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Customer Review

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong practical advice; don't discard the book because of it's title, October 9, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: The Way Smart Money Invests Today (Hardcover)
Despite its preposterous title (how can a financial advisor with any claim to rationality be so self-assured), this book is good read for the average investor. It has one mediocre, one average and one excellent sections. The last section alone (see more detail below) is worth the book's price!

The book's three sections cpver material as follows:

Section 1: making the case as to why short-term trading, trying to time and/or beat the market by following pundits' advice, etc. is a "loser's game" - is, in my opinion, WEAKEST part of the book - it is full of quotes that are redundant to the point of almost being self-undulgent in stressing that only a small fraction of investors would ever beat the returns of broad market indices, such as the S&P 500. Those convinced of this philosophical view can skip this section altogether.

Section 2: discourse on efficient market and modern portfolio theories -- as popular expositions on efficient markets and portfolio diversification go, Swedroe does an AVERAGE job, covering the essentials on risk and return (for better long-term risk/retun analysis see "Stocks for the Long Run" by Jeremy Siegel; for better discourse on diversification, see "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" by William Bernstein)

Section 3: Here is where Swedroe shines - he illustrates the benefits of modern portfolio theory by showing long-term (20 years) risk return of 3 hypothetical portfolios with different degree of diversification between asset classes (large- and small-cap US and international stocks and US bonds);the author further lays out a rational systematic approach towards building a diversified portfolio, based on investor's liquidity contraints, comfort with international and tracking error (deviation from most popular US stock indices); management of assets in a taxable and non-taxable accounts is also well covered, as are practical strategies, as index investing, rebalancing, dollar-cost and value averaging.

The book also has 9 Appendixes, some of which, such as a discussion on "recommended investment vehicles and sample portfolios" go in as much a detail as covering the strategies of specific mutual funds, which the author recommends.

All-in-all - there is much useful practical advise here for the average investor; not much for the more sophisticated reader.
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