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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expert Advice on Creating a Rational and Optimised Portfolio
I pre-ordered this book having previously read and enjoyed Lars' humble account of his work in the financial sector "Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager". I have an admiration for the author and was keen to get my teeth into his investment advice, so I finished this book cover to cover within the week.

The fundamental premise for this book is...
Published 10 months ago by Harry Munro

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sound advice but..
The message in this book is top rate especially coming from an ex-Alpha producer and seeker in the hedge fund industry!! The downside is that the book can be summed up in a few sentences for those already proficient with markets and investing; Stop thinking you can beat the market and over trading - then depending on risk you allocate percentages of your portfolio to a...
Published 6 months ago by D. L. Couzens


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expert Advice on Creating a Rational and Optimised Portfolio, 7 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
I pre-ordered this book having previously read and enjoyed Lars' humble account of his work in the financial sector "Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager". I have an admiration for the author and was keen to get my teeth into his investment advice, so I finished this book cover to cover within the week.

The fundamental premise for this book is rational investment, and stating the fact that the majority of us do not posess an "edge" over the market. Lars argues that in fact unless we know something that nobody else knows we do not have an advantage over the market. Thus, any implication that we think a particular market will go in one way or another is irrational. Lars puts a lot of focus on getting the reader to accept that they probably do not have an edge. Most knowledge about future prospects of the market are already reflected in the current price - the market is efficient, and to claim an edge would be irrational. I like the authors assertion that we probably won't be able to beat the market, and trying to will probably make us worse off. Instead he suggests a rational approach to investment that assumes no inherent edge over the market.

The approach to Lars' investment advice in this book is divided simply into four quadrants (minimal risk bonds, global equities, other government bonds and diversified corporate bonds). The author provides a guide on how the reader can optimise their portfolio using the four asset classes to balance their desired level of risk and return. Risk is expertly explained with the use of standard deviation, and the probabilities of you earning X amount from your investments are discussed. The author encourages you to go onto Excel yourself and do some modelling to further your understanding of the impact of risk an return on your final portfolio pot.

I enjoyed one of the final chapters on investment advice in the case of the apocalypse, where Lars discusses what assets might hold up well in the case of war or some other disaster.

