A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing, Completely Revised and Updated

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"A classic explanation of the securities markets, A Random Walk has set thousands of investors on a straight path since it was first published in 1973. Even if you read the book then or more recently, a refresher course is probably in order. 'A lucid mix of the theoretical and the pragmatic.'" -- Chicago Tribune

Customer Reviews:

  • Trying to Understand the Market? Read Random Walk
    I purchased this book as a supplement to my Corporate Finance class. I loved the title because Wall Street returns are pretty random and have driven many mad lately....more info
  • No secret to Investing
    I began reading this book in part due to motivation to park some of my saving into American Stock Market systems in the hope of making some easy money. I figured this book will give me the secret inside knowledge of the system that will educate me enough to be savvy investors and make some dope. Wrong Wrong Wrong! After reading it, you walk away with realizing how scary and hard investing is. I can't disagree with the author that in essence, if you don't know what you're doing, buy an index fund, period. ...more info
  • Should Have Listened
    Fantastic Book - full of common sense and ultmate truths. Read it in October 2007 when it was screaming at me "the market is in a bubble, get out!!" - unfortunately I listened but didnt act. Great book...more info
  • good, fun read, with lots of valuable insight.
    i'm a beginner in the field of personal investment and have been looking for a book to help me understand the basics of investment. i have found that in 'random walk'. it's fun to read as well as a well researched book. i am hoping it'll help me make some money :). ...more info
  • Astoundingly Effective
    This book is a great tool to get a macro look at the world of investing and finance. I found the discussions about risk to be scintillating and enjoyable. However, Malkiel perfers to present his opinion too often for my own taste. All in all, this is a great book that will help you better understand the world of investing. ...more info
  • Excellent Message. Sweeps some exceptions (particularly those noted herein) under the rug.
    Particularly in a day and age where mutual funds are often touting themselves on the television, this book has an excellent, largely unbiased message for the average investor: buy low cost index funds and stay in them for the long haul.

    The book is exceptionally well written, covering most of the lessons of an introductory to intermediate finance course in a very accessible format (i.e. all the right *ideas* without the confusing math). He utilizes dozens of powerful examples and good data to show that his basic premise, despite now being 30 years old, is sound. Due to its theoretical strength and accessible style, this book could be of particular value to Undergrad Business and MBA students who find the professor's academic approach to an Introductory Finance course confusing. Get the big picture here, making the math just that much easier to follow. (5 stars for making difficult financial concepts readable and interesting)

    Despite my strong recommendation for both his message and style, the book does have some drawbacks. Number one is that he has clearly taken a side on the issue and has thrown impartiality to the wind. Regularly, the author depends on "transaction costs" (the cost to trade) to ensure that a trading strategy cannot beat his preferred portfolio (implying that it would have succeeded without the transaction costs). This "sweeps under the rug" several clear counter-examples to the basic efficient market thesis in order to reinforce his index-investment message. While I understand his reasoning for doing so -- a desire not to encourage investment in high cost funds or heaven forbid day trading -- it does lead to some skepticism about his willingness to admit any possibility that his thesis has weaknesses. To that end, I would discourage readers who are familiar with CAPM and efficient-markets from reading the book (2 stars as a brush up).

    In the end, however, I think the message is sound. Rather than cite trading costs, I think the message can effectively be said another way: If you spent 5h a day investigating stocks, what are the odds that you can beat a professional manager? If a manager has a staff of 20 that invest 8h per day investigating stocks, what are the odds that they're going to beat the whole financial services industry? If the whole industry is taking advantage of every opportunity to profit from small deviations, and you're going to pay a manager most if not all of that profit anyway, investing in an index basically gets you the benefit of thousands of mutual funds and investment bankers without the cost of any of them (or of your time to do research).

    With qualifications to the highly technical reader, who should pass on the book, I can't, in good conscience, fail to give this book 5 stars for a profoundly valuable message targeted at the individual investor.
    ...more info
  • Best book to learn how markets work and act.
    This is great to have in your library to know the intimate working of the various markets and how they came to be. You can't invest in something wisely without knowing how it works!...more info
  • Still the Best
    I first read this book in its seventh edition. I was great then. I recently purchased the ninth edition as a "refresher." It's still a great book and the one I recommend to prospective clients or other investors prone to believe all of the active management garbage out there. Burton Malkiel does a masterful job of dismantling all of the Wall Street hype and laying out investing in a simple, straight-forward, and long-term approach.

