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Showing 1-10 of 50 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 67 reviews
on October 27, 2016
Good book on investments
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on January 29, 2013
This was an excellent little e-book. However, there is one example that is not very realistic.

In the chapter "A Few Real World Endgames" the author describes a hypothetical retired Sonoma Valley school superintendent, Frank Fenwick. He is described as having some difficult choices to make in securing a safe retirement given his fairly meager rollover IRA.

Dr. Bernstein must be unaware of California's insanely generous pension plan for public retirees when he chose this example. SInce his imaginary retiree hailed from Sonoma County I decided to take a look at what actually takes place there in regards to retired superintendents. What I found was this: A recent Sonoma Valley Unified Superintendent is now "earning" a guaranteed pension of $164,000 per year (and it probably is inflation indexed). Go to: [...] to see for yourself. And this pensioner was hired by another district.......after her retirement! And no doubt she has a deferred comp plan and lifetime medical as well.

So the hypothetical Mr. Fenwick may struggle with retirement. But, the real Mr. Fenwick will live like a king......on the taxpayers dime.
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on September 12, 2014
These are excellent publications, the Ages of the Investor particularly so. In "The Ages.." Bernstein particularly addresses the issue that Buffett has mentioned about if your life task is to collect apples (AKA equities) you would presumably want them to be cheap/inexpensive in the collection early phase and to be expensive/valuable in the disbursement/retirement phase. Hence people with short term careers even with high incomes who have to buy their apples when they are expensive (ie when the stock markets are high) may be highly disadvantaged compared with less well paid people who have the option to buy over a longer period when the market may include some lower priced troughs.
Bernstein writes very well and I find many of his arguments compelling (including bailing out of higher priced volatile investments to secure a basic retirement income portfolio with as secure inflation protected investments as you can find).
You are getting the opportunity to hear a thoughtful, clear analysis of portfolio asset composition ("Skating") and of retirement finances by someone with pertinent, different and compelling views. This is very different from the financial analysis offered by day time TV news (which I have to watch when having my hair cut (not metaphorically) by my local barber !). Bernstein is not offering you a haircut but in my opinion you would be very much better off spending your time reading this material! PS I was delighted that the compelling analogy of a coin tossing uncle Fred from four pillars has been remembered.
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on December 28, 2014
I've read most of Bill Bernstein's previous books so I have the basic knowledge to tackle what he describes in this first of a four book series [Investing for Adults]. This is not a beginner investment book, but you need not be well schooled in investment theory and principals for the book to be of benefit. As with Bill's previous books, I found this first book in the series well written and it adequately discusses the various ages of an investor and what the investor should consider at various stages of an investment continuum. A reasonably priced, fairly short book with good content for the intend topic coverage -- what more could you ask for?
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on August 13, 2013
This short book looks at investing over a person's lifetime & gives support to the ideas of changing investment style with age. He reviews the contrast between the ideas of human & investment capital, & their important trade offs with a person's age. In addition, he gives some examples on the effects of market volatility on the investment returns. This book simplifies and shifts a little from his three,earlier works on investing (The Intelligent Asset Allocator, The Four Pillars of Investing, & The Investor's Manifesto - all good books, but each more detailed than the present book)
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on May 30, 2014
It's short, easy to read, and reasonably accurate. The basic idea it presents is that when you're young you should find volatile stocks because they offer more chances to buy low and that you should avoid risk when you retire because time is not your friend. Both are good. The investment advice when savings is helpful as is the retirement advice of matching income with expenses. I believe matching income to expenses has proven far more successful at funding pensions than other seemingly more sophisticated financial approaches.

The treatment of Social Security is far better than average, emphasizing that SS gives you an income stream with low investment and inflation risk.

I find some of the criticism to be nit-picking. It's a book for a general readership. He says it's not for novices, which is true, but it's also not intended for professional economists either.
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on February 9, 2014
I found it beneficial to read the trilogy - Deep Risk, Skating where the Puck Was, and The Ages of the Investor. These are very quick, but valuable reads with a deeper and more pragmatic view into a most important topic. Very little, or no, time spent rehashing old, refashioned, or elementary investment advice. These go straight past the basics, to the timeless analysis of wealth management. Worth much more that the price of the books and the time spent reading them. They produced, for me, a new way of thinking about risk management.
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on August 28, 2013
Superb book; I read it in just a few hours one day. I read it because it was among the Recommended Reading of Daniel Solin, a financial blogger and professional that I follow. This book by Bernstein is the first in a series of 3. I'm now on the second one. Regardless of how experienced you are in personal finance, this little book will probably give you some material that will change your strategy. It's a bit challenging to read unless you are already familiar with financial concepts. If that's the case, Google "William Bernstein" where you'll find his Reading List that will help you get up to speed.
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on June 8, 2013
Dr. Bernstein is a real doctor (M.D.) So he had to sweat to make his money. I have read most of his books, and they are always well researched and well thought out. This book is great for the investor in terms of what he or she should be focussed on: not what stocks or bonds to buy, but what, at the investor's stage in their life cycle (early work years, nearing retirement, or in-between) should be of concern to them in terms of risk-taking. Short and clear advice. Great stuff.
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on May 30, 2014
I bought intelligent asset allocation and enjoyed it very much. I bought this book to get a dose of education on life cycle of saving and investment but I was disappointed that the book overly simplifies the subjects. It is also not efficient investment to convert all assets to super safe asset once a person hits retirement.
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