Review of Larry Swedroe’s Wise Investing Made Simple
, on October 23, 2007
Recently, I was sent a copy of Wise Investing Made Simple: Larry Swedroe’s Tales to Enrich Your Future by the publicist. After I finished the first chapter, I simply couldn’t put it down until I finished the book. As my regular readers may know, I like good stories, and this book was packed full of great stories. Although it seems a little expensive at $24.95, I thought the book was worth its weight in gold.
Great Stories about Investing
This book is basically a series of 27 stories that demonstrate various investing concepts in a very simple and insightful way. Some of my favorites chapters were:
- The Twenty-Dollar Bill
- The Demon of Chance
- An Investor’s Worst Enemy
- Too Many Eggs in One Basket
- The Big Rocks
The Essence of Wise Investing
I won’t spoil the fun by telling you what these stories were about, but I can share with you the essence of Larry’s investing philosophy (which I completely agree with). These were neatly captured on page 105, and I will semi-paraphrased them here:
- First, build a globally diversified portfolio to reduce the risk of having too many eggs in one basket. A good portfolio should have balanced mix of domestic and international stocks, small and large stocks, value and growth stocks, real estate, and bonds
- Second, efforts to outperform the market were unlikely to produce market-beating returns. Therefore, trying to minimize costs is more important than trying to outperform the market. This means invest in low-cost, no-load, and passively managed funds and ETFs (i.e., index funds and ETFs)
- Third, it is important to be a disciplined, long-term, buy-and-hold investor.
Overall, this is not a beginner book by any mean. I think people new to investing would find this book a little harder to grasp. However, this is the kind of book that reveals great insight to anyone that has basic knowledge about investing, as well as those that called themselves professional investors.
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