    If you read this book and still believe in the Wall Street gurus then you're hopeless. And, you deserve every bit of the bad advice you're following....more info
  • Kindle edition is quite poor
    The book is otherwise fabulous, but you should steer clear of the Kindle version. The Kindle handles charts poorly, and this book has a lot of them. Some are manageable, but many others contain small text that is so blurry that it might as well be written in Arabic. Quite honestly, it is not entirely clear to me how Amazon gets away with selling this item. The Kindle is great, but Amazon absolutely should not sell books that cannot actually be read on it. ...more info
  • not a fan.
    This book was not what it was trumped up to be, as far as I am concerned. It's a gloomy, negative, pessimistic, unending drivel of known and common sense information and data presented in a much more complicated manner that they are in real life. After reading this book you may be inclined to start taking anti-depressants and definitely stay away from the stock and other securities markets. Weeooogh!!...more info
  • Well-written, has the right caveats
    This classic has been updated. Malkiel writes in a clear manner. The life-cycle chapter is particularly well done. This book is worth the purchase price, to say the least....more info
  • Latter editions refute is own argument
    This is a useful book to understand the whole efficient market idea. It explains very well why short term speculation is very difficult, but falls short of holding up the efficient market hypothesis in it's most rigorous form.

    The latest editions of the book go through enormous contortions to maintain the efficient market thesis despite so much evidence to the contrary a lot of which he actually discusses but fails to refute. At one point he actually recommends that you try to time any NEW money you have to commit to the markets. Of course there is no reason given why new money should treated any differently than money already under risk. I guess his answer would be transaction costs? I find that very weak.

    Keeping cash around for buying when markets are cheaper, and selling some of your holdings when markets get silly is so basic to professional risk management, that it is shameless for him to keep touting this stuff....more info
  • Learn why investors do crazy stuff over and over again - and how to avoid those mistakes.
    A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing, 9th ed., by Burton G. Malkiel, is a classic and brilliant explanation of how investors make the same mistakes over and over again, and how you can avoid those mistakes. If you want to understand how the stock market works, and decide for yourself if you should be investing in index mutual funds or picking stocks, this book is a must-read.

    This book is not short, but that's because it goes through the history of investing (starting in 1592! through the dot-com era), explains how professionals invest and modern portfolio theory, and how you can apply all that to your investment portfolio.

    I read this book before I was an investment advisor, have re-read it since, and recommend it to my clients who want to understand how the stock market, and how investors, work.

    Pros: Love the stories of early investment bubbles, like the tulip bulb bubble (yes, actual tulip bulbs) and how the dot-com bubble was just history repeating itself. Great explaination of modern portfolio theory, that a non-financial-geek can understand.

    Cons: Still is pretty technical for some people, and no one could say the book is short or quick reading. Modern portfolio theory may not work in all asset classes (like international investments, though that may be changing).

    What I have learned: I love sharing stories of all of the bubbles throughout history, when I'm at a cocktail party or networking event. Helps me explain to clients and press why the dot-com bubble happened, why indexing works (in some asset classes), and how someone should evaluate the fundamentals of a stock. ...more info
  • A surprisingly light read while still very informative
    Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well known to be one of the modern classics on stock investing. I was already aware of the premise behind the book - the stock market is pretty efficient and most everyone is wasting their time trying to find inefficiencies to exploit - but I was interested in finding out what information inside could really help me as an individual, both as an investor and as a person interested in improving my personal finances. Here's what I found.

    Chapter 1: Firm Foundations and Castles in the Air
    The book starts off by defining two basic investment ideologies, the firm foundation theory and the "castle in the air" theory. The firm foundation theory basically says that you should invest based on the actual real value of what you're investing in; for example, if you buy a stock of Coke, it should be based on what the value of the Coca-Cola Corporation is. The "castle in the air" theory basically says that you should invest in response to what the crowds are doing and that you can make more money by riding the waves of people who are either following trends or trying to invest based on a firm foundation. Which one is right? The truth is that they both are, but at different times.

    Chapter 2: The Madness of Crowds
    This chapter is quite entertaining: it discusses financial "crazes" throughout history, including my personal favorite craze of all, tulipomania. In all three examples (tulipomania, the South Sea bubble, and the Wall Street crash of 1929), a market grew like gangbusters until everything was overvalued, then the values rapidly returned to normal. Graphs of prices in all three examples bear this out; within a year or two of the end of the craze, the prices had returned to roughly the same value as they were before the big run-up.

