1. The Challenge for Individual Investors

The biggest challenge for individual investors is time. You need tools and guidelines to
cut through information overload and confusing jargon. You also need self-awareness
and sound strategies to keep "bad investor psychology" from sabotaging your own

Once those problems are solved, you can attain superior results. That mean
performance that consistently meets or exceeds your reasonable goals, while minimizing
risk to your hard-earned money.

Many investors are stuck at an unproductive level. They lack the knowledge and
techniques to pick good stocks at good values. They buy and sell at the wrong times.
They act on hot tips, influenced by self-defeating emotions. They do not  conduct their
investing in a businesslike fashion.

This book will show you how to become a more successful and efficient stock investor.
Or, if you are new to the game, it will show you how to get started.


2. An Overview of Sensible Stock Investing's Approach

This book is a step-by-step guide that is sophisticated enough for the experienced
investor, but also clear enough for the beginner to understand and implement
immediately. While based on sound theory, the book is not an academic tome. You need
not be a math major, economics expert, or experienced investor to use it.

With its help, you will
build your knowledge and develop a sound, systematic
that helps you make better investment decisions. Decisions that are rational;
fact-based; unemotional; and that you can execute methodically.

There are
three basic steps to sound stock investing:

Picking companies. Learn how to separate good companies from bad ones so
you can concentrate on the best candidates for investment.

Valuing their stocks. You need to know which are the bargains among desirable
Some terrific companies simply cost too much. Not every great company is a
great investment...price matters.

Managing your portfolio optimally. This will ensure that your buy, hold, and sell
decisions generate the greatest cumulative returns.

If you do these things, you are a “
Sensible Stock Investor.” The book thoroughly
explains all three steps. Click
here to read an excerpt on the three basic steps.


3. Does The Approach Work?

You may be wondering, “Can a system designed for the individual outperform mutual
funds, brokerage house recommendations, investment newsletters, and the market

The answer is
yes. While writing Sensible Stock Investing, I created and funded two
demonstration portfolios to illustrate and test my approach. One portfolio is designed
mainly for capital gains, while the other focuses on dividends. The portfolios are still
running, and their results are updated monthly on this Web site.

The portfolios are not “models.” They do not ignore commissions and transaction costs.
They are actual
real-money portfolios, maintained at E-Trade. Because my own money
is in them, I take them very seriously.
Click here for the latest update on these portfolios.


4. Who is the book for?

Sensible Stock Investing is written for the individual investor. As an individual with a
full life, you have other demands on your time. The book shows you the most
straightforward, efficient ways to pick stocks, value them, and manage your holdings. And
you may be surprised to learn that the individual has certain advantages over the pro.
here to read an article about this.

Maybe you don't know how to get started. The book is suitable for both beginning and
investors alike.  It is a terrific "first stock book," but it also contains
comprehensive, educational information that even experienced investors will find

I write for people who share most or all of the
following goals. This book is for you if you
want to

  • Build wealth or create immediate income streams from stocks.
  • Do it yourself. I like to help self-directed individuals.
  • Minimize risk and maximize returns. My philosophy leans toward loss control.
    Click here to read why avoiding losses is vital to your overall returns.
  • Pick great stocks. There are usually clear differences between great companies
    and lousy ones. Click here for an article on this subject.
  • Cut through the complications of stock investing. I emphasize "sophisticated
    simplicity" for the time-pressed individual. Road maps, tools, and easy-to-use  
    tables help you translate data into actionable information. No prior knowledge of
    financial or investing concepts is required.
  • Be rational. My target audience is optimistic but not irrationally exuberant.
    They believe (correctly) that an individual investor has a good chance to succeed in
    the stock market. Many investors fail because they make uninformed snap
    judgements or "fall in love" with a stock. I'll help you not to do that. Click here for
    an article about self-defeating emotions in investing.
  • Learn a straightforward way to value stocks. Remember, not every great
    company is a great investment--it needs to be priced right, or else it's no
    bargain. Recognizing what's a good price and what's a bad price is a key skill in
    successful investing. I'll show you how. Click here for an article on stock valuation.
  • Understand the stock market. I write in clear, concise, jargon-free English. My
    goal is for you to understand. Good investing concepts aren't secrets--they are
    simply things you should learn if you want to be a competent investor.
  • Know when to buy, hold, and sell. That's what it comes down to--making good
    decisions in a timely fashion.
  • Be exposed to an approach that is not tied to a single blockbuster idea, magic
    formula, "#1 Rule," or secret. I write for sensible people. Look elsewhere for
    hyperbole, extravagent claims, and the like. You won't find them here.
  • Have fun.


