If You're Clueless About the Stock Market and Want to Know More is the perfect title for this snappy info-guide from Seth Godin, a prolific "book packager" who has developed a number of bestselling personal finance tomes. Aimed at the beginning long-term investor--rather than the day trader wannabe often targeted by today's investment tutorials--this book covers virtually all the essential techniques and procedures involved in the process, and it does so in a clear and logical manner. It offers helpful explanations for standard practices, such as deciphering balance sheets and income statements, as well as more sophisticated concepts like options, futures, shorting stocks, and buying on margin.
There also are good sections on dealing with brokers, formulating an investment strategy, and using the Net to research and trade. Know absolutely nothing about the market's organization or operation? Godin even provides the fundamentals ("the basic function of the stock market is to provide capital resources for corporations that seek to expand their operations and finance their growth") and a brief history (beginning with America's first stock exchange, formed in Philadelphia two years before Wall Street) to get you started.