    Chapter 3: Stock Valuation from the Sixties through the Nineties
    Even more amusing, Malkiel continues this theme of markets that go crazy and then level off again by using several examples of cross-sections of the stock market where this occurred throughout the last fifty years. I was aware of the overvaluation of food stocks in the 1980s, for example, but to see that it has just repeated over and over again is an eye-opener. Take the Nifty Fifty from the early 1970s - people were basically speculating in blue chips, and by the end of the decade, the speculation had gone away and the stocks returned to normal blue chip levels.

    Chapter 4: The Biggest Bubble of All: Surfing on the Internet
    This all of course leads to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and the bust in the early 2000s. Malkiel basically argues that this huge bubble was the result of a confluence of the same bubbles as before, all working in concert: the IPO mania that fueled the early 1960s stock market, the "smoke and mirrors" businesses of the South Sea bubble, and the chasing of future efficiencies that happened in the 1850s with railroad stocks all happened again with the dot-com businesses. And, again, it peaked and crashed and everything returned to roughly as they were before. Coincidence? Malkiel's main point in the whole book is that it's not a coincidence. Markets are efficient and time and time again, when inefficiencies occur, it won't take long for the market to weed them out.

    Chapter 5: Technical and Fundamental Analysis
    Given this central idea of market efficiency that's been pounded in with dozens of examples, Malkiel moves on to look at the two most common forms of analysis that occur on Wall Street: technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Technical analysis is the study of the behavior of prices on the market, using past performance to speculate on future performance, often using complex charts and trend lines. On the other hand, fundamental analysis revolves around analyzing the health of a business by carefully dissecting its financial statements, the market the business competes in, and its competitors. This chapter mostly serves as a detailed introduction to both, though it's already clear that Malkiel has somewhat more respect for fundamental analysis than technical analysis.

    Chapter 6: Technical Analysis and the Random-Walk Theory
    This chapter is basically a complete decimation of technical analysis; there's no other way to really put it. Perhaps the most devastating part is when he compares the stock market to the average length of a hemline in women's fashion and finds a correlation. In other words, technical analysis spends all of its time looking for correlations - but most of these correlations are spurious at best. By spending all of your time looking at charts, you're essentially cutting yourself off from a broader picture, making the spurious correlations even worse.

    Chapter 7: How Good Is Fundamental Analysis?
    Malkiel has at least some respect for fundamental analysis because it is based on foundational logic and is open to accepting wide varieties of data. However, he finds fundamental analysis to be deeply flawed as well. There are many reasons why fundamental analysis can be completely off base: random events (like 9/11), dubious financial data from companies (like Enron), human failings (emotional attachments and incompetence), the loss of good analysts to better positions, and so on. Basically, Malkiel concludes that professional analysts may have a slight leg up on individual investors, but this is mostly due to having more ready access to information and other materials and the advantage is minimal.

    Chapter 8: A New Walking Shoe: Modern Portfolio Theory
    From there, we move on to portfolio theory, which is basically the idea that people should have a diverse selection of investments and that these investments should maximize the rewards while minimizing the risk. Malkiel basically argues that it doesn't matter how much you diversify your stocks (and other assets), you are still exposed to some risk. In general, he has some respect for modern portfolio theory, but he goes on in the next chapter to point out why minimizing risk isn't always the best strategy.

    Chapter 9: Reaping Reward By Increasing Risk
    This was easily the most complicated chapter in the book and left me taking some lengthy breaks in the middle to digest the information. This chapter basically takes the ideas from the previous chapter and introduces a new factor: beta. Basically, beta is a number that expresses how closely an individual stock matches the behavior of the overall stock market in the past. Thus, in theory, stocks with a high beta should jump like crazy during a bull market and then dive like Greg Louganis during a downturn. With a very wide scope, this is true, but in specifics, it rarely turns out to be highly accurate.

    Chapter 10: Behavioral Finance
    This chapter takes a close look at behavioral finance, which applies human cognitive and emotional biases to their investment choices and thus how these biases affect overall markets. From behavioral finance, Malkiel concludes that the only parts that really work are the ones that are common sense: don't invest long term in what's hot right now, don't overtrade, and only sell stocks that are losers.

