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The Future for Investors: Why the Tried and the True Triumph Over the Bold and the New Hardcover – March 8, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

"The constant pursuit of growth--through buying hot stocks, seeking out the next big thing, or investing in the fastest growing countries--dooms investors to poor returns." So states Siegel, an academic who, with optimism and extensive research, suggests that the future is bright for equity investors in old, reliable companies in slow-growth or even shrinking industries. He presents a framework for understanding world markets and offers strategies for protecting and enhancing long-term capital. Stocks will outperform bonds and other inflation hedges, and he recommends supplementing indexed portfolios using three directives--buy stocks that have sustainable cash flows and return these cash flows to the shareholders with dividends; recognize the economic power shifts from the West toward China, India, and the rest of the developing world; and accumulate shares in firms with reasonable valuations relative to their expected growth while avoiding trendy investments. Warren Buffet, the preeminent investor, suggests that those interested in investments should study Siegel's new facts and ideas. Mary Whaley
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“Jeremy Siegel has done us a great service with his superb work. While no one can predict the future of stocks with certainty, Siegel’s analysis marks the verdict of history: the triumph of the shareholder over the shareflipper, the investor over the speculator, the builder over the gambler. Strong conclusions, good writing, and a refreshing message make this a compelling and important book to read.” —Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last

“Jeremy Siegel’s lively new book is much more than a typical Siegelian guide to asset allocation. It is a masterful, provocative, fact-stuffed, commonsense, and creative guide to profitable stock-picking strategies. Even the most cynical and experienced investors will gain from reading Siegel’s latest contribution to their well-being.” —Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

“Jeremy Siegel is a wise man and an astute observer of the ever-changing investment universe. The Future for Investors is essential for the professional and serious amateur investor to navigate the new era.” —Barton M. Biggs, managing partner, Traxis Partners 

“The professor who taught America to love stocks in the 1990s is as optimistic as ever. But he’s added a new twist to his theory: Get dividends.” —Money magazine, December 2004  

“Siegel thinks about the future in a unique and original way, with insightful thoughts about the broad sweep of history as well as hard-headed investment analysis.” —Robert Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and The New Financial Order

“The ‘Wizard of Wharton’ weighs in on the markets ahead. . . . Deeply committed to understanding the macro-financial sector and its constant change has made him an outstanding teacher for [those] who hunger for his brand of forward-looking economics as they apply to the markets.” —Stocks, Futures & Options magazine, September 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1St Edition edition (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140008198X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400081981
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Future for Investors has some really great points - the main one being that the compounding power of reinvested dividends should be a significant consideration in stock selection. I agree with this approach, and Siegel makes some persuasive arguments that it provides higher returns and less volitility than other approaches.

However, I agree with some of the criticisms of the book as well:

1) Siegel does not address the tax impact on dividends. His research uses 1957 as a starting point. While our current dividend tax rate is 15% at the federal level, during most of the period from 1957 the rate was higher (sometimes the same as the income rate). During these times, the reinvested amount of the dividend would have only been about 60-70% of the total. Thus, returns would have been lower. (Some people have said that this would only make a marginal difference - maybe so, but it might have changed his argument in comparing Standard Oil to IBM as well as the small advantages he pointed out in some of his stock recomendations. A 1% per annum difference over a multi-decade period amounts to serious money).

2) Siegel cites Altria as the best performing stock during this period. I won't disagree with the conclusion, but I will point out that going for high dividends and reinvesting them works well only when the company survives. What if Beth Steel had been your choice rather than Altria? You would have received lots of dividends and reinvested them, but the ultimate outcome would have been a disaster. The point is that reinvesting dividends works especially well when the reinvestment happens during a difficult time for the stock AND (most importantly) the stock MUST recover from those difficult times.
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Format: Hardcover
Siegel's basic advice to stock investors is to focus less on growth stocks and index mutual funds (eg., Vanguard 500) and more on looking for tried and true stocks that pay high dividends. He argues that such reinvested dividends are the true source of stock returns, or the "El Dorado." (His term). Overall, this argument is well-presented and persuasive.

However, I am perplexed on a key element. His case is largely based on historical evidence that purports to show that high dividend yield stocks, with dividends reinvested, have accumulated more total return than growth stocks or index mutual funds. However, his calculations do not account for the deleterious effect of taxes on reinvested dividend. (He says in an endnote that taxes are not significant for the portfolios he chose, but does not explain why; for most common stock portfolios, taxes are significant.) Dividends are taxed yearly and until recently at a higher rate than that of capital gains and that of retained earnings, which are not taxed at all. If taxes have been paid on dividends, only the untaxed part can truly be considered "reinvested"; the part that is taxed has to be made up by a new infusions of cash from the investor. The effect of ignoring this is that his historical comparisons are not terribly meaningful because he is not calculating the returns on true (after tax) contributions to dividend stocks vs. growth stocks. Naturally, if more is contributed to the dividend stocks, there is likely to be more at the end. (BTW, this is basically the same fallacy that sunk the allegedly huge returns of the otherwise delightful "Beardstown Ladies" of yore.) Given that the magnitude of the "advantage" he posits of dividend stocks vs.
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Format: Hardcover
In his earlier book, Siegel had proven that stocks are the best investment vehicle for the long term. In a fitting "sequel" to his previous bestseller, Siegel answers the question "which stocks to buy for the long term". The book is divided into 5 parts - the first two parts focus on analysis of historic data using very unique perspective, mostly with respect to changing membership of SP500 index over the years. In the third part, he discusses the different measures to consider while analysing a company's performance from the shareholders' points of view. The fifth part is perhaps the most useful for readers seeking investment advice. He provides a sample portfolio based on the priciples he explains in the third and fourth parts of the book. In addition to percentage allocation for US and non-US markets, he provides allocation targets for some of the specific investment strategies he discusses in the book (these strategies are well discussed and their rationale is convincingly presented; most of them are centered around the dividend paid by the company). The author also provides a sector analysis of the market over the years and provides his "prediction" on which three sectors will likely perform the best over the long term. A real treasure for any long term investor! it should be pointed out that the analysis dont really address tax implications, but the conclusions derived from the analysis would still likely hold since the strategies focus on long term investing.

The book is thorough and comprehensive, but explained in an easy manner. Each chapter ends with a summary which provides a succinct representation of the chapter. A detailed list of references/citations used by the author and a set of appendices with more data analysis is also included, and is certainly a resource for any serious investor. Day traders and speculators may be disappointed with the book, but any long term investor will find this to be a cornerstone of any investment plan. A must have!
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