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Active Index Investing: Maximizing Portfolio Performance and Minimizing Risk Through Global Index Strategies Hardcover – July 23, 2004
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"[Active Index Investing, which] contains the contributions of some 50 pension fund officials shows there is nothing passive or apathetic about indexers in terms of investment innovation . . . Schoenfeld, a leader in expanding the use and understanding of indexing, has an intellectual's grasp of its concepts and a practitioner's ability to apply them . . . The 688-page book is an essential guide for anyone involved in portfolio management, active as well as passive." — Barry Burr, Editorial Page Editor, Pensions & Investments (January 10, 2005)
From the Inside Flap
For over three decades, both institutional and individual investors have increasingly accepted indexing. Index benchmarks and investment products that track them have been a driving force in the transformation of investment strategy from art to science. Yet investors understanding of the sophistication of this burgeoning field has lagged behind the growing use of index products. Active Index Investing aims to close that gap.
Active Index Investing is the definitive guide to how indexes are constructed, managed as portfolios, and used by investors. Filled with in-depth insight and practical advice, this book illustrates and analyzes every major asset class and covers the perspectives of index fund managers, index providers, institutional brokers, pension plan sponsors and other asset owners, financial advisors, and individual investors. It skillfully explains how the worlds most sophisticated investors use index-based strategies to enhance performance, reduce costs, and minimize the risks of global investing.
This comprehensive guide captures the views of over fifty leading practitioners from all spheres of the indexing worldwhile maintaining a holistic and balanced perspective of this complex subject. Besides pulling together the best minds in the investment business, editor and indexing expert Steven Schoenfeld also shares his considerable insights on this broad and important topic.
Active Index Investing is actually five books in one, with thirty-one chapters providing a comprehensive exploration of:
- The theories and practical experience that are the foundations for indexing
- The uses of indexes and best practices in benchmark construction
- The ever-expanding range of index-based investment products and vehicles
- Index portfolio management techniques for equity and fixed-income funds
- Choosing between various index products and the ways in which sophisticated investors harness the overall benefits of indexing
Fittingly, for a subject so broad, the books scope doesnt end with these topics, but continues in the books "E-ppendix"www.ActiveIndexInvesting.com, partnered with the IndexUniverse.com Web sitewhich expands and updates the information and data provided in the book, facilitating even more perspectives to chronicle the ongoing development of this fascinating and dynamic field.
Active Index Investing is a practical and detailed guide to the art and science of index-based investing. It will show you how index-based strategies can be actively used to both minimize portfolio risk and maximize long-term performance.
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Top customer reviews
It tracks the beginnings of index products and pays respects to the pioneers that developed this type of investing. Mr. Shoenfeld thoroughly decribes the myriad of vehicles that are available for investors today (this list grows every day it seems).
But what really makes this book shine is the real-life examples and guest writers. Books about investment theory often lack concrete illustrations of the theories they espouse. Mr. Shoenfeld descibes in detail how and why individual investors, pension plans, and hedge funds use index products. In many cases, fund managers write the chapters. Getting this information "from the horse's mouth" allows insight into thought processes of those responsible for investing millions of dollars.
The scope of the book is amazing, and even more is available on the e-ppendix on the Web. Congratulations to the author on putting together a massive reference book on the subject of indexing.
This is an excellent book that contains all the important reasons why your asset allocation should start with indexing and then think about active managers (not the other way around - pick the market haystack, not the active manager needle). The important points have not changed over the years, including during the bear market of 2000-2001. The bottom line is that costs matter.
I was most impressed with chapter 19, which well describes the index portfolio management process and demonstrates how much more difficult it is to deliver benchmark returns than what people think. Every person who glibly retorts 'a trained monkey could manage an index fund' and 'what do you guys do all day anyway?' should read this. Index portfolio management is a unique challenge and we're always on a hiding to nothing to achieve this outcome.
The chapters are well researched and there are plenty of references for the interested reader.
It is a large book, but all the chapters are self contained and there is no loss of continuity by reading chapters individually.
I ended up giving it four stars however as the low quality paper on which it was printed makes the book feel a little cheap. For a $90 book the publishers could do better.
The book works on multiple levels. Whatever your degree of investing sophistication, you'll find incredibly useful information. It's probably the only thing you need to read on index investing -- covering mutual funds, ETFs, and making sense of the now-huge variety of index-based investment options. And it's linked to a web site that will keep the book effectively current.
Buying the book was a modest investment that I'm sure will pay off nicely...