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Stocks for the Long Run : The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns and Long-Term Investment Strategies Hardcover – June 21, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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If anyone told you that investing in the stock market was the safest investment you could make, you might raise an eyebrow. However, if Jeremy Siegel tells you this, prepare to be convinced. Siegel's book, Stocks for the Long Run, is a comprehensive and highly readable history of the stock market that dramatically makes the case for long-term investing in stocks.

In summing up his approach to investing, Siegel writes, "Poor investment strategy, whether it is for lack of diversification, pursuing hot stocks, or attempting to time the market, often stems from the investor's belief that it is necessary to beat the market to do well in the market. Nothing is further from the truth. The principle of this book is that through time the after-inflation returns on a well-diversified portfolio of common stocks have not only exceeded that of fixed income assets but have actually done so with less risk. Which stocks you own is secondary to whether you own stocks, especially if you maintain a balanced portfolio."

Stocks for the Long Run considers subjects as diverse as the history of the various market indices and what makes for a business cycle to contrarian indicators and the utility of 200-day moving averages. If you've just come into investing in the last few years and feel the need for a solid and comprehensive text about the market, Stocks for the Long Run is probably the best primer available. It also works as an excellent reference for seasoned investors and anyone else interested in how the market works. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to the Digital edition.

From Booklist

Given the daily and sometimes extreme fluctuations in the stock market, it takes an investor with both nerve and patience to build and maintain a long-term portfolio. But Siegel, a Wharton School professor of finance who directs the Securities Industry Association Institute, argues that, historically, stocks are safer and more productive, over the long run, than most other forms of investment. He explains how to calculate stock returns and examines some of the more technical aspects of analyzing stocks. Siegel also discusses the relationships between the economy, politics, and the stock market, offers basic trading rules, and lays out guidelines for building a portfolio. Though he covers some of the more sophisticated aspects of investing, Siegel targets a general but informed investing public. David Rouse --This text refers to the Digital edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 3 edition (June 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007137048X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071370486
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The basic theme throughout is simply that stock returns (in all developed nations, though at differing slopes, pp. 88-90) regress to a mean, as bonds, and all other investment alternatives, do not. That’s one point. By taking the long historical view (from the dawn of the American republic), Siegel also demonstrates (Chapter 6, pp. 93-103) that in this country over periods of five years and longer, real stock returns (after inflation) stray from our mean return (6.5%) less and less, until at thirty years the observed deviations are half what standard statistics expect. So stocks are both much more volatile short-term—cf. Mandelbrot and Hudson, The (mis)Behavior of Markets—and much less volatile long-term, than Modern Portfolio Theory says they should be. That’s point #2. And, his third crucial point, value strategies (Chapter 12, pp. 173-193, on low-P/E, high-dividend stocks) consistently surpass the market indices by 2% or more in annual compounded returns. I know of no other book which has made any one of these three points so clearly and demonstrated them so forcefully with historical data and mathematical analysis. Ben Graham, to be sure, made the case for value investing decades ago, and does a better job of understanding and presenting the process than anyone else before or since, but of course he couldn’t come close to the range and depth of modern databases and computing power to undergird his argument. Siegel has written the one book since Graham’s Intelligent Investor that everyone should read and re-read before presuming to buy any security other than an index fund.

So, for instance, I needed to know that stocks have never failed to offer a positive real return over any period of seventeen years or more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an experienced investor who has read over a hundred investment books, Stocks for the Long run has always been in my top 5. Eager for updated data and analysis, I read the new 5th edition, but sadly, it added some uninsightful reviews of the credit crisis and took out some really good stuff, including data on returns following high sentiment, fed cuts, and economic cycles. One of my favorite items omitted was about the justified PE on the nifty fifty and what growth rates justify stock stock prices. Still a great book, but I think the 3rd edition is much better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Psychologically, almost every human being believes that he or she is potentially able to outperform every other human being. This optimism is a useful quality for spurring people on to strive for better results. When it comes to investing, it can lead to harmful results, however. Too much risk can lead to too little reward.
This book is the best summary of the historical data on investing. Some of the data go back to 1802.
Rather than summarize everything the book shows, let me focus in on a few key points that might slip past you. These are contrary to the conventional wisdom in some cases, and different from what you will hear on television. I suggest you pay careful heed.
(1) Diversification and historical data suggest that you should be sure to invest outside of the United States with part of your financial assets. Currently, for many people, this should be up to 25 percent of the total portfolio in international stocks. These stocks should be equally weighted between Europe, Asia, and emerging countries.
(2) Written in 1997 for this edition when the Dow was 7400, nothing in the book justifies a Dow of 11,000. If you look at the long-term chart of stock-price multiples, there has been a severe downdraft after the two other times when multiples expanded so much. This suggests caution.
(3) Small cap value stocks provided superior returns historically, and those returns were highly concentrated in January of each year. This suggests a potential trading strategy opportunity of owning those stocks in January and shifting into other stocks at the end of January, depending on the 200 day moving average trends.
(4) Almost no professional investors keep up with the market averages over 10 years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Five stars isn't enough. The new fifth edition of Jeremy Siegel's classic is even wiser, deeper, and conceptually richer than previous editions. It offers an expanded set of ideas to get one's mind around. It also seems somehow wiser to me--thoughtful, nuanced, highly informed, and very balanced--without mincing words or failing to make clear recommendations. It is the work of a mature mind coming to grips with a complex and still imperfectly understood subject that has enormous implications for the well-being of individuals and families. It makes pointed recommendations and also provides a full background understanding of the basis for the recommendations.

In reading the book, one has a sense of Professor Siegel's decency as a human being. The voice is gentle, modest but not lacking in authority or force. He is always intellectually curious and concerned for the welfare of his readers to whom he is making important recommendations. Completely absent is any sense of bombast or self-aggrandizement. The book is a pleasure to read on many levels--intellectual, practical, and for the engagement with an attractive personality, mind, and character.

I highly recommend it.
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