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The Gone Fishin' Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy...and Get on With Your Life Paperback – June 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"… business leaders in charge of company 401(k) plans might want to look at The Gone Fishin' Portfolio…without non-correlated investments, workers will never be able to protect themselves from the craziness we call 'Wall Street.'" (The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2008) --This text refers to the Digital edition.

From the Inside Flap

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that investing is too difficult and time-consuming to attempt on our own. With so many products to choose from and so many risks involved, a financial "professional" is the only person qualified to handle the money you'll retire on some day, right? The truth is, no one cares more about your money than you do. And with a basic understanding of the investment process and the time-tested strategy offered here, you can successfully manage your own portfolio in less than twenty minutes a year.

In The Gone Fishin' Portfolio, author Alexander Green details an effective yet simple approach to investing that embraces the uncertainty of financial markets, and reveals how you can generate exceptional results during both good times and bad. Page by page, you'll discover how the "Gone Fishin' Portfolio" will allow you to earn superior returns, reduce risk, minimize taxes, and eliminate Wall Street's mountain of fees.

Divided into three comprehensive partsa??Get Wise, Get Wealthy, and Get on with Your Lifea??this reliable resource:

  • Discusses the relationship between risk and reward in financial markets, and reveals how the investment industry really works
  • Unveils the "Gone Fishin' Portfolio," addresses why it's arguably the safest and simplest way to reach your long-term financial goals, and explores the financial and psychological challenges you're likely to face in the years ahead
  • Examines what it means to take your financial destiny into your hands and, at the same time, reclaim your most precious resourcea??your time

The "Gone Fishin' Portfolio" is based on an investment strategy that won a Nobel Prize in economics. Yet setting it up is a snap and maintaining it is even easier. You'll need less than twenty minutes a year.

The philosophy behind the "Gone Fishin' Portfolio" is based on the best investment thinking available. Investors who have put their money to work this way have enjoyed years of market-beating returns while taking far less risk than being fully invested in stocks. The "Gone Fishin' Portfolio" will allow you to reach your most important investment goals, beat Wall Street at its own game, and achieve the financial independence you deserve. --This text refers to the Digital edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470598190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470598191
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 175 people found the following review helpful By W. A. McKnight on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book and thought it was pretty good overall. However, as an experienced investor, I know that there are no magic bullets in investing. The book shows performance of the portfolio over the past seven or so years. In those years, the S&P 500 (domestic stocks) performed rather poorly while gold, other commodities, real estate and foreign investments did exceedingly well. This portfolio stays invested at all times in all of these asset classes.

I took the liberty of backtesting the same portfolio for the ten years preceeding the 2000's, and the S&P 500 way outperformed this portfolio. This did not surprise me given the fact that we were in a full blown bull market. Those other asset classes underperformed, some badly.

I think that the Gone Fishin Portfolio will perform relatively well in more uncertain markets. However, I am not convinced that will happen when the domestic markets rally strongly.

My point here is that the oversimplification will lure rookie investors into a false sense of security.

I am sorry, but even if you are using a broadly diversified portfolio of mutual funds or ETF's, you must pay attention and understand the weakness of such a simplified approach. You will have to spend more time on your portfolio than 20 minutes a year.
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135 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Talmadge O'neill on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like so many business books, this book could be condensed into a single page. Here are some of the key bullet points:
* Save more money. i.e. stop drinking starbucks coffee everyday.
* Expect to be able to withdraw 4% of your assets annually after you retire i.e. you need $1 million to generate $40,000 a year in pre-tax income. Some people would say withdrawing 3% would be more conservative.
* Perform asset allocation across 10 Vanguard (index) funds (low cost)as follows: 15% VTSMX; 15% NAESX; 10% VEIEX; 10% VEURX; 10% VPACX; 10% VWEHX; 10% VFSTX; 10% VIPSX; 5% VGSIX; 5% VGPMX.
* This represents a 70% stock, 30% bond portfolio with heavy international slant
* Re-balance every 12-18 months
* Don't use brokers/investment advisors with their 1%+ annual fee
* Don't try to time the market

Good advice. Now how is the portfolio doing? From January 2, 2008 to August 9, 2009, it is down 23.25%. How is that doing relative to a 70% stock 30% bond portfolio (in the case of 70% VTSMX and 30% VIPSX), that would have returned -23.67%. You'd have to compare risk in the portfolio, but I suspect that you'd find that the "Going Fishin'" portfolio will deliver you a basic risk adjusted market return. Nothing fancy. We're not talking endowment fund returns.

