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The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk Hardcover – October 13, 2000
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A practicing neurologist in remote coastal Oregon, Bernstein comes to the problems of saving and investing not from a broker's perspective, but as someone who had to figure this out himself, from first principles up.
From the Back Cover
Time-Tested Techniques - Safe, Simple, and Proven Effective - for Building Your Own Investment Portfolio.
"As its title suggest, Bill Bernstein's fine book honors the sensible principles of Benjamin Graham in the Intelligent Investor Bernstein's concepts are sound, his writing crystal clear, and his exposition orderly. Any reader who takes the time and effort to understand his approach to the crucial subject of asset allocation will surely be rewarded with enhanced long-term returns."
- John C. Bogle, Founder and former Chief Executive Officer, The Vanguard Group President, Bogle Financial Markets Research Center Author, common Sense on Mutual Funds.
"Bernstein has become a guru to a peculiarly '90s group: well-educated, Internet-powered people intent on investing well - and with minimal 'help' from professional Wall Street."
- Robert Barker, Columnist, BusinessWeek.
"I go home and tell my wife sometimes, 'I wonder if [Bernstein] doesn't know more than me.' It's humbling."
- John Rekenthaler, Research Chief, Morningstar Inc.
William Bernstein is an unlikely financial hero. A practicing neurologist, he used his self-taught investment knowledge and research to build one of today's most respected investor's websites. Now, let his plain-spoken The Intelligent Asset Allocator show you how to use the time-honored techniques of asset allocation to build your own pathway to financial security - one that is easy-to-understand, easier-to-apply, and supported by 75 years of solid history and wealth-building results.
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What I liked about this book are the explanations about risk and reward in a straight-forward understandable math context. Risk is defined as the standard deviation of the annual returns for a particular asset (e.g, stock, fund, bond). Dr. Bernstein uses a set of interesting coin toss investment examples throughout several of the chapters to illustrate this risk/reward strategy. Nice approach to introducing the topic for each chapter. By Chapter 3, simple risk/reward plots are shown based on different ownership percentages of two assets. The book does a great job explaining the rationale for selecting portfolio percentages for various asset classes.
Actually, Dr. Bernstein has published a collection of books on asset allocation, each with a different level of technical content.
The Intelligent Asset Allocator
The Four Pillars of Investing
The Investor's Manifesto
I found the following quote on his website appealing: "When I wrote The Intelligent Asset Allocator, I thought I was producing a volume for the average investor. Turns out I was wrong: the book's audience was closer to the average electrical engineer. So I tried a little harder and produced The Four Pillars of Investing. Close, but no cigar: still lots of complaints about all the math and graphs."
Regardless of which book you acquire, asset allocation and portfolio theory is worth understanding for any investor.
What Bernstein does do well is to collect the results of much academic research with his own analysis, and clearly show the
facts about investment performance. The principle findings are that each type of financial instrument - large cap stock, small cap stock, bond, etc., have characteristic historical performance; and that the most important decision investors face is their allocation of their investments across these classes. He gives simple but powerful suggestions.
Bernstein's goal is to make this information available to all, whether or not the reader understands financial math and statistics. I believe that he does a good job at this, separating the mathematical and statistical details for those who want to see them.
I would strongly recommend this to any investors who are still purchasing individual stocks or actively managed mutual funds.
Still, I would recommend this book as an introductory text to managing risk and reward. For readers wanting to take it to the next level, and are prepared to tackle the next level of math that this requires, then I would suggest taking a look at "Investment Theory & Risk Management" by Steven Peterson (Wiley Finance).
The only reason I didn't give it five stars because it doesn't give too much detail actually how to go through the re-balance process like frequency, variation, lump sum or dollar average.
Most recent customer reviews
The first calculation of standard deviation is wrong. What he said about long term SD vs.Read more
Does it work? Ask again in 30 years. Will it hold true then? Who knows