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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Experienced or the Beginner Investor
This book is an easy read, but not an afternoon read.

Each chapter begins with a pertinent, topical, and usually humorous short quote and the chapter expands to explain in easy-to-understand detail, the tenants of the philosophy. Kevin, the second-grader, learns a basic life lesson on investing. This model provides an excellent motif for the quite...
Published on April 25, 2011 by David Parler

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous, Simple
I was quite disappointed by this book. Read the reviews and found mostly positive reviews and didnt make much of the negative ones because I thought it would still provide plenty of insight.

Long story short, condensed into a sentence this is the book: Wall Street takes two percent of your money, instead buy US Total Index Fund, US Total Bond fund and Total...
Published on December 28, 2011 by Justin


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Experienced or the Beginner Investor, April 25, 2011
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This book is an easy read, but not an afternoon read.

Each chapter begins with a pertinent, topical, and usually humorous short quote and the chapter expands to explain in easy-to-understand detail, the tenants of the philosophy. Kevin, the second-grader, learns a basic life lesson on investing. This model provides an excellent motif for the quite knowledegable author (an accountant and financial advisor) to expalins the basics without "talking down" to the reader. There is truly something here for all levels of investing experience. And it's a fun read.

I am an experienced investor. I had read a short article regarding the portfolio and had replicated it in a pretend-buy-and-hold portfolio in mid-2006.
Later that year, I used "real funds" and opened an equal-dollar amount in actual accounts with a fee-only broker to manage and a sepaarte brokerage account that I actively managed. After three years, which included the market downturn of 2008 and the rebound in 2009, the set-it-and-forget-it portfolio beat myself and the broker. (I did come in a respectable second, however.)

Knowing "the answer" and "the trick" ahead of time did not ruin the story-line. I had often had an inner debate about how to best "beat the market." The above experiment was but one trial. I initially bought the book as a basic primer for a college-aged nephew who asked some very good questions about beginning investing. Not wanting to see him waste money on brokerage fees or see his initial investments underperform, I felt that index funds would be the best route for him and this book would explain why ... and provide some investment basics. It certainly does both.

My own "aha" experience came in Chapter 3. Kevin accepts the fact that he probably won't win all three spins. And therein lies the most basic rationale for this asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing model that is so simply explained. It explains why neither my hot stocks nor the advisor's specific mutual funds out-performed the market or this strategy : each of us had winners in our portfolio, but to remain diversified, we had ten or mnore entries ... and all ten buckets did not out-preform the market. Some did and some did not. On average, they were probably, well, average. But there were fees and expenses incurred to capture the "winners" ... and also fees and expenses involved in owning the "losers" ... which gave average results (minus those fees, of course). And therein lies the pitfalls.

I gave my college-aged nephew Oblivious Investing (a shorter, more basic intoduction to investing) followed two weeks later with "How a Second-Grader Beat Wall Street." I read both, and feel that was an appropriate starter series for a interested novice. But I also took home a lot of wisdome even as an experienced investor. I have also read Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" and would put "How a Second Grader Beat Wall Street" as right up there in the same league ... just easier to read !
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous, Simple, December 28, 2011
By 
Justin (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
I was quite disappointed by this book. Read the reviews and found mostly positive reviews and didnt make much of the negative ones because I thought it would still provide plenty of insight.

Long story short, condensed into a sentence this is the book: Wall Street takes two percent of your money, instead buy US Total Index Fund, US Total Bond fund and Total International Index Fund and they will only take ~0.2 percent of your money and you are "guaranteed to beat the market".

In addition to repeating the same messages over and over, the author CONSTANTLY refers us to "stories" about lessons he helped his son learn that we too should learn in such a simple, dumbed down manner that it is virtually insulting.

