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The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don't (Fisher Investments Press) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 20, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Fisher Investments Press
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470292679
  • ASIN: B008SLGD5O
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This book is quite simply the single best tome on investing that I have read in years." (Norm Conley,, January 15, 2007)

"Here's [an investment book] you're going to want to read. And when you're done, you're going to want to read it again." (Don Luskin,, October 27, 2006)

"In an increasingly unquestioning world, Mr. Fisher has a refreshingly contrarian take on pretty much every subject you care to mention." (Steve Johnson, Financial Times, January 15, 2007)

"[Ken Fisher’s] new book, an illuminating and enjoyable read, is a tutorial on how to beat the market by thinking like a scientist: with an open, inquisitive mind." (Andrew Pitts, Money Observer, January 22, 2007)"

"…a refreshingly contrarian take on pretty much every subject…" (The Financial Times, January 2007)

 "an illuminating and enjoyable read." (Money Observer, January 2007)

"…aims to show the investors the way things really…a process that involves a keen examination of the actuality, coupled with a good dose of common sense." (Wealth Management, 1st August 2007)

  --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Ken Fisher questions authority. He challenges the conventional wisdom of investing, overturns glib theories with hard facts, and blows up complacent beliefs about money and markets. But the authority he challenges most of all is his own—because challenging yourself, Fisher says, is the key to successful investing.

In today's competitive market environment, the best way to achieve investment success is by knowing something that others don't. But many of us, amateurs and professionals alike, believe we don't or can't know what others don't—so we continue to make market bets based on "conventional wisdom."

In The Only Three Questions That Count, Fisher debunks the conventional market myths that many of our investment decisions are based upon, and reveals a precise methodology that will allow you to know what others don't. The methodology—which has helped Fisher achieve success throughout his long financial career—is as easy as asking three simple questions. The first question will help you see things the way they really are. The second question will help you see things that other investors often miss. Finally, the third question will help you understand your relationship with today's markets.

The questions detailed throughout the book aren't what you might expect; they don't have to do with the market's P/E ratio or interest rate forecasts. Rather, they focus on helping you make better investment decisions by identifying what you can know—unique to you—that others do not.

In the first three chapters of this groundbreaking guide, Fisher takes you through each question in detail. And from there, through numerous illustrative examples, he shows you how to put them to work in various ways. You'll learn how to use the questions to think about the overall market, different parts of the market, and even individual stocks. You'll also become familiar with how to apply them to interest rates, currencies, and many other investment areas. Fisher leaves no stone unturned as he explains how each of these three questions can help consistently improve your investment performance.

Filled with in-depth insights, expert advice, and engaging anecdotes, The Only Three Questions That Count provides you with a dynamic strategy and set of tools that will give you a distinct edge over other investors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I found this book very informative and interesting.
David Keller
This book challenges your own mind and your perspectives.
Alla V. Farrell
This is an excellent book for all investors to read.
Ryan D. Tetlow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

416 of 430 people found the following review helpful By T. Faranda on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I am a financial advisor. And I've read Kenneth Fisher's column in Forbes since he started writing it 22 years ago.

This is a superb book. The sub-title is "Investing by Knowing What Others Don't" and it is the best book I've read on investing and asset managment in years.

The author is an investment manager based in California, who also writes a monthly column in Forbes magazine. He's a pretty successful guy, ranked 297 on the latest Forbes 400 Richest American's list. Yup. That's successful allright.

His father is Philip Fisher, also a pretty famous investment manager, who was known for recognizing good companies, and then buying and holding their stock - sometimes for decades. Lastly, Fisher has an interesting philanthropy - redwood trees. He has endowed the only university chair dedicated to a single species of tree.

On to the book. Here's the only negative: Fisher has a slightly cute sense of humor, which I found a little annoying at times.

But the pluses are huge.

The three questions are: (1) What do you believe that is actually false? (2) How can I fathom what others find unfathomable? And, (3) What the heck is my brain doing to blindside me now?

Each of the first three chapters is dedicated to explaining one of the three questions. The first chapter debunks many "facts" about markets that are actually wholly or partially incorrect myths. Here are two examples: High P/E markets are riskier than low P/E markets (P/E stands for price-earnings ratio and is one of the most fundamental valuation metrics for stocks) and a weak U.S. dollar is bad for stocks.
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192 of 204 people found the following review helpful By B. Joseph on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an individual investor who has read dozens of books on investing, the markets and economics. I have read Ken Fisher's columns in Forbes but I have never acted on his recommendations. Fisher has turned many Wall Street myths on its head. For examples: high PE ratios do not necessarily imply reduced stock returns; one should think about earnings yield rather than PE ratios and plot earnings yield against 10-year bond yields to decide on value; budget surpluses can actually dull stock returns; trade- account- and budget-deficits are all potentially good for the stock market; an inverted yield curve is not necessarily bad for the stock market; the global yield curve is important, etc. The 3rd section is about behavioral finance. A better take on behavioral finance is Beyond Greed and Fear by Shefrin. Fisher talks about the importance of international investing and he does not believe it really matters whether the dollar is strong or weak. He thinks that if you have 10 year time horizon, you should be 100% in equities. He has low regard for gold and commodities. He thinks high oil prices are not necessarily bad. His opinions are backed up with well researched data, with lots of graphs and statistics which is easily understandable even for a no-Math brain like me. I learned so much from this book.

I do have some criticisms. There is a lot of redundant material and some repetition. Editing could have been better. He criticizes Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway for underperforming the S&P in 2003, 2004, and 2005. But Buffett had a fantastic return over the long run. In the appendix of the book, between 1996 and 2006 Fisher's annualized return was 11.5% after fees. From 1995 and 2005 Buffett's average annual gain was more than 18% after taxes.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Lewis on February 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Whatever philosophy about investing you may hold, Ken Fisher's "The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don't" will enrich your thinking and improve your performance. Make no mistake: this book is not just good; it's great!

As the title implies, to get to the nuggets of truth--and superior performance--that others miss, you must ask three questions: what do you believe that is actually false; what can you fathom that others find unfathomable; and what the heck is my brain doing to blindside me?

Fisher addresses these questions with wit and verve, writing in a breezy and provocative style that makes the reader want to keep turning each page. Fisher's argument begins with the efficient market hypothesis--that all information known by the investment community is already priced into the markets. Absent trading on inside information, which is illegal, how, then, can an investor beat the market? The answer, Fisher says, is to ask the first of the three questions and realize that much of what is believed by others is simply not true.

Fisher shows this by testing the mathematical correlation between commonly held beliefs and subsequent investment returns. Are high P/E markets riskier than low P/E markets? Will government deficits lead to economic collapse? Will rising oil prices seal the doom of common stock returns? Analyzing the historical data, Fisher shows that each of these beliefs--and many others--is a myth.

Once an investor accepts that the conventional wisdom is mistaken, he can next ask Fisher's Question Two and fathom what others find unfathomable by ignoring the noise and focusing on events and relationships that do correlate.
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