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Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing Hardcover – February 1, 1998


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Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing + A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Tenth Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: Winning the Loser's Game, 3rd ed
  • Hardcover: 142 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 3rd edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070220107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070220102
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is by far the best book on investment policy and management." ---Peter Drucker on earlier edition of Winning the Loser's Game --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Winning the Loser's Game:

"This is by far the best book on investment policy and management."­­Peter Drucker

"Ellis has written a liberating book about investiing. Many people view their estate planning as a dirty secret they don't even share openly with themselves. This book will enable you to face your money matters squarely, with intelligence and vision, and help you create a plan that will increase the security and freedom of your later years."­­Byron R. Wien, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

"Ellis's earlier work was a 'must read' for professional portfolio managers. This clearly-written edition explores concepts essential to both institutional and individual investors. It is not a simplistic 'do-it-yourself' cookbook, but an elegant guide to investment truths and paradoxes."­­Abby Joseph Cohen, Stock Market Strategist and Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

"Charles Ellis lays out a series of simple principles which, if followed consistently, auger for success. In a highly entertaining way, he also offers not only a sound philosophy for investing, but also for life."­­Charles I. Clough, Jr., Corporate Strategy and Research, Merrill Lynch

"...Radical in its simplicity, Investors­­institutional and otherwise­­will find this jolt to their cherished beliefs refreshing."­­Adam Smith, Adam Smith's Money World

"...How to make your capital win for you in today's more challenging investment climate."­­Eric Miller, Chief Investment Officer, Research Department, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

"An outstanding guide for the individual investor, full of sound and useful advice for making one's way through the confusing maze of our contemporary financial world."­­William E. Simon, Former Secretary of the Treasury


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 130 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Actually all the information in this book can summarized into a short paragraph (read this and skip the book):
You can never beat the market so invest in index funds. In the long run Taxes and Inflation will erode your investments and only stocks can safeguard you against it, so invest in index funds which have low taxes. Think long term (20+) years. Short term you will lose money so invest in index funds and dont go checking the stock quotes every day, or even every year. And did i mention index funds :)
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111 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on a famous article written by Mr. Ellis in 1975, "The Loser's Game," that showed why professional money managers are unable to beat the market averages in 90 percent of the cases. In fact, the harder they try, the more likely they are to lose by increasing trading costs and mistiming their trades. The first two editions of this book were aimed at providing solutions to that dilemma for professional money managers. Mr. Ellis provides consulting advice to such professional money managers, and is in a good position to know what he is talking about. This edition is aimed at the needs of the neophyte individual investor. It is especially timely as we near the end of 2 decades of almost continual bull markets for equities.
The beauty of this book is that it is simple and easy to understand. Ellis designed it for anyone who has a genuine interest in getting good investment results, is willing to develop an appreciation for market fundamental, and has the discipline to pick an approach and stick to it.
In various chapters, the book describes why professionals do so poorly, and how the individual can have the same problems if not careful.
The key points of the book are that you need to establish your long-term investment objectives in writing, and with the expert advice of professionals, determine a well-reasoned and realistic set of investment plans that can help you achieve your objectives. You should set your asset mix at the highest ratio of equities you can afford financially and emotionally for the long-term. However you do this, don't try to beat the market. That's a loser's game.
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220 of 245 people found the following review helpful By Michael Henry on November 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Winning the Loser's Game" is a bit of a mess on several fronts. It primarily fails due to the ill conceived idea and sloppy execution of updating a book originally written for the institutional investor to also address the individual investor. In theory this should have been possible but neither Mr. Ellis nor his editors have invested the necessary effort to do a credible job. Advice for the individual investor is bolted on pretty much at random, with at times hilarious results. For example, the "Managing the Manager" chapter is filled with advice on setting a useful agenda for your quarterly meeting with your investment advisor organization (including criteria for deciding when to fire a portfolio manager!), and the role your investment committee should play in modifying your investment policy. In the same breath, Ellis also advises the individual investor in search of an investment vehicle to check with their employer's pension manager for the names of a few well respected mutual fund companies, for example, Vanguard and American Funds. In short, the entire chapter is for the institutional investor with the exception of this single paragraph on how to find a good mutual fund. Even at that, the advice is laughable. (I'm sure we are all on a first name basis with our employer's pension fund manager.....) This unsuccessful attempt to modify the book for the individual investor continues throughout. Even when Ellis directly discusses the individual investor we discover he is primarily concerned with that class of individual investor with "significant assets", that is, for investors who have retained advisors; not your garden variety working stiff saving for retirement.Read more ›
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This could have been a good book in that the author has some very valid points. However both he and the editors at McGraw-Hill were quite lazy.
The book was originally written in 1985 with a target audience of professional investment managers and their large clients, such as pension funds and endowments. This 1998 edition was purportedly written for individual investors. Quite frankly, other than chapter 14, "The Individual Investor", it would be hard to tell that there was a change. Even this chapter is repetitive of previous material, including some of the same quotes.
The book is also padded beyond tolerance... in-page large-type quotes from the material in the chapter, numerous blank pages (30, 58, 70, 82, 112, 126, & 134), the same information recast as different tables & charts, and it still only manages to come to 137 pages. It's not clear why McGraw-Hill thinks it's worth [so much]. It's basically a long magazine article.
In addition, my experience is that McGraw-Hills editors have a real editorial quality control problem and it's most egregious in this book in the footnotes. For example: on page 40 the text refers to the "real" risk-free return as being before inflation and then the footnote to that text refers to "real" as being after being corrected for inflation; on page 55 the footnote purports to explain how 1.4 percentage points was calculated viz: "1.2 x 7 percent return on equities over and above the risk-free rate of return = 1.4 percent incremental return." (huh?); and (a nitpick, I know, but indicitive of their sloppiness) chapter 12 has two footnotes #3.
The author states that the book was written over an extended period in a social club in London and hotels and flights between Johannesburg, San Francisco, Chicago, Nairobi, Princeton, Maine, Bermuda, Vail, Boston, New York City, Atlanta, and his home. Perhaps if he had stayed in one spot it wouldn't have been so disjoint. The buying public deserves better.
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