Customer Reviews


114 Reviews
5 star:
 (68)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Insight
Down to earth, relevant, and thoughtful approach to investing.
Published on Oct. 17 2001

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Markets are NOT random.
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...
Published on June 3 2001


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Markets are NOT random., June 3 2001
By A Customer
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. But _true_ randomness does not generate valuable information. In other words, in statistical randomness, knowledge of the present is not important, for it conveys no advantage. If knowledge of the present structure of a market is important and does convey an advantage a market cannot be random walk.
Each day there are various market participants each having a different timeframe. Price moves because of the degree of each timeframe's participation at various levels of price. The ultimate structure of a market for one day depends on the activity level of the various groups. The market develops logically, as price fulfills the need of the market. Thus, prices can be distinguished from one another yielding valuable information.
All markets operate similarly and are motivated by the same principles. Anyone who can understand these principles - plus observe and record the individual characteristics of the specific market - and can employ a sound trading strategy and discipline, can profit handsomely from any market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars ... out dated but the idea of index fund is good, July 7 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Random Walk Down Wall Street, A (Paperback)
Little bit too old and out dated but the idea of index fund is good
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Longer but not as good as the last edition, Feb. 13 2000
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Insight, Oct. 17 2001
By A Customer
Down to earth, relevant, and thoughtful approach to investing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read", Oct. 16 2001
By 
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Classics, Aug. 9 2001
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typewriting Monkeys with Darts vs. Supercomputers, July 12 2001
By 
Eric Haines (Ithaca, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. The Motley Fool's "Foolish Four", which has perfect predictive powers for past results, and I predict will work in the future up to the point that it no longer works). Malkiel offers modern portfolio theory in place of fads. The short version: buy and hold, and diversify.
We as humans like to form patterns from randomness and assume that logic prevails. Just because we like it doesn't mean it works... See Jason Zweig's article "The trouble with humans" (Nov. 2000) at Money Magazine online for a great article on this tendency [He also has a good article and follow-up on the "Foolish Four" strategy, and many others in this vein].
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever read, June 25 2001
By 
luke "gb" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
If you want/need to learn something about investment and speculation, it's a must read.
Probably it's also as timeless if you want to learn about choices in life. After all, investment is all about choices and costs. Thus one may want to have with this guidance always at hand.
Those who yelled out loudly protesting either have difficulty understanding risk/rewards, fundamentals of randomness in events. Or they are the precise pals to lose out if people read this book and learn. No more snake oil, please.
Theory is as always, not flawless. But EMT is a really good yardstick. Most important, it is the pursuit of fundamental analysis and technical analysis that helped shaping the more efficient market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Academic Theory, Poor Practical Application, June 27 1999
By A Customer
This is a GreaT book for beginning investors to read to get an understanding of the efficient market theory (all past, present, and future information on companies are reflected in current stock prices, so no way to beat market). It is indeed true that in the last 10-15 years, an S&P500 fund beat out about 90-95% of actively managed mutual funds. However, it does not mean that you can't beat the market. Inefficient prices can be seen in the market every single day. If you had enough capital (money) you can push a thinly traded stock WAY beyond the bounds of its efficient price for days even MONTHS (Stock Promoters often do this!! WATCH OUT). The theories in this book should be treated as just that, theories! There are ways to consistently beat the market, but it takes much more work than simply diversifying among mutual funds. I know because I've succesfully beaten the S&P500 15 years in a row trading using a variety of technical systems. Must Reads : "Technical Analysis Explained" by Martin Pring, "Technical Analysis of Financial Markets" John Murphy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Common sense for the average joe, July 6 2001
By 
LackOfDiscipline (FLAGSTAFF, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
I wish I had read this book sooner. If you are considering investment in anything other than a broadly diversified index fund and holding it for the long term through the inevitable downturns then you would be well advised to read this book.
Put simply, Malkiel's argument is that buying and holding an index fund is the easiest way for the average joe to make money in the market if they are willing to hold on tight during the market dips. He does not discourage the outright purchase of individual securities as well as other more risky financial instruments, but he does demonstrate that the odds are stacked against you for long term success in such endeavors when all the pitfalls are considered (i.e. capital gains taxes, brokerage commissions, the utter folly in trying to time your buys/sells, your ability to sleep soundly, etc.).
I would also point out that the book is not without it's more technical sections. Much of it involves some minor mathematical examples. Nothing beyond the level of high school algebra and statistics, but if you are not enthralled with such a prospect then you might look for something more fuzzy such as The Motley Fool Investment Guide by the Brothers Gardner or One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch. Both of these works also herald the index fund while offering suggestions for individual stock picking strategies for the more daring/foolish/Foolish among us.
Overall you may find this book to be iconoclastic in it's approach to the Wall Street Wise. Remember that the majority of mutual funds have underperformed the market averages over the long term - food for thought.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Random Walk Down Wall Street, A
Random Walk Down Wall Street, A by Burton G Malkiel (Paperback - Dec 20 2011)
CDN$ 21.95 CDN$ 15.85
Usually ships in 3 to 5 weeks
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews