Research pays off big for part-time investors

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Necessity is the mother of invention, the saying goes. And so it is that eczema, 18-wheelers and aging played a strange hand in inventing the stunning and untold investment success stories of a number of anonymous Americans. Untold, that is, until now. Forbes Media Vice President Matt Schifrin tells these stories, and their morals, in his new book, "The Warren Buffetts Next Door: The World's Greatest Investors You've Never Heard of and What You can Learn from Them."

The morals of these men's (yes, all men's) stories come in a couple of varieties. First and most overtly, this book is packed with the investment strategies and tools that have been used by these everyday Americans -- people who have made millions of dollars trading, some before and after their 9-to-5 jobs as civil engineers and computer lab managers.

(In fact, there seem to be a disproportionately large number of engineers of different sorts featured in the book. Wonder wh...