    Chapter 11: Potshots at the Efficient-Market Theory and Why They Miss
    Here, Malkiel walks through a series of criticisms of the overall idea of the book, which is that the market is generally very efficient and always reverts to the mean. He starts off by discarding some poor arguments and gradually moves onto better and better arguments, ending with evaluating Benjamin Graham's idea that one should identify and invest in value stocks for the long term. He easily deconstructs most of them and only has significant trouble with Graham's argument. I felt he slightly missed the boat on what Graham has to say, which is that value stocks will always have value. Malkiel points out that over a long period, both growth and value stocks do match up with the overall market, but value stocks do not have the monstrous dips that growth stocks have.

    Chapter 12: A Fitness Manual for Random Walkers
    This chapter is rather ordinary, as it is a basic chapter on how to build a healthy investment foundation, similar to ones that appear in most investment books. Get an emergency fund, make sure you're well insured, put as much investment as you can into accounts that are tax-sheltered (like Roth IRAs and 401(k)s), and so on - standard personal finance advice. He does strongly encourage home ownership, though. As for the question of what exactly to invest in, the next two chapters handle that.

    Chapter 13: Handicapping the Financial Race: A Primer in Understanding and Projecting Returns from Stocks and Bonds
    Ever heard the phrase "past performance is no guarantee of future results"? That's what this chapter is about: you can only use past performance as a very, very broad indicator of the future. In short, Malkiel believes that over a very long period, stocks will beat bonds and inflation, but with any period shorter than a decade, it's basically random and it's all about the risk you can stomach.

    Chapter 14: A Life-Cycle Guide to Investing
    Given that, the next chapter is basically a detailed guide on how to invest for yourself. In short, when your goal is more than a decade off, you should be heavily into stocks for the long haul, but if your goal is in the shorter term, you should be widely diversified, tending towards investments with lower risk (bonds and cash) as the big day approaches. In other words, Malkiel believes that investing in a target retirement fund is a really good idea.

    Chapter 15: Three Giant Steps Down Wall Street
    The book concludes with some more specific investment tips. In short, if you don't have the time to micromanage things, invest in an index fund. If you want to chase individual stocks, minimize your trading, only buy stocks that have numbers that are reasonable, and look for ones that have stories upon which people can build the "castles in the sky" mentioned in the first chapter. As for other options, like managed funds? He basically says no, or gives a very hesitant yes with a ton of caveats.

    *Buy Or Don't Buy?*
    We know one thing for sure: there's a ton of information packed away in this book concerning how the stock market - or any market - works. Most of the book focuses on different ways of analyzing the market to find an edge - and concludes that they're largely junk; the end of the book takes what was learned from this and applies it to investing in general.

    This might sound really weighty, but it's not. This book was very easy to read, much easier than I expected before I opened the cover. There's a solid sense of humor behind it, nestled in with all the information, and the information itself is presented in a way that's easily digestible.

    If you have any interest in how the stock market works, you should definitely read A Random Walk Down Wall Street. It gives a very critical look at what most people are saying about the stock market - and why a lot of it is potentially rubbish. It also clues you in on how to invest if you take that view of the world.

    Of course, there are many other perspectives on the market, and the truth is that the stock market can be exploited by individuals, but that exploitation requires a lot of work, work that is simply not feasible for most people (or even for most investment professionals). While I recommend buying this book, I also recommend pairing it with a solid book on individual stock investing to get another perspective. Taking both viewpoints together will give you a very good understanding of how Wall Street - and pretty much any market - really works, and how you can either try to beat it or ride with it....more info
  • Book purchase
    Great product and speedy delivery. Ordered on a weekend and had the book on Tuesday....more info
  • The Only Investment Book You Will Ever Need
    This book is excellent. It advocates maintaining an asset allocation of stocks, bonds, cash etc., that is appropriate for your age and risk tolerance. The stocks should be in a low fee total market stock index fund or in an exchange traded fund ETF. Read the book for the proper mix of stocks and bonds to maintain in your portfolio for your age.

    I read a copy of this book about 23 years ago and did not follow its advice because I thought I could outsmart the market. I subscribed to many financial magazines and newspapers, thinking that knowledge is power. I found that you can get as many bad tips as good tips. It's basically a flip of the coin. With the advent of the internet, I searched the internet for the latest recommendations from the famous gurus of the day.