Overall the book seems to have sound advice, but there is no reason it should have taken 224 pages to give it. Save yourself the time and go to [...], view the secondgrader portfolio and see if it is for you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and empowering read, May 22, 2009
This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
This is an excellent, common-sense guide that demystifies investing and offers a practical approach for building wealth. Allan offers a fun balance of entertaining family anecdotes and professional expertise to craft a book that's an insightful and enjoyable read. Most finance/investing books I read feel like homework; this is an enjoyable journey down a clearly marked path to navigate Wall Street.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dare to Stop the Game, August 11, 2009
By 
Jane the gardener (Littleton, CO, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
Only read this book if you are willing to 1) learn something new, and 2) let go of old habits. I met Allan Roth when he taught a behavioral finance class for CPAs and attorneys at the University of Denver. I was so impressed by his presentation that I emailed him and asked if I could hire him as my financial advisor. I bought the book, which was pretty much the same as the class materials, but easier to carry around. I read the book several times and I still keep it out in my home office. His ideas are simple, logical, and completely contrary to everything I had ever heard about investing. Could this be why investing never made any sense to me? I used to think I was a weird CPA because I had no interest in finance. I wasn't interested because it made no logical sense to me, ever. I keep wonderfully detailed and useful spreadsheets (ask Allan, he'll agree) but I couldn't figure out what to do with this information. One thing I could certainly see was that...I kept losing lots and lots of money!! Suddenly, I didn't feel so dumb. I was right. Investing, as we know it, is a giant marketing scam. I turned my portfolio around and retired, as planned. I hope to never look back. I still find that I cannot discuss Allan's ideas with anyone because no one wants to listen to something so radical, so simple, and so logical.
I am following this up 2 years later, it is now Nov. 2011. I have kept all my investments as Allan designed them. Through all the chaos of the financial markets, my portfolio has held strong. I am still retired. What more could you want? I seek my thrills somewhere other than my financial portfolio.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Name Threw Me Off, September 24, 2009
By 
Mike Piper (Manitou Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
When I first saw the title of this book, my thought was "No thanks!" I thought it was going to be some nonsense about how easy it is to pick stocks (or some such) and earn market-beating returns.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Roth encourages you to implement a long-term, buy & hold strategy with an index fund portfolio. And he explains--in terms that even a second grader can understand--exactly why you'd want to do so.

Also sprinkled throughout the book are some warnings as to common psychological/behavioral investing pitfalls as well as tips to avoid them.

Altogether, Roth's book is one of my new favorites.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone questioning their financial advisor, September 22, 2009
This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
My husband and I have spent the last 12 years making Wall Street wealthy!! After reading this well written,entertaining, and easy to understand book (for someone that has no finance background), we will no longer be paying advisor and mutual fund fees and will follow Allan's recommendations. The book clearly explains how these fees add up over the years. It will be comforting "knowing our odds" while investing. A must read for anyone questioning their financial advisors.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable investment advice your commissioned or fee based advisor/broker is not going to share with you., March 31, 2009
By 
David P. Mcgrath (Colorado Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
Allan provides a common sense and effective method of investing presented in a format that will keep your interest. You won't get that "deer in the headlights look" as he takes you through the process of building an efficient portfolio. Do your hard earned money a favor and read his book. It tells what the commissioned and fee based financial advisors do not want you to know.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming introduction to passive investing, September 3, 2011
"in forty-four years of wall street experience and study i have never seen dependable calculations made about common-stock values, or related investment policies, that went beyond simple arithmetic or the most elementary algebra."
--benjamin graham, "the intelligent investor," appendix 4

if you can understand elementary math and common sense, then you too can invest successfully. it really is much simpler than most people realize. out of the couple dozen or so books i've read this year on the market, allan roth's "how a second grader beats wall street" stands out as the best first book i'd recommend to a beginner. it conveys all the essential principles of passive investing while remaining a gentle and accessible read. roth's experiences teaching this material to his second grader son kevin might also prove helpful to parents looking for ways of teaching their own children about handling money.

