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Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors Hardcover – March 15, 2012

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Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors + The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns + The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hebner gives us good advice presented in a very appealing manner. Index Funds remains one of the most valuable investment guides available."
- Burton G. Malkiel, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Princeton University and author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street; 

"It is really beautiful and really well done. I plan to use it as a reference guide."
- David G. Booth, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Inc., Benefactor of Chicago Booth School of Business;

 "... .as this book documents so well, a foolish attempt to beat the market and get rich quickly will make one s broker rich and oneself much less so."
-- Harry Markowitz, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Economics;

"This Book is Wonderful!" 
--Theodore R. Aronson, Founder of Aronson Johnson Ortiz, Institutional Money Manager

 

James Burt, Foreword Reviews

Smart, precise, and funny, Index Funds makes understanding the market sensible and even desirable.

Today it’s hard to know where to turn for investment advice. Fortunately, Mark T. Hebner’s Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors offers educated insight—with lots of research and a touch of humor—into today’s investor arena.

Hebner’s 12-Step Program is meant as a way to assist people with problems. In this case it’s active investors or speculators that have tried to predict market activity to make killer returns and have lost out financially. By contrast, via his self-constructed program, Hebner shows how investing in index funds is a safer, more secure way to invest money to see realistic long-term returns.

The author does not act like a guru. His information is clearly researched, right from his definition of index funds and passive investing: a strategy of investing carefully in a diversified portfolio of longstanding stocks and bonds. It makes reference and pays respect to the great money market theorists, from Friedrich von Hayek and Benjamin Graham up to Warren Buffett, Merton Miller, and Eugene Fama. He compiles studies from these famous experts, noting that active stock picking is really a finding-a-needle-in-a-haystack venture. Investors need to subject their managers to the industry T-score to see if they are good at making investment choices.

Hebner also returns to a central thesis throughout the book: that no one, no matter how great his or her track record is, can truly predict market activity to pick stocks. His examination of “time picking” in step 4 shows that those that claim to pick stocks at the right time are usually riding on luck, and that truly great investing depends on, as step 9 says, analyzing “historical data over eighty years … to provide a more reliable estimate of risks and returns.”

While some books on business advice and understanding marketplaces are often dry and laden with industry jargon, Hebner infuses Index Funds with easy-to-understand explanations of how to invest with index funds. The prose breaks down all the terms of investing—“riskese,” “time picking,” etc.—with short descriptions complete with helpful charts and infographics.

Thanks to artist Lala Ragimov, whose renditions of Flemish Baroque and Venetian Renaissance style paintings include investor caricatures, Index Funds also has outright humor that, again, helps explain each concept chapter by chapter.

Smart, precise, and funny, Index Funds makes understanding the market sensible and even desirable.

About the Author

Mark T. Hebner is the founder and president of Index Fund Advisors, Inc., author of ifa.com, and the book Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors. That original book received praise from the financial industry and academic legends, including John Bogle, David Booth, Harry Markowitz, Burton Malkiel, and Paul Samuelson. This is a condensed and updated version of that book. Mark is considered a leading author, speaker, and Internet provider of investing education. He is especially knowledgeable about the superiority of index mutual funds, as well as the research indexes designed by financial economists. He earned an MBA at the University of California, Irvine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: IFA Publishing, Inc.; Upd Rev edition (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976802317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976802310
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tombear on June 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book makes a prolific, historical documented case for index fund investing. Mark Hebner persistently and convincingly takes apart Wall St. and exposes the long-time falsehoods of the mutual fund, active management, and brokerage industry.
This is all uniquely packaged in an incredible visual journey - with rich illustrations that brings everything to life. This book raises the bar simply for what a modern-day finance book should be.

The amount of documentation and proof is incredible alone. You will see many graphs and data sets that are not published elsewhere.

Nobody beats the markets for very long and the road to speculation which non-indexers do, leads often to ruin. Wall St. simply runs an endless beauty pageant - that delivers short.

