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The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between Hardcover – November 2, 2009
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—Scott Burns, Syndicated Columnist and Principal of Assetbuilder.com
From the Inside Flap
While the meltdown of 2008–2009 has compounded the complexity of the investment landscape, timeless investment principles can help you navigate even the toughest investment terrain. That's why bestselling author William Bernstein—a grassroots hero to independent investors—has written The Investor's Manifesto.
Approaching the problems of investing and saving from the perspective of someone who has had to figure it out for himself, Bernstein knows firsthand how difficult these endeavors can be—especially for those with little professional experience in this arena. Now, with the current market maelstrom as a backdrop, he skillfully describes what it takes to plan for a lifetime of investing, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return. Written in a straightforward and accessible style, The Investor's Manifesto:
Explores the theoretical basis of investing and designing portfolios, drawn in large part from financial history
Offers insights on dealing with the emotions and attitudes that routinely cripple investors
Discusses how to deal with the investment industry when executing strategies designed for anything from saving for retirement to putting a child through college
Addresses ways in which individual investors can construct diversified portfolios that can blunt potentially damaging market forces
Covers the concept of Pascal's Wager—which will enable you to identify and avoid worst-case investing scenarios
If there were ever a time to take control of your financial future, it is now. Potentially generous returns are available to the brave, the disciplined, and the liquid. If you follow the advice found here and keep your head while others lose theirs, then you will have a fighting chance of avoiding the financial pitfalls in front of you and profiting over the long-term.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the importance of saving: "Save as much as you can, and do not stop saving until you die."
On risk versus return: "[I]n the course of earning those higher returns, your portfolio is going to lose a truckload of money from time to time. If you desire perfect safety, then resign yourself to low returns. It really cannot be any other way."
On glib explanations of market behavior: "The reason that 'guru' is such a popular word is because 'charlatan' is so hard to spell."
On buying low: "[M]ost grizzled veterans will tell you that the best purchases are often made when they feel they are about to throw up."
On bad behavior: "Our emotions define our humanity...but in the world of finance, they are death itself."
On performance chasing: "Alas, small investors incessantly chase returns the same way that dogs chase seagulls up and down the beach."
On overconfidence: "In the investment world, you are not above average. You are likely not even close."
Clearly, Dr. Bernstein does not consider it his mission to massage your ego.Read more ›
I have enjoyed Bernstein's previous books, and I really like his Retirement Calculator from Hell story posted on his Efficient Frontier web site. I looked forward to reading the Investor's Manifesto.
Bernstein correctly points out that every few years we experience a Bear Market in stocks, but nobody knows when to predict when the next one will begin. If you examine history from WWII, you will find we have experienced about 13 Bear Markets in 65 years.....or roughly a Bear Market about every 5 years. Bernstein's solution to the dilemma of not knowing when the next Bear Market will begin is to hold a diversified portfolio of low cost index funds, including both stocks and bonds. Bernstein's recommendation is not new with regards to holding a portfolio of both stocks and bonds. Benjamin Graham back in his 1934 book Security Analysis recommended roughly a 50:50 split between stocks and bonds.Read more ›
and is much better written that that one.
The points are somewhat familiar. Trying to pick stocks or pick managers is useless, so stick to low cost index funds. Allocate assets to
minimize risk based on your own personal risk tolerance. Beware of the whole financial industry, which is designed primarily to extract as much
money as possible from you, thus working directly against your financial interest.
This advice will not appeal to many people. It is the old "get rich slow" advice. I suspect many people are far more interested in titles that
supposedly tell you how to make 1 million dollars a year through day trading. Good luck to them. I don't believe it'll happen, Bernstein does not
believe it'll happen either. He thinks stocks going forward may promise 4 to 8 percent per year over the long long term.
His points are strongly supported through reasoned arguments. There is much discussion of the recent turmoil in the financial markets and the good
advice that people should always understand the risks they are taking.
For people who can understand and follow the advice in this book, it could well change their future, particularly young people with long saving times
ahead of them. There are no sure things in the investment world, all you can do is improve your probability for success and decrease your probability
for loss. In my opinion, the strategies espoused in this book are the most sensible and historically successful at putting the odds in your favor. This
goes on my short list of great and highly recommended investment books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I encourage everyone to read this book. It will save you a ton of money..Published 2 months ago by Chemist (NW, retired)
Amazing wisdow from an outstanding writer. Every aspiring investor need to get one copy of this.Published 3 months ago by antony
Great book for people looking for a "how to" basic guide to investing. Highly recommend!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great book, solid investing concepts, really helped me understand history of some markets and risks to investing I was not aware of previously. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Techmeister
Getting started with managing your own money? This is all you need, in one 4-hour read.Published 6 months ago by Erik J. Rupard
My financial adviser recommended this book. It is the best I've read.Published 6 months ago by Jean F. Boggs