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The Four Pillars of Investing : Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio
By: Bernstein, William J.

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Synopsis:
Sound, sensible advice from a hero to frustrated investors everywhere William Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing gives investors the tools they need to construct top-returning portfolios­­without the help of a financial adviser. In a relaxed, nonthreatening style, Dr. Bernstein provides a distinctive blend of market history, investing theory, and behavioral finance, one designed to help every investor become more self-sufficient and make betterinformed investment decisions. The 4 Pillars of Investing explains how any investor can build a solid foundation for investing by focusing on four essential lessons, each building upon the other. Containing all of the tools needed to achieve investing success, without the help of a financial advisor, it presents: Practical investing advice based on fascinating history lessons from the market Exercises to determine risk tolerance as an investor An easy-to-understand explanation of risk and reward in the capital markets

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Jacket Description:

"A TRIUMPH! Bill Bernstein's new book offers sound principles, unvarnished history, and unmatched understanding of the process of successful investing. It is my candidate for the best investment book of 2002."--John C. Bogle, Founder and Former Chairman Vanguard Group, Author, John Bogle on Investing
William Bernstein has carved out a reputation as one of the most brutally honest, yet consistently accurate, voices in today's financial wilderness. In The Four Pillars of Investing, Dr. Bernstein explains how any independent investor can construct a superior investment portfolio by learning these four essentials:
*The Theory of Investing­"Do not expect high returns without risks."
*The History of Investing­"About once every generation, the markets go barking mad. If you are unprepared, you are sure to fail."
*The Psychology of Investing­"Identify the era's conventional wisdom and assume that it is wrong. More often than not, it is."
*The Business of Investing­"The stockbroker services his clients in the same way that Bonnie and Clyde serviced banks."
From the essential soundness of classic portfolio theory through the inherent wisdom of investing in multiple asset classes, The Four Pillars of Investing focuses on the four fundamental topics that every investor must understand--and presents an easy-to-follow, step-by-step program for achieving long-term investing success.
"Bernstein is little known. But that's changing, and the sooner you get to know him, the better off your retirement portfolio is likely to be."--Robert Barker, Columnist, BusinessWeek
William Bernstein's first book--The Intelligent Asset Allocator--remains one of the most honored investment books of recent times. Hailed by national publications, including BusinessWeek, and by independent investment icons, including Vanguard founder John Bogle, it has become an instant classic for its well-researched analyses and rules for successful investing.
Now, in the commonsense investor's guide The Four Pillars of Investing, Bernstein returns with the knowledge and tools investors need to assemble low-risk, winning portfolios without professional advice. 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. It pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on in today's financial industry as it 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
*Why the mutual fund and brokerage industries, instead of 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, lined with stockbrokers, journalists, and mutual fund companies whose interests are diametrically opposed to yours. The Four Pillars of Investing shows you how, with relatively little effort, you can determine your own financial direction and assemble an investment program with the sole goal of building long-term wealth for yourself and your family.


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Table of Contents:
Prefacevii
Introductionxi
Pillar One: The Theory of Investing1(126)
No Guts, No Glory
3(40)
Measuring the Beast
43(32)
The Market Is Smarter Than You Are
75(32)
The Perfect Portfolio
107(20)
Pillar Two: The History of Investing127(36)
Tops: A History of Manias
129(24)
Bottoms: The Agony and the Opportunity
153(10)
Pillar Three: The Psychology of Investing163(26)
Misbehavior
165(16)
Behavioral Therapy
181(8)
Pillar Four: The Business of Investing189(38)
Your Broker Is Not Your Buddy
191(12)
Neither Is Your Mutual Fund
203(16)
Oliver Stone Meets Wall Street
219(8)
Investment Strategy: Assembling the Four Pillars227(72)
Will You Have Enough?
229(14)
Defining Your Mix
243(38)
Getting Started, Keeping It Going
281(14)
A Final Word
295(4)
Bibliography299(6)
Index305


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