Best asset allocation book to read?

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Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby mrsub » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:57 pm

Hi guys, it seems a very large part of the focus here is on asset allocation and if I asked you what is the #1 or #2 must read books on this topic prior to investing - what would they be?

(Preferably, one could get these on kindle)
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby tomd37 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:13 pm

"All About Asset Allocation" (second edition) by Richard (Rick) Ferri.

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds" (Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition) by John Bogle

"The Random Walk Guide to Investing" by Burton G. Malkiel (not necessarily one of the most read, but one of my favorites)
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby masterofinvesting » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:16 pm

I am a newbie to AA myself, and I liked "The Intelligent Asset Allocator", by William Bernstein.

I'll probably check out the other books listed above as well ...
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby spotty_dog » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:42 pm

To start with I would pick from the first five books on this page: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Books:_R ... nd_Reviews
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Dougroseville » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:29 pm

I read "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" first, and "All About Asset Allocation" second.

"The Intelligent Asset Allocator" is a good book if you are math inclined. However, I think it may have made me be inclined to over slice-and-dice my portfolio.

I recommend starting with "All About Asset Allocation" (second edition) by Richard (Rick) Ferri.

Both are available on Kindle.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby staythecourse » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:12 am

Mr. Ferri's "All About Asset Allocation"
Mr. Gibson's "Asset Allocation"

Good luck.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby tigerman3 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:59 am

I concur with those who have suggested Ferri's book. Would also add: The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between by William Bernstein.

http://www.amazon.com/Investors-Manifes ... 226&sr=1-3
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby researchfiend » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:32 am

I vote for Bernstein's "Manifesto" mentioned above as a first read on this topic.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby selftalk » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:17 am

THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING is terrific and also short in duration by 2 authors that are giants in this field ie. Burton Makiel and Charles Ellis.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Jake46 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:54 am

staythecourse wrote:Mr. Ferri's "All About Asset Allocation"
Mr. Gibson's "Asset Allocation"

Good luck.


+1 Both books are easy to understand but thorough in their discussions.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Dulocracy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:35 am

Swedroe's "The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need" and "The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need".

Bernstein's "The Intelligent Asset Allocator"

Ferri "All About Asset Allocation"

You pick up different ideas from different authors. Some will resonate with you better than others. I pick parts of them that make sense to me. For example, I will never hold long-term bonds (with the exception of municipal bonds) because of Larry Swedroe's explanation of how the risk is not rewarded because of a skewed supply/demand ratio (because of institutional investors that purchase to be sure to make their commitments). Read his book to find out more. I lean towards Rick Ferri's stance on corporate bonds. I believe they have a place in my portfolio, while Swedroe leans away from them. In that instance, Mr. Ferri's arguments resonate with me more.

There are other books that I would suggest reading, but you asked specifically about Asset Allocation. The above four will give you basic insight and arguments that you can weigh against each other. (You will also find a LOT of agreement between the authors, and only a few areas of disagreement). I would strongly recommend reading all four of the above.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby menlo » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:36 am

masterofinvesting wrote:I am a newbie to AA myself, and I liked "The Intelligent Asset Allocator", by William Bernstein.

One more vote for Bernstein's "The Intelligent Asset Allocator." The only thing to note is that the correlation data in the book is quite dated, and Bernstein's latest pamphlets discuss the problem of rising correlations among asset classes. http://www.amazon.com/Skating-Where-Puc ... 988780305/
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Quickfoot » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:57 am

I'd read the above books but also read "Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment."

Once you read one book if discover you have a passion for investing you'll probably read everything you can get your hands on. I've read somewhere around 20 books in less than a year.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby mullery » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:14 pm

If I had to recommend a single book, it would be Ferri's "All About Asset Allocation" Second Edition. I read it a few months ago and it impressed me as a I read it and stayed with me after I was done. I found the organization of the book, the use of charts and examples, and the amount of technical detail to be just right for me.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby IlliniDave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:35 pm

tomd37 wrote:"All About Asset Allocation" (second edition) by Richard (Rick) Ferri.

"Common Sense on Mutual Funds" (Fully Updated 10th Anniversary Edition) by John Bogle

"The Random Walk Guide to Investing" by Burton G. Malkiel (not necessarily one of the most read, but one of my favorites)


I just started the Rick Ferri title you mention. So far it seems very well put together. To whatever extent a person can recommend a book he's only 25% through reading, I'd recommend it (if you're looking for a thorough treatment).

I also recommend Common Sense on Mutual Funds (same edition). Bogle's approach to AA is very streamlined and so on the surface at odds with the more sophisticated academia-derived approaches. It's a good reminder that you really don't need an extravagant setup, plus it's got an immense amount of other information that's pertinent for mutual fund investors.
Don't do something. Just stand there!
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby parsi1 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:41 pm

I would also recommend "Personal Finance For Dummies" by Eric Tyson.
I read all the recommended books and eventually settled on Vanguard's Target Dated Fund (2020).
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Bungo » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:55 pm

Dougroseville wrote:"The Intelligent Asset Allocator" is a good book if you are math inclined. However, I think it may have made me be inclined to over slice-and-dice my portfolio.

I agree with both of these comments. It's my favorite asset allocation book, but it's not for anyone who doesn't want a mathematical treatment. Personally, I wish he had gone into even more mathematical detail, but I've also heard the rule of thumb that each equation added to a book reduces the potential readership by 50%. :D
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby BornInCA » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:56 pm

How about "Asset Allocation for Dummies"? :P
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby JupiterJones » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:29 pm

Another vote for the Rick Ferri book here.
Stay on target...
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby snowman » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:30 pm

I would recommend reading "Winning The Loser's Game" by C. Ellis first. It will give you great overview, and in particular, it will be very specific about the long term destruction that inflation inflicts on your portfolio. You need to understand inflation risk, not just market risk, when deciding on the right AA for you. After that, I second Rick Ferri's book - well written, easy to follow, it will give you practical steps for portfolio construction.
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby Bradley » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:14 pm

If you were to read just one book on asset allocation I would recommend Rick’s All About Asset Allocation. The second would be Bill Bernstein’s The Intelligent Asset Allocator. Both excellent books and they both do a great job of educating investors. Just happens that Mr Bernstein wrote the Foreward for Rick’s book.
You can sum up any active fund manager’s presentation at an investor conference in one sentence: “We’re doing well, all things considered.”
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Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

Postby ret&uneasy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:11 pm

I think many of the books recommended are good choices. Is there a book however dedicated and specific to retired folks say 75 or so? Other than following roughly the target retirement income AA is there anything else i should be doing? I know about annuities which I have always been reluctant to try. Maybe it's too late for me even if it is a good idea generally. My 4% withdrawal rate from my IRA and other investments and pension and Social Security cover my yearly expenses but I'm always wondering if I'm forgeting something. Is there a book that can help me?
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