The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

Overview

A timeless approach to investing wisely over an investment lifetime

With the current market maelstrom as a background, this timely guide describes just how to plan a lifetime of investing, in good times and bad, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Investor's Manifesto will help you understand the nuts and bolts of executing a lifetime investment...

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The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

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Overview

A timeless approach to investing wisely over an investment lifetime

With the current market maelstrom as a background, this timely guide describes just how to plan a lifetime of investing, in good times and bad, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Investor's Manifesto will help you understand the nuts and bolts of executing a lifetime investment plan, including: how to survive dealing with the investment industry, the practical meaning of market efficiency, how much to save, how to maintain discipline in the face of panics and manias, and what vehicles to use to achieve financial security and freedom.

  • Written by bestselling author William J. Bernstein, well known for his insights on how individual investors can manage their personal wealth and retirement funds wisely
  • Examines how the financial landscape has radically altered in the past two years, and what investors should do about it
  • Contains practical insights that the everyday investor can understand
  • Focuses on the concept of Pascal's Wager-identifying and avoiding worst-case scenarios, and planning investment decisions on that basis

With The Investor's Manifesto as your guide, you'll quickly discover the timeless investment approaches that can put you in a better position to prosper over time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"So how do we take care of ourselves? Easy. I believe The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon and Everything in Between is the shortest and most lucid explanation of index investing and simple asset allocation yet written. . . . This is a must-read book."
Scott Burns, Syndicated Columnist and Principal of Assetbuilder.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470505144
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/2/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 201
  • Sales rank: 549,884
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Bernstein, PhD, MD, is a bestselling author known as a grassroots hero to independent investors. Formerly a practicing neurologist, Bernstein approaches the problems of saving and investing as someone who had to figure it out for himself—from first principles up. He is the author of The Intelligent Asset Allocator and The Four Pillars of Investing—highly regarded, plain-spoken guides on how to build a diversified portfolio without the help of a financial advisor—the editor of the asset allocation journal Efficient Frontier, and the founder of the popular website efficientfrontier.com. He has also written two volumes of economic history, The Birth of Plenty and A Splendid Exchange, and is a coprincipal in Efficient Frontier Advisors.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 A Brief History of Financial Time 1

In the Beginning 2

Near-Death in Venice 8

The Incredible Shrinking Risk Premium 11

Summary 12

Chapter 2 The Nature of the Beast 13

Of Ravens and Returns 13

History versus Math 18

Mr. Gordon’s Curious Equation 25

Math Detail: The Discounted Dividend Model 29

Home Sweet Home? 35

Adventures in Equity 38

Math Detail: Risk 43

Throwing Dice with God 47

Gene Fama Looks for Angles and Finds None 49

Sandbagged by a Superstar 52

Jack Bogle Outfoxes the Suits 56

It Is Better to Be Lucky Than Smart 63

Bond Funds: A Flatter Playing Field 64

Summary 65

Chapter 3 The Nature of the Portfolio 69

Four Essential Preliminaries 71

The Asset Allocation Two-Step 74

Math Detail: Mean-Variance Analysis 83

With Luck, Zigs, and Zags 84

Chasing Rainbows 88

Summary 93

Chapter 4 The Enemy in the Mirror 95

Inner Demons 97

Behaving Badly 100

Bargain-Basement Psychotherapy 116

Summary 125

Chapter 5 Muggers and Worse 127

The World's Largest Bad Neighborhood 128

The Fund Funhouse 135

Summary 142

Chapter 6 Building Your Portfolio 143

Financial Planning for a Lifetime: The Basics 143

Saving for Retirement: Nuts and Bolts 145

How to Save: Dollar Cost Averaging and Value Averaging 152

Four Investors, Four Plans 154

The Rebalancing Question 166

Math Detail: Rebalancing, Momentum, and Mean Reversion 169

Teach Your Children Well 172

Summary 174

Chapter 7 The Name of the Game 179

Investment Theory and History: The Short Course 180

The Portfolio Theory of Everything 181

We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us 181

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose 182

Fire When Ready 182

The Books You Need . . . Aged Like Fine Wine 185

Notes 188

Acknowledgments 193

About the Author 195

Index 196

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Thinking Amateur's Guide to Investing Like a Pro

