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The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy Hardcover – Sep 6 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books (Sept. 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399537066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399537066
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 16.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #437,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Five Best Money Books of 2011: "Building on his other 'Smartest' money books, Solin lays out sensible ways of constructing safe portfolios that are customized to where you are in life. As with his other advice, Solin favors low-cost, passive portfolios that are diversified and tempered for risk." — John Wasik for Reuter’s

"Acclaimed and prolific investment author, Dan Solin, has written another terrific book that offers the reader timeless advice on building a portfolio. The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own concentrates on constructing a portfolio of low cost funds with a bent toward small cap and value stocks. Based on the Fama-French 3 Factor model, this type of portfolio construction can give you higher returns as compensation for taking more risk." — Allen Roth for

"The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own… is intelligent, straightforward, and very close to common wisdom." —

About the Author


Dan Solin, a wealth advisor to high net worth investors and retirement plans for Buckingham Asset Management and The BAM ALLIANCE Director of Investor Advocacy, is the author of The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read, Does Your Broker Owe You Money?, and the New York Times bestsellers The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Readand The Smartest 401(k) Book You’ll Ever Read. His award-winning books have been widely praised by The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Library Journal, and many financial writers, leading economists, and others.

Solin is one of the most popular financial bloggers on The Huffington Post. A frequent guest on national television and radio shows, Solin has addressed professional organizations of accountants, advisors and financial planners and has testified before Congress on investor issues.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BK on July 24 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An easy read with lots of very short chapters and a summary message at the end of each chapter. The message is the same as other books, but is focussed on the US. Much less useful for Canadian investors. I would not buy it again for that reason.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 43 reviews
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Unfortunately, only a mixed bag Sept. 11 2011
By Benjamin Graham - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Dan Solin's previous works in this series demonstrated the wisdom of constructing a globally diversified investment portfolio comprised of low-cost stock and bond index funds in accordance with a long-term asset allocation suitable to your needs. Where Solin has fallen short in the past is in the translation of this approach to specific investment recommendations, such as his previous advice to avoid TIPS (U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

In his latest book, Solin has apparently overcome his aversion to ETFs and utilizes several of them to construct his `SuperSmart' and `Smartest ETF' portfolios. Tragically, his bond recommendations fall woefully short of the mark. For example, Solin suggests investing 50 percent of the total bond allocation in the SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term International Treasury Bond ETF (BWZ), a relatively small, thinly traded ETF which allocates almost 15 percent of its holdings to the potentially risky bonds of Italy and Spain.

Investors would be better served consulting the books of William J. Bernstein, John C. Bogle, Larry Swedroe and others for specific investment recommendations consistent with this philosophy.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Superb! Taking it to the new level. Sept. 19 2011
By Grant Hiesterman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read and applied all four of Dan Solin's books. This is a terrific addition to his previous three. In a nutshell, one can maximize return, minimize risk, and quit gambling with one's life savings.

During the past four years I haven't had the lows or the highs of the equity markets but maintained an honest return that allows me to sleep at night.

The format of Mr. Solin's book makes it easy to read and the takeaways (What's the Point?) at the end of each chapter help keep the reader laser focused. Love it!! You can read chapters in varying order if you can't wait to look at a subsequent section also.

The documentation is superb. My favorite section is the Glossary. I read it a few times to help keep my thinking accurate. I went online and checked the references and they were accurate. I furthermore checked a couple of books out from the library to document the simple underlying premise.

Having read "The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read" before this book probably put me in a little better position to understand passive versus active investing than a first-time reader. However, the book is clear and eloquent with a wonderful sense of wit and dry humor.

