Since its first printing in 1991, the cachet of Value Averaging has steadily grown to cult-classic status. So reluctant are its readers to part with the two original editions that these humble volumes have turned out to be highly profitable investments in and of themselves. The closure of the book's original producer, International Publishing Company, was followed by the exhaustion soon thereafter of the planet's last remaining supplies at a redistributor in, of all places, Cave Junction, Oregon; prices for used copies thereupon sailed into territory more typically seen with F. Scott Fitzgerald first editions.

Why, for the past several years, have investors been willing to pay hundreds of dollars for one thin paperback? The reputation of an investment classic usually issues in no small part from its literary qualities: the velvety logic of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor, the good humor and powerful exposition of Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street, the moral thunder of John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds, or the narrative elegance of Edward Chancellor's Devil Take the Hindmost. While Mike Edleson's Value Averaging is nothing if not well written, it qualifies as essential investment reading for an entirely different reason. Simply put, Mike Edleson's book is the single best guide on the mechanics of deploying a steady stream of cash into a portfolio. I'll go one step further: It is the only book that fully describes how any investor, from the ...

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