February 15, 2023
Stock Market Literacy (SML) is an essential and comprehensive self-help education and information course for individuals looking to invest and trade in securities.
Bill Cara, the author, explains that most teaching and information about the stock market is provided by writers and organizations on Wall Street, which is not necessarily in the best interest of independent investors. Therefore, the book’s central message is that as an independent owner of capital, one should learn to invest and trade in the securities of high-quality companies, not simply trade Wall Street-managed funds based on technical tactics.
Cara highlights that the global financial services industry encourages individuals to adopt a short-term “player” mentality instead of a long-term “owner” mentality. This dissonance has led to principal owners being dictated to by agents rather than making their own decisions. Hence, SML is important as it provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to take an active role in managing their investments instead of relying solely on the advice of financial professionals and salespersons.
SML differs from other books about the stock market in several ways. Firstly, it is a comprehensive book with ten topics and 120 concise chapters, including 322 illustrations. Each topic and most chapters could be a book, but Cara covers the entire subject in one 616-page opus. Furthermore, investments in over 20 countries and regions of the world are highlighted. The book also contains thousands of external links to free market information and education sources covering the whole subject and investments worldwide. Additionally, the content includes interesting parts for sophisticated as well as newbie investors.
Cara’s desire to write this book stems from his passion for inspiring people. He recognizes that retirement or even changing careers in mid-life can be problematic but needn’t be. He also cares about young people and wants to guide a whole new generation of investors worldwide and help them avoid the problems their parents and grandparents caused. He wants to be a mentor to his readers.
He says that writing books like SML and his blogs at billcara.com make him happy, and he is pleased by the response from his readers, colleagues, and the media. This book, he says, could be the crowning achievement of a long and notable career or maybe just the next in a series of publications to come.
Why should the reader care about Cara’s Stock Market Literacy?
The book addresses several problems that readers face. Firstly, it aims to eliminate the “retail buyer” reliance on the sell-side of Wall Street, which has turned the market into a “robber baron” game that plays people. Being financially illiterate causes them stress, anxiety, and lost capital. Secondly, it seeks to have people understand that Wall Street operates with self-conflicts that are not permitted in any other aspect of society. SML helps individuals overcome these challenges.
Due to the world’s lack of stock market literacy, financial organizations that Cara calls Humongous Bank & Broker (HB&B) have taken command of global capital markets, taking unfair advantage of the owners of capital and putting the market’s integrity at stake. Cara also believes that the market has become politicized with platforms such as ESG, Inclusion, and Climate Change, while the fundamental precept of capitalism, Return on Investment (ROI), is overlooked.
Cara says that most people can learn to fight back. He says the book is essential because it is in the best interest of independent investors to take control back from their agents. He reminds them that their capital and decisions are the bedrock of capitalism and that financial services companies are their agents.
Regrettably, HB&B advises most people today to put money into funds, not company stocks. He warns that buying funds involves trading against the most complex computer trading systems of the world’s most sophisticated financial organizations.
The bottom line is that a self-educated investor is likely to make lower-risk investment decisions, have more meaningful discussions with advisors and salespeople, and be more likely to reach their financial goals. That is why Bill Cara wrote this book.
In conclusion, like his Lessons from the Trader Wizard (2008), Bill Cara’s Stock Market Literacy (2023) is a must-read for anyone who wants to invest and trade in securities. It provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to take an active role in managing their investments and avoid relying solely on the advice of financial professionals. SML is a comprehensive and practical book that would benefit newbies and sophisticated investors worldwide.