56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the title--this is the only book an investor needs
No doubt you've heard many times something to the effect: "this is the only book you'll need to learn how to invest." Well, this time believe it-this is the only book you'll need. If ever we reach the point where we have private accounts in Social Security, this book should be required reading for everyone before they undertake their private account.
Published on April 24, 2005 by Edward Wolfe
64 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good advice, poorly presented
This book has one good idea: index investing.
It also has one questionable idea: use financial planners (the author is ... guess what).
There: I've saved you from slogging through 287 pages of fluff.
Swedroe is addressing himself to an uninformed audience and I have to believe that anyone coming to this book is not that. Even for the...
Published on February 6, 2006 by GEORGE R. FISHER
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the title--this is the only book an investor needs,
This review is from: The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: The Way Smart Money Invests Today (Hardcover)No doubt you've heard many times something to the effect: "this is the only book you'll need to learn how to invest." Well, this time believe it-this is the only book you'll need. If ever we reach the point where we have private accounts in Social Security, this book should be required reading for everyone before they undertake their private account.
I note that all of the reviews on Amazon of Larry's latest book are positive-and with good reason. My endorsement of this book is twofold: (1) it is the strategy that I use, and (2) I use this book as my main text in a college investments course called Applied Investments, where I teach students how to take control of their own personal investments and not be dependent on brokers/financial advisors.
Being a Finance professor I was well aware of the evidence regarding active management v. passive investing, and when I first began looking for books for my course, I did a lot of reading of books by such people as William Bernstein, Burton Malkiel, and John Bogle of Vanguard-all of whom are ardent proponents of passive investing. All of these people (as well as others) regularly cited Larry Swedroe's books and articles, so I decided to go straight to the horse's mouth, so to speak. What a great find!
Mr. Swedroe writes with a clarity that is rare, especially in Finance. In addition, he backs up all of his positions with academic research, which of course, makes it an excellent book to use in an academic setting. But don't be put off by this-he doesn't let the research discussions get in the way of what he's trying to explain. He takes you through the evidence and then shows you exactly how to earn market rates of return through the application of passive investing, asset allocation, and rebalancing. It's all in this book. If you follow what he teaches you to do, your financial house will be in order, and at the end of your investment horizon, your will be much better off.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong practical advice; don't discard the book because of it's title,
This review is from: The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: The Way Smart Money Invests Today (Hardcover)Despite its preposterous title (how can a financial advisor with any claim to rationality be so self-assured), this book is good read for the average investor. It has one mediocre, one average and one excellent sections. The last section alone (see more detail below) is worth the book's price!
The book's three sections cpver material as follows:
Section 1: making the case as to why short-term trading, trying to time and/or beat the market by following pundits' advice, etc. is a "loser's game" - is, in my opinion, WEAKEST part of the book - it is full of quotes that are redundant to the point of almost being self-undulgent in stressing that only a small fraction of investors would ever beat the returns of broad market indices, such as the S&P 500. Those convinced of this philosophical view can skip this section altogether.
Section 2: discourse on efficient market and modern portfolio theories -- as popular expositions on efficient markets and portfolio diversification go, Swedroe does an AVERAGE job, covering the essentials on risk and return (for better long-term risk/retun analysis see "Stocks for the Long Run" by Jeremy Siegel; for better discourse on diversification, see "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" by William Bernstein)
Section 3: Here is where Swedroe shines - he illustrates the benefits of modern portfolio theory by showing long-term (20 years) risk return of 3 hypothetical portfolios with different degree of diversification between asset classes (large- and small-cap US and international stocks and US bonds);the author further lays out a rational systematic approach towards building a diversified portfolio, based on investor's liquidity contraints, comfort with international and tracking error (deviation from most popular US stock indices); management of assets in a taxable and non-taxable accounts is also well covered, as are practical strategies, as index investing, rebalancing, dollar-cost and value averaging.
The book also has 9 Appendixes, some of which, such as a discussion on "recommended investment vehicles and sample portfolios" go in as much a detail as covering the strategies of specific mutual funds, which the author recommends.
All-in-all - there is much useful practical advise here for the average investor; not much for the more sophisticated reader.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid advice that runs contrary to what makes the most noise,
This review is from: The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: The Way Smart Money Invests Today (Hardcover)It's a shame to think of how much money I've lost "investing" in the stock market over the years. I wish I had read the book The Only Guide To A Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need by Larry E. Swedroe about six years ago...
Chapter List: Why Individual Investors Play the Loser's Game; Active Portfolio Management Is a Loser's Game; Efficient Markets I - Information and Cost; Efficient Markets II - Risk; The Five-Factor Model; Volatility, Return, and Risk; Six Steps to a Diversified Portfolio - Using Modern Portfolio Theory; How to Build a Model Portfolio; Index Funds, Passive Asset Class Funds, and ETFs; The Care and Maintenance of the Portfolio; Implementing the Winning Strategy; Summary; Appendices; Notes; Glossary; Recommended Reading; Acknowledgments; Index
The main thrust of this book is how to use a passive approach to investing to consistently get market or above-market rates of return. Swedroe makes an extremely strong case for the use of index funds as the primary investment tool. He does this by comparing the average performance of actively managed funds, and shows statistically that in nearly all cases, it's impossible to consistently beat the market. If you look at selected years, it's possible to "beat" the market, but over the long run the passive approach will always win. And when you figure in the tax advantages and the administration costs of a churned fund, the gap between active and passive fund management is even greater.
If you are an investor, it's worth reading... Even if you don't agree, it will give you some food for thought.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT TODAY!,
In one extraordinary chapter he follows the effects of adding different classes to the porfolio mix (e.eg 60% stock with 40% bonds) and how it affects the percentage return, the standard deviation and, most importantly, the growth of a dollar. Totally fascinating, and for the greedy among us, a breath of fresh air in the smoky confusion of personal investment conundrums.
If your have any serious interest in investing your own capital for maximum returns with minimal hassle, get this book. Swedroe in using Markowitz's Nobel prize winning (1990) theory of portfolio construction clearly illuuminates intelligent asset class allocations. Read it,and all will become translucent; you will be one happy capitalist, for sure. Jim B
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sequel is better than the original!,
The many and new real-life stories throughout the book are filled with wisdom and insight. Many of the references and statistics cited have been updated to reflect the changes in the market conditions since 1998. The comparison between index funds, passive asset class funds and ETFs is very well presented. The new appendices address some timely questions and common investor concerns. The one thing that has not changed is the winning investment strategy! Overall, my kudos to Larry on a job well done.
Most importantly, this is the BEST book for the layman (or professional) to get a gut feel for how to take advantage of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). It not only explains the theory, but also gives step by step instructions on how to implement the strategy.
I am a fee-only investment advisor myself (not affiliated with Larry's firm) and I give a copy of this book to every new client. It is simply the best way to educate them about the winning investment strategy. Thank you Larry!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This approach really works - I tried it,
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winning Investment Strategy,
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reseource,
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only we could all age so well,
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice for The Novice Investor,
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