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Skating Where the Puck Was: The Correlation Game in a Flat World (Investing for Adults) Paperback – 29 Dec 2012

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Skating Where the Puck Was: The Correlation Game in a Flat World (Investing for Adults) + The Ages of the Investor: A Critical Look at Life-cycle Investing (Investing for Adults; [Book 1]) + Deep Risk: How History Informs Portfolio Design: 3 (Investing For Adults)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Efficient Frontier Publications (29 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988780305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988780309
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This felt more like a long magazine article than a book, but the advice is worthwhile . When the market turns, and diversification doesn't work as you hoped, this is the article to read a second time. It might end up being the most valuable article on investing you will read if Bernstein's conclusion proves true.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Be early, far-sighted, and patient 19 Dec. 2012
By Allan S. Roth - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The title derives from hockey great Wayne Gretzky's quote, "A great hockey player skates to where the puck is going to be."

Bernstein uses the hedge fund industry to illustrate the herd skating to where the puck was. Bernstein observes that the early hedge-fund adapters, such as Yale University's endowment, could exploit alpha and earn excess returns. Yet once the strategy became popular and a couple of trillion dollars was chasing it, the puck "moved." The institutional money that chased hedge funds ended up with costs much higher than the little bit of alpha that remained. To make matters worse, correlations increased, and most hedge funds zigged at the same time stocks did the same.

This is the second installment in Bernstein's brilliant series in investing for adults. It's not for novices or those that want to believe there is some magic way to earn high returns without risk. To be a successful adult investor, Bernstein makes a compelling case to be early, be far-sighted, and be patient.

I can't get enough of William Bernstein's insights!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Brief but powerful 10 Feb. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This essay is very short (about like an in-depth magazine article) but I found it very insightful and occasionally brilliant. The key insight is that once an investment is both known and widely available without great inconvenience and transaction costs, it won't provide the returns that made it famous in the first place. I thought I already understood this, but not at the level that Bernstein explains it here. It's a great read for serious investors.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An adult discussion of asset allocation 24 Jan. 2013
By E. Schmitz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bernstein is one of the best writers on personal finance, a Bill James/ Nate Silver of finance. He can find the key principles and provide a proper perspective on investing-- not to maximize your net worth, but to avoid ending up eating dog food. Here he tackles asset allocation, which has been long identified as the key decision for optimizing return and minimizing risk. Here he reveals how many asset categories have become highly correlated, decreasing the benefits of most traditional diversification strategies. Some of the discussion gets technical, but you come away with a better understanding of what you can do about asset allocation today.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Can't believe he made this a book 5 Mar. 2014
By Jared Bartlett - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love William Bernstein and agree with 99% of what he says (and it's how I invest personally). However this shouldn't be a book. This should easily just be a chapter in a book, so i feel taken.

Granted it was my own fault for not fully investigating this "essay" before purchasing it. But come on man, this is WAY overpriced for what it is.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Errors to avoid 14 Aug. 2013
By H. Kuntz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a short discussion of the problems of correlation aspects in investing. It reviews the problems with viewing different sectors of the investing universe as uncorrelated. Bernstein shows that this is a temporary situation, because as soon as an uncorrelated asset is discovered money shift into the asset to such a large extent that the asset soon becomes correlated with the majority of the market. As with several of his other books, he looks, briefly, into the history of correlation, in this case hedge funds & commodity funds. Well worth reading.
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