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What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know: How You Can Build Real Wealth Investing in Index Funds Paperback – October 21, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0312335724 ISBN-10: 0312335725 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (October 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312335725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312335724
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Investment adviser Larry E. Swedroe (The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need) wants individual investors to understand What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know: How You Can Build Real Wealth Investing in Index Funds. With clarity and conviction, he cuts through market mythology (principally that actively managed fundsAeven those managed by professionalsAtend to beat market returns), and explains how to apply his fundamental Modern Portfolio Theory to "passively" manage investments and "deliver the greatest expected return for any given level of expected risk."
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Swedroe focuses exclusively on index funds. A favorite of financial guru Jane Bryant Quinn, Swedroe previously touted index funds with The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need (1998). Index funds represent a "passive" approach to investing, but one still must choose among the several types available, and Swedroe offers helpful guidance. His main focus, though, is on making his case that index funds are the surest way to invest over time. He argues that no Wall Street portfolio manager can consistently outperform the market and that no investor can know more than the market does collectively. Swedroe shows why "past performance is not a predictor of future performance" is more than just a throwaway disclaimer as he takes on Wall Street and its "deceptive advertising practices," research costs, and trading fees. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Timing the market is a losers game.
Taylor Larimore
Larry Swedroe's book will surprise you with its easy to understand and easy to implement investment concepts.
Roger D Powell
This book should be considered as one of the next books to read by investors.
Ron A Rhoades

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Ron A Rhoades on March 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Larry Swedroe presents in 357 pages a broad overview of much of the recent research and discourse presented by rational observers of Wall Street. For the individual investor the author cuts through the hype of Wall Street and forcefully feeds a diet of statistics and research in support of low-cost index funds. For investment advisors this book can be used as an introduction to much of the recent research on stocks and investing. Fans of the writings of John Bogle (Common Sense on Mutual Funds), Jonathan Clements (Wall Street Journal columnist), and Burton Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street) will particularly enjoy the many reinforcing concepts presented in this text.
Larry correctly argues that to maximize the investor's chances for success the investor should take into account his or her time horizon, allocate assets among categories accordingly, and then diversify using low-cost and (where appropriate) tax efficient index funds or tax-managed mutual funds. Through successive chapters he notes: (1) markets are efficient; (2) active managers of investment accounts cannot add value over the long term, considering the burdens of their fees and taxes; (3)market timing is not a strategy that works over the long term; (4) investors in stocks and stock mutual funds decrease their risk level as their time horizon is extended to 20 years or more; and (5) investor behavior, driven by the emotions of fear and greed, often interfere with good long-term investment results. The real gems of the book are saved for the last chapter, when he brings it all together with some asset allocation recommendations.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. on July 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In addition to the fact that I, too, felt that I was enduring a commercial for DFA, I was annoyed by the fact that this book is nothing more than a rehash of The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: Index Mutual Funds and Beyond - The Way Smart Money Invests Today, Swedroe's May, 1998 book. He introduces a small number of new studies and illustrations, but if you've read the first book, there's no reason to look at this one.
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful By CFA on February 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books on investing I've read (I've been at this several years, and read several dozen). It seems better argued than John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds, which isn't bad. Especially helpful was the author's demonstration that index investing isn't the same as investing in the S&P 500. One wants to invest in value, mid-cap, international, and other indices, and Swedroe tells you how and in what proportion. The book's subtle is "the only guide to a winning investment strategy you'll ever need." It sounds grand, but for the average investor (this includes most who think they aren't average) it's probably true. I especially appreciated his advice not to go to the funds, even index funds, for bonds. He doesn't seem to be pushing a product.
But there's something puzzling about the book. If it's one of the best books on investing I've read, it's certainly the best book on investing I've ever read based upon a wrong theory. That theory is Modern Portfolio Theory/Efficient Market Theory. Because he believes it, Swedroe says that value funds (stocks) are cheaper because they are riskier, which he actually argues. One sees the great virtue of the book here: he gives evidence and argument, not just assertion. Still, that all value stocks are distressed stocks is hard to believe, and the claim that risk has nothing to do with volatility is hard to swallow. Instead of saying that the market is all knowing, which is why it is so hard to beat the market, especially given transaction costs, why doesn't he just say something like "in the short run (less than five years), markets are manic-depressive, irrational, but in a way that is very hard to exploit, since there is no clear pattern.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bill S on January 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After working with countless investors throughout my career, I have grouped them into primarily two categories - amateur investors and serious investors. Amateur investors will continue to succumb to Wall Street's hype of picking individual stocks and actively managed mutual funds in an effort to beat the market. This should come as no surprise, as this is how Wall Street makes its living, and the industry will spend billions of dollars in advertising revenue to entice them to continue this pursuit. As a result, the amateur investor who is more attuned to the speculative nature of investing will have little use for this book.
However, if you are a serious investor who is committed to maximizing your returns for the long haul, this book is a must read. Mr. Swedroe first details the fallacy of pursuing top-performing stocks and mutual funds, and why this activity is in fact detrimental to building wealth. He then explains the various risk/reward dimensions of various asset classes, and most importantly shows the reader HOW to build a diversified portfolio by combining these asset classes of passively managed (index) funds with their tolerance for risk in relation to an investment time horizon.
When it comes to investing, it has been said that the only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. The incredible volatility of the stock market has forced many investors to deal with the conflicting emotions of fear and greed in this context. For investors who have finally chosen to remove themselves from Wall Street's losing ways and instead build a simple and sophisticated portfolio for the long haul, Swedroe's book is pure genius.
The author has become the pied piper of passive portfolio management.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Larry E. Swedroe is director of research for Buckingham and the BAM ALLIANCE. Larry holds an MBA in finance and investment from New York University and a bachelor's degree in finance from Baruch College.

Larry was among the first authors to publish a book that explained the science of investing in layman's terms, "The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need." He has since authored seven more books and co-authored six books about investing. Larry is a sought-after speaker and prolific writer, and he contributes weekly to multiple national outlets including ETF.com.

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What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know: How You Can Build Real Wealth Investing in Index Funds
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