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Book Review
Title: "The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor"
Author: Howard Marks
Publisher: Columbia Business School Publishing, 2011; 200 pages; $29.95

This is a do-it-yourself, consumer-education-and-empowerment-oriented media age. There is a constant flow of simplifying, demystifying tips and how-to guides for those looking to take more control over their personal finances. For some subjects, that makes sense.

But while there is certainly a market for books that break some complex money matters down to eighth-grade level, the fact is that other topics simply cannot be rendered so simple, in good faith.

This is the premise of Howard Marks' new book, "The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor." In fact, the first point Marks makes is his position that there are actually 18 or so "most important things" when it comes to inves...