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Wealth Without Worry: The Methods of Wall Street Exposed Hardcover – May 1, 2005
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"As their book title suggests, James N. Whiddon and Lance Alston are doing just fine, thanks. So are their clients." -- Scott Burns, The Dallas Morning News, July 31, 2005
"[A] persuasive case for low-cost, broadly diversified 'passive investing' that tracks market returns rather than picking actively managed mutual funds." -- Humberto Cruz, The Los Angeles Times
Gives investors the tools to make intelligent investment decisions without participating in a system that stacks the deck against them. -- Dan Solin, author of Does Your Broker Owe You Money?
In managed investing, Wall Street owns the casino....With their market return approach, you own the market. -- Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News
Provides investors with a viable, proven alternative that increases the probability of achieving their financial goals. -- Jack Waymire, author of Whos Watching Your Money?
There are big odds against you at Wall Streets casino! Play by these rules to build wealth the worry-free way. -- Paul B. Farrell, JD, PhD, columnist, MarketWatch.com
Wealth Without Worry is a must-read for any intelligent investor. -- Gary Belsky, coauthor of Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the New Science of Behavioral Economics
[A] persuasive case for low-cost, broadly diversified 'passive investing' that tracks market returns rather than picking actively managed mutual funds. -- Humberto Cruz, The Los Angeles Times
[G]ives investors the tools to make intelligent investment decisions without participating in a system that stacks the deck against them. -- Dan Solin, author of Does Your Broker Owe You Money?
[H]elps investors avoid mistakes such as market timing. Whiddon describes a better way to achieve financial security. -- Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street
From the Publisher
Most investment strategies focus on improving returns through market timing and stock pickingtechniques known as active management. If these practices are so effective, why do returns for the overwhelming majority of investors lag well behind the market indices year after year?
In Wealth Without Worry, authors James Whiddon and Lance Alston expose Wall Streets flawed system and offer a proven alternative to chasing returns. While Wall Street firms claim they can help investors pick winning securities and time the markets ups and downs, Whiddon and Alston clearly demonstrate how market returns can be harnessed simply and consistently through a properly diversified portfolio. Wealth Without Worry is based on Nobel Prize-winning research in economicswhat has become known as Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). The investing principles outlined in this book have been tested and refined for decades in both academia and the real world. Wealth Without Worry shows readers how to apply these principles using a super-diversified Market Return Portfolio (MRP). By not succumbing to Wall Street shell games, all investors can have long-term success. Wealth Without Worry gives readers a map to the last investment strategy theyll ever need.
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Here are some of the questions to which Whiddon responds:
1. What are Wall Street's most popular methods of portfolio management?
2. Specifically what is active management?
3. Why and to what extent is active management misaligned with the best interests of individual investors?
4. When chasing returns, why do so many investors "arrive at the party late"?
5. What to consider before selecting the most appropriate investment help?
6. Which services should the advisor be required to provide?
7. How can the "Seven Essential Questions to Ask When Interviewing an Advisor" (pages 61-67) assist making an appropriate selection?
8. Why are "market returns there for the taking...by not succumbing to the Wall Street shell games"?
9. How to assemble and then manage a "proper portfolio" of investments?
10. Given the responses to the previous nine questions, which three action items should be pursued immediately? Why?
In an article article published in the Dallas Morning News (July 31, 2005), Scott Burns notes that in their book, Whiddon and Alston "point out that a simple diversified index portfolio consisting of four basic index funds (20 percent S&P 500, 20 [percent Russell 2000, 20 percent MSCI EAFE and 40 percent Lehman intermediate government bond) would have returned 12.7 percent a year during the 25 years from 1979 through 2004." Burns goes on to explain why that's "a pretty good return." The 80:20 Market Return Portfolio which Whiddon and Alston recommend includes only 20% committed to fixed income. It "crushed" the returns earned by active managers, returning a "whopping" 14.29 percent...and did so with less market risk. The obvious conclusion is that an index portfolio will almost always outperform a managed portfolio because, as Alston explained to Burns, "With one quarter of the portfolio in one asset class, you might have a chance to outperform with one good fund. But with 15 asset classes, it simply can't happen."
Whiddon and Alston insist that the Market Portfolio Fund enables an investor to "own the market...own the entire casino....[and] own capitalism, which has been successful since it was created." Another bold claim. Obviously, those who read this book must decide for themselves whether or not this is an appropriate investment strategy. My own opinion is that, at the least, it is one worthy of careful consideration.
If you are interested in safe investing for growth or retirement income that will consistantly beat the Dow, without all the worry, then this is the book for you.