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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

4.3 out of 5 stars 62 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 25, 2000
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
Siegel's book is a good read, and he makes the case for equities a compelling one. However, if you're already aware that bonds, savings accounts, and gold are terrible long-term investments due to erosion from taxes and inflation (let alone lousy performance), then this book's strongest point is moot. Siegel's extensive research (some of which has been previously published) overwhelmingly supports the long-term investor; not the long-term investor as defined by today's market paradigm, i.e., long = 12-18 months, but rather looooong, like 20-30 years long...Two-day corrections or eighteen month bear markets can't hold a candle to Siegel's evidence proving that being 100% invested for long periods of time makes for sound financial acumen. Unfortunately, after all that great evidence, Siegel leaves individual investors at the altar, as he concludes that the only way for us to enjoy any investment success is to plunk most of our money in diversified mutual funds with low expense ratios (preferably index funds). This comes off like some kind of a thinly-veiled Vanguard endorsement and is extremely anti-climactic, considering all the great info in the previous chapters. I guess it's good to have on your bookshelf the next time the market drops 512 points and you become tempted to liquidate, because Seigel definitively proves you're better off sticking with stocks through thick and thin.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel is one of the most credible, most astute stock market analysts in the world. He is not a mindless stock cheerleader; in fact, his March 14, 2000 Wall Street Journal article entitled "Why Big Cap Tech Stocks Are a Sucker's Bet" persuasively pointed out how the high tech stock emperor had no clothes, and helped burst the insanely overvalued tech bubble. This was at a time when the vast majority of Wall Street analysts were inventing new valuation methods to justify insane stock prices, while other more pessimistic analysts had declared an "irrational exuberance" years before the market actually topped.
"Stocks for the Long Run" is Siegel's seminal work (now in its third edition), an excellent introduction to investing for the average investor looking to save for retirement. If the SEC were to choose one book to force people to read before they were allowed to invest their money in the stock market, this book would be it. In fact, the people who lost their retirement money because it was all invested in one stock such as Enron or Worldcom (or a bunch of dot-coms), or who lost a fortune day trading when the market tanked, would have been so much better off if they had just read this book and applied its lessons. They would be better off, the market would be much less volatile, the allocation of capital would be more efficient, the economy would be stronger, and the world would be a better place, if only more people would read this book.
"Stocks for the Long Run" gives you all the knowledge you need to implement a solid investment strategy.
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This is just an addendum to a review I already wrote; some other reviewers point out that this is not a guide on how to pick stocks, and that is true. I would like to emphasize that the studies of past market behavior described in this book don't seem to point to any reliable method of picking individual stocks, or even evaluating fund managers in any statistically significant manner. This was not a problem for me; the main thrust of the book is that the stock market is the best (only) way to ensure that 'wealth' a) is not gobbled up by inflation and b) has a good chance of appreciating past inflation. With those simple goals in mind, investing in a whole-market index fund with a couple of more focused other index funds doesn't seem like such a bad idea. To really take advantage of the historical perspective offered in this book, it seems very important to keep dollar-cost averaging into these funds even (especially!) during market down times. If your time horizon is long enough, those relatively low-cost purchases will come back in a big way. If you just buy once, you can be sure that after 40 years that purchase will not have lost ground to inflation, but there is no guarantee on the state of the market at the time you need to cash out; to really take advantage of the performance of the market, you must keep buying into it through thick (more or less) but especially thin. In that regard, the secret to financial success is not so much picking x amount of 10-baggers as it is to keep putting money away through all financial conditions that you can manage.
Spend less, save more, and put your savings where they have the best chance to grow.
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