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Yes, You Can Supercharge Your Portfolio!: Six Steps for Investing Success in the 21st Century Hardcover – January 1, 2008
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About the Author
Ben Stein can be seen talking about finance on Fox TV news every week. He has written about finance for Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal for decades and contributes regularly to the AARP’s Modern Maturity (now AARP: The Magazine). He was one of the chief busters of the junk bond frauds of the 1980s, has been a long-time critic of corporate executives’ self-dealing, and has written several self-help books about personal finance.
Phil DeMuth is an investment psychologist with a longstanding interest in the stock market. He has written for The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, as well as Human Behavior and Psychology Today. His opinions have been quoted on theStreet.com and Fortune Magazine. He is president of Conservative Wealth Management in Los Angeles.
Top Customer Reviews
Maybe because I retired at 56 after a perfectly ordinary job with a negligible pension, people ask me about investing. A week ago, I was asked by someone with more money than I what percentage of his portfolio he should invest in international stocks. My answer was that he should read the first 60 pages of this book (what I call "Book 1" out of 2). He wasn't asking the right question(s).
It is apparent that very few people know how to diversify their portfolios properly. ("Properly" to me means getting the return you require for the least volatility and risk.) The first 60 pages explain this in easy to understand language and provide lots of useful examples. In fact, I expect many people will latch onto one of the example portfolios and live more happily ever after. For people who really want detail, this isn't the right book - I suggest Roger Gibson's Asset Allocation (a new edition is just out, but be warned that if it's like the third edition, it is much more difficult reading than Supercharge).
"Book 2", the other two-thirds of Supercharge Your Portfolio, discusses how to construct a proper portfolio that meets the reader's individual needs (vs. the generic portfolios of "Book 1"). This is more complicated, as you'd expect, and requires a tool. The book uses the quantext tool, QPP, for its examples. Armed with the book and the tool (I did the free trial and now have it on order - I used to rely on a weaker tool on Fidelity's web site), I expect to be able to take my current portfolio, use my investing preferences, and improve my portfolio to perform at least a little better with less volatility.Read more ›
The book opens with a TV show where Ben Stein and one of Jimmy Kimmel's friends picked investments. Stein and DeMuth use these portfolios and how they performed to tease out the basic principles of this book. Of course, Stein's did well and the other guy's did not. But it is WHY one performed well and the other did not that is the point of this book. It wasn't luck; it was statistics. Let me hasten to add that you do NOT need to be a statistician or even schooled in statistics to use the method Stein and DeMuth present or to read and enjoy the book. The few concepts they use are clearly and simply explained to the level required.
Let me also point out that this book will be very helpful to you even if you don't want to create and manage your own portfolio because it will help you become informed about what your financial adviser is suggesting, what to look out for, and what to ask about.Read more ›
It is hard to believe but it has been about two years or so since I first sent Phil DeMuth a review copy of Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP). Since then, he has become an avid user and I have had the pleasure to get to know Phil. We have spent quite a few hours discussing the key issues that investors and advisors need to understand, as well as how modern tools like forward-looking Monte Carlo analysis can dramatically improve how the vast majority of investors operate. We both believe passionately that investors are missing the most important piece of knowledge to effectively manage their money: taking a portfolio-focused approach to money management rather than trying to pick the next hot fund or stock. I was thrilled when Ben Stein and Phil decided to write a book about this topic---and especially because Quantext Portfolio Planner is used heavily in the book. If you want a clear and well-written approach to how to use modern methods to manage a portfolio, read this book! This book will be valuable to those who already use QPP as well as to the interested investor who simply wants to understand the best methods for managing his or her portfolio. The key issues revolve around using standard financial metrics to see if your portfolio is well-diversified and whether you are getting as much return as possible for the risk that you take on. Many investors think that they are diversified because they buy lot's of different funds. Not so! Rather than just buying a 'pie chart' allocation, this book explain how investors and advisors can rationally construct their best portfolios.
Note: I have written a much more detailed review that is published on SeekingAlpha:
Most Recent Customer Reviews
another super book by ben and phil, i accept their theories and try to practice applying them, you 2 are great.Published on January 7, 2014 by lance ramrod
Check out this video of him in Aug 2007 talking about how "stocks are going to be a heck of a lot higher in a year" and goes on to recommend buying Merrill Lynch because its such... Read morePublished on February 9, 2011 by Cointreau
My union's finance committee uses the QPP portfolio planner spreadsheet to help select portfolio choices for us. Read morePublished on March 24, 2010 by Buck Lansford
The books is fine, so far, but the (few) charts and graphs are crap in the e-book.
They need a better process for embedding non-text items. A lot better.
I find Ben Stein to be one of the most intelligent and witty financial whizzes of today. Not only does he offer sound investment practices but he does it in a comical way... Read morePublished on September 6, 2009 by Jack Investor
I expected a lot more from Ben Stein. Too much that I just don't comprehend. Not for the average investorPublished on February 18, 2009 by Spirit
This is a quick read, but deserves a couple of readings, anyway. I liked how they start with a core portfolio, supercharge it with funds or stocks, then use fixed income... Read morePublished on September 9, 2008 by Crash and Burn
We liked this book. Humor and economics combined with excellent suggestions for enhancing our existing portfolio. Read morePublished on June 26, 2008 by Terri Gautier
I will not review ground related to the book that has already been so ably covered here. Instead I want to relate my own experiences as to the improvement of portfolio composition... Read morePublished on April 19, 2008 by Robert W. Elmer