Research pays off big for part-time investors

Book Review: 'The Warren Buffetts Next Door'

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 what that’s about — maybe their math, problem-solving and logic powers translate well to solving stock market riddles. Muy interesante.)

Schifrin found his subjects on a couple of investor communities online where he could verify their track records going as far back as 2000, in some cases.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, every one of these "Warren Buffetts Next Door" stories has its own flavor of wildly inspirational upshot, on top of the substantive investing takeaways. These are people you’ve never heard of, and will probably never hear of again, most of whom taught themselves an investment strategy that has bested the S&P 500 many, many times over.