In recent years equipment leasing has become a big draw for companies of all sizes. The attractions -- 100%, fixed-rate financing and protection against obsolescence -- are significant, but navigating through the financial, legal, and tax labyrinth is tricky.

One of the best sources of advice on leasing is Richard M. Contino's Handbook of Equipment Leasing: A Deal Maker's Guide (AMACOM, New York City, 1989, $55). Contino, who owns a leasing company in Glen Cove, N.Y., takes you through lease transactions as only a seasoned insider can. He tells you what traps to watch out for at each phase of the process and what points you should nail down to get the best deal. One leasing-company executive confided to us recently, "If more of our clients read this book, we'd be in real trouble."

-- Bruce G. Posner