Buy this book, index invest, and receive the fair market return you deserve.

His research is documented by nobel laureate academics and topical industry evidence he meticulously obtained for our benefit. For example, he highlights info such as how little return the big brokerage clients have received as opposed to the robust returns of index fund investors/clients of index-based advisory firms.

As a final note, Mark has keen foresight (he wrote the first edition in 2007 and the namesake of his firm hinges on indexing = IFA = Index Fund Advisors) is proof of the pudding. Index fund investing is now finally mainstream as the lessons of this book has foretold. Vanguard is now the largest mutual fund firm (an index fund company) and DFA (Dimensional Funds - an index fund company) is one of the fastest growing fund firms. It's a great time to be an index fund investor. Indexes have everything to gain vs. active managers = much to lose.

Thank you to these hard working, passionate & ethical figures of finance today.

You'll find a treasure of info here and an author that delivers on his work.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By R. Mend on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The basic facts to be culled from this book are....
1. To successfully out perform the market you must pick investments at a positive rate of 74% or better.
2. The best "so called" financial analyst "guru's" forecast accuracy (between 1997 and 2011) range from a 26% to 67% success rate.....these people don't dabble, they forecast for a living.
3. ALL legitimate financial geniuses with decades of experience agree that trying to time the market will make brokers rich and you poor.
4.Investing in a passively managed index fund will allow you to to reap returns at market levels while providing you with the ability to achieve peace of mind.
5. If you must gamble, budget for a trip to Vegas and only lose what you can afford to while actually having fun!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Larimore on June 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I own the original and much larger, "Index Funds" book by author, Mark Hebner. I was pleased to see he has updated the original with a shorter edition. I wasted no time reading it.

I have read hundred's of financial books and this book is the most beautiful with dozens of artistic pictures and graphs to give the reader an enjoyable reading experience. Mr. Hebner uses his vast knowledge of stock market history to inform and persuade, even the most skeptical, that indexing is now the smart way for individuals to invest. Jack Bogle will be pleased.

Taylor Larimore
Miami, Florida
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Don E. Lavoie on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This 12-Step Program is superb!! It-teaches the differences between active and passive investing, deals with the volatility of the emotional CYCLES that impact investment decisions, and offers an enlightening education on science-based investing that may forever change the way an investor perceives the stock market. Mark Hebner has sound strategy that involves risk-appropriate investing that may empower investors to lead a more profitable, outcome. MARK IS AN EXPERT IN THIS ARENA
Don Lavoie Ph.D. Developmetrics CEO
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gary N. Kocher on June 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Building upon the academic works of Markowitz, Fama, French, Ibbotson and many other notable "pillars of finance", Mark Hebner has added his own research and style in this most enlightening and entertaining book. Written in sophisticated yet easily understandable language for the layman, you will learn how to invest wisely based upon sound academic and statistically significant research; and, equally important, how to avoid investing on the "noise" of the moment. This work ranks right up there with the books written by such greats as Jack Bogle, Benjamin Graham and Roger Hagstrom.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter Saucerman on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been aware of this 12-step outline for several years now, and the material covered here is fundamentally important to a passive investment approach. The oil paintings may be a bit hokey, the lead lines catchy, but the philosophy and underlying research materials are substantial.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Humble Scribe on December 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book in its own right is truly a masterpiece, demystifying investing and telling it like it is, cutting through a number of misnomers and plainly spelling out just what it takes to realize honest returns on your portfolio. Like a parable, it takes you on a structured journey and ultimately leads to an epiphany-bound end, one in which you'll be thankful for arriving to. We need more proponents of proper investing like Mark Hebner; he casts a ton of light in an otherwise murky and muddled landscape; investing for your future doesn't need to be overly complicated, do yourself a great favor and service by picking up this book; the wisdom that Mark imparts is priceless. Well written and backed by a massive amount of historical data, you'll see the light too, this I'm sure of.
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