect that a "first book" on small stocks would be hard-pressed to find new material. You would be right.

Much smaller than its predecessor, his book on small stocks warrants a small recommendation. Much of the material was already covered in Case’s previous investing book. A lot of the new material is less specific explanations of fundamental notions (e.g. how to sell short) than general advice for those dealing with small capitalization companies. What is new seems to be common sense.

There are two things that Small Stock Investing has worth mentioning. One is a chapter entitled, "Listening to the Experts" (85), which presents interviews with four investment analysts. You’ll find these interviews interesting reading, and maybe even helpful — but you’ll have to decide for yourself, since sometimes the experts give conflicting opinions.

The second and most useful feature of notability is Chapter 10, "Financial Statements" (115). This chapter explains balance sheets and income statements and offers insights into what the numbers mean and what to look for. Everything is clearly labeled and explained concisely in a manner Case is known for. If you gained from Case’s first work and want to learn to read financial statements, by all means get The First Book of Small Stock Investing. Everything else is probably already included in The First Book of Investing.