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The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing: A Book for Procrastinators, the Financially Challenged, and Everyone Who Worries About Dealing with Their Money Paperback – April 17, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Popular CBS Marketwatch columnist Farrell provides a thoroughly enjoyable and straightforward look at what he sees as "the future of investing"-"simple lazy portfolios that'll work for anyone and are easy to understand." He provides three different model portfolios based on one simple formula: "rock-solid, easy-to-understand asset allocation using no-load index funds." Farrell is a huge proponent of no-load funds such as the Vanguard 500 Index, which tracks the Standard & Poor 500 listing of America's largest companies, and the Vanguard Total Bond Market Fund Index, which matches the performance of the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index. Farrell persuasively argues that the strong long-term performance of these funds, even during hard market times-along with the strong performance of other Vanguard index funds such as those for large-cap and small-cap value-proves that "the only rational strategy" for the vast majority of America's 94 million mutual fund investors is "a simple buy 'n' hold strategy" that diversifies portfolio assets across multiple categories of assets. Packed with clear examples of how regular people can easily handle their own investments, Farrell's guide also takes on other sacred cows, such as Wall Street's belief that brokers know more than you do, and provides an exciting and illuminating section on no-load stocks, or DRIPs, which he calls "Wall Street's best-kept secret."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

DR. PAUL B. FARRELL lives in Arroyo Grande, California
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus (April 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446693871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446693875
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been a serious investor for more than 30 years and have read much more than my share of investment books and articles. This is one of the more interesting ones I've read lately.
In general I am opposed to the idea that lazy investing can produce great results. If that were really true, we'd all be billionaires. However, no investor can succeed by adopting a strategy that's too complex to understand and implement. What many investors need is not rocket-science strategies that could shoot for the moon, but low-cost solutions that will keep them from going too far astray while avoiding massive losses. Dr. Paul Farrell has done a good job of describing lots of solutions like that.
My interest in investing was sparked when I was a teenager, by a book that described many fascinating concepts and ways that people can put their money to work making more money. It was all new to me, and I was instantly hooked ... and remain so today.
The book I read is hopelessly out of date. But "The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing" is a book that I would love to put into the hands of a potential investor or a young investor or an older investor who's just getting started. This would open such a person's eyes to a ton of possibilities and resources.
I don't think Farrell's book describes the ultimate solutions that will be best for people who have substantial savings. But it's not written for them. This book is written for a wide audience of people who are wisely wary of trusting Wall Street and the financial media - and who want some straight answers from somebody who's not out to pick their pockets.
For that audience, this book is right on target.
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Format: Hardcover
Although it's true that the book is short and often repetitive (some of the same quotes from famous investors are used 2-3 times in the same chapter), that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile read. Farrell knows he's got something simple to say, but that's his point: investing using a simple allocation strategy using no-load index funds with the cheapest possible administrative costs delivers returns similar to managed funds and buying individual stocks without requiring any of the effort or time investing in the latter require from an investor.

There's not a lot of detail in the book, but note the title: "The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing." Lazy people don't want to learn about ROEs and P/E ratios and book values or how to analyze a stock or time the market. They just want their money to grow while they're off doing something else, like playing with the kids or shopping or sitting in front of the television. This book is for them, not the serious investor.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a novice looking for a book that will help you to better understand what it means to invest and save for the future, then this book is for you. If you are looking for something that is more in depth about stock trading, then look elsewhere.
This book provides excellent advice for long-term investors who are either looking for someplace to invest while they learn how to design their own portfolio or who really want to put their money in the market and leave it alone for the long term. It is easy to read and gives readers confidence to go out and enter the market for the first time or to adjust current investments based on long-term goals.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I had to buy this book for a senior level Finance class in college. I have since then graduated with a B.A. in Financial Economics and it is full of useless information like this book is.

Let me sum this book and any similarly titled book up for you. They just repeat themselves a million times. Its not horrible advice or anything, its just that its something you could google for yourself.

It does give some pretty decent advice, especially for anyone who finds themselves with a bunch of money and somehow doesn't know how to use it.

Basically buy mutual funds, but the ones that are free of fees or low cost (this is really important, people tend to forget that 2-5% in annual fees is a huge amount considering that 10% would be outrageously good in returns). I believe they recommend Vanguard funds, which from what I remember is what everyone always recommends. Buy them in at least 4 different funds linked to different things, and maybe 25% in bonds.

Don't buy individual stocks, don't watch your portfolio, the idea is basically that well diversified portfolios grow at an average of 10% per year if you average it over 10+ years. Its very good advice. The part I liekd the most was when the author explained that it is pointless to fret over "buying low, selling high," because when it all averages out it doesn't make a huge difference and its impossible to know when stuff is low or high anyways otherwise everyone would be rich.

So, don't expect any great secrets, but its an easy read, lots of repeated paragraphs, and some decent advice.

Also, remember that the whole annual 10% idea is based of historical averages, it does not necessarily say anything about the future.
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Format: Hardcover
The advice is very standard - buy index funds and diversify. Not enough data to evaluate which portfollio to pursue - relative rates of return, relative volativity, relative tax liability. Needs more data on how to follow a portfollio if you already have one, and more data needed on how to best re-balance.

Instead get the data free at Paul's web site: "Three 'lazy' portfolios still big winners Keeping it simple doesn't mean returns have to lag" By Paul B. Farrell, CBS.MarketWatch.com

Last Update: 8:00 PM ET Jan 28, 2004

Or [...]

Or [...]

Sorry I spent money on the book, as I heard all of this on his web pages.
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