[...] [...] [...] What readers should really care about is, if I took the [...] advice, how would I have done. And the answer is - same as any portfolio with similar risk and reasonable diversification. That's not a negative, it just does not live up to any hype.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Schonbek on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Recently I sold my business, or as the financial community would have it, I experienced a "liquidity event".

The proceeds of the deal now need to be cleverly invested. But what I really want to do is master the art of fly fishing. This seems a lot more enticing than delving into the intricacies of correlation, beta, derivatives, hedge funds, ETFs, active management etc etc etc.

Otherwise stated, going after that lunker rainbow seems a lot more engaging than the quest for the evanescent and elusive alpha.

Enter author Alexander Green and The Gone Fishin' Portfolio. His premise (promise?): a proven method to manage your own money in twenty minutes per year and outperform the great majority of highly compensated managers.

Sound preposterous? Maybe, but after reading The Gone Fishin' Portfolio I'm considering giving it a whirl.

The first part of the book (Get Wise) presents straightforward principles about money and investing. Some examples -

* "Unlike the performance of the stock market, saving is something that is under your control".

* "In most walks of life you get what you pay for. This is emphatically not the case with investment advisors".

* "Experience tells us that it's humility - not superior knowledge - that paves the way to successful investing".

In Part 2 (Get Wealthy) Green talks about long term equity investment and the pitfalls of attempting to time the market. He then debunks active management, making the case that after fees and expenses the great majority of managers fail to match the performance of the overall market. This sets the stage for a discussion of index funds as a low cost, tax efficient approach to equity investing.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth W. Lee on October 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As you can see from the data below, this is a robust strategy that anyone could adopt despite the fact that it is experiencing a down year so far in 2008. From the beginning of 1997 until 8/8/2008, Green's Gone Fishin Portfolio (GFP) strategy enjoyed a cumulative compounded return of 221.58 percent versus the dismal return of 49.36 percent for the S&P 500 index. That translates into a 10.53 percent annual rate in a period when the S&P 500 compounded at 3.49 percent.

Unfortunately, most investors, whether experienced pros or the greenest of neophytes, would likely have discarded this strategy during its first period of underperformance. Sadly, this is the case because we all tend to forget that excellent investing returns--even Warren Buffett's--are generated over long periods of time that include lots of gyrations and volatility.

So, I would encourage you to consider this strategy with its above average market returns and far lower volatility. The rationale for the average star rating is because of the amount of filler that is included in the book.

P.S. At the very least we should all follow his advice to save more money!

Gone Fishin with Vanguard

Start Date: 1/1/1997 Index: ^GSPC
End Date: 8/8/2008 Signal Generator: LTBH

Years GFP S&P 500
1997 23.69% 31.01%
1998 2.94% 26.67%
1999 27.02% 19.53%
2000 -2.42% -10.14%
2001 6.90% -13.04%
2002 -2.97% -23.37%
2003 31.40% 26.38%
2004 11.98% 8.99%
2005 12.63% 3.00%
2006 17.02% 13.62%
2007 14.59% 3.53%
2008 -11.61% -24.65%

Month GFP S&P 500
January 0.81% 0.24%
Februar 1.17% -1.09%
March 1.29% 0.86%
April 0.76% 1.98%
May 0.76% 0.78%
June 0.81% -0.09%
July -0.54% -0.75%
August 0.15% -1.50%
Septemb 1.70% -0.85%
October 0.35% 2.78%
Novembe 1.67% 2.08%
Decembe 2.32% 1.52%
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