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A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Tenth Edition) Paperback – January 2, 2012
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“Not more than half a dozen really good books about investing have been written in the past fifty years. This one may well belong in the classics category.” — Forbes
“Talk to 10 money experts and you’re likely to hear 10 recommendations for Burton Malkiel’s classic investing book, now in its 10th edition.” — The Wall Street Journal
“ has set thousands of investors on a straight path since it was first published in 1973. Even if you read the book then or more recently, a refresher course is probably in order…. A lucid mix of the theoretical and the pragmatic.” — Chicago Tribune
“If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your personal finances, here’s a suggestion: Instead of picking up one of the scores of new works flooding into bookstores, reread an old one: .” — New York Times
“Almost every list of must-read investment books… includes Malkiel’s .” — Booklist
“An engagingly written and wonderfully argued tome.” — Money Magazine
“Imagine getting a week-long lesson on investing from someone with the common sense of Benjamin Franklin, the academic and institutional knowledge of Milton Friedman and the practical experience of Warren Buffett. That’s about what awaits you in the latest edition of this must-read by Burton Malkiel.” — Barron's
“A must-read for any investor.” — The Browser
About the Author
Burton G. Malkiel is the Chemical Bank Chairman's Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University. He is a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers, dean of the Yale School of Management, and has served on the boards of several major corporations, including Vanguard and Prudential Financial. He is the chief investment officer of Wealthfront.
Top customer reviews
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I have long ago realized that though I am interested in the workings of the market, I am not going to delve to the minutiae of companies and different trades and try to be smarter than someone else on the other side who thinks he’s doing the same thing. Nope. Malkiel and Bogle figured out a way I could get away with making the most return possible with the least effort possible - indexing.
Basically this book is a defense of the efficient market hypotheses, or at least part of it. As I understand it, there are two parts to the EMF. One is that the price is always right. So that there’s no such thing as a bubble ever because all the valuations of the market price of securities are representative of their underlying value. The other part is that there’s no free lunch. Or basically arbitrage opportunities may exist, but they are not predictable nor do they persist. I think that the second part is more true than the first, and that’s what this book really digs into, showing you that there are no persistent ways to beat the market. If that’s true, then the best way to consistently make money is to just buy the market. Thankfully there are financial instruments that make that possible - and they’re where I have my money. Cards on the table, this book is just a giant exercise in confirmation bias for me, but it is confirmation bias well done in clear writing with a well-organized structure. I read this burning through the pages on a long holiday weekend, and I wanted to send it to my parents. I thought again about that. It might be too late for them since I don’t know their financial positions. Maybe I’ll send it to my siblings.
A final note, though. Even though Malkiel shows convincingly that there is no way to beat the the market, there is an odd paradox. For the market to work, it needs people out there who think that they can beat the market. Even if the best strategy is to buy and hold a low cost index fund, if everyone did that liquidity and price discovery would drop. What someone following Malkiel needs is people who think he is wrong and that they can generate “alpha” (returns above the market). This goes against the second part of the EMF, where arbitrage opportunities can’t exist because if you have a way to beat the market, then everyone has a way to beat the market and then once everyone is in, no one has a way to beat the market.
Malkiel has been criticized (in many of the low star comments right here on Amazon) for claiming that markets are efficient when history and conventional wisdom tells us that that is not always true. An important note here is that he only states the they are reasonably efficient over the long run, but admits to the existence of some anomalies that crop up in the short term. This is part of Malkiel's style: he presents information and then also presents the arguments against his views. While he does conclude that his views are the most accurate, he does so in such a logical and easy to understand manner that you would be hard pressed to find a solid argument against him.
All in all I must say that this is one of the best books on investing I have ever read and it a must read for anybody interested in finance or plans on living beyond the age of 30 and wants to retire at some point.
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I'm by no means a finance/economics/investing expert, however, I was once a Series 7 licensed broker.Read more