5. Who Is the Author?

Hi. My name is Dave Van Knapp.  

I am a former business executive, legal analyst, and rocket scientist (literally). I hold an
undergraduate degree in physics from Holy Cross and a law degree from Georgetown. I
received formal business training in the MBA program at Rochester Institute of
Technology and in the executive development program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau,
France, one of the world’s leading graduate business schools.

I have spent years developing successful stock investment principles and practices for
the individual investor. I retired early, in 2001, to research and write
Sensible Stock
Investing: How to Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks
. First introduced in 2006, it was
republished in March, 2008 as an iUniverse Star edition.

My mission from the beginning has been to help self-directed individual investors profit
from the stock market. I have extensive experience in taking complex subjects, often
involving contradictory points of view, and blending them into a reasonable and readable
I believe that my experience working for publicly held companies combined
with my analytical abilities give me a unique perspective on investing.

My books and articles are not meant to dazzle. They are meant to inform, educate, and
guide. The comments and reviews from readers on Amazon.com—where the book has a
perfect 5-star rating
from readers—suggest that my goal has been achieved.

In May, 2008, I released my second book,
The Top 40 Dividend Stocks for 2008: How
(and Why) to Build a Cash Machine of Dividend Stocks
. Click here if you would like
to learn more about dividend investing.

Best wishes for your investing success,

Dave Van Knapp
  • Are you wondering how to get started in stock investing?
  • Has the sub-prime mess and credit crisis got you confused?
  • Do you truly understand the stock market?
  • Are you overwhelmed by information overload?

Sensible Stock Investing: How to Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks is the definitive
guide for individual stock investors
. Whether you are a rank beginner or experienced
, you can benefit from its straightforward, comprehensive methodology and
crystal-clear explanations.

Sensible Stock Investing presents a proven approach for the individual investor. Its
mission is to guide through...
  • education;
  • simplification; and
  • tools for success.

Keep reading to find out…

The Challenge for Individual Investors
An Overview of Sensible Stock Investing's Approach
Does the Approach Work?
Who is the Book For?
Who Is the Author?


"The best book on
stocks I have read so
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"A virtual bible for the
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Dedicated to the success of the individual investor
Learn How to Invest In Stocks --
A Step-by-Step Guide for Individual Investors
March, 2008: Introducing...

to Pick, Value, and manage

by Dave Van Knapp

About the author
Spec Sheet

Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks

  •     317-page book, including text,
    tables, examples, forms, and a
    monthly investors' calendar.
  •    Text completely and lucidly
    describes what stocks are, how the
    stock market works, characteristics
    of the best companies, how to value
    stocks, how to create and maintain a
    stock portfolio, and lessons learned
    from developing the system.
  •    Tables show the power of
    compounding, the law of large
    numbers, how great companies differ
    from lousy ones, the complete Easy-
    Rate™ Scoring System, how the
    market has reacted to catastrophes,
    and the tools and time required to
    become a Sensible Stock Investor.
  •    Sample forms include a filled-out
    Easy-Rate Scoresheet, a company
    "Story" questionnaire, and samples of
    a Shopping List, Timing Outlook, and
    Portfolio Review.
  •    Format: Trade paperback.
  •    Publication date: March, 2008.
  •    Price: List price is $18.95, but
    available for less at Amazon.com and
    other outlets. Amazon sells the book
    individually but also usually pffers it in
    a multi-book package deal that
    changes from time to time. Click any
    of the "Buy from Amazon" links on
    this page to go directly to the book on