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The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio Hardcover – International Edition, April 26, 2002
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The Four Pillars of Investing offers a comprehensive, incisive and pithy treatment of the issues. -- Barron's; May 27, 2002
From the Back Cover
"A TRIUMPH! Bill Bernstein's new book offers sound principles, unvarnished history, and unmatched understanding of the process of successful investing. It is my candidate for the best investment book of 2002."--John C. Bogle, Founder and Former Chairman, The Vanguard Group, Author, John Bogle on Investing
William Bernstein has carved out a reputation as one of the most brutally honest, yet consistently accurate, voices in today's financial wilderness. In The Four Pillars of Investing, Dr. Bernstein explains how any independent investor can construct a superior investment portfolio by learning these four essentials:
- The Theory of Investing"Do not expect high returns without risks."
- The History of Investing"About once every generation, the markets go barking mad. If you are unprepared, you are sure to fail."
- The Psychology of Investing"Identify the era's conventional wisdom and assume that it is wrong. More often than not, it is."
- The Business of Investing"The stockbroker services his clients in the same way that Bonnie and Clyde serviced banks."
From the essential soundness of classic portfolio theory through the inherent wisdom of investing in multiple asset classes, The Four Pillars of Investing focuses on the four fundamental topics that every investor must understand--and presents an easy-to-follow, step-by-step program for achieving long-term investing success.
"Bernstein is little known. But that's changing, and the sooner you get to know him, the better off your retirement portfolio is likely to be."--Robert Barker, Columnist, BusinessWeek
William Bernstein's first book--The Intelligent Asset Allocator--remains one of the most honored investment books of recent times. Hailed by national publications, including BusinessWeek, and by independent investment icons, including Vanguard founder John Bogle, it has become an instant classic for its well-researched analyses and rules for successful investing.
Now, in the commonsense investor's guide The Four Pillars of Investing, Bernstein returns with the knowledge and tools investors need to assemble low-risk, winning portfolios without professional advice. This down-to-earth book lays out in easy-to-understand prose the four essential topics that every investor must master--the relationship of risk and reward, the history of the market, the psychology of the investor and the market, and the folly of taking financial advice from investment salespeople. It pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on in today's financial industry as it outlines a simple program for building wealth while controlling risk.
Straightforward in its presentation and generous in its real-life examples, The Four Pillars of Investing presents a no-nonsense discussion of:
- The art and science of mixing different asset classes into an effective blend
- The dangers of actively picking stocks, as opposed to investing in the whole market
- Behavioral finance and how state of mind can adversely affect decision making
- Why the mutual fund and brokerage industries, instead of your partners, are often your most direct competitors
- Strategies for managing all of your assets--savings, 401(k)s, home equity--as one portfolio
Investing is not a destination. It is a journey, lined with stockbrokers, journalists, and mutual fund companies whose interests are diametrically opposed to yours. The Four Pillars of Investing shows you how, with relatively little effort, you can determine your own financial direction and assemble an investment program with the sole goal of building long-term wealth for yourself and your family.
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They are a must for personal investment finance for retirees and those working toward a healthy retirement.
The information in this book is generally not complicated, and there is little math involved. The content is easy to understand, even if you are a relative newcomer to investing. He does a nice job of explaining the value bias, which states great companies often don't make great stocks. He also spends a chapter on the Dividend Discount Model, which is a fairly accurate method of determining future returns. And he has a chart in the book which gives estimated returns for various asset classes for the next few decades (hint: diversify into small, value, REIT).
If you have read books by John Bogle or Larry Swedroe, you probably already know the main themes of this book. But if you have not, I would recommend this as a great way to learn about long-term investing.
My only criticism is that, in terms of winning converts to this unexciting but intelligent approach to investing, the same objective has already been achieved more concisely, entertainingly and convincingly by the original works of John Bogle (Bogle on Mutual Funds, for example), whose contributions are glowingly acknowledged here.
Most recent customer reviews
I gave only 4 stars because Bernstein really likes to talk/write too much, he could have...Read more