Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Investor's Manifesto (book review)

Book review from The Movie Snob

The Investor’s Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between, by William J. Bernstein (2010). I bought and read this book because it was recommended by Dallas Morning News financial columnist Scott Burns. Not surprisingly, the advice contained in the book is pretty similar to what Burns always prescribes. Bernstein, a neurologist-turned-financial-guy, argues for a simple approach to personal finance. Don’t strive to get rich by investing; the proper goal is to achieve modest returns and avoid spending your golden years in poverty. Accordingly, start saving now, and save as much as you can. Diversify your investments widely, and minimize investment expenses. Expense minimization means avoiding the financial-services industry as much as possible. (His chapter about the industry is called “Muggers and Worse.”) Bernstein also includes some stuff about the best ways to estimate future returns on stocks and bonds, and he tries to dumb it down as far as he can, but he still lost me. To me, Bernstein’s practical advice on simple, effective investment strategies is the most important part of the book, and I liked it.


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