Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need: The Way Smart Money Invests Today

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Investment professional Larry E. Swedroe describes the crucial difference between "active" and "passive" mutual funds, and tells you how you can win the investment game through long-term investments in such indexes as the S&P 500 instead of through the active buying and selling of stocks.

A revised and updated edition of an investment classic, The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need remains clear, understandable, and effective. This edition contains a new chapter comparing index funds, ETFs, and passive asset class funds, an expanded section on portfolio care and maintenance, the addition of Swedroe's 15 Rules of Prudent Investing, and much more.

In clear language, Swedroe shows how the newer index mutual funds out-earn, out-perform, and out-compound the older funds, and how to select a balance "passive" portfolio for the long hail that will repay you many times over. This indispensable book also provides you with valuable information about:

- The efficiency of markets today
- The five factors that determine expected returns of a balanced equity and fixed income portfolio
- Important facts about volatility, return, and risk
- Six steps to building a diversified portfolio using Modern Portfolio Theory
- Implementing the winning strategy
- and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Larry Swedroe answers a lot of questions investors ask. If you don't understand why your stocks behave the way they do, this is your book."
--Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek columnist, author of Making the Most of your Money

"Larry Swedroe is right on the mark...Those who follow his objective and expert advice will be rewarded accordingly."
- John C. Bogle, founder and former chairman of The Vanguard Group

"The investment book of the year!"
- Robert Sobel, Professor of Business History, Hofstra University

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Way Smart Money Invests Today
Money management expert Larry Swedroe argues that investors who try to time their investment decisions so they are buying when the market is undervalued and selling when the market is overvalued are playing a loser's game. In the 2005 edition of The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need, he explains that he is a firm believer in the principles of modern portfolio theory (MPT) and the efficient market hypothesis (EMH). Swedroe writes that he has worked for years to help investors understand how to apply the principles of MPT and EMH to their own unique circumstances and personalities so they have the greatest chance of reaching their financial and life objectives.

Fundamental Questions
When he sought out a book that would help him explain the principles of MPT to investors, he found none that addressed these three fundamental questions:

  • How do investors generally believe markets work?
  • How do markets really work?
  • How can you apply the knowledge of how markets really work to develop a winning game plan tailored to your unique situation?

Since no book was available that answered these questions, he published the first edition of The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need in 1998. In it, Swedroe laid out the case against active management and for passive management, explaining why diversification is the winning strategy.

Over the past eight years, he has learned even more as a financial adviser about passive investment vehicles that provide lower cost and more tax-efficient ways to invest, as well as the major changes in the tax law. While he has included all of these issues and new ideas in the 2005 edition of his book, he explains that one message has not changed: Passive investing - and not the active investing that involves individual stock picking and market timing - is the surest way to enable an investor to achieve his or her financial goals.

Informed Investors
Informed investors are better investors, Swedroe explains, so he has broken down his principles using familiar analogies to make the difficult concepts they contain more clear and easy to understand.

The first part of The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need describes the problems involved with active investment strategies and why those strategies are called "the loser's game." The second part presents the foundation of MPT and how markets really work. By providing readers with a theoretical understanding of the interaction between risk and return, Swedroe offers them the skills they need to make the markets work for them. These skills include those recommended by "the brightest academic minds in the field of economics." Swedroe points out that the passive investment strategy is based on research that was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1990.

Tolerance for Risk
Once Swedroe has logically explained why passive investment strategies are superior to active investing strategies, he describes several model portfolios ranging from the conservative to those that present more risk and expected return. Next, he provides an investment approach that helps investors choose a portfolio that best meets their objectives and tolerance for risk. He adds that "there are no right portfolios, just one portfolio that is right for each individual - based on his/her own unique ability, willingness and need to take risk." The models he offers are starting points at which investors can begin to consider and decide how much to allocate to each asset class.

Swedroe concludes his book by explaining how portfolios should be maintained and a winning strategy can be implemented. He writes that rebalancing a portfolio and restoring it to its original asset allocations and risk profile are integral to the winning investment strategy. He also discusses the merits of using a financial adviser and a checklist to help investors do it.

Why We Like This Book
Larry Swedroe offers investors a rational approach to investing that is diligently described in clear examples and conversational language. His grasp of the modern portfolio theory and his focus on debunking popular investment myths make his book an important guide to steady portfolio growth and realistic investment opportunities. Copyright © 2005 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312339876
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry E. Swedroe graduated from New York University with an MBA in finance. He is the author of What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know, Rational Investing in Irrational Times, and The Successful Investor Today. Swedroe lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is a principal in the firm of Buckingham Asset Management.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Why individual investors play the loser's game 3
Ch. 2 Active portfolio management is a loser's game 11
Ch. 3 Efficient markets I - information and costs 57
Ch. 4 Efficient markets II - risk 106
Ch. 5 The five-factor model 126
Ch. 6 Volatility, return, and risk 137
Ch. 7 Six steps to a diversified portfolio - using modern portfolio theory 149
Ch. 8 How to build a model portfolio 162
Ch. 9 Index funds, passive asset class funds, and ETFs 184
Ch. 10 The care and maintenance of the portfolio 193
Ch. 11 Implementing the winning strategy 208
Ch. 12 Summary 227
App. A How to analyze the hold or sell decision - trapped by a low tax basis? 241
App. B Monte Carlo simulations 245
App. C Even with a clear crystal ball 251
App. D The IPO myth 255
App. E News flash : top performance is a poor indicator of future performance 257
App. F What if everyone indexed? 259
App. G Investment implications of the tax act of 2003 263
App. H Commodities : a diversification and hedging tool 267
App. I Recommended investment vehicles and sample portfolios 279
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005

    Larry does it again

    I have three of Swedroe's books. The latest is a gem I give it 5 stars. As a lifelong investor of more than 50 years experience and the son of a stock market speculator you would think I would know all there is to know about investing. Not so. I find many helpful ideas every time I pick up and read one of Larry's books. Unlike other books on investmenting this book develops a strategy to follow. It is a strategy endorsed by leading experts in the market and the academic community. It is a strategy I follow with my personal portfolio.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    Learning to control your investment choices

    Winning Investment Strategy is a very good book. I learned how the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory are applied through the Five Factor Model into actual passive index portfolios. I better appreciated how an Investment Policy Statement, rebalancing and Monte Carlo Analyses allow an investor to take ownership of their assets¿ growth and to control one¿s urge to make impulsive investment changes that may hurt returns. I am glad the book included a chapter on commodities. Several charts were helpful to me and I copied them for quick reference. These included one that dealt with an asset allocation model that offered the best return with the least risk, as well as charts that assist in determining one¿s need, willingness, and ability to take risk. No special math or financial skills are required to understand the book just a willingness to read carefully. The glossary too is very helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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