    The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between by neurologist turned financial consumer advocate and commentator, Dr. William Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein's handy manual lets amateur investors in on many of the tricks of the trade that the smart investment strategists, mutual and hedge fund managers use to get one up on the assorted little guys of the investment world. In addition to exposing the wiles of Wall Street, Dr. Bernstein stresses the importance of building a healthy portfolio through diversification and balance, managing risk and controlling you're your emotional response to the exuberant highs and crushing lows the market dishes out. Dr. Bernstein gives advice on what kinds of stocks and commodities to invest in based on proven track records of high returns and minimal risk.

    Dr. Bernstein is adamant in his claim that the markets have undergone profound and dramatic changes in the year since the government takeover of such investment giants as Bear-Sterns and Lehman Bros. Dr, Bernstein argues that these changes make it easier than ever for new and formerly skeptical investors to get involved, because they aren't prejudiced by the types of outmoded thinking that led to the tech bubble burst of the early 2000's and the more recent housing bust of the last two years. Dr. Bernstein's message is clear: the time has never been better to get in on the moneymaking game, provided that you have the right guidance--the kind of guidance `The Investor's Manifesto' provides.

    Dr. Bernstein's style of writing is no frills and no-nonsense. His message is peppered with dozens of examples of past investors making the right and wrong decisions when it came to sheltering and growing their assets. If Dr. Berstein is a bull, he is a tame one. He is well known to be a strong consumer advocate with no great love for the professional trading racket.

    As a former, practicing neurologist Dr. Bernstein brings a unique set of knowledge and skills to bear on understanding how an individual's own instincts can sometimes work against him or her in the investment arena. Bernstein's approach is scientific, comprehensive and farsighted. 'The Investor's Manifesto' is well-written, incisive and complete. A great pick!

    Reading Bernstein's 'Manifesto' I was reminded of another great book that came out recently on how to make smart investment moves with an eye toward a secure retirement. Thomas Scott's Fasten Your Financial Seatbelt: What A Fatal Plane Crash Taught Me About Retirement Planning is very similar in style and tone to Bernstein's 'Investor's Manifesto.' Financial planner, Tom Scott, has built his career on helping amateur investors build solid portfolios that can compete with the top mutual funds and yield high returns over the long haul. Scott has distilled much of his wisdom into a concise, easy-to-read handbook that has the dual advantages of being a little shorter and--for those on a tight budget this holiday season--quite a bit cheaper than the more heavily marketed 'Manifesto.'

    For those looking for a variety of perspectives on the matter of investing with confidence, another book of interest is John Girourard's The Ten Truths of Wealth Creation. Published in '07, 'Ten Truths' may seem, at this point, to be an oldie, but it's definitely a goodie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I've read this before

    This is very similar to Mr. Bernstein's previous two books. Sound advice. Easy to follow.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Synopsis of Four Pillars of Investing (earlier book by author)

    Frankly, this is a synopsis of the major themes from Bernstein's "Four Pillars of Investing", which he wrote about 3-4 years ago. I would rate "Four Pillars" in the "must read" category. If you are a serious individual investor, you MUST READ this book.

    The "Investor's Manifesto" is a summarized, simplified version of the key themes from this former book. It's a quick, good read - but I would definitely recommend the earlier book before this one.

    On the other hand, if you have limited time and interest, but still want the "key cepts" of investing policy, then read this book and FOLLOW ITS ADVICE! Both books are the purview of the individual investor. In other words, you must be willing to think and act for yourself. If you are dependent upon a financial advisor, then either: 1) you can read this book and shed the overhead of the advisor; OR 2) you can keep the advisor and skip the book! From my roughly 35 years of investing experience, I heartily recommend the FORMER!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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