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Random Walk Down Wall Street, A Paperback – Dec 20 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 10th Revised edition edition (Dec 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393340740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393340747
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
In this book I will take you on a random walk down Wall Street, providing a guided tour of the complex world of finance and practical advice on investment opportunities and strategies. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3 2001
Format: Paperback
While I agree that a person cannot predict tomorrow's prices based on today's prices, I do not believe prices are random. A random walk implies (that the market's price displays) no discernable pattern of travel. The size and direction of the next step cannot be predicted from the size and direction of the last or even from all previous steps. The serial correlation is (functionally) zero.
Every market is an auction market, either passive or active. In a passive auction, the individual does not take part in an active negotiating process but selects from products offered at different prices, which make up the range. In an active auction, participants negotiate the range. Whether the auction is passive or active, all markets auction or "trend" up and down in order to fulfill their purpose, to facilitate trade. In an auction, prices _do not_ develop randomly, but rather to fulfill the purpose of the auction.
The purpose of any market is to facilitate trade. Lack of trade facilitation inevitably causes price to move. This price movement behavior is as true in the organized markets as it is in a grocery store or any other everyday market. Thus, price changes to satisfy the condition of the market and every price is a result of the condition of the market. The fact that price moves for a specific reason further precludes price from developing in a _random manner_.
Furthermore, prices are not statistically independent of each other. Price, in moving to satisfy the condition of the market, provides an informational flow. In other words, markets must generate trade, and in doing so, prices fluctuate, generating information about where trade is being conducted and where it is not. This information is valuable to the market participant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Little bit too old and out dated but the idea of index fund is good
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Professor Joseph L. McCauley on Feb. 13 2000
Format: Hardcover
Forget this version. Instead, go to the library and check out the 1996 version, which at least discusses 'pork bellies' (derrivatives and option trading), if too little. Instead of taking the cue from the collapse (10/98) of Long Term Capital Management and producing something new and more interesting, Malkiel keeps on giving us warmed over versions of the same old EMH (efficient market hypothesis), which many researchers by now know is wrong (Fisher Black & Co. knew it in the eighties). Malkiel's beloved 'back of the envelope' calculation showing large how stock price changes can be caused by small interest rate changes is also irrelevant, because it assumes that dividends determine stock prices, and everyone in the market knows that dividends haven't mattered in the last ten years, at least. The 1996 edition (3 stars) is informative. There, you can learn what beta is, and the example discussed of using covered calls as a conservative strategy is also nice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 17 2001
Format: Paperback
Down to earth, relevant, and thoughtful approach to investing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Derek G on Oct. 16 2001
Format: Hardcover
Some thoughts to consider:
1) Why is it 80%+ of the mutual funds underperform a S&P500 index fund, even with all the technological advances in information gathering?
2) If stock analysts are able to devote such a tremendous amount of time to the companies they cover, why did the majority of them continue to tell us to buy high-tech companies the entire time the nasdaq continued to drop in 2000 & 2001?
3) Why do market gurus suddenly disappear or slowly fade away (anyone remember Ralph Acampora?) or speak vague, unintelligible blather that is impossible to derive a clear conclusion from?
4) Have you ever met a "successful" trader who was willing to show you their past trading records? Yes, they're out there (I can attest to that), but trading is not as easy as the hucksters would lead you to believe.
The fact is the majority of these investing and trading guru's only make money from the profits of books and videos sold to gullible suckers looking for the next big thing. I've read books on this site containing trading strategies espoused by people who I know for a fact don't even trade.
Does this mean there are no successful traders and investors? No. Everyone knows Warren Buffett is a successful investor. In my limited career I have been a successful trader and the techniques I use fly in the face of the "random walk" theory.
I don't understand the number of negative reviews on this site. It's as if everyone takes it personally if Malkiel strikes a chord with readers. Do I agree with all his points? No, but Malkiel does present a ton of historical information and factual evidence to argue that the majority of us have our work cut out for us and for that reason I recommend this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Samuel W. Harnish, Jr. on Aug. 9 2001
Format: Paperback
Most people who read Graham and Dodd (or the other groups of authors who have updated Security Analysis over the years)assume that this book would be the antithesis of "Old Ben's" theories. It may be surprising how much the two authors believe in common.
It's not the same grand wording, nor does it have the same personal experience feel, but it is a very helpful book non the less, and probably more approachable for many readers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Haines on July 12 2001
Format: Hardcover
Think you can beat the market? Hope springs eternal. Malkiel's classic book discusses how it is extremely unlikely that you will in the long run, so that low cost indexed funds reflecting the entire stock market are your best bet. The author has experience in both the academic and corporate worlds, and presents a fascinating mix of theory and experience. My favorite passage is where a technical analyst sees a stock chart generated by one of Malkiel's students by flipping coins. He is upset that Malkiel didn't share knowledge of this stock with him, since the analyst sees the classic inverted head and shoulders shape in the graph, meaning the stock is about to soar.
The negative reviews here at Amazon are a fun read, as some people absolutely hate the idea that the market is unpredictable in the long term, regardless of the evidence. Sure, you invested in stocks and beat the market. You were lucky and flipped heads 5 times in a row - that does not prove you're a market-predicting genius. How is it that "hot" fund managers somehow become less hot some years later? Did they get dumber, or did they just stop flipping heads? There are some minor short-term predictable trends in the market, and Malkiel discusses most of them in turn, pointing out that it's almost impossible to take advantage of any of these. But stock charting and number manipulation he puts up with reading chicken entrails as far as reliability goes. He discusses other schools of thought for market or stock prediction, showing how research shows these also don't beat the average over the long term. Of course, there's always another new strategy that comes into style (e.g.
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