The Devil’s Financial Dictionary by Jason Zweig Book Review


The Devil’s Financial Dictionary was a small book that I picked up at the library. It’s inspired by Ambrose Bierce’s satirical Devil’s Dictionary back in 1906. The writer is a long-time veteran of the financial industry.

What I Liked

The book was funny and fast paced. It also got really into the weeds of finance & investing, so it was oddly educational.

The book is formatted just like a dictionary, so it was easy to flip & browse rather than reading straight through.

Like most satire, the book also had a biting truth in the background. The financial industry at its best should be much smaller, simpler and more useful to society than it actually is. It’s complex, convoluted, and parasitic.

Good satire brings that out in an approachable, funny, way. I like how this book did that.

What I Did Not Like

The Devil’s Financial Dictionary requires some knowledge of the financial industry to make sense. Actually, it requires a good bit. There were plenty of entries that I understood on an intellectual level, but did not really understand the satire.

The dictionary formatting has some upsides, but it also made reading the book in a sitting really tedious.


The book was worth a browse from the library, especially if you have a passing interest in personal finance or investing. I can’t say that I would buy it though.

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