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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2006
A good investment for those interested in playing the "Wall Street" game.

The first three parts of the book were really exciting, but in the last one Malkiel goes practical, and that's when he lost me for some moments, since most of it focus on US tax reallity.

The basic message goes something like this:

- You can sometimes beat the market, either by performing time series analysis on stock prices and finding some kind of a pattern, either by studying the companies's numbers and finding an undervalued stock, or by foreseing a crowd movement and getting there before everyone else. But most of the time the market will beat you, because there are random events that are impossible to predict, books can be cooked, future growth for several years in a row is pratically impossible to forecast, and sometimes you are just another sucker in the crowd. So Malkiel states that you'll be better of going for the long run, getting a do-it-yourself diverse portfolio or putting your money in a broad index fund, saving this way lots of taxes, comissions and sleepless nights, and gaining above average returns.
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on 7 June 2004
The first edition of Bernard Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street appeared in 1973, a few years after the twentieth century's first big computer technology bubble, the go-go era, popped. This, the newest and eighth edition, appears after the popping of the dot.com bubble, the last of the twentieth century's great computer technology bubbles. Investors burned in the first bubble could have been excused; after all, they didn't have Malkiel's book. But it's astounding how avidly Internet speculators threw aside all that Malkiel and others had taught them. This book belongs on every investor's bookshelf, and ought to be consulted, or at least touched to the forehead, before any investment decision. Most investment books aren't trustworthy, because their authors are salespeople who are really making a pitch instead of trying to inform you. Malkiel is disinterested. He is a teacher with the intellectual discipline of a true financial economist, and yet he writes as vividly as a good journalist. We recommend this classic: all you need to know about the market is between its covers.
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on 14 December 2008
The main idea in the book is that a nonsophisticated, average guy could achieve good returns by simply investing in index funds, whereas sophisticated investors not neccesserely produce above-average returns - and when they do, their commission eats the difference away.
To some extent I buy to it, but the book is too lenghty for explaining this idea.
P.S. Recent revelations of the author in Business Week suggest, that he at the end of the day is probably not so much a financial guru as he would like to appear - he has been hit by market downturn as heavily as anybody else.
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on 29 December 2006
A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a superb and timeless guide to investing that clearly explains the myriad of options open to investors.

The book provides an informative overview of the various investment fads and bubbles and explains why embracing the efficient market hypothesis is the best way for an investor to make returns. It outlines clearly the most cost effective ways to invest in stocks, bonds, money market accounts or other instruments. The book then helps readers identify the ideal composition of their portfolios given their risk tolerance and age.

Unlike many other investment books Malkiel stresses the very real effect that taxes can have on returns and highlights that any investor's goal should be to maximise after tax returns and therefore there is valuable material on using pension and other tax friendly schemes to increase long-run returns. Although this is written for the US market it is just as applicable to the UK, the only consequence is you will have to do a bit more research into the options available to you.

In all Malkiel does an excellent job of explaining the best ways to devise an investment plan and outlines practical and cost effective ways of doing so. His style of writing is entertaining and at no time does the book become dry and academic. As is often said of the book, it won't help you get rich quickly but might well help you get rich slowly if you follow its advice. I cannot recommend the book enough to anyone interested in putting their savings to use.
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on 20 January 2015
Book started off interesting then became dull and very academic... Very out of date and pedalling the same old "investment" strategies as other books.
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on 16 October 2003
The first edition of Bernard Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street appeared in 1973, a few years after the twentieth century's first big computer technology bubble, the go-go era, popped. This, the newest and eighth edition, appears after the popping of the dot.com bubble, the last of the twentieth century's great computer technology bubbles. Investors burned in the first bubble could have been excused; after all, they didn't have Malkiel's book. But it's astounding how avidly Internet speculators threw aside all that Malkiel and others had taught them. This book belongs on every investor's bookshelf, and ought to be consulted, or at least touched to the forehead, before any investment decision. Most investment books aren't trustworthy, because their authors are salespeople who are really making a pitch instead of trying to inform you. Malkiel is disinterested. He is a teacher with the intellectual discipline of a true financial economist, and yet he writes as vividly as a good journalist. We recommend this classic: all you need to know about the market is between its covers.
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2004
Malkiel provides a measured overrview of investment markets, and explains convincingly how the average investor can make long-term gains, avoid paying out high trading charges and diversify away as much risk as posible. If there is one problem with this book for the UK investor, it is the US slant of some of the advice and terms, eg for tax-free savings. But the central points are well made and easy to understand for even the casual investor.
This is not a book that daytraders and speculators will enjoy, if you have a nestegg that you want to see grow for the long term however, this is a classic view of how the efficient market works.
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on 25 January 2014
I've read it and applied the teachings to my investment strategy. The book mainly repeats that you shouldn't expect miracles and that you should go slow, but it's worth reading those lessons a few times.
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on 29 December 2014
A++, everything as described. Would do business again.
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I really cannot rate this book enough. If you have a little bit of money lef over each year, then this book will give you some very wise advice as to what to do with that money.

I studied Economics at Cambridge, and work in the finance industry, and I have to say this is possibly the best book in terms of balancing complicated financial ideas and understandable investment advice. Malkiel's explanation of beta is particularly useful to the uninitiated.

If you are really serious about saving a little nest-egg for retirement, then you really should read this.
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