Because I thought it would be a great source of material for Get Rich Slowly, last fall I enrolled in a lifetime membership to the American Association of Individual Investors. AAII is a non-profit founded in 1978 to provide individual investors — people like you and me — with tools and knowledge to better approach the stock market.

I’ve been receiving the monthly publications for a while now, but haven’t had a chance to give them a close examination. The articles are thorough, much more thoughtful than most of those in the major personal finance magazines. They can also get a bit technical. But I like what I’ve read. I intend to provide a more in-depth review later this year.

But the reason I’m writing now is to express my awe over a book AAII sent in the mail last week: The Individual Investor’s Guide to the Top Mutual Funds. W-o-w. This book is amazing. From the preface:

The purpose of this Guide is to highlight the funds that would be of most interest to investors: funds open to new investors with historically superior returns in their classes, low expenses, no or low loads and that are directly available from the fund, no intermediary required.

The book contains 60 pages introducing the basics of mutual funds and investing, but the meat of it is nearly 400 pages of detailed mutual fund stats. The entries remind me of those in a baseball almanac: lines and lines of juicy numbers. That probably doesn’t mean much to most of you, so here’s a scan for one of the funds GRS readers often mention:

VGSTX

An expanded version of The Individual Investor’s Guide to the Top Mutual Funds is available as a PDF download to AAII members [login required]. I suspect some public libraries will also have a copy.

I don’t endorse a lot of products at Get Rich Slowly, but from the few months I’ve been a member, I really like the American Association of Individual Investors. If you’re serious about investing, I think the $29/year membership fee is a bargain. (But I also believe there’s no reason for the average person to rush out and join.) I hope to share more from AAII in the future!

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