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Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes Paperback – January 10, 2001
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If you had to summarize Fail-Safe Investing in three words, it would probably be these: Embrace the obvious. Look at your job, Browne advises. You get ahead because of your experience, education, and common sense. Your job is the reason you have money to invest in the first place. So the first of Browne's 17 rules is, "Build Your Wealth upon Your Career." Don't jeopardize your career; it's going to take many years of smart investing before your earnings will surpass what you earn at your day job--if they ever do.
The other rules aren't quite as obvious, but equally simple. Browne explains the difference between investing (making a long-term plan and sticking with it) and speculating (betting that you can beat the overall market during a specific period). He shows how life savings are easily lost when you borrow money to invest rather than investing only the money you already have. Browne also suggests a portfolio that he says is the simplest and safest possible for continual, steady returns above inflation: an equal division among stocks, bonds, gold, and cash. That covers an investor in times of prosperity (stocks), inflation (gold), deflation (bonds), and recession (cash). While many investment analysts would undoubtedly gag if you presented them with a portfolio that consisted of a 50 percent investment in gold and cash, Browne nonetheless makes a compelling argument that such an allocation makes it easier to sleep at night. And common sense tells you there are worse things than a good night's sleep. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Harry Browne (1933-2006) was one of America's best-known investment advisers, the author of a dozen investment and political books (including Why the Government Doesn't Work and How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World), a radio personality, and the 2000 Libertarian candidate for president. He lived in Tennessee.
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Top Customer Reviews
Before reading this book, I was addicted to all kinds of financial pornography: books, newsletters, investment clubs etc. All of it was in search of the holy grail of investment knowledge...how to beat the market. Sometimes the stress of market volatility would keep me up at night. Then I met Harry Browne and his wisdom.
He makes a very strong case that no one can predict the future in financial markets. Even the cockiest fund managers typically perform poorly over the long run. So I asked myself: why am I wasting all this time and energy trying to beat the market? Isn't there a way to get the historical returns of stocks (about 10%/year) with little stress-inducing volatility or my most precious resource--time? Browne says yes...it's called the Permanent Portfolio.
It's like that rotisserie chicken oven on late night infomercials: "Just set it and forget it!" All of the economic environments are covered by Browne's Permanent Portfolio: inflation, deflation, prosperity, recession. No matter what people are worried about today, you're covered. You can let everyone else debate (because they don't know anyway). Browne's Portfolio has returned an average of 9.9% (roughly 5-6% over inflation) with extraordinarily low volatility for the last 40 years--which puts your mind at ease so you can go off and live life without worry.
That level of peace-of-mind has no value--it's priceless. I'll be forever indebted to Harry Browne for writing this book. I highly encourage you to read it and do a little research for yourself. I think you'll feel the same way.
The promise of Harry Browne's book is to never have that kind of pain again. The main goal of his investing plan is safety, while still earning at levels that keep you ahead of inflation.
This book is written in a very conversational tone - easy to understand - without tons of jargon.
Browne gives you 17 rules of financial safety. That's a lot of rules. Have no fear. They are mostly common sense, and designed to help you avoid the snake oil salesmen of the financial world.
They are each clearly and concisely explained.
The rules are followed by the investment plan. The plan is simple, easy to understand, and very low maintenance. Many would call it boring.
Having a safe retirement account, without constantly watching over it, is the kind of boring life I don't mind having.
Not sure if the method that he suggest, buying 25% of your portfolio in stocks, 25% in gold, 25% in Treasury Bonds, and 25% in Cash, is better than just bonds, and or an income property, but beside his "fail safe" portfolio, there are valuable ideas to keep your money for gambling and "hedge funds"