    During the recent bear market of 2001, a very famous bond guru predicted that the Dow with go to 5000. It wasn't until the Dow turned up substantially before the bond guru admitted his mistake. There is also a famous Dow Theory interpreter, who writes a monthly newsletter. He hinted that the Dow would go to 3000 and the total stock market index of 5000 stocks would lose about half its value to 6000. He was very bearish when the market turned upwards in 2003 and stayed bearish until recently, as the Dow is at an all time high. Many of his subscribers are very angry at him because his bad call kept them out of the market for the bulk of the recovery. It appears that it is more profitable to sell advice than to take it.

    Following the advice of gurus can be detrimental to your financial health.
    I've learn that recommendations from gurus and financial publications have an equal chance of being a good or an asinine idea. Financial magazines and gurus have ZERO predictive value and they want to get you into a dependent relationship in which you are waiting for the latest hot tip month after month.

    This book recommends that you cancel all subscriptions to financial publications and newsletters and just maintain the appropriate asset allocation. This is very good advice. It will save you countless hours of useless research. After 23 years, I'm back to square one and I will now follow the advice in this book....more info
  • Best guide ever
    A good informative writing on the handling of your finances in regards to investing. I found it to be quite basic but I have been investing since a club in the 1960's. It still gave me a lot of information and ideas that I knew a little or nothing on. I would recommend it highly to any and all that wish to have anything in the future for their retirement. ...more info
  • So informative
    I'm a much better investor having read this book. It really explains a lot, for the novice to the experienced. Insights on stocks, bonds, creating a diversified portfolio, etc. Does a good job breaking down difficult concepts into (relatively) easy to understand descriptions. Some material is more dense and some of the writing seems repetitive at times but on the whole it's spot on, just what you need to be an informed investor....more info
  • A classic that should be on the bookself of every investor
    This is the updated and expanded 9th edition of a classic investment book that everyone should read once. Although the topics visited are rather extensive, Dr. Malkiel has a very fluid writing style and reading is easy.

    Dr. Malkiel believes in a weak form of efficient market hypothesis in that although there might be inefficiencies at times, consistently finding and taking advantage of these are rather difficult after expenses and taxes even for professional money managers and many fail and ruin their investment in the pursuit of beating the market on the long term. Dr. Malkiel suggested investing in broad market (i.e. index fund) in the first edition before first "retail" index fund became available from Vanguard.

    The book begins with a brief review of two valuation models: firm foundation valuation and castles in the air valuation. The next couple of chapters are about market manias and bubbles from ancient times to most recent dot com bubble and points to valuation changes and irrational investor behavior. I think every investor could take home something from this review. Those that do not know the history is bound to make the same costly mistakes.

    Dr. Malkiel than examines technical analysis and fundemental analysis and market timing strategies and their shortcomings. He associates the technical analysis to astrology and how different securities analyts/researchers using the same fundemental anaysis end up with completely different valuations.

    The new chapter on behavioral finance is a must read review of irrational investor behavior and show how investors could be their own worst enemy.

    Rest of the book is a useful review of how an investor could construct a reliable portfolio considering risk, diversification and investment products such as individual stocks, mutual funds etc. Several model asset allocations are also available. While I found this section useful, for an investor looking for more specific guidance on portfolio construction, I would like to point to another book, The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (Hardcover), for futher reading.

    Other investment books I recommend:

