Cover image for Barron's finance & investment handbook
Barron's finance & investment handbook
Downes, John, 1936-
Personal Author:
Fifth edition.
Publication Information:
Hauppauge, N.Y. : Barron's Educational Series, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 1396 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG173 .D66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Previous editions of this comprehensive reference book have been called arequired reading for students, investors, and writersa by" USA Today," and aa teeming reservoir of informationa by the" Oakland Tribune." Updated to reflect the 2006 investment climate, the new edition of Barronas" Finance and Investment Handbook" presents a financial dictionary of more than 5,000 terms, an analysis of many current investment opportunities, guidelines for non-experts on what to look for when reading corporate reports and financial news sources, an up-to-date directory of hundreds of publicly traded corporations in the United States and Canada, and a directory listing the names and addresses of brokerage houses, mutual funds families, banks, federal and state regulators, and other major financial institutions. Here in one big volume is indispensable information for planning and maintaining a healthy investment portfolio.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The table of contents serves as a good outline of this large ready-reference source, which is divided into five major parts. Part 1 is an explanation of 30 types of personal investments, from annuities to zero-coupon securities. The discussion of these topics includes an excellent explanation of the following: purchasing stock, selling assets, investment objectives, risk considerations, tax considerations, and economic factors. Part 2, ``How to Read an Annual Report,'' is perhaps the best and most original section of the work. Part 3, on how to read the more important daily financial pages and the ticker tape, is good and made more interesting by carefully selected illustrations. Part 4 includes definitions of more than 2,500 financial and investment terms, clearly expressed, including useful examples and illustrations taken from financial sources. Part 5 of the handbook is devoted to directory-type information that might prove useful to individuals for home or office use, but most reference librarians will turn to more comprehensive directories. Instead of listing alphabetically by name some 4,700 companies whose common stock is traded on the various exchanges (information readily available elsewhere), it would be better for the beginning investor and librarians if these companies were arranged by the stock symbol that appears in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Another disappointment is the section ``Historical Data.'' Including this is an excellent idea since it serves to alert users to the importance of reviewing published economic indicators. However, the section should be expanded in future editions to include an explanation of current sources. For example, beginning investors and students would appreciate explanations of sources such as Moody's Bond Record, Standard and Poor's Stock Guide, The Value Line Investment Survey, and International Financial Statistics (International Monetary Fund). The book concludes with a bibliography and an index. The index does not include the terms listed in the dictionary in part 4. Readers are reminded to look in both places. The new Barron's handbook is current and takes the place of older works: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Business Finance (Prentice-Hall, 1960) and Financial Analyst's Handbook (Dow Jones-Irwin, 1975). It is a more useful guide for students and interested beginning investors than is the Encyclopedia of Investments (Warren, Gorham and Lamont, 1982), which discusses a larger range of investment opportunities (antiques, coins, and textiles, for example) and is not intended primarily for the beginning investor. The Barron's guide is the best introductory handbook for this subject presently available. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

This reasonably priced, fact-filled title was originally issued less than a year ago ( LJ 9/1/86). The new edition contains essentially the same information, but it reflects changes brought about by the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and other recent events. Statistical data for 1986 are included. Public, academic, and appropriate special libraries lacking the first edition should consider purchasing this additional source of basic business information. Leonard Grundt, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden Ctiy, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Downes and Goodman attempt to provide both a brief introduction to 30 ``investment opportunities'' and a ready reference tool for the stock and financial markets. The investment section is extremely popularized, reflecting Goodman's credentials as a Money magazine reporter; this section is not so thorough as the coverage in Victor Harper's Handbook of Investment Products and Services (2nd ed., 1986). Goodman's section is quite similar to Chet Currier's Investor's Encyclopedia (1985), but for fundamental explanations and broad descriptions a more useful work is Handbook of Financial Markets: Securities, Options, and Futures, ed. by Frank Fabozzi and Frank Zarb (2nd ed., 1986). The ready reference section includes an astonishing number of lists and tables for everything from accounting firms to the unemployment rate. Little is included that cannot be found in other business reference tools, and perhaps that is why the volume is priced so reasonably; however, an additional source of basic business data is welcome in every academic library. The information on tax considerations in this and other financial handbooks is naturally suspect in light of the imminent new tax law. Academic and public library collections.-C.H. Varner, Northern Illinois University