This book has given me some serious food for thought, and caused me to really question my investment strategy. I will be applying the principles to my portfolio. I highly recommend it to an investor at any stage. I am in my mid-20s with a relatively small savings pot, I have no doubt that I will be thankful in the future for the advice in this book. So thank-you Lars, I look forward to reading your future publications, and to reaping the benefits from this investment.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep it simple, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This is a must read for the man on the street with cash to invest. Its also a must read for 99% of 'professionals'. This book is full of wisdom. Lars' premise starts with the view that very few investors have edge - once you accept this, what do you do about it? It takes a brave investor to admit it, but once you realise that really you dont know more than the market (this will require parking the ego) then the world of investing becomes much simpler. I wont try to give a full account of the book, but I will stress the key takeaway for retail investors (who I think will get the most value from this book): fees. The 'racket' that is the retail financial product market would cease to exist if every retail investor read this book. Lars hits home just how powerful the compounding effect of fees are year on year, and how they will destroy your portfolio performance. As the penny drops with the reader that retail providers rarely ourperform markets (because they are not incentivised to do so), and are therefore only interested in management fees, the reader will see the light - never again will you pay unnecessary fees to mediocre advisers/private bankers. Now let the book guide you into building a very sensible portfolio.....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice to improve your financial return and reduce your effort, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This is a great book by Lars Kroijer because he teaches you how you with a simple solution will generate superior returns in a very complex financial world. All you need to do is to be humble and accept that you have no edge over the markets, implement Lars advice in line with your risk preferences, and you will be rewarded with superior returns that over time will make a huge difference. I really enjoyed reading the book because Lars manages to explain complex issues in a simple and logical way, thanks to his in depth long-time experience of the financial markets. This is also why the reader will find his advice highly credible and very insightful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid and trustworthy guide to personal investing, 11 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
When a retired hedge fund manager with a social conscience takes the time to write a lucid and entertaining guide to personal portfolio management using low cost passive investment funds, the result is a convincing blend of investment theory, empirical evidence, and practical experience. He explains why investors invariably fail in their attempts to 'beat the market' and instead recommends that investors focus on building a rational portfolio consisting of the simplest possible ingredients: a passive global equities index fund, and a low risk government bond fund, blended according to one's personal risk preferences. Given realistic expectations of annual investment returns of, at best, 5% above inflation, the need to ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary costs, including management charges, trading costs and avoidable taxes is repeatedly emphasised throughout the book. The author also makes some interesting points about the need to take a holistic view of your personal assets and liabilities, including property ownership and employment income, and broadly diversify risk. Overall, a very accessible and trustworthy guide to personal investing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thought-provoking, 13 Nov 2013
This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
"Investing Demystified" is an excellent and thought-provoking book. It challenges the reader to decide whether or not he or she has an "edge" in picking stocks or picking fund managers, and if not, to create a rational, low-cost portfolio. In addition to investors, I believe that "Investing Demystified" should be read by market participants (analysts, fund managers, etc) who believe that they have that "edge"; this book shows them the alternative strategies they are competing with and should cause them to reflect on the high standards they need to achieve to remain credible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Investment Unriddled, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Kroijer's book introduces concepts which can be readily applied to one's personal investment program, whatever stage of life. The genius is in the directness and simplicity. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read! The author makes complex portfolio theory simple., 30 Oct 2013
This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
Investing Demystified makes for wonderful reading. The author makes complex portfolio theory simple. At a time when the mightiest of fund managers have been unable to beat the market, this book's arguments are most timely. The investment concepts in this book can help those relatively unfamiliar with investment management theory make great decisions while also be deep enough to add color and texture to readers who are familiar with finance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and Reap! Successful Investing through Rationality., 5 Oct 2013
This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This is the right book at the right time. Today, individual investors are bombarded by confusing information and contradictory indicators. The stock market is hitting new highs; yet, unemployment is high, growth is low, and the government is either helping or hurting . . . we can't tell which. Somehow, Lars Kroijer manages to make this moment approachable, through an investment framework that is totally methodical and straightforward. More importantly, it is accessible to every investor because it rests on the premise that you don't need to have an edge over the market in order to succeed in the market - so long as you create a rational investment portfolio.

Kroijer's rational investment doctrine is empowering in how it crafts simple solutions by utilizing information that is already baked into the markets and their investment vehicles - the valuations, the allocations, and all the interpretations embodied therein. In addition, execution is inexpensive and unintimidating. Kroijer also sprinkles data sources and findings throughout the book, without being overwhelming, but rather making his concepts and practices more tangible and easier to act upon.

The essence of Investing Demystified is that it provides a prism through which an individual investor can transform the chaos of the markets into a single path of clarity. For every responsible and thoughtful investor, this book is a must-read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got no edge???, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This is aimed at anyone struggling to know how they should invest in the markets. The thesis is that if you ask yourself that question (which most private investors do) it should be interpreted as an admission that you don't have an 'edge' to outperform the general markets. If you can accept this (and Lars does a great job in setting out exactly why you ought to) then you have taken what he claims is a very positive first step as an investor. You can now eradicate all the mistakes, follies and unnecessary fees and feel confident that you are likely to generate better returns by just buying the market rather than trying to beat it. So sometimes less really is more - but of course the industry has a vested interest to not share that! So next time you feel tempted by share tips in the newspaper, or from the golf course, go back and re-read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on, 11 Jan 2014
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Excellent book. As a long term investor (30 years and still going) I have been through about 6 economic crises, and the fact is that boom and bust is what capitalism is all about (although our fellow Marc Faber likes to tell us it's always doom, gloom, bust and no boom).

A friend of mine, as part of his Doctoral thesis, analysed the results of 10,000 investors of a major German bank and found that regular investors who try to time the market when buying and selling, invariably have lower returns than investors who sit on a conservative and correctly balanced portfolio and who rely on time and the power of compound interest to increase their wealth.

As Lars points out, if you had a 100,000 USD and were averaging an annual return of 5%, you would have doubled your money after 15 years. Over the last 100 years the major stock markets have all averaged returns of nearly 10%. Of course you have to sit tight and have the courage to ride through the crashes without selling parts of your portfolio.

Also read A Random Walk Down Walk Street and the Millionaire Teacher, if you'd like to learn more.
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