Jail the Beardstown Ladies!

O.K., they goofed. The lesson: Beating the market takes more than a recipe

They came across my desk bing, bang, boom: three books that, years from now, may prove to have been the clearest sell signal ever missed. It was spring 1996, and, yes, the stock market has been levitating since then. Sometimes sell signals are early. The first book was by David and Tom Gardner, a brother act in jester hats with the catchy title of Motley Fool Investment Guide. The second, The Whiz Kid of Wall Street's Investment Guide, was by Matt Seto, 17. The third was the now infamous debut, Beardstown Ladies' Common-Sense Investment Guide, by a 14-member investment club from...

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