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Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game Hardcover – December 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

To understand the economy you have to understand one simple, but unspoken, truth: Wall Street needs money from Main Street, not the other way around. Keeping this secret from the public has been an essential part of the development of the American economy for over four hundred years, but now that you know it—and with advice from Wall Street insider-turned-realist Lee Munson—you have the power to protect yourself and your money.

Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game explains in detail how the financial industry has systematically worked to convince the public that investing across different asset classes is the only way to protect wealth. At one point this was probably sage advice, but today it's an outdated rule more likely to bring disaster than success. Since asset classes—from small caps and international stocks to gold and bonds—now overlap when it comes to risk and volatility parameters, the diversification effect is gone, and with it, any reason for spreading your money around. It's this change in the financial landscape, and the rules of the game, that Wall Street doesn't want you to know about, and that this book discusses.

Revealing the truth about the system while arming you with the simple, smart, and clear advice that you need to go head-to-head with the financial giants, Rigged Money provides advice to investors on what Wall Street is doing behind your back and how you can use the same techniques and knowledge to level the playing field.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Rigged Money

"If you've ever had the feeling that the stock market was a mug's game, this book's for you. During these tough times we need more straight talk and less marketing hype about how to invest responsibly. Lee Munson is a rare insider who's willing to tell it like it is, and he tells it very well!"—Andrew W. Lo, Chief Investment Strategist, AlphaSimplex Group

"Lee is a sharp guy who doesn't hold back on his opinions. This book is not just a repeat of what you've seen before."—Jeffrey Kosnett, Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and

"It has been said that no man can serve two masters. Lee Munson understands perfectly that asset management is about serving one master—clients! Read this book and Lee will tell you why this simple truth is self-evident."—Rodney N. Sullivan, CFA, Editor, Financial Analysts Journal

"When I read Lee Munson's book, Rigged Money, I was reminded of an old Beetle Bailey cartoon by Mort Walker. A recurrent character named Zero was asked to confirm whether a Jeep's turn signals were working. He dutifully reported 'Working. Not Working. Working. Not Working.' That's a good way to describe Lee Munson's observations about the potions and prescriptions that Wall Street tries to peddle to us mere humans. If you really want to understand how we got to this peculiar investment environment, you need to read Lee's book. There are ideas and strategies that work sometimes, and fail horribly at other times. Lee takes us through the history of how these ideas get recycled and reused in an effort to take the customers' money to support Wall Street's aims. And he also gives us insights about how to avoid falling into the same traps which capture 'the crowd.' Rigged Money is a great way for readers to see the investing picture as it really is, and not as the slick commercials want you to believe it is. You should consider this book a 'buy and hold forever' asset."—Tom McClellan, Editor, The McClellan Market Report

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118099680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118099681
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Munson, CFA, CFP is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Portfolio, LLC., an asset management firm based in Albuquerque, NM. Munson began his career in the 1990s as a trader on Wall Street and then relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he served as VP of Schwab Private Client. His first book, "Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at its Own Game" (John Wiley & Sons), was published in December, 2011. Munson is a frequent guest on CNBC's The Kudlow Report. His insights and contributions have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Smart Money, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CFA Magazine, and

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By John A. Egan on December 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lee Munson's "Rigged Money" is an casually informative book for those investors who are unaware of the history that led to the financial catastrophe of 2008. The full title of the book includes the phrase, "Beating Wall Steet at Its Own Game." Explaining the litany of hidden mutual fund and ETF charges, the disaterous effects regarding the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, the rise of High-Frequncy Trading and the tragedy of subprime mortgages is indeed useful and required reading for all investors. What Munson fails to do is summarize this information into an action plan that actually contends with Wall Street itself. Completing the book, I was left with the impression that the only way to "beat Wall Street at its own game" was not to play at all. Thus, Mr. Munson fails to deliver - he only explains what is wrong, something most investors, not in a coma for the past five years, are well aware. This book is a financial equivalent to running through a graveyard at midnight, stopping only at a few noteworthy tombstones. You will not be better educated in making money on Wall Street by reading it. Mr. Munson, on the other hand, has his royalties, as well as his own hedge fund that most of us do not have the resources to qualify as clients. Independent investors, in the main, spend too much time culling through, as Mr. Munson explains, "TIF - Too Much Information." Rank this book in that category.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Maibaum on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a lay investor, I represent one of the cogs in the rigged machine Munson so meticulously deconstructs. I found myself amused, intrigued, and a little depressed reading this book. As anyone who has seen Munson on CNBC knows, he's got a sharp mind and a quick tongue, capable of weighing in on a range of topics effortlessly. In this book, he goes to great lengths to disabuse readers of any thought that Wall Street investment packages and oft-used advisement strategies are anything more than money generating vehicles for the insiders. I appreciated his quirky humor, blunt critique and revealing insights as he not only provided basic historical context for securities investing, but described the pitfalls of buy and hold investing, pie charts, and mutual funds. As in other industries, Munson reminds us that sometimes the most important questions are the ones we're not being asked. Since Munson systematically destroys most of the "false sense of security" havens of the lay investor, my biggest dilemma now is deciding what to do next.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Afia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lee Munson joins the chorus of insiders breaking omerta, the "code of silence." If he is correct, and I think he is, 401Ks get systematically ground down in order to feed Wall Street. It's a structural problem for non-insiders.

The author adds to the growing body of knowledge deprogramming minds from market mythology. Endgame told us to expect volatility and recessions no matter what authorities do Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything. Throw Them All Out showed us how a fish rots from the head down Throw Them All Out. Rigged Money instructs us how to take off risk during volatility - in violent opposition to Wall Street and other authorities including the SEC.

Rigged Money specifies techniques used by the financial industry to get us to buy, to participate in the great game. We're enticed by siren songs. We wake up thinking we need to buy and hold a little of everything to achieve freedom and diversity. We reason in support of these beliefs using mantras repeatedly presented by authorities in high volume. Shouldn't we hold the fruits of our labor in stocks? Each of us is suggestible at times and in varying degrees.

Munson is disruptive. He's deliberately stepping to a different beat to mess up the cadence of the whole Wall Street formation. The book spared me pitfalls from believing lies of the pie chart. The pie chart as presented to investors grossly misrepresents statistics. Wall Street wants investors to be donors. They dearly want us to buy higher risk.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Morgan on April 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
(I am in the financial services industry)

Let me start by saying. I give Lee Munson, a great amount of credit for establishing the right thesis for this book. Namely, that it is risk that must be managed and not merely asset mix. This is a correct point, and I think Lee is on the right track with that one specific point, but that is where it ends. This book does little to provide the average investor with the tools necessary to construct a portfolio. If you are really looking for a book that decodes wall street and talks about the real problems and a way forward, try out Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street or Winning the Loser's Game, Fifth Edition: Timeless Strategies for Successful InvestingLee lacks a great deal of credibility here as he claims to want to write a book for the individual investor yet he only serves high net worth clients. If he really cared about the average investor then he would serve them at his firm. This is just another cheap trick by a wall street pro to convince the average joe he is on their side, by writing an emotionally charged book to the unsuspecting investor. This is why so many investors dont trust wall street. Its time for real change where advisors have the best interest of clients at heart and work FOR them. Its time for advisors to be servants first, and financial professionals second. This book is a half hearted attempt to deal with the problems in the industry and it falls very very short.
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