The stock market has been a cornerstone of the investors passive wealth-building program for over a century and continues in this role. This decade has been one huge roller coaster ride for stock investors. Fortunes have been made and lost. With all the media attention, all the talking heads on radio and television, and the books with titles like Dow at 36,000, the investing public still didnt avoid losing trillions in a historic stock market debacle. Sadly, even the so-called experts who understand stocks didnt see the economic and geopolitical forces that acted like a tsunami on the market. With just a little more knowledge and a few wealth-preserving techniques, more investors could have held onto their hard-earned stock market fortunes. Cheer up, though: This book gives you an early warning on those megatrends and events that will affect your stock portfolio. While other books may tell you about stocks, this book tells you about stocks and what affects them. This book is designed to give you a realistic approach to making money in stocks. It provides the essence of sound, practical stock investing strategies and insights that have been market-tested and proven from nearly 100 years of stock market history. I dont expect you to read it cover to cover, although Id be delighted if you read every word! Instead, this book is designed as a reference tool. Feel free to read the chapters in whatever order you choose. You can flip to the sections and chapters that interest you or those that include topics that you need to know more about. Stock Investing For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is also quite different from the get rich with stocks titles that have crammed the bookshelves in recent years. It doesnt take a standard approach to the topic; it doesnt assume that stocks are a sure thing and the be-all, end-all of wealth building. In fact, at times in this book, I tell you not to invest in stocks. This book can help you succeed not only in up markets but also in down markets. Bull markets and bear markets come and go, but the informed investor can keep making money no matter what. To give you an extra edge, Ive tried to include information about the investing environment for stocks. Whether its politics or hurricanes (or both), you need to know how the big picture affects your stock investment decisions.