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The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio: How to Build and Grow a Panic-Proof Investment Portfolio Hardcover – December 30, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Their panache is a cover for a belief in the old-fashioned virtues of patience, simplicity, and prudence.” (U.S. News & World Report)

“The best place online for talking with investors... amusing as well as educational.” (Barron's)

“They’ve built up a large and much-deserved following.” (Washington Post)

“Motley Fool makes investing fun again.” (BetterInvesting Magazine)

From the Back Cover

In this long-anticipated, groundbreaking guide to building a portfolio, acclaimed stock pickers and Internet pioneers David and Tom Gardner lay bare the simple philosophy that they have used to help millions of grateful individual investors outfox the professionals on Wall Street.

The research, the stories, and the results that underpin this book stem from the revolutionary and wildly successful "Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio""—a one-of-a-kind Web experiment in which individual investors follow along as Motley Fool co-founder Tom Gardner invests and manages $1 million of The Motley Fool's own money.

In page after page of sound, sensible investment advice, readers are offered a rare glimpse into the inner workings of The Motley Fool machine—and offered a first-class education in building, growing, and defending an individual portfolio, one investment strategy at a time. From learning to think like an investor to finding a first stock, from dividend investing to blue-chip bargains to small-cap treasures, from international investing to community-based online tools that are revolutionizing stock selection and asset allocation, this book takes the reader through the essential strategies for building any portfolio—no matter how small its start or how big its ambitions.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006156754X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061567544
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you apply this approach consistently and follow it for the next several decades, you will do well. If you follow your own ideas, I doubt if your results after tax will come close to what you could have earned by applying these methods.

One of the guilty little secrets about Wall Street is that the average investor does poorly, selling when stocks are down and buying when they are up, trading too often, piling up extra expenses for taxes and brokerage commissions. Why? People want to get rich quick. It's possible, but you are more likely to get rich slowly. This book teaches you how to do the latter by taking advantage of compounded returns.

David and Tom Gardner have provided a solid resource for those who are new to investing and want to take advantage of long-term trends and the odds to build a portfolio that will outperform inflation and the market averages. At a time like this when stocks have cratered and many bonds have buckled, many people will be reluctant to invest in anything other than treasury securities. Yet the best opportunities to invest usually come when things look quite bleak.

The book assumes that you've never bought a stock before. If that's you, I'm sure you will be able to pick a better stock than my first broker picked out for me (which promptly fell 95 percent in value).

From there, you'll learn about the benefits of buying stocks that grow and pay generous dividends (more than half of long-term gains from stocks come in dividend payments).

Next, the Gardners explain about buying high-quality, large companies inexpensively (at a discount, the Warren Buffett approach).

After that, you'll learn about why small-cap stocks should always outperform larger cap ones and how to pick the right ones.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My personal and professional focus is mainly on trading, but I do periodically act as an investor as well. That being the case, I thought I'd give this book a read to see what the popular Fools had to say on the subject. I didn't come away particularly impressed.

First of all, the whole book is an advertisement. The reader is constantly being sold on Motley Fool services of one kind or another. Of course you know going in that the book is going to promote Motley Fool, but it doesn't need to be so continuous and overt. Makes me glad I didn't actually pay for the book.

Secondly, there is a painfully obvious error (or rather set of errors) made at the outset of Chapter 3 when the authors are trying to preach the advantage of buy-and-hold investing over active trading. I take no issue with the general argument made about how taxes and transactions costs make active trading more of a challenge than buy-and-hold investing. Their example to demonstrate how this is true, however, is so painfully incorrect in its math and interpretations as to be farcical. Such obvious mistakes makes me wonder about the attention to detail of the Fools, which is a problem when you consider company analysis and stock picking is their proported focus.

Thirdly, while there are some good elements to what the book says, most of it is stuff that's been said before many times in other places - better places. If you're really interested in the subject of stock investing, the first place I would go is One Up On Wall Street, by Peter Lynch. I read that book back when it first came out - a looonnnggg time ago - and found it extremely useful. There's a reason it's one of the best selling stock investing books of all time. Of course there are also loads of Buffett books, but I'm not going to recommend any of those because frankly there aren't many who can invest the way Buffett does.

Bottom line, look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an absolute waste of time and money.

I've been reading the Motley Fool for a long time. I have a lot of their early books, and I spend a lot of time on their website. Their early stuff was great: Informative and educational, with the aim of turning the ordinary person into an intelligent investor. This book neglects all that. It's a novel-length advertisement for their various newsletters, without a hint of applicable information beyond vague generalities. It is a huge disappointment. I think the Fool has gotten too big for its britches, and succumbed to what Peter Lynch calls "diworseification".

Save your money and pass on this one.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My BS meter first started going off when they talk about how their various investing strategies beat the S&P-500 "over comparable period." Over what period? Years, months? They don't say. Without any track record we can't expect to take them seriously and I'm sure if they were beating the S&P over a long period of time they would provide specifics.

They proceed to explain various investing strategies such as investing in blue-chip companies, small-caps, income (dividend), growth, and foreign stocks. While they do provide some interesting studies that tout the benefits of their various investing methods, the information they give you to make informed decisions is virtually nonexistent.

For example, these are the qualifications needed to invest in a growth stock - they call it the Risk Takers and Rule Breakers strategy:

1. Top dog and first mover in an important, emerging industry
2. Sustainable advantage gained through business momentum, patent protection, visionary leadership, or inept competitors
3. Strong past price appreciation
4. Good management and smart backing
5. Strong consumer appeal
6. Grossly overvalued, according to at least one constituent in the financial media

Yes, they expand on these areas a little (3 pages) and give a couple of past picks but that's it. Do you really think that is enough information to separate the wheat from the chaff and pick a market beating company? And, seriously, are you going to wait and *not* invest in a company until some financial head-bobber criticizes your pick? This book is little more than a cleverly disguised advertisement to get you to subscribe to their newsletters. Even on their site they provide no information on or how their million dollar portfolio is doing - none!

The book cover says it will teach you "how to build and grow a panic-proof investment portfolio." On that point it fails, miserably.
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