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Bonds: The Unbeaten Path to Secure Investment Growth (Bloomberg) Hardcover – August 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Bloomberg (Book 26)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomberg Press; 1st edition (August 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576602435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576602430
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #983,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Diehards will love the book's all-bond portfolios...With more fixed-income products around than ever before, advisors should understand both what they are and how to use them. Bonds will serve as an excellent primer."
 -Financial Planning magazine

Review

"Standard advice says investors need to strike a comfortable balance between risk tolerance and return expectations. In Bonds: The Unbeaten Path to Secure Investment Growth, Stan and Hildy Richelson convincingly challenge conventional wisdom. They outline how to find safety without sacrifice by harnessing the unique risk-adjusted characteristics of bonds."
-Bill D’Alonzo
Chief Executive and Investment Officer, Friess Associates
Manager of the Brandywine Funds

"The unconventional wisdom in 'the unbeaten path' will soon become the conventional wisdom for anyone nearing retirement and frightened by the stock market's volatility. Hildy and Stan Richelson do all of us a big favor by outlining, step-by-step, how we can use bonds for growth and income."
 -Kevin Adler, MBA
Editor, NAPFA Advisor

"Hildy and Stan Richelson demystify bond investing. And in place of conventional, equity-based strategies, they convincingly propose bonds as the preferred alternative for individuals seeking attractive returns with low risk."
 -Andrew B. Williams, CFA
Chief Investment Officer, Philadelphia International Advisors

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Customer Reviews

The authors have written an excellent book on bonds which I highly recommend.
Robert Sczech
Best of all, after reading this book I know for the first time in my life that I am on the road to financial security and freedom.
J. Wulf
I am now also a great believer in BONDS -- The Unbeatable Path to Secure Investment Growth.
Kevin R. West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Dale C. Maley VINE VOICE on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little background on myself. I have read over 200 books on investing. When I started investing back in 1979, I went 100% stocks. Back in 1979, the financial press was full of stories about retired people with bonds that were decimated by the high inflation of the late 1970's. Bonds were probably the worst investment back in that high inflationary environment. I stayed 100% stocks for 20 years, and then switched to 10% bonds in 1999. In late 2007, I switched to a 60:40 portfolio. I evaluated my need to take risk against my willingness to take risk...and settled on the time honored 60:40 portfolio of pension funds.

The authors of this book try to make the case for a 0:100 or all bond portfolio. They assert the 10% return of stocks is really 6-7% because of taxes, expenses, and bad timing.

Taxes reduce stock returns because of excessive trading by active mutual fund managers.

Expenses reduce stocks returns because of transaction costs and annual fees. Their assertion is 2% on large cap, 4% on small cap and foreign stock funds, and 10% on micro-cap and emerging markets.

Bad timing reduces the return of stocks because investors chase the winners and they buy high and sell low. The Dalbar studies have shown for years that most investors do not really get the market return of stocks. The authors cite the fact that the S&P 500 returned 12.8% from 1983-2003..while the average investor only got 6.3%. The author cites a Dalbar study where the market returned 12% and investors really got 4%.

The authors claim that a 100% bond portfolio solves all the issues that lower the return of stocks. They assert bonds are low cost if you buy them at their initial offering. They assert low fees if you hold the bonds to maturity.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lee by the Sea on December 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Richelsons have provided a readable introduction to investing in bonds, with meaty sections on basics and categories. It is current, being a 2007 edition that is "expanded and updated"--and renamed--from their 2002 book. I found it comparable in scope to, if a little simpler than, Esme Faerber's 2001 book "Fundamentals of the Bond Market", which I already have dog-eared thoroughly.

So far, so good, but unfortunately the book promises much more than it delivers. From the beginning onwards, reference is frequently made to "the All-Bond Portfolio" as a strategic investment approach that is preferable to the more-commonly advised stock-bond mix. But the book lacks detailed portfolio examples to explain and prove that claim. Indeed, there is no quantitative guidance except for five thinly-detailed case studies. Say I'm a retiree interested in how I would (or if I could!) create an all-bond portfolio to provide income of a specific amount for a specific time; there is no help here. Except for discussion of TIPS and I-Bonds as bond categories, the crucial issue of fixed-income returns versus inflation is not covered. TIPS protect against inflation, but how big a part of my all-bond portfolio must they be? One strongly-advocated strategy is buying and holding bonds to maturity to minimize market risk rather than trading in the secondary bond market.

It would not be sufficient for the Richelsons to wave off the above objections as details beyond the scope of the book, because the book proposes the all-bond portfolio as a strategic solution, not merely as a concept. (Even Burton Malkiel's famous "A Random Walk Down Wall Street", which has a far wider scope, gives specific percentages for types of bonds in its pie charts.) So, if you are looking at introductory bond-investment books, keep this one on your comparison list, but don't expect it to define your investment strategy.
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92 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Robert Sczech on October 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The authors have written an excellent book on bonds which I highly recommend. The trouble with bonds is that their investment value can not be separated from the fate of the currency they are denominated in. If we buy one bond, we buy in fact a legal claim for the payment of $1000 at some future date. It is almost certain that these 1000 future Dollars will have a smaller purchasing power than the 1000 Dollars spent today. Nobody will invest into bonds if the money returned in the future is worth less than the money spent today to buy these bonds. To compensate for this loss of value due to inflation, bonds pay interest every year at a certain rate (depending on prevailing market rates and on the credit rating of the bond issuer). In times of declining inflation rates (as it happened during the past 25 years from 1982-2005), bonds are excellent investments due to the fact that the interest paid is well above the prevailing inflation rate. The big question is whether this benign inflation climate will continue to hold in the future. It is the only major weakness of the book under review that the authors do not address this question properly. Personally, I believe that the next 25 years will be very hostile to bond investments. That belief is based on the following observation. The total amount of all financial assets (bonds, stocks, derivatives etc) is growing at an exponential rate. These financial assets are claims on future products and services. As the present credit crisis shows, we already reached the stage where the real economy can not produce enough real goods and services in order to match the growth of financial assets. This crisis will only grow larger in the future, partly due to constraints on the availability of resources (peak oil for instance).Read more ›
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