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The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio Hardcover – July 8, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Since its initial publication, The Four Pillars of Investing has become a staple for the independent-minded investor looking to make better-informed investment decisions. Written by noted financial expert and neurologist William Bernstein, this time-honored investing guide provides the knowledge and tools for achieving long-term profitability.
Bernstein bridges the four fundamental topics successful investors use to generate exceptional profits on a consistent basis:
- The Theory of Investing: “Do not expect high returns without risks.”
- The History of Investing: “About once every generation, the markets go barking mad. If you are unprepared, you are sure to fail.”
- The Psychology of Investing: “Identify the era’s conventional wisdom and assume that it is wrong. More often than not, it is.”
- The Business of Investing: “The stockbroker services his clients in the same way that Bonnie and Clyde serviced banks.”
From the essential soundness of classic portfolio theory through the inherent wisdom of investing in multiple asset classes, The Four Pillars of Investing provides a distinctive blend of market history, investing theory, and behavioral finance to help you become a successful, self-sufficient investor.
About the Author
William J. Bernstein, Ph.D., M.D., is a neurologist and the cofounder of the investment management firm Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of three finance books―The Intelligent Asset Allocator, The Four Pillars of Investing, and The Investor’s Manifesto―and two volumes of economic history, The Birth of Plenty and A Splendid Exchange. Bernstein is currently working on a history book exploring the effects of access to technology on human relations and politics.
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Top Customer Reviews
In any case, I separately relished Bernstein's 2009 "Investor's Manifesto"--which (as the author himself essentially concedes in its preface) is likely a better choice for lay, beginning investors because it minimizes (or "segregates") the "unnecessary complexity" of this "2002" book's sundry "tables, graphs and examples."
That said, there's certainly enough textual subject matter here NOT included in "The Investor's Manifesto" to warrant your perusing "The Four Pillars of Investing" too. Perhaps you should check out both books via your nearest public library before deciding which one(s) merit permanent inclusion on your personal bookshelf.
I would have easily given it a five star but, Bernstein engages in the marketing tactics of the mutual funds (he scorns) who do the same in order to sell/market to make more money on increased volume(shame shame). He doesn't update the text throughout the book to represent the recent economic events (like a typical college text book). He adds a college midterm paper length addition at the end of the book to update recent economic events. I advise, buy the cheaper original version and read the added ending on amazon in the "search inside this book" link (if they don't get rid of it after I make this post). Dr. Bernstein, you have a fiduciary responsibility to be better than this "new edition". Please refund.
What sets this book apart from other investing books is the breadth of areas covered, and also the writing style which is both "understandable and entertaining". A highly recommended read for any investor regardless of level.
Below are key excerpts from the book, that I found particularly insightful:
1) "The highest returns are obtained by shouldering prudent risk when things look the bleakest."
2) "Most small investors naturally assume that good companies are good stocks, when the opposite is usually true."
3) "Sine you cannot successfully time the market or select individual stocks, asset allocation should be the major focus of your investment strategy.Read more ›
I recommend this book to all laypeople who want to self-educate.
In my opinion, this may be the best investing book for laypeople ever written.
The first part was kind of thick, in my opinion (it is about history of investing and the risk/reward tradeoff). But if you slog through those first few dozen pages, you will be richly rewarded by the rest of the book.
Only other books that come close to this book, in my opinion, for self-education of laypeople are:
- Common Sense on Mutual Funds, by Bogle, and
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Malkiel
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book!
The ideas are very clear and comprehensive.
My first step in understanding finance and investment
Awesome book if you follow this book teachings in investing you can build a winning porfolioPublished 17 days ago by Carl miles
I have gifted several copies of this book. I think it should be required reading in high school.Published 27 days ago by Ariel D. Weisberg
Quite possibly the best book written on investing. Bernstein provides substantive investing information communicated in a clear manner.Published 2 months ago by david j. blackstone
Got this for a friend to introduce them to good investing principles. It was recommended to be by a trustworthy advisor. Now i am happy to pass on the recommendation to others.Published 3 months ago by Ken Lee
According to this author, the only way to invest is with ETFs.Published 4 months ago by William E. Taylor