If you're shopping for an investment manager to handle anything from your personal finances to your company's 401(k) plan, here's a good place to start: "Evaluating Investment Performance," a blissfully short (23 pages) and accessible guide to looking beyond the number games most investment analysts play.

Why bother? Because investors can be confused by statistics that claim to demonstrate a financial adviser's brilliant performance, but in fact disguise potential problems. Statistics that emphasize long-term results may, for example, hide enormous short-term portfolio volatility -- risks investors like 401(k) plan administrators should be aware of.

The brochure contains savvy sections on the different ways advisers can calculate -- and manipulate -- investment-return ratios, why you should avoid overemphasizing recent performance records, and what to expect from investment managers. For a free copy, contact Heidi Steiger, managing director of the individual-asset-management division at Neuberger & Berman, at 212-476-5750. -- Jill Andresky Fraser

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