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Wise Investing Made Simple: Larry Swedroe's Tales to Enrich Your Future (Focused Investor) First Edition Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0976657422
ISBN-10: 0976657422
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"We remember a good story long after the facts are forgotten. Larry Swedroe tells stories that will change your beliefs-and make yourself a better investor." --Weston J. Wellington, Vice President, Dimensional Fund Advisors

"Larry Swedroe's book, Wise Investing Made Simple: Larry Swedroe's Tales to Enrich Your Future, is the best one he has yet written. In a series of stories tha tare clear and simple yet profound in their meaning, Mr. Swedroe explains how modern financial markets really work and how any investor who comes to understand this will be able to make more informed and better investment decisions. I highly recommend this book for all levels of investors-as well as their advistors." --W. Scott Simon, author of The Prudent Investor Act: A Guide to Understanding

"Like stories around the campfire, Swedroe weaves familiar concepts into lessons explaining the mystery of how and why free markets work. Swedroe will clear the smoke and mirrors that conceal the failure of active management." --Mark T. Hebner, author of Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors

About the Author

<div>Larry Swedroe is a principal in the firm, Buckingham Asset Management. He graduated from New York University with an MBA in finance, and is the author of The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need, What Wall Street Doesn't Want you to Know and four other books.</div>
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Product Details

  • Series: Focused Investor
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Charter Financial Pub Network; First Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976657422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976657422
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger Streit on September 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Larry Swedroe's Wise Investing Made Simple uses short chapters and pithy stories to help readers rethink their basic premises and deeply held beliefs on how to be successful investors. The author asserts that most investors, without realizing it, do not know how markets work. Many investors are misled by conventional wisdom, economic forecasts, Wall Street recommendations, and CNBC gurus.

They mistakenly believe that smart people, working diligently, can discover which stocks are undervalued and should be bought, and which stocks are overvalued and should be avoided. They also believe that smart people can get in and out of the stock market at the right time. These mistaken beliefs lead to the search for a strategy that will "beat the market," a search that is doomed to fail.

Swedroe sets out to change the reader's understanding of how markets really work and to provide the reader "with sufficient knowledge to begin to make more informed and more prudent investment decisions." Along the way he debunks many investment fables, including: "Great companies make great investments," "Buy what you know," "Stocks are not risky in the long run," and "Past performance is a predictor of future performance."
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Wise Investing uses inventive stories in a clear, understandable and concise manner to illustrate why economic forecasts are not useful, why trying to time the market or find undervalued stocks is a loser's strategy, and why finding the next investment superstar is nearly impossible. He illustrates why overconfidence can be dangerous and how investors confuse information with exploitable knowledge.

Swedroe uses analogies from such sports as baseball, basketball, golf, and football. He also uses game theory, horse racing, and insurance examples.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Larry Swedroe's books on investing. As a wealth manager my objective is help clients make smart decisions with their money. "Wise Investing Made Simple" has two great benefits. Larry explains otherwise complex investing principles in simple, understandable terms using stories and situations familiar to most people. This has helped me hone my own skills to simply explain the complex to my clients and prospects. Also, it's been a great book to give to clients and prospects to deepen their own understanding of correct investing principles. There's so much investment garbage in the world. This book is a great antidote. I just bought an entire case of these books.
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Larry Swedroe, a prolific author on investing, has written another great book. In Wise Investing Made Simple, he examines the very core of our beliefs that much of Wall Street and the media reinforce. Swedroe also explores the cost to the investor for assuming that these beliefs are true.

If you're looking for another book regurgitating data on the underperformance of complex active investing, you won't find it here. In place of mind-numbing, forgettable data, Swedroe imparts his message through real life stories. These stories give us something relatable and memorable to take away from the book, and inspire us to make changes - financial changes, in this case. Each story has a valuable "moral of the tale."

Stories are also more fun to read than a bunch of data tables, and Swedroe is entertaining as he delivers his valuable advice. The moral of his tale is to build wealth for yourself rather than Wall Street.
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I'll admit, I'm a very neophyte investor. I found Swedroe's description of how the market works to make a lot of sense and the first few chapters alone gave me high hopes for the rest of the book. Instead, those few chapters are the only part I found very helpful. The rest was a combination of rehashing the same points over and over, or introducing some pretty generic pieces of advice.

When Swedroe used 'concrete' examples to make his points, the statistician in me felt his spidey sense tingling. Almost all of his examples involved someone trying to outcompete the market using an investment method that Swedroe obviously doesn't like. Often, the first person is contrasted with someone who uses the passive investment method that Swedroe does like. The problem is, a lot of these examples use the setup that the first investment method did well the previous few years, but at exactly the moment these people chose their respective methods, the market changed, thus 'proving' that the passive method was really the better one to choose and therefore since it was better to choose in the 'story' presented, it must be better now.

The problem, as anyone who knows statistics can tell you, is one of 'cherry picking'. If Swedroe had instead set the two investment methods against each other and chosen a decent number of random starting points to make his case, and they had indeed shown that the passive method of i nvesting works better in a significant number of those cases, I would have given a lot more credence to his arguments. Instead, I had the impression he kept looking for starting dates that would make his case, which is a very misleading way to present a case.

Now, I'm not saying he's not right, nor am I saying that he intended to mislead, but the evidence he gives doesn't convince me.
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