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The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (Personal Finance & Investment) Hardcover – July 8, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Since its initial publication, The Four Pillars of Investing has become a staple for the independent-minded investor looking to make better-informed investment decisions. Written by noted financial expert and neurologist William Bernstein, this time-honored investing guide provides the knowledge and tools for achieving long-term profitability.
Bernstein bridges the four fundamental topics successful investors use to generate exceptional profits on a consistent basis:
- 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 provides a distinctive blend of market history, investing theory, and behavioral finance to help you become a successful, self-sufficient investor.
About the Author
William J. Bernstein, Ph.D., M.D., is a neurologist and the cofounder of the investment management firm Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of three finance books―The Intelligent Asset Allocator, The Four Pillars of Investing, and The Investor’s Manifesto―and two volumes of economic history, The Birth of Plenty and A Splendid Exchange. Bernstein is currently working on a history book exploring the effects of access to technology on human relations and politics.
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Top customer reviews
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.
For the most part, this book is a duplicate of his first, "The Intelligent Asset Allocator", in some places word-for-word. In a nutshell, if you are already a convert to passive index investing and want to dig deeper, read the first book; if you are just getting a glimmer of the dangers that lurk in the financial-services industry, read this one.
This book is better-written than the first, longer and more basic; although it eventually gets to the same place. The one important addition in this book is Chapter 8 "Behavioral Therapy" where Bernstein helps you to stop being your own worst enemy.