The Business Week Best-Seller List

LONG ABOUT FEBRUARY, AS WINTER DRAGS ON and tax day looms ever closer, John Q. Bookbuyer's thoughts lightly turn to dreams of permanent escape, wealth in hand, to a tropical paradise. And just in time, Edmund J. Pankau has published Hide Your Assets and Disappear, the No. 14 hardback on this month's best-seller list. Pankau identifies himself as ''an experienced tracker who has worked for the government to recover missing assets.'' Now, the idea is, he's offering serious how-to-go-underground advice to the trackees--those hounded by ex-spouses, creditors, and the law.

There's a 50-page, highly subjective guide to the best places to disappear: Pankau likes Central America, but he considers countries from Belize to Vietnam. Readers learn how to invent a ''brand new past,'' how to set up an offshore asset-protection trust, how to abandon old habits, and how to create a new identity (a graveyard is a good place to pick a name, it seems). Remember, though, that ''obtaining government documents under false pretense is a violation of the law.''

Hide Your Assets is padded and repetitive--part of why real-life Dr. Richard Kimbles might wonder whether it is the best source for advice. Moreover, most of its anecdotes involve people who tried but failed to lose pursuers. In the end, it seems, those who really know ''how to disappear'' are not likely found among the ranks of best-selling authors.


1 THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown $23) Practical and ''spiritual'' steps for managing money.

2 THE MOTLEY FOOL'S RULE BREAKERS, RULE MAKERS by David and Tom Gardner (Simon & Schuster $25) Investing in upstarts and in established companies.

3 HOW TO GET STARTED IN ELECTRONIC DAY TRADING by David S. Nassar (McGraw-Hill $24.95) Trading stocks moment by moment via PC.

4 DIRECT FROM DELL by Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman (HarperBusiness $26) Dell Computer's CEO, on his life and business.

5 THE ROARING 2000s by Harry S. Dent Jr. (Simon & Schuster $25) Why the good times won't go away.

6 PUSHING THE ENVELOPE by Harvey Mackay (Ballantine $24.95) A chatty and amusing guidebook for success.

7 RULES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES by Guy Kawasaki with Michele Moreno (HarperBusiness $25) Storming the digital barricades, by Apple's former ''chief evangelist.''

8 NET WORTH by John Hagel III and Marc Singer (Harvard Business School $24.95) On the emerging business of the ''infomediary,'' by two McKinsey consultants.

9 THE ELECTRONIC DAY TRADER by Marc Friedfertig and George West (McGraw-Hill $34.95) Hopping in and out of the market electronically.

10 THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA by Clayton M. Christensen (Harvard Business School $27.50) Anticipating new technologies' disruptive effects.

11 SELLING THE INVISIBLE by Harry Beckwith (Warner $16) A collection of bite-size lessons on marketing.

12 GOLDMAN SACHS by Lisa Endlich (Knopf $27.50) The investment bank's life and times, by a former trader.

13 HOW TO BECOME CEO by Jeffrey J. Fox (Hyperion $15.95) Succinct rules for getting ahead.

14 HIDE YOUR ASSETS AND DISAPPEAR by Edmund J. Pankau (HarperCollins $22) Get lost--and shake your creditors, says a private eye.

15 THE EMPERORS OF CHOCOLATE by Jol Glenn Brenner (Random House $25.95) It's not all kisses between Hershey and Mars.


1 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Pocket Books $14) The simple ways of the wealthy among us.

2 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) The online duo puts it on paper.

3 THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey (Fireside $14) Habitually popular.

4 THE ERNST & YOUNG TAX GUIDE 1999 by the Tax Partners and Professionals of Ernst & Young LLP (Wiley $15.95) It's crunch time, folks.

5 J.K. LASSER'S YOUR INCOME TAX 1999 by the J.K. Lasser Institute (Macmillan $14.95) Get out that calculator.

6 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT WORKBOOK by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) ''So where do I find stocks'' and other queries, asked and answered.

7 THE 1999 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $16.95) The enduring job-search bible.

8 THE MOTLEY FOOL'S YOU HAVE MORE THAN YOU THINK by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $13) Help for the investment-challenged.

9 INVESTING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson, MBA (IDG Books $19.99) From stocks to small business--with cartoons, too.

10 GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin $12.95) A Harvard team's step-by-step guide to conflict resolution.

11 BUILT TO LAST by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (HarperBusiness $15) How 3M, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and others became standouts.

12 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $15.95) Concise explanations enriched with graphics.

13 DIE BROKE by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine (HarperBusiness $14) Forget about the will--and the conventional wisdom, says a financial adviser.

14 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $10.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

15 BARRON'S DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman (Barron's $12.95) What is an oligopsony anyway?

BUSINESS WEEK's Best-Seller List is based on a survey of chain and independent booksellers that carry a broad selection of books on economics, management, sales and marketing, small business, investing, personal finance, and careers. Well over 1,000 retail outlets nationwide are represented. Current rankings are based on a weighted analysis of unit sales in February.


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