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Where Are the Customers' Yachts?: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street Paperback – Illustrated, January 10, 2006
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“..the book is a fun read and as relevant today as it ever was” (Investor's Chronicle, August 2015)
From the Inside Flap
--From the Foreword by Michael Lewis, Bestselling author of Liar's Poker
. . . one of the funniest books ever written about Wall Street.
--Jane Bryant Quinn, The Washington Post
How great to have a reissue of a hilarious classic that proves the more things change the more they stay the same. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
It's amazing how well Schwed's book is holding up after fifty-five years. About the only thing that's changed on Wall Street is that computers have replaced pencils and graph paper. Otherwise, the basics are the same. The investor's need to believe somebody is matched by the financial advisor's need to make a nice living. If one of them has to be disappointed, it's bound to be the former.
--John Rothchild, Author, A Fool and His Money, Financial Columnist, Time magazine
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (January 10, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0471770892
- ISBN-13 : 978-0471770893
- Item Weight : 7.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The impressive part is that this book has stayed true for so many decades. Some things never change.
I am not a certified financial advisor, but my personal advice for the average investor wanting to get a return on their savings is to look into Bogle's thinking and put money in low cost index funds such as Vanguard. That is what I am doing.
The fact is, says Schwed, no one can predict the future with accuracy, but that is exactly what Wall Street analysts, investment counselors and ambitious stock brokers are claiming to do. It can't be done. The Wall Street game is nothing less than a crap shoot, with lots of losers and few winners, and the winners often end up losers. Who makes the big money on Wall Street? Investment bankers and brokers--from their exorbitant fees. They are the fat cats with the yachts parked out on Long Island, not the clients.
Schwed aims his harshest criticism at investment counselors. "(They) allocate the funds between themselves and their clients in the ancient classic manner, i.e., at the close of the day's business they take all the money and throw it up in the air. Everything that sticks to the ceiling belongs to the clients."
The authors makes a fine distinction between Wall Street speculators and investors. Speculators are the quick-buck artists hoping to make a killing; they don't. Investors are patient and looking for some place to put their money for the long term; they are the ones who actually make money. Put another way: "Speculation is an effort, probably unsuccessful, to turn a little money into a lot. Investment is an effort, which should be successful, to prevent a lot of money from becoming a little."
Schwed's book is funny, wise, a splash of cold reality. While filled with irony, it's not cynical. The author, who reportedly lost a bundle on Wall Street, remains a believer. "I have a sneaking fondness for that wretched old hag, the capitalistic system . . . we had better preserve our financial machinery even with much of the nonsense still adhering to it . . . The only successful method so far devised for getting millions out of the public, for enterprise both good and bad, is some system similar to the devious mechanism of Wall Street."
Bottom line: no one on Wall Street has the answers. It's a guessing game. Be smart: invest for the long term, and maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.
Top reviews from other countries
The author was a broker for many years and over that time tried to find someone who could consistently make money through investing.
He was disappointed in what he saw around him and conveys this in numerous funny anecdotes through out the book.
Take it as a refreshing warning on the pitfalls on investing - and then read books on Mr. Buffet , Mr. Graham and on Mr. Munger. They are complimentary treaties.