13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A solid intro to investing,
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This review is from: Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere (Kindle Edition)Mr. Viskanta caught me by surprise in the Introduction when he states: "Our goals are much more modest. For most investors, investment mediocrity is an eminently achievable and worthy goal." It takes guts to admit upfront that investment mediocrity is the target he will be directing us to. This book covers a lot of investment ground in an entertaining way. He covers areas that one seldom sees in other introduction to investing books. Mr. Viskanta is an excellent writer and provides a summary at the end of each chapter where he restates the main points that he covered. But I don't think that what he has provided the reader with are "winning strategies", not unless winning strategies lead to mediocrity. The book will offer something for most readers but seems to be primarily directed to the beginning investor for whom it will be a thought-provoking read.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 31, 2012 10:24:08 AM PDT
J. Glove says:
Mediocrity IS a winning investment strategy. Exclude Buffett and Lynch, and what you find is that high returns = high risk. In other words, if you find someone who gets you high returns for a few years, the great likelihood is that you will soon crash and burn. If you are achieving close to the index returns (depending on the index or mixture of indexes you set as a benchmark), then you are also likely not taking on excess risk. You are also on a path to double the nominal value of your investments every 7 to 12 years (depending on your risk tolerance and related asset mix). For most of us, if you are saving 10-15% of your annual income, that's good enough to achieve a strong retirement portfolio with income roughly equal to pre-retirement levels.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 6:54:59 PM PDT
Gary Maxwell says:
Maybe it's just semantics, but "mediocre" means to me something of only moderate quality. If I am embarking on an investment program, I am unlikely to choose the one that bills itself as just mediocre, yet this is what Mr Viskanta is holding up as a "worthy goal". I would like to aim higher than that and I don't think that beating mediocrity necessarily requires a high risk portfolio that is going to crash and burn. I agree with you that if you save 10 -15% annually and the market doubles every 10 years or so over a 40 year investing lifetime, that will be a "winning" strategy even if the results are only moderate as compared to other investors.
Posted on Mar 29, 2013 1:31:37 PM PDT
Dennis R. Jugan says:
You've all (including the book) missed the most fundamental aspect of risk management inherent when considering any entity. Will "the markets" exist in one week, one month, one year, 10 years, ad infinitum as we now know them. Will they obsolete themselves by way of innovation. Finally, will your investment(s) (mere bytes of information akin to vapor) disappear into the information black hole a la Corzine's MF Global?
Think about it!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2013 5:26:03 PM PDT
Bruce Stern says:
The 20-40 years investing plan is great if you're starting out in your 20s and even 30s. If you're older, and have lived through and worked during the stagnant equities markets of the 1970s, the California real estate collapse of the early 1990s, the tech bubble and equities market severe downturns of the early 2000s (which included the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist tragedies), the housing market debacle of 2007 to now, and financial and equities markets debacles of 2007-2009, then perhaps your time horizon should be shorter, me thinks.
I'm now what sometimes called a bottom-up investor, always with an eye on the markets and macro trends.
If one is willing to put in some hours each month, which includes some reading and perhaps subscribing to reputable, time-proven and inexpensive research service(s), one may, I think, achieve better than mediocre returns.
Caveat: I'm not a millionaire, nor do I have a proven track record. All the above is my assessment after making plenty of mistakes, then learning from them, I hope, and gaining some wisdom. There are plenty of myths, and much wisdom, available online and in books, if one is willing to put in some time to learn (including from mistakes).
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2013 5:35:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2013 5:36:39 PM PDT
Bruce Stern says:
The markets will exist in 20 years from now, and far into the future, I believe. How they work; whether an individual investor can trust "the markets," and use them effectively for retirement investing, if not wealth accrual, are reasonable concerns.
Where money is involved there will be into the far foreseeable future schemers, scammers, rip-off artists, etc., of all types, some individuals, i.e., Bernie Madoff, and corporate/financial organizations, many examples available.
I trust myself. My mistakes are mine. Money lost are due to investment losses, not due to the shenanigans of someone else. One can manage ones investable money safely, effectively, and acquire more than a mediocre return, which is a relative term anyway. Must one settle for 0% interest when parking funds in cash, say in a CD, money market fund, bank, short-term treasuries, as is now the case? Perhaps. Is a 2%, and possibly better, return on cash saved a mediocre return in these times?
How much time, efforts, and outlay of money-for education and investment research-are you willing to make? That's an important consideration, as is what is your tolerance for risk.
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