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Investment Titans: Investment Insights from the Minds that Move Wall Street Hardcover – November 2, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071354964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071354967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,950,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Nine of Today's Greatest Financial Innovators Discuss the Foundations and Strategies of Intelligent Investing

A sampling of the minds and methods in Investment Titans:

"You shouldn't spend much time on your investments. That will tempt you to pull up the plants and see how the roots are doing, and that's very bad for the roots."
­­Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate

"You choose your point on the efficient frontier according to your willingness to bear risk. It's no free lunch."
­­Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate

"If you are looking way into the future, a declining market helps, maybe what we have to do is realize that what we perceive to be pain is actually opportunity."
­­Jeremy Siegel

"The most common mistake investors make is not thinking about everybody else. Look at the Internet Stocks. Everybody thought they alone discovered the Internet."
­­Richard Thaler

"Individuals ought to concentrate on using the market more than beating it. Focus on questions of asset allocation, diversification, and changes through time."
­­William Sharpe, Nobel Laureate

"The stock market doesn't know you're there, and it's not going to be considerate. It owes you nothing."
­­Peter Bernstein

"There's a time when investors should exit the market. The problem is that we never know when it is."
­­John C. Bogle

"This book offers a concrete and helpful understanding of investment strategies, as seen through the eyes of some of the most profoundly unique thinkers in the investment business."
­­From the Preface

Whether scholars, money managers, or those who straddle both worlds, these individuals didn't follow the status quo. They dared to ask questions that, when answered, would lay the foundation for modern Wall Street. Investment products and models they either created or influenced, from asset allocation to Portfolio Theory, index mutual funds, and more, came to define the way investors view and approach the financial markets.

But how do these trailblazers see the markets of today and tomorrow? As would be expected, the opinions and attitudes of these veterans aren¿t swayed much by talk of bulls and bears. Investment Titans provides wisdom based on experience and facts, not trends and earnings reports. For example:

  • Paul Samuelson on: The true essence of long-term risk in the stock market
  • Harry Markowitz on: Diversification techniques and strategies to lower risk and increase long-term returns
  • Josef Lakonishok on: Proven profit opportunities presented by the trading activities of company insiders

In addition, these masters of investing prove they aren't living in the past. Investment Titans details how to detect undervalued stocks that are poised for a recovery; how adding risk to a portfolio can actually reduce its volatility; websites where you can find the latest investment analysis, along with other valuable information; and more.

Market veterans will tell you: while the players­­and even some of the rules­­in investing change from time to time, the fundamentals remain the same. And when you need to hear the fundamentals, who better to listen to than the experts who understand them best? From Harry Markowitz to John Bogle, the nuggets of advice contained in Investment Titans are certain to provide profitable insights to use in your own investing­­and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your advisors are, truly, among today's most brilliant financial minds.

About the Author

Jonathan Burton is a prolific and respected financial journalist. Investment Titans grew from his Leaders in Finance series, written for Asset Management. A coauthor of the bestselling Electronic Day Traders' Secrets and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Bloomberg Personal Finance, Mutual Funds, Individual Investor, Online Investor, and Asset Management, Burton has also written for top publications including The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Far Eastern Economic Review.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is the nonmath, condensed books version of much of the financial theory written by academics about stock investing, plus some perspectives by outstanding practitioners. If you can understand the math, you will learn a lot more by reading the original works. If you cannot, these side-by-side comparisons are not examined in enough depth to help you understand who's right and who's out of date. The book is well written though, for what it is. The book's concept is simply mistargeted from what investors need to know.
Of the thinkers who were interviewed for this book, the most useful information comes from John Bogle, Gary Brinson, Richard Thaler, Joseph Lakonishok, and Jeremy Siegel. You can read any of several books by John Bogle that are more helpful than this book, such as Bogle on Mutual Funds or Common Sense about Mutual Funds. Jeremy Siegel's Stocks for the Long Run is a classic that anyone can learn from. The Lakonishok studies suggest lots of inefficiency in the markets that Brinson talks about. Thaler's work is cutting edge in helping people understand the systematic tendency for professional and amateur investors to make mistakes.
If you ignore the Markowitz, Samuelson, Bernstein, and Sharpe material in the book, you will have missed relatively little.
Modern financial practice has moved well beyond the original academic perspectives built around the theoretical assumption of a perfectly informed and rational market composed of identically-minded investors. Those useful research-based distinctions are not made here.
If you want to understand what you should be doing as an investor, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Depending on your goals and circumstances, different paths may make sense for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ServantofGod on July 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The core concepts of the nine you know who, as summarized by the author, are: 1) diversify your portfolio 2) be cost conscious 3) start investing now and stay invested 4) keep your emotions in check 5) take an active, involved role in investment even if you got an advisor.
Not that insightful, right? You know these ideas quite well but just fail to execute them profitably, dont you? Now you may see why I dare not recommend it a "buy".
p.s. The best I can get is from Samuelson:- "You should take money seriously. In fact, you shouldnt enjoy investing. That's a trap. It makes you too active. You churn your own portfolio. You listen to stories, and most of the stories are not worth listening to."
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By Shreyans on December 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Investments Titans By: Jonathan Burton
The first chapter goes through the important knowledge of investing in the stock market. The most important thing an investor should try to do is to minimize his/her risk. To minimizing his/her risk in the market is to have a diversified portfolio. The portfolio risk decreases as the number of different types of stock increases. But how many much diversification is enough? If an investor is trying to reduce the volatility of his/her portfolio as a whole, then he/she need more than one type of stock. But an investor also needs to have stocks that don't go up and down together. It makes perfect sense to own more different types of stock to reduce an individual's risk in an up and down market. A famous 1970 study by Lawrence Fisher and James Lorie showed that risk declines as stocks are added to a portfolio. But the research noticed that once the portfolio holds more that 20 stocks, adding more stocks will have a minimal effect on risk. The point here is to have a diversified portfolio but not to go overboard. In my opinion, having five to eight different types of stocks is being diversified enough. Yet, many analysts say owing between 12 to 20 is ideal for a portfolio. It makes perfect sense that investors will seek the highest return for the least amount of risk. You should take in count that diversification eliminates some risk, but not all. Besides having a diversified portfolio, it is also important to focus on well-managed companies that have a strong franchise (brand name). An investor should try to invest in a business that he/she understands well and companies that generate lots of cash and competitive characteristics. When he/she buys a stock at what you think appears to be an attractive discounted price, he/she will benefit from the future increase in value generated by owing all or part of a business that is well established.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Burton has managed to leave out the usual cliches and well worn stories of investing lore that even the novice knows. It is truly one of those "If there is only one book you can read about investing it should be this one..." kind of books. Great info and well-written. Let me emphasize the well-written part. I don't think that the average person is turned off by learning about investing; I do think the average person is turned off by having to cut their way through dense jungles of jargon and puffery to get to some sort of universal truth about investing. Burton has accomplished it here. Authoritative, interesting, funny, smart, challenging, and as close to a good beach read as you can get in this genre.
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