I can prove my passive, dull, drab portfolio of index funds (with no fees or minimal fees) beat 95.5% of all investors since 2007. Can you? Buy the book. Read it. Do it. Sleep better. It is great to be in control for a change!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own Oct. 9 2011
By J. Teach - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a very good book to get you started with investments. It teaches the value of diversification and asset allocation which is 95% of your returns. The media and Wall Street want to confuse investors and make them think they can stock pick and market time, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Investing for the long term and staying invested is the only way to go. The only thing to add is rebalancing. You have to keep your risk levels in check. That in essence is buying low and selling high.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great, readable advice March 31 2013
By Roy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This guy is terrific. Each chapter is 3-4 pages long and focuses on a single point which is emphasized in bold-faced typed at the end. Solin's work is grounded in extremely well-seleted details and evidence without ever becoming bogged down the way some books on investment do. The book also contains a glossary with clear definitions of all those aracane terms you thought you'd never understand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Be careful with this one.... Oct. 14 2015
By NBO - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a paradox to me. There are some VERY basic truths in this book, but even more ideas that are overtly contradictory and have been shown time and time again to be false. I really like Solin's writing style, and liked his book about retirement, but be careful with this one. I'll give some examples. When you use historical market data to make a point, some authors will show their "model" behaves better than the alternative and cite data from "date x" to "date y". Such "evidence" or historical market data is INCREDIBLY sensitive to both time window duration and starting dates. You can literally find market data (at some time) to prove or disprove ANY model behavior characteristic you want. The optimum way to use historical data (and even then with substantial limitations) is to use dozens or even thousands of overlapping moving time windows to test it against alternatives. This isn't high-end investing mathematics. This has been known for decades yet Solin consistently uses the "date x to date y" approach. That alone should send up major red flags about the quality of his recommendations. As an example of contradictions, he criticizes Jim Kramer for looking at stock fundamentals as a basis for stock picking. I would never follow Jim Kramer's advice (personally) but later in the book Solin says "value" stocks consistently outperform "growth" stocks (and by inference you must own value stock mutual funds). How does Solin identify "value stocks"? By looking at fundamentals. The point is that Solin's arguments (many of them anyway) contradict other statements, and often simply do not stand up to rigorous model testing scrutiny. Other than taking the long view (not necessarily buy and hold), there are no certain paths to success (even the long view isn't certain). Just look at 2015 where most "diverse" domestic and international equity mutual funds have taken a bath (and no, with interest rates near zero, bond funds haven't been the great alternative). Other fallacies advanced by Solin are the notion of diversification. In today's highly efficient market, that also reacts tremendously to "emotion", there is little diversification to be had. Don't believe that? Do the analysis yourself and look for the cross-correlations between investment opportunities. In today's market they are incredibly high. Diversification is valuable to be sure, but there is little to be had in this day of large volume, algorithmic-triggered trading environment. Other notions -- that bond FUNDS are clearly better than holding bonds themselves is patently false. Other problems include his emphatic statements about bonds vs bond funds. There are indeed some advantages to holding bond mutual funds, but also some distinct disadvantages. Bond fund values are substantially affected (like equity funds) by the "beauty contest" effect in the market. A company could actually make a nice profit, but if it doesn't meet it's target, the stock price falls. Similarly bonds (the actual bonds) could be delivering exactly what they promise (to those that hold the bonds directly) but if interest rates are rising, see how that affects the bond mutual fund's price. Again, bonds themselves can be doing well while bond funds can take a bath - at least over a span of time. My summary is that there are some good (but very basic) points in this book just as you can find in any reasonable investment book, but the reader is HIGHLY cautioned to exercise due diligence. Solin over-simplifies almost everything. At one point he trashes investment clubs and cites (cherry picked) data to support that claim, then says, follow my advice on this "cookie cutter" approach to investment portfolio management. Hmmm, sounds sort of like a club, don't you think -- groups following a standardized approach. If it were that easy, we'd all be able to retire handsomely at 45. I'm not saying following Solin's advice couldn't work. I am saying it's not even remotely as simple as he posits, and many of his theories have been debunked by more sophisticated analysis. Be careful here. Do your homework.