A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

Using the dot-com crash as an object lesson in how not to manage your portfolio, here is the best-selling, gimmick-free, irreverent, vastly informative guide to navigating the turbulence of the market and managing investments with confidence.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well established as a staple of the business shelf, the first book any investor should read before

A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well established as a staple of the business shelf, the first book any investor should read before taking the plunge and starting a portfolio. With its life-cycle guide to investing, it matches the needs of investors at any age bracket. Burton G. Malkiel shows how to analyze the potential returns, not only for stocks and bonds but also for the full range of investment opportunities, from money market accounts and real estate investment trusts to insurance, home ownership, and tangible assets like gold and collectibles.

Whether you want to verse yourself in the ways of the market before talking to a broker or follow Malkiel’s easy steps to managing your own portfolio, this book remains the best investing guide money can buy.
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    Jack

    Apr 15, 2012

    rated it
    did not like it

    Many years ago I bought this book about the stock market. In retrospect, it is the worst book I’ve ever bought because it made me believe in efficient capital markets. The author made his point with a lot of arrogance – just like finance professors did 15-20 years ago. At the time the markets very certainly not as efficient as the author believed. There have been several updates to the book, but the condescending voice of the author remains.

    For the statistically interested, the problem with a lo

    For the statistically interested, the problem with a lot of old finance (and also not so old) research was that it was testing the theory that the market was efficient. That is poor philosophy of science. You should always test the opposite of what your theory stipulates. If you can reject the opposite, your theory is as supported as it can be (standard Popper). The finance profession in their ignorance of philosophy of science tested it the other way around. This means that they could too easily conclude that the markets were efficient. Not a word about such complications in this book. Why is this relevant? I would say that the author is less critical of research that supports his preconceived opinion.

    I did not realise this bias when I first read the book. Instead, I believed the author’s conclusion that the markets must be so efficient that it is fruitless to try to beat them. That was and is just plain silly. The markets are of course tending towards efficiency, so it is not easy to beat them. This is an important point. However, to state that they are efficient is just plain arrogant. So while there are some very good critical analyses in this book, ultimately it might make you believe in something that is very costly: That you cannot make more money in the stock market unless you are willing to take on a higher level of risk.

    Currently a lot of academics are questioning the efficient markets. This research is not taken seriously by the author. I am reminded of Kuhn’s comment that the new paradigm only becomes prominent when the old guard dies/retires. Furthermore, a lot of people with a PhD in finance start hedge funds to exploit anomalies in the market place instead of writing academic articles. Wouldn’t this be worth serious consideration by the author? Still, there is still room for other inefficiencies. For instance the role of emotions is totally disregarded by academic-finance number-crunchers.

    The author also has advice of how to invest. His view is to buy low-cost mutual funds. This is not awful advice, but still why would you buy mutual funds when the average fund doesn’t even return average market returns? The only thing you know is that they take 1-3% in management fees every year. Do compound interest on that! In The Financial Times, the author recently argued that stocks in emerging markets are undervalued. It is hard to believe in efficient markets and write an investment column. So he just assumes (contrary to his book) that the markets are inefficient and have not priced those stocks correctly. Check out recent videos from 2011. He says that he believes in efficient markets when it comes to publicly available information. Then he proceeds to state that people in 1999 bought the wrong kind of stocks (Internet, technology), which were overvalued. Yes, I would agree those stocks were in a bubble. But honestly, then you cannot believe in efficient markets. These blaring inconsistencies are remarkable.

    If you have read this far and want to give me negative feedback, be my guest. I posted a version of this review on an earlier edition of the book, and the review got trashed be believers. When you get a lot of negative feedback on a negative review on amazon that tells you the author has a lot of worshippers. That should make you worried.

