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The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success Hardcover – September 17, 2003

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Wake up to the nasty little secrets of Wall Street...and start using these 'ten rules for financial success.' -- CBS MarketWatch --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Burton G. Malkiel is the Chemical Bank Chairman's Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University. He is a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers, dean of the Yale School of Management, and has served on the boards of several major corporations, including Vanguard and Prudential Financial. He is the chief investment officer of Wealthfront.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (September 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393058549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393058543
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Burton G. Malkiel is the Chemical Bank Chairman's Professor of Economics at Princeton University. His books include "From Wall Street to the Great Wall," "Naked Economics," "The Random Walk Guide to Investing," and the mega-bestseller "A Random Walk Down Wall Street."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

296 of 303 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on August 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Burton Malkiel is the author of the incredibly successful investment theory book "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" first published in 1973. Thirty years later, his publisher suggested he writes an investment guide capturing the wisdom from "A Random Walk" in a shorter tome aimed at the layperson. Malkiel did exactly that. In this book, he does a beautiful job in avoiding statistics out of reach for the layperson. Yet the investment advice remains sharp and relevant.
Malkiel covers a lot of ground in investments, financial planning, retirement, savings for college, and insurance in just 180 pages. He structures this knowledge through just ten basic rules. Throughout, he includes numerous useful tools. One is the famous rule of 72. If you divide 72 by the investment return, it will tell you how many years it takes to double your investment. Thus, Malkiel covers all the basics and also explores the cutting edge of behavioral economics from the luminaries in this field including Robert Shiller (Irrational Exuberance) and Richard Thaler. This book is just as interesting to the layperson and the investment professional alike.

Malkiel advice can be summarized as follows. Save regularly through 401Ks and other means. Invest in low cost mutual funds and index funds across four asset classes (money market funds, bonds, stocks, and REITs). Invest according to your optimal asset allocation which reflects your time horizon (driven by your age), your financial capacity to absorb losses, and your risk tolerance. Take full advantage of tax advantage investments, including 401Ks, IRAs, Education Savings Accounts. The book includes many more fascinating aspects of investing.
Malkiel outlines eloquently the benefits of index funds. They incur lower operating costs.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is sad to think about all the trees that have been felled to provide the paper to print so many thousands of useless books on investing. Very few of them provide the investor with the truth about the market and what that implies for their financial future. Those that push a system for beating the market or complicated strategies should be ignored. Others who advocate the advantages of leverage rarely explain the true magnitude of the risk being taken on by the investor nor explain why these investments are almost never a good idea for a retirement account.

This book is a delightful exception and I recommend it to everyone as a great first guide to getting yourself on a solid path to financial security and some truly golden years. It is simple to read, contains just the bare minimum of financial terminology and therefore stays intelligible to the average person looking for the truth about their money.

What I like about the approach taken in the ten rules put forward by Burton Malkiel is their universal applicability and the power it puts in the hands of each investor. Of course, it also puts responsibility for his or her financial future in those hands as well. The rules focus on starting to save early, saving in ways that keep your costs low, diversifying your savings so when one bad thing happens it only stings you instead of destroying your future.

The author provides helpful guidelines for building a diversified portfolio to your personality profile and tolerance for risk. I also liked his discussion of portfolio mix related to your age and where your financial interests should be in the various decades of your life. He also suggests working a few extra years and why that could make a big difference.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Geraci on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read several books on personal finance and investing. However, I have never read the classic a Random Walk Down Wall Street. I picked it up in the book store one day and realized right away it was too technical and dry for me. Then I came across this beauty (based on the classic) and it takes the same wisdom from that book and makes it easy for people who hate the technical stuff. I have been very successful in personal finance and it is a big hobby of mine. I love reading these books. This one is simply one of the best on the subject. However, if you are one of those people who hate the idea of an efficient market and like the thrill of day trading, you will hate this book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Linda Stevens on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
My husband and I have been living below our means (as it talked about in Millionaire Next Door) and of course were confused about where to put our savings.

At first we bought various stocks. But unfortunately the companies we thought were "sure things" weren't so great after all. In 2004 we actually lost money in our portfolio, even though the market as a whole did better than that.

After that we tried putting our money into a managed mutual fund. But with the high expense ratio -- combined with the capital gains taxes from all the trading done by the "hotshot" brokers in charge of the fund -- we barely made better than the inflation rate!

Then an MBA friend of ours recommended this book, and it was absolutely life changing. Malkiel explains why broadly-diversified index funds are the way to go. I won't repeat his reasoning here, but it's absolutely spot on.

Since we've taken Malkiel's advice and switched everything over to index funds, we're finally making the market rate of return. Investing is now a no-brainer, and on a long enough timespan, we WILL now become rich.
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