as hinted at by the title, this book introduces the basics of indexing, diversification, behavioral finance, asset allocation, tax efficient asset location, rebalancing and other topics, all using easy informal language that anybody can understand. the chapters open with anecdotes in which kevin learns common sense life lessons applied to money. his father then extends those lessons for the reader, getting to the heart of lofty sounding notions like modern portfolio theory. common sense goes a long way indeed.

perhaps the most important lesson is that costs matter. wall street "helpers" have to outperform the market by at least the amount of the fees they charge in order to justify their "services." this means all of the wall street helpers would have to be above average to earn their keep. that is simply mathematically impossible by the definition of "average." in actuality, only an embarrassingly small handful of fund managers have been able to really earn their fees and consistently outperform over a long period of time. good luck picking out these fund managers beforehand.

indexing takes advantage of these costs. taken as a whole, all invested money will earn average market returns, again by the humble definition of the word "average." that includes both the money put into cheap passive broad-based index funds as well as the money given to the wall street helpers. the cheap index funds are extremely cheap. the wall street helpers are not. after taxes and fees, the average passively invested dollar will come out ahead of the average actively invested dollar. thus, on average, indexing wins by a small amount each year and that extra money gets to compound for you over the coming years. this is the reason indexing has beaten over 80% of actively managed funds over the long run, even though indexing's short-term performance doesn't look as stellar.

the stock market is a strange place where you can do no work and still get a "b" for your lack of effort. and to top it off, the "b" easily translates into retiring as a millionaire. very nice. if you have other interests in life besides money, then use this fact to your advantage. "settling" for average by indexing means you'll get to lead that fulfilling life pursuing what really matters to you, as well as getting to retire comfortably.

for further reading, here are some excellent books to look at. "a random walk down wall street" by malkiel and "the four pillars of investing" by bernstein are both great all-around books that make the case for indexing and include a lot of interesting financial history. "the bogleheads' guide to investing" by larimore, lindauer and leboeuf offers the reader more practical details in an almost how-to guide fashion. also check out bogleheads.org, a free website where fans of passive investing ("bogleheads") help each other learn and improve. "all about asset allocation" by ferri will help you understand why certain asset classes and subclasses behave the way they do. hopefully after reading some of these books, you'll develop enough self-confidence to see the financial world through the eyes of a second grader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Safer, faster and better investing for most of us, March 30, 2009
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This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
Allan Roth's approach to portfolio management tickles my brain! His entertaining peeks behind the Wall Street curtain have opened my eyes to some of the dirty little secrets that plague not only me, but my widowed mother and other women who, unfortunately, seem unwilling to question their charming broker's claims to "beat the market." And, as Roth so elequently reveals, we end up paying dearly without even realizing the riches that have slipped through our fingers.

It's a good idea to keep a notepad handy as you read - not just for noting the easy changes you can make today that will make you real money tomorrow. You will find tons of those. But you will also come across thought provoking concepts such as behaviorial finance that you may want to store for later exploration. Or the neat bit on overcoming the "Google effect." (I'm not telling. You have to read the book.). And did you know that a small investment adjustment could save you more money than running your car on water?

Knowledge is power, and thank you Allan for arming me with the know-how to grow my investments faster, safer, better. No more the "ignorance is bliss" investment approach for me or my friends. I've become, not just a convert, but a disciple buying gift copies for friends and relatives. It's my bible of investing. If you find a copy in your next hotel room, you will know that I am making progress!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop watching Cramer and read this book, October 21, 2009
By 
This review is from: How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn (Hardcover)
For those who go to your stock-broker-salesman for advice I recommend you read this book.

There is a whole cadre of people who are out to separate you from your money as you delve into the investment world and this book will help protect you from their misguided advice.

It is a book of wisdom for beginners but has tons of information for seasoned investor.

Set goals, understand personal risk tolerance, set asset allocation, diversify, reduce costs, rebalance and keep emotions intact, it's all presented in a way a Second Grader can understand.

This book will help you get the most out of your investment dollar.
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How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn
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