    The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Hardcover)
    Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street (Paperback)...more info
  • No delivery
    It has been about three weeks and I have not yet received this book yet. ...more info
  • Is the market really a random walk? Is the market really efficient?
    This a great classic book by a highly distinguished academic.
    It is a fascinating book in all of its editions through the years, not the least because it stimulates thought.
    I have one rather significant difference with Professor Malkiel.
    On page 253 of the hardbound editon the author writes about the "The Dividend Jackpot Approach". On page 254 the graph clearly shows the historic evidence indicating that future stock returns are higher (and risks lower) when the current dividend yield on stocks are higher rather than lower. So far so good. That is correct.
    But then the author that these finds "are not nessisarily inconsistent with efficiency. Dividend yields of stocks tend to be high when interest rates are high, and they tend to be low when interest rates are low"
    I don't know whether that is true on a statistical basis. I believe that John Bogle of Vanguard fame has done some work on that issue, and failed to find a statistical relationship between stock yields and bond yields.
    In any case, I can think of some extremely important times when stock dividend yields did not reflect interest rates generally.
    In 1946, for example, stock dividend yields were extremely high, around 8%, whereas interest rates were extremely low. Low term bond yields were in the range of only 2%.
    Those investors who believed in buying value would have bought stocks and sold bonds. Those investors who, to the contrary, believed in efficient markets, would have thought that stock dividend yields and bond yields were simply reflecting economic conditions. The efficient market enthusiast would not have bought stocks and sold bonds.
    Guess what? It was a great time to be in stocks and out of bonds. Bond investors lost considerable amounts of money in both nominal and real terms in the years after 1946. Stock holders had some great years. Efficient market enthusiasts were wrong.
    Those of us who were active in the markets in the year 2000 may find it difficult to accept the efficient market hypothesis based on our experience in those years.
    In the year 2000, stocks were bid up to the point where the Standard and Poor 500 were yielding only 1.15% from dividends. The Fed funds rate averaged 6.24% for the year 2000, Moody's AAA corporate bonds averaged 7.62% yield for the year. Those of us who look at value could not quite figure out how the stock market as a whole could possibly be a good buy in the year 2000. I didn't seem to make any sense at all.
    Those who believed in the efficient market hypothesis advise investors not to try to pick value, not to try to market time, because the stock market is simply too efficient for that. They assured investors that stock priceds simply reflected economic conditions in 2000. They advised investors to stay with stocks, and even to continue to buy stocks on a dollar averaging basis, even in the year 2000 when stocks appeared to be so terribly overpriced.
    Well, as it turns out the efficient market investment advisors turned out to be wrong, disastorously wrong. There was a correction in stock values starting in the year 2000, and stock prices fell very significantly until the end of 2002. Bond prices, on the other hand, were an extremey good buy in 2000.
    This was not rocket science. It just didn't make common sense to be buying or the holding the broad stock market index in the year 2000, based on a simple calulation of relative yields.
    In 1946 and in 2000 stock dividend yields did not in fact simply reflect interest rates on bonds. The value investor would have done much better than the efficient market investor, and this has been repeated many times in history.
    So while this book is a great fun read, and an investment classic, the average investor should be aware of substantial evidence to the contrary of that presented in this book.
    There is another point of view....more info
  • Quarterlife Finance says, "A Classic that Every Investor Should Read"
    I recently finished reading the 9th edition of Burton Malkiel's classic text A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing, Ninth Edition. First published in 1973, this book is a classic text that deserves a place on any investor's bookshelf.

    Malkiel presents two possible security valuation models - one based on a firm foundation of value and one based on finding a "greater fool" to sell your speculative buys to. He analyzes the history of investment bubbles from the Dutch tulip mania some two hundred years ago all the way through the tech stock bubble of the late 1990s. He discusses fundamental analysis of stocks and thoroughly trashes technical analysis. Finally, Malkiel presents a strategy that virtually guarantees that your investments will keep pace with the market with minimal investment of time.

    I enjoyed and recommend this book for several reasons. First and foremost, it blows the whistle on many common "beat the market" strategies, including all manner of technical analysis. As a relatively young investor, I was always intimidated by the chartist strategies (moving averages, buy points, etc) but after reading Malkiel there is no cause for fear. Those strategies simply do not work.

    Moreover, I found the book to be an easy read relative to many texts on investment. While he covers different types of stock analysis, modern portfolio theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and asset allocation in detail, the book is not weighted down with too much heavy terminology. His writing style, use of historical anecdotes, and ability to challenge your beliefs again and again keeps you riveted to the book.

    Finally, I believe that the strategies presented in the book are clear, concise, and can be employed by anyone to their immense gain. Too many people pay for poor investment advice, make mistakes by chasing gains and paying for active portfolio management, or even pay absurd 12b-1 fees on underperforming mutual fund investments. By reading this book and taking Malkiel's advice to heart, I believe that just about anyone can end up with more dollars in hand.

    On the other hand, the book does delve into financial topics that may be intimidating for someone completely new to the investment world. The basic message (buy and hold a well-diversified portfolio of extremely low-cost index funds) could be expressed much more succinctly. However, I wouldn't change a thing with this book...just be prepared for a wild ride that challenges everything you thought you knew about investing.

    ...more info


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