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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
This book was highly informative and educational. I learned so much. It illustrates the following points via quantitative examples:
- For equity investing, buy an index fund that holds the entire stock market and hold it forever. You will capture most of the return generated by the market in this way. The relevant index fund should be based on the S&P 500 or DJIA. He says that, "Investors should be content with earning the market's return. Only the classic index fund can guarantee that outcome."
- Using middlemen (i.e. stock brokers, financial advisers etc.) costs you money so don't waste your time. Financial advisers and stock brokers are not good at picking funds/stocks etc.
-Mutual funds managers (of actively managed funds) can't outperform the market in the long-run. They will have periods of success but will ultimately eventually fail.
-The goal should be to minimize all costs:financial intermediation (management fees, operating expenses, sales charges, portfolio turnover), taxes, inflation,
People who manage other people's money make a fortune. Costs kill returns.

He is a proponent of long-term investment in index funds or ETFs. In fact, he suggests that you hold them forever.

He exposed morningstar ratings as being misleading. And I always trusted morningstar before this! Not anymore.

Among index mutual funds, he emphasized choosing the lowest cost ones with no sales loads or annual fees.

He discussed the corollary for investing in bonds.

Then he discussed trends which have come up and can be better than indexing: ETFs etc. The only ETF that performs as well as investing in a total stock market index fund is investing in a broad market ETF.
Both classic index funds and broad index ETFs have the following features:
-Broadest possible diversification
-Longest time horizon
-Lowest possible cost
-Greatest possible tax efficiency
-Highest possible share of market return

The classic index fund only has market risk. No risk of selecting specific securities; no risk of selecting managers; no risk of selecting investment style;

There are also quotes from various people, including warren buffet, that support his ideas.

He has such a great vocabulary. I love the way he uses language. There were 49 words that I had to look up the meaning of.

I care about his point of view because he is the pioneer of index funds. His undergraduate thesis was about index funds. Wow. Talk about smart! His undergrad was in economics.
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on January 18, 2014
If you have no investment knowledge, this book will guide you in making safe, long term strategies that will match the average returns on the stock market, without needing to even look at your investments more than every few months.
I like it that he "tells it as it is", and does not recommend the excessive ratio of bonds to stocks recommended elsewhere. Bonds do well as interest rates fall. After 30 years of interest rates going lower and bonds acting favorably, interest rates can only go up and bonds will be a guaranteed way to lose money, although perhaps at a rate low enough that the investor will not notice until he or she can no longer afford the things that they were used to.
He points out that Mutual Funds cannot improve on the stock market movements enough that they can earn their pay and still beat couch potato investing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2014
Probably one of the best investing books for your money.
If I had read this little book years ago I would be a lot richer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2015
A common sense approach to intimidate, generate and preserve wealth. A must read for any investor. In any stage in life!
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on July 5, 2015
Great book. Explains the benefits of index funds very well.
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on May 28, 2015
Great read. Beginner level.
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