    A more rational response would be to read Justin Fox’s The Myth of the Rational Market. It tells a much more nuanced narrative about the efficiency of capital markets and prominent academics role in developing ideas and theories. The style of the book is not preachy at all. His stories show academic finance to be a very dogmatic environment in the 80s and 90s. You could be called a communist by the stars in the field and have your chances of employment reduced if you didn’t sign up to the belief that markets are efficient. It is all described in Fox’s book. Or read Shiller’s Irrational Exuberance describing how bubbles have been removed from finance textbooks and PhD syllabi because they doesn’t fit with the rational actor model. He has the following to say about the efficient market hypothesis: “one of the most remarkable errors in the history of economic thought”. Or read Montier’s Behavioural Investing: A Practitioners Guide to Applying Behavioural Finance (The Wiley Finance Series) (or his other books) for more evidence of imperfect markets. Or read Dreman’s column in Forbes magazine.
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    Luca Ambrosino

    English (A Random Walk Down Wall Street) / Italiano

    A challenging walk around Wall Street, in different time periods that affected the American economy and consequently the World, in order to provide us the necessary elements to understand the main investment rules applied on the stock exchange. Burton G. Malkiel describes with clear examples the differences between audacious investment strategies, designed to quickly profit, and more prudent strategies that aim to increase profits in longer time


    A challenging walk around Wall Street, in different time periods that affected the American economy and consequently the World, in order to provide us the necessary elements to understand the main investment rules applied on the stock exchange. Burton G. Malkiel describes with clear examples the differences between audacious investment strategies, designed to quickly profit, and more prudent strategies that aim to increase profits in longer times.

    Recommended for those who want an introduction to the stock market world.

    Vote: 7

    description

    Una stimolante “passeggiata” per Wall Street, percorrendo varie tappe temporali che hanno segnato l’economia americana in primis, e di riflesso quella mondiale, allo scopo di fornirci gli elementi necessari a comprendere le principali regole di investimento in borsa. Burton G. Malkiel descrive con chiari esempi le differenze tra strategie di investimento spregiudicate, volte a trarre profitto in tempi brevi, e strategie più prudenti che mirano ad incrementare i profitti in tempi più lunghi.

    Consigliato a chi vuole un introduzione sul mondo della borsa.

    Voto: 7


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    Roy Lotz

    Because I read so often, I sometimes think that once in a while I should read something that might materially benefit me. So when my brother gave me this book, I thought “why not?” and dove in.

    The first thing I noticed is that Malkiel is a surprisingly gifted writer. He is capable of telling a good story, he’s cultured enough to make interesting references, and he has that quintessential skill of all popular writers: the ability to present ideas clearly without dumbing them down. For someone in

    The first thing I noticed is that Malkiel is a surprisingly gifted writer. He is capable of telling a good story, he’s cultured enough to make interesting references, and he has that quintessential skill of all popular writers: the ability to present ideas clearly without dumbing them down. For someone in my position—who managed to get this far in life while remaining astoundingly ignorant of these matters—I can’t imagine a better introduction into the world of finance. Malkiel gives you a little history, a little theory, and a lot of practical advice.

    Given that I am, as aforesaid, a neophyte, I cannot give an intelligent appraisal of this book. That being said, Malkiel did manage to be very convincing. He presents anecdotal, theoretical, historical, and statistical reasons to adopt his strategies; indeed, he goes to such pains to prove his point, that it’s hard not to agree with him. Of course, any person who trades actively will probably find a lot to disagree with. Particularly contentious is Malkiel’s championing of the Efficient-Market Theory (EMT). As my father said to me last night, “That’s crazy; the market isn’t efficient—it’s all mob psychology!”

    Malkiel does give mob psychology its due. He devotes an entire chapter to behavioral finance, and covers some of the innumerable foibles of our race when it comes to making rational decisions. In fact, it was Malkiel’s effort to give the opposing views their due (minus the analysts, whom he ridicules mercilessly) which made him so convincing for me. For he is not simply an intractable proponent of EMT, heedless of all the contrary evidence.

    His position is more subtle: first, he holds that markets, even if they’re inefficient in the short run, trend towards efficiency in the long run; second, he points out that, even if a stock might be mispriced, the financial tools available for determining if and to what extent it is mispriced are often inaccurate; and third, he points to the many practical impediments to cashing in on market inefficiencies, such as transaction fees and capital gains taxes.

    Of course, I doubt this book is the whole story; after all, I personally know people who made considerable money on the stock market using diametrically opposed strategies. And for a book on something which has frustrated some of the best and brightest minds, Malkiel comes across as astoundingly cocksure. So I cannot say that I am an acolyte. On the other hand, the core of Malkiel’s advice—to invest in a diversified index fund, and hold onto it for a long time—strikes me as sensible (especially for someone as financially ignorant as am I). It also has a certain lazy charm. And how often do self-help books give their imprimatur to laziness?
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