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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching For Alpha
A terrific read! Searching For Alpha is intelligent, well written and very timely. Author Ben Warwick has a gift for weaving people, anecdotes and financial theory into a fascinating history of the investment business.
I really enjoyed the chapters describing the rise in popularity of mutual funds and indexing. Also, the sections devoted to managed futures and...
Published on June 5, 2000 by George A Hayes

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Muddled, wandering, uninformed.
Being in the asset management consulting field I thought this highly recommended title should be as insightful as Swensen's "Pioneering Portfolio Management". I found it directionless, full of unconnected pointless anecdotal comments, as well as giving misleading shallow guidance regarding indexing.
Published on January 17, 2003 by John Sturges


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Muddled, wandering, uninformed., January 17, 2003
By 
John Sturges (Chappaqua, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
Being in the asset management consulting field I thought this highly recommended title should be as insightful as Swensen's "Pioneering Portfolio Management". I found it directionless, full of unconnected pointless anecdotal comments, as well as giving misleading shallow guidance regarding indexing.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching For Alpha, June 5, 2000
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
A terrific read! Searching For Alpha is intelligent, well written and very timely. Author Ben Warwick has a gift for weaving people, anecdotes and financial theory into a fascinating history of the investment business.
I really enjoyed the chapters describing the rise in popularity of mutual funds and indexing. Also, the sections devoted to managed futures and investors' irrational behavior were particularly worthwhile. The book is easy-to-read yet offers important financial insights that are regularly ignored by the mass media.
You won't get rich quick or make a million dollars in real estate with "no money down", but you're bound to become a more savvy and successful investor by reading Warwick's book. Searching For Alpha is simply the best of the myriad of investment books to hits the bookshelves in recent years.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disorganized, error-prone, unhelpful, August 19, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
I suspect that when Ben Warwick sat down to write this book he had no good idea of his intended audience. There are three very different audiences for works on finance. There are ordinary folks, who work for wages or salary, have built up a modest nest, and want some rise-averse suggestions on how to invest it. Then there are people with enough money to get more daring with it, or at least with some portion of their portfolio. This second group, the so-called "sophisticated investors," are the ones who are literally looking for alpha.

Then there is a third group, those whose concern with matters of finance is mostly intellectual. They may want supplemental reading for a college course, or they may be life-long sufferers from curiosity, or even Washingtonian policy wonks.

My point is -- a focused book begins with a decision as to one's audience. Warwick never makes that decision, there are bits and pieces of this book for all three, but a satisfactory whole just isn't here for anybody.

The book is also error prone. Consider the very first graph, on page 5. The caption tells us, "The part of the curve extending from point A and above designates the optimum return for a given amount of risk." But the above graph doesn't contain ANY POINT A! One can figure it out eventually, where point A should be. But the value of a well-drafted graph is that it gives us a sense of certain relationships at a glance. So this sort of mistake -- one example of many, is devastating.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!, December 8, 2000
By 
F. Norfleet Abston (Memphis, TN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
Ben Warwick has done an exceptionally good job at taking a subject (Investment Policy) that to most readers is maybe dry, and unexciting and making it a highly enjoyable subject about which to read. Interlaced among truly entertaining stories and anectdotes ranging from the discoverery of nitroglycerine to the life of Ludwig van Beethoven are well-researched, sound, quite readable discussions and theories about Index-based Investing, Capital Asset Pricing Model, Modern Portfolio Theory, Managed Futures and much, much more. Warwick is incrediblly knowledgeable about the subject of investing, and as an Investment Advisor, my Investment Policy will be greatly enhanced having read this book.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but ultimately frustrating, June 21, 2001
By 
Betty (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
An easily readable and interesting book about problems and opportunities when trying to exceed average investment performance in a nearly efficient market. As an individual investor, I got a few interesting general insights about the investment climate in which I am competing.
But ultimately, I found the book frustrating and rambling. Ideas in one section do not build on or relate clearly to those in other sections. Investment terms (managed futures, arbitrage, value at risk) are discussed in interesting ways but are not defined or explained in enough detail to make them clear or useful. The book seems to be addressed to people who already know most of the investment management concepts discussed, but then it is unclear why concepts like a normal distribution are explained in the simplest terms possible. The book may appeal to math phobics since the author's dismissive references to "quant jocks" makes me think he leaves all the math and precision thinking to others.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last - a lighter read on a heavy subject, October 7, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
Warwick has done a fair job in tackling a faily in depth and for many, a fairly boring subject. I am a fund manager and don't necessarily enjoy reading such books but do so as it is an occupational requirement.
It is refreshing to read a book that sheds some new light on the subject often with a touch of humor so lacking in other books written by intectuals who: 1. Have never traded or managed money before yet believe they are qualified to discuss certain subjects in depth 2. Confuse their talent with their ego.
Warrick does not make any pretence that this book is directed at a certain market. However, for those who manage money professionally and are ethical enough to actually work in the best ineterests of their clients, read this book. You'll find it both entertainig, and refreshig.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Investment Classic!, June 2, 2000
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
"Searching for Alpha" deserves a place alongside "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" and "Against the Gods" as a classic of investment literature. This is a rare book. It is intelligent, witty, inspired, and completely original. The quest to beat the market has engaged some of the finest minds in economics and academia, has stimulated investors to experiment with a variety of strategies, and has given rise to a legion of heroes and villains. "Searching for Alpha" brings all of this to life through concise explanations, metaphors, historical anecdotes, and even fictional characters. The result is an entertaining, thought-provoking, and highly literate romp through the investment world.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!, August 31, 2001
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
By turns technical, analytical and anecdotal, Ben Warwick's expert investment guide takes you on a whirlwind tour of modern investment theory and practice. Accessible enough to reward dabblers in the field, this book at the same time raises serious issues and attempts to, if not explain them completely, at least point you down the path to financial enlightenment. Abstract or downright abstruse concepts are generously illuminated by side trips into the worlds of one-armed oil wildcatters, Beethoven, Dom Perignon and the mathematician who managed to stop Napoleon's invading armies. We [...] recommend this book as one of the finest overviews of financial theory, technique and practice ever to grace our library's shelves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching For Alpha, June 5, 2000
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
A terrific read! Searching For Alpha is intelligent, well written and very timely. Author Ben Warwick has a gift for weaving people, anecdotes and financial theory into a fascinating history of the investment business.
I really enjoyed the chapters describing the rise in popularity of mutual funds and indexing. Also, the sections devoted to managed futures and investors' irrational behavior were particularly worthwhile. The book is easy-to-read yet offers important financial insights that are regularly ignored by the mass media.
You won't get rich quick or make a million dollars in real estate with "no money down", but you're bound to become a more savvy and successful investor by reading Warwick's book. Searching For Alpha is simply the best of the myriad of investment books to hits the bookshelves in recent years.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly educational - highly recommended, October 5, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance (Hardcover)
A marked departure from the usual dry investment theory book. Each chapter is filled with interesting anectdotes wrapped around the evolution of investment theory and the search for market beating returns. Warwick seems to develop as a writer through the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it refreshingly different from the many books i have read on the subject. You won't be bored.
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Searching for ALPHA: The Quest for Exceptional Investment Performance
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