Best Selling Books by William J Bernstein

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release date: Jul 08, 2010
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The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (Personal Finance & Investment)

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.

release date: May 06, 2009
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A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
Acclaimed by readers and critics around the globe, A Splendid Exchange is a sweeping narrative history of world trade—from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to the firestorm over globalization today—that brilliantly explores trade’s colorful and contentious past and provides new insights into its future.
release date: Oct 13, 2000
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The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk (Professional Finance & Investment)
“Bernstein has become a guru to a peculiarly ’90s group: well-educated, Internet-powered people intent on investing well―and with minimal ‘help’ from professional Wall Street.”
--Robert Barker, BusinessWeek

William Bernstein is one of today’s most unlikely financial heroes. A practicing neurologist, he used his self-taught investment knowledge and research to build a popular investor’s website. Now, in the plain-spoken The Intelligent Asset Allocator, he shows independent investors how to build a diversified portfolio―without the help of a financial advisor. A breath of fresh air for investors tired of overly technical investment tomes, this book will help investors:

  • Learn the risk/reward characteristics of various investment types
  • Understand and apply portfolio theory for an improved risk/reward ratio
  • Sharpen their focus, and take control of their investment programs
William Bernstein runs a website―www.efficientfrontier.com―known for its quarterly journal of asset allocation and portfolio theory, Efficient Frontier.
release date: Nov 02, 2009
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The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

A timeless approach to investing wisely over an investment lifetime

With the current market maelstrom as a background, this timely guide describes just how to plan a lifetime of investing, in good times and bad, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Investor's Manifesto will help you understand the nuts and bolts of executing a lifetime investment plan, including: how to survive dealing with the investment industry, the practical meaning of market efficiency, how much to save, how to maintain discipline in the face of panics and manias, and what vehicles to use to achieve financial security and freedom.

  • Written by bestselling author William J. Bernstein, well known for his insights on how individual investors can manage their personal wealth and retirement funds wisely
  • Examines how the financial landscape has radically altered in the past two years, and what investors should do about it
  • Contains practical insights that the everyday investor can understand
  • Focuses on the concept of Pascal's Wager-identifying and avoiding worst-case scenarios, and planning investment decisions on that basis

With The Investor's Manifesto as your guide, you'll quickly discover the timeless investment approaches that can put you in a better position to prosper over time.

release date: Jul 16, 2014
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If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly
First and foremost, this booklet is available for free on my website "efficientfrontier-dot-com," you'll have to click through a few links. (Amazon doesn't allow discrete web links.) Many readers, however, have asked for a hard copy version suitable for gift giving; here it is. With that out of the way: For years I've thought about a project to help today's young people invest for retirement because, frankly, there's still hope for them, unlike for most of their Boomer parents. All they'll have to do is to put away 15% of their salaries into a low-cost target fund or a simple three-fund index allocation for 30 to 40 years. Which is pretty much the same as saying that if someone exercises and eats a lot less, he'll lose 30 pounds. Simple, but not easy. Not easy because unless the millennials learn a small amount about finance, they'll fall victim to the Five Horsemen of Personal Finance Apocalypse: failure to save, ignorance of financial theory, unawareness of financial history, dysfunctional psychology, and the rapacity of the investment industry. If You Can is just the ticket to guide the young—and not so young—investor through this thicket. And, to repeat, if you just want to read the booklet, it's available for free. This paperback is intended only for gift giving.
release date: May 28, 2014
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Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults (Investing for Adults) (Volume 4)
Rational Expectations is a clean sheet of paper in the wonky world of quantitatively based asset allocation aimed at small investors. Continuing the theme of the Investing for Adults series, this full-length finance title is not for beginners, but rather assumes a fair degree of quantitative ability and finance knowledge. If you think you can time the market or pick stocks and mutual fund managers, or even if you think that you can formulate an optimally efficient mean-variance asset allocation with a black box, then learn some basic finance and come back in a few years. On the other hand, if you know your way around risk premiums and standard deviations and know who Irving Fisher and Benjamin Graham were, and if you want to sharpen your asset class skills, you’ve come to the right place.
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release date: Oct 13, 2006
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Value Averaging: The Safe and Easy Strategy for Higher Investment Returns
Michael Edleson first introduced his concept of value averaging to the world in an article written in 1988. He then wrote a book entitled Value Averaging in 1993, which has been nearly impossible to find—until now. With the reintroduction of Value Averaging, you now have access to a strategy that can help you accumulate wealth, increase your investment returns, and achieve your financial goals.
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release date: Jun 09, 2009
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The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money
"A gem from one of the most brilliant minds in personal finance."
Ben Stein, author, actor, TV personality, and New York Times columnist

"Investing, as it is said, is simple but it is not easy. Jonathan Clements's fine new Little Book underscores the priceless (and price-less) value of simplicity. And his sage advice on living the good life and on spending well and saving wisely will surely make it, if not easy, at least easier for us to achieve financial peace of mind."
John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard and author of Enough

"Nobody, and I mean nobody, can make the world of investing as easy to understand as Jonathan Clements can. In this wonderful book, he teaches Main Street how to beat Wall Street at its own game-and how to have fun along the way. This book does not stop at merely making you richer and smarter; it will even help you lead a better life."
Jason Zweig, author of Your Money and Your Brain and editor of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor

"Jonathan Clements is one of our wisest and finest writers in the field of personal finance. This Little Book contains gems of wisdom not only about investing, but also about living a full and satisfying life."
Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street

"Easy to read, easy to understan-and easy to put to work-this Little Book is a winner. I'm getting copies for our children-and their children, too."
Charles D. Ellis, author of Winning the Loser's Game

release date: Apr 15, 2010
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Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else

Can serious poetry be funny? Chaucer and Shakespeare would say yes, and so do the authors of these 187 poems that address timeless concerns but that also include comic elements.

Beginning with the Beats and the New York School and continuing with both marquee-name poets and newcomers, Seriously Funny ranges from poems that are capsized by their own tomfoolery to those that glow with quiet wit to ones in which a laugh erupts in the midst of terrible darkness.

Most of the selections were made in the editors’ battered compact car, otherwise known as the Seriously Funny Mobile Unit. During the two years in which Barbara Hamby and David Kirby made their choices, they’d set out with a couple of boxes of books in the back seat, and whoever wasn’t driving read to the other. When they found that a poem made both of them think but laugh as well, they earmarked it.

Readers will find a true generosity in these poems, an eagerness to share ideas and emotions and also to entertain. The singer Ali Farka Touré said that honey is never good when it’s only in one mouth, and the editors of Seriously Funny hope its readers find much to share with others.

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release date: Aug 13, 2013
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Deep Risk: How History Informs Portfolio Design (Investing For Adults) (Volume 3)
Deep risk: How History informs Portfolio Design is the third installment in the investing for adults series. this series is not for novices. This booklet takes portfolio design beyond the familiar “black box” mean-variance framework. Most importantly, the short-term volatility of financial assets, commonly measured as standard deviation, is a highly imperfect measure of the actual long-horizon perils faced by real-world investors subject to the vagaries of financial and military history. These risks have names—inflation, deflation, confiscation, and devastation—and any useful discussion of portfolio design of necessity incorporates their probabilities, consequences, and costs of mitigation. You’re an investment adult, so you know that the future efficient frontier lies well beyond our ken; presumably you already know all about the mechanics, long-term benefits, as well as the uncertainties, of wide diversification and factor tilt using low-cost, efficient vehicles and the risk/reward spectrum between all-fixed- income and all-equity portfolios. This booklet contains no magic formula for the “perfect portfolio,” but rather, with luck, a framework within which to think more clearly about risk.
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