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4.4 out of 5 stars
7Twelve: A Diversified Investment Portfolio with a Plan
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2010
I thought I knew everything about diversification until I read Craig Israelsen's book, "7Twelve: A Diversified Investment Portfolio With A Plan." Wow! This book is a groundbreaking approach to portfolio construction based on historical performance patterns of indexes, mutual funds and ETFs. The 7Twelve Portfolio takes asset allocation to another level! Important concepts are highlighted and supported throughout the book with tables, charts, etc. The book also shows you how to use the 7Twelve Portfolio as either a pre-retirement accumulation portfolio or a post-retirement distribution portfolio. Craig has a gift for explaining sophisticated concepts in a clear and simple way. If you want to build a balanced, multi-asset portfolio that can help you grow your money as well as protect it, 7Twelve is the recipe you need. Every investor and advisor should read this book!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2011
Overall, this is a good book about the benefits of diversification and how to apply it in your own investing. However, I was surprised the author was slightly inconsistent with his own investment philosophy.

For example, the author persuades you the 7Twelve investment philosophy is superior because historical returns/risks say so. Additionally, there is a section in the book where he compares past returns/risks between a 7Twelve "passive" strategy (using index mutual funds) vs. the 7Twelve "active" strategy (using actively managed mutual funds). According to the author's own data, the "active" 7Twelve strategy consistently resulted in superior returns than the "passive" 7Twelve strategy (with comparable risk as well).

Ironically, the author still stated he prefers implementing the 7Twelve portfolio using index funds (passively managed). I found this strange since the author bases his arguments entirely off past returns, yet the historic evidence presented suggests the active strategy is superior. This inconsistency was a disappointment, and it makes me wonder why the author doesn't stick to his guns on "what the data show."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2010
Israelsen's book excels in exposition...it's easy and fun to read...and in substance...he presents the best, easy-to-implement asset allocation models I have seen in over twenty years as a professional investment manager. His research is compelling and clearly presented. Although I am a tactical asset allocator and have produced returns that significantly exceed his static approach, I am so impressed with his work that our firm has designed our next 401k plan so the participants can implement his approach.

This is a must read for anyone interested in managing their own (or others) mutual fund portfolio.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
My financial adviser fully committed to using the 7Twelve investment philosophy last year after a year or so of partial adherence to the 7Twelve principals. He recommended that I read the book so that I could understand what he was doing and appreciate how he managed to achieve 17% gains this year on top of similar gains last year. I am currently on my 3rd reading of the book and am still picking up useful information. Since retiring 3 years ago I made a commitment to understand and become more active with my investments and have taken investment classes, read many newsletters, magazine articles and six books on investments and/or trading. This book is the best information that I have encountered to date. The concept is simple and easily implemented and the writer presents the information in a very understandable format and backs up all of his conclusions with reams of charts and data. The only caveat that I would present is the standard well worn "past performance does not guarantee future performance". He has selected 12 different types of funds that historically prove his concept over all the 3 year and 10 year periods from 1970 through 2009. Will these same 12 funds provide similar results in the future or will a different blend of funds provide a better result? I will provide a followup review in 10 years.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2010
RUN, don't walk, to get your copy of this book! Whether you are just starting to dabble with investments or are halfway down the path to retirement or a seasoned investor, you will find this book an easy to understand, good common-sense approach to growing your money as well as preserving it. Dr. Israelsen includes in-depth comparisons over the years how your money would have fared "Had you done this" following commonly accepted advice out there as compared to his conservative and well thought-out plan all backed up by detailed numbers. He will save you from yourself and a world of pain. It's easy to get sucked into hot stocks, hot funds, hot tips that WERE good until you bought them and lost on them time after time making you wonder why it is that everyone else seems to win and you only lose. The author advocates using this plan for your core holdings but leaves you room to adjust your portfolio for your special circumstances or for a little play money. I'd say this is the Goldilocks book of investing -- not too hot chasing returns, not too cold making your head spin with difficult jargon, heavy-duty mathematics, and mumbojumbo, but just so very right. I only wish I had the book 10 years ago to avoid trying so many ideas including paying for bad advice, fees, and expenses to lose me money instead.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
Highly effective in beating the S & P 500 with about half the risk. Simple in design, requires only one tune-up per year. Very few moving parts. I've been investing since 1989, and I learned more in the first 80 pages than I ever knew. If one has never made an investment in their life this book directs one down a very easy to understand path that can lead to a care-free retirement. Along one's journey make one movement a year called "rebalancing". Don't worry about alphas, betas, standard deviation, category rankings, upside & downside capture ratios, p/e ratios, and etc. Book is written in a easy to understand "cookbook" format. The results are powerful: the ability to understand what you are doing and why. and one moving part per year of execution. It's a highly effective, easy to understand tool with only one action required per year. Diversification and having a plan that you understand are the cornerstones of your retirement. This plan forces one to sell high and buy low...what a novel idea!!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I waited with great anticipation for "7 Twelve" to come out. It has surpassed all my expectations.
I could hug Craig Israelsen for his clear and easily understandable path to a sound investment plan.
The proof of the pudding shows in his thorough research of a 40 year market history. I never thought statistics
could be that exciting!
I have redone my whole Vanguard portfolio and said bye-bye to CNBC forever
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
A fairly simple investment plan that doesn't need constant tinkering and works historically. It is a simpler version of the plans financial professionals charge big bucks for. Buying just twelve mutual funds or ETFs in seven asset classes covers the bases for just about any economic climate, reducing risks and maximizing gains over the long haul.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2015
A lot of this is book is filler pages. All the author wanted to convey can fill just one page. Diversify the investments into multiple asset classes - stocks (US and foreign), bonds, real estate, commodities or any other asset with low correlation and positive long term returns. The Intelligent Asset Allocator by Bernstein gives the same advice in much better manner. Disappointing book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2013
Great read! As a Certified Financial Planning professional, it was great to read some pretty sophisticated ideas boiled down into easy to use concepts. Its a great read for all levels of investors.
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