The Four Pillars of Investing

The Four Pillars of Investing

Lessons for Building A Winning Portfolio

Book - 2010
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Blackwell Publishing

The classic guide to constructing a solid portfolio—without a financial advisor!

“With relatively little effort, you can design and assemble an investment portfolio that, because of its wide diversification and minimal expenses, will prove superior to the most professionally managed accounts. Great intelligence and good luck are not required.”

William Bernstein’s commonsense approach to portfolio construction has served investors well during the past turbulent decade—and it’s what made The Four Pillars of Investing an instant classic when it was first published nearly a decade ago.

This down-to-earth book lays out in easy-to-understand prose the four essential topics that every investor must master: the relationship of risk and reward, the history of the market, the psychology of the investor and the market, and the folly of taking financial advice from investment salespeople.

Bernstein pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on in today’s financial industry as he outlines a simple program for building wealth while controlling risk. Straightforward in its presentation and generous in its real-life examples, The Four Pillars of Investing presents a no-nonsense discussion of:

  • The art and science of mixing different asset classes into an effective blend
  • The dangers of actively picking stocks, as opposed to investing in the whole market
  • Behavioral finance and how state of mind can adversely affect decision making
  • Reasons the mutual fund and brokerage industries, rather than your partners, are often your most direct competitors
  • Strategies for managing all of your assets—savings, 401(k)s, home equity—as one portfolio

Investing is not a destination. It is a journey, and along the way are stockbrokers, journalists, and mutual fund companies whose interests are diametrically opposed to yours.

More relevant today than ever, The Four Pillars of Investing shows you how to determine your own financial direction and assemble an investment program with the sole goal of building long-term wealth for you and your family.

Publisher: New York : McGraw Hill, c2010
ISBN: 9780071747059
Characteristics: xiv, 331 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Dec 21, 2017

The author self-admits that not many people read his last book because it was so boring. I don't think this book is that far off the mark of his last book. Pretty boring in places. Yes, there is some very good information in his book but you have to slug through alot of sludge to pick out the gems. I'm always amazed when authors spend reams of pages describing things that could be summarized in a page or two. In fact, if you just read his half-page summaries at the end of each chapter, I think you'll get 99% of what the book's main content is all about. Best of luck reading this from start to finish.

Dec 12, 2017

An 'okay' read, but there are much more concise reads on the same material. The basic premises of the book are that Brokers and Mutual Funds and the people who sell them, are a mugs game, designed to move money from the Investor's wallet to theirs without a true interest in the Investor's financial well being. It's suggested that Indexing and ETF broad based investing is the only way to get the average returns of the market (less expenses), so the goal is to keep investing expenses as low as possible, while reducing overall risk with diversification. That took the author almost 250 pages to cover. The book is also very American in product selection and investment holding account recommendations. Check out my suggested reading lists for better material on the same subject matter, particularly if you're Canadian.

Mar 16, 2016

A must read for a DIY investor

Aug 08, 2015

Couldn't get past the second chapter. This book is way too dense for someone whose math skills aren't the best.


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