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Summary

William Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing gives investors the tools they need to construct top-returning portfolios without 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 better-informed investment decisions.

The Four 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
©2002 McGraw-Hill (P)2003 AMI

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great motivational book

Simply explained and easy to follow even for someone who has no clue about investing. Narrator has very soothing voice.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great overview on how to start investing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It gave a very clear overview on pros and cons of investing and how to assemble a portfolio. Gave me the confidence to skip the marketing from the fund options and go straight to index funds.

Any additional comments?

Only thing I missed a bit was on how to select a suitable investment platform and how to invest in items outside of shares / indexes (eg gold). Other then that great starting guide!

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Investment Basics Made Simple

If you could sum up The Four Pillars of Investing in three words, what would they be?

To the point.

What other book might you compare The Four Pillars of Investing to, and why?

I am not aware of any that are as short as this but still useful.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Sound less like a compere.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

N/A

Any additional comments?

A useful, bite sized introduction to investment strategy.

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  • Ronald
  • 10-04-12

So good I listened twice

What did you learn from The Four Pillars of Investing that you would use in your daily life?

I have been learning to invest for 30 years. Had I bought this book in 1983 and followed Bernstein's advice, I would have slept better and been wealthier. This book prescribes a simple approach that requires discipline, and it explains why the approach will work. Not because it predicts performance of markets, but because it appreciates how markets behave owing to human nature.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John Doe
  • 29-12-14

Get The Investor's Manifesto instead by Bernstein.

Would you try another book from William Bernstein and/or Chris Ryan?

Yes, and I did. I listened to William Berstein's The Investor's Manifesto, twice.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Sound investing advice but lack specifics. I was startled at the lack of in-depth discussion of portfolio design or asset allocation considering the title is "The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio."

What about Chris Ryan’s performance did you like?

He did a solid job. I would have no problem listening to his other audio books.

Do you think The Four Pillars of Investing needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, lacks specifics on asset allocation. For example what should my bond allocation within my portfolio look like for x, y, or z type of investors? Stock allocation within the one's portfolio is driven home but not on one's bond allocation. Other asset securities not discussed much either such as REIT's or International stock investing.

Any additional comments?

Bernstein's The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between is a much better audiobook. If you are going to read or listen to this book it should be done to compliment the Investor's Manifesto. Additionally, it does suck not having any pdf files of any of the charts, graphs, or pies. At least Tony Robbins 2014 investing audiobook, MONEY Master the Game, he supplies 30 or 40 pages of pdf files with this audio which is critical some of this information. Lastly, I do enjoy Bernstein's sense of humor in both books. Hope this review helped.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 02-06-13

Get "The Investor's Manifesto" instead

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Lots of material I've heard before. It's not bad if you are new to Bernstein, but reading this and "The Investor's Manifesto" is redundant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Hall
  • 13-08-12

Good guideance for the investor

If you could sum up The Four Pillars of Investing in three words, what would they be?

Investors should "Read this book"

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

There is a lot of detail here. Unless you are familiar with the subject of investing, you may want to read it multiple times.

Which character – as performed by Chris Ryan – was your favorite?

The financial advisor. The author seems to have little respect for most financial advisors.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Instructions on personal investing

Any additional comments?

I liked this book. It has a lot of good down to earth advice for investors.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neal
  • 19-09-09

One of the Best Investing Books I've Read

William Bernstein does a great job laying out the case for passive investing, explaining why it works, how people can get overly enthusiastic in stocks and how bubbles can really pop. His recommendations on Asset Allocation are also spot on for the individual investor. Highly, Highly Recommend and listen to it over and over again.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debra Lang
  • 22-05-07

Excellent listen

An excellent book that was an engaging and educating.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 31-10-16

Great book, but advertised incorrecty

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Great book. I love the master Bernstein. My only disappointment is the audible purchase is abridged, not unabridged. Sloppy work with it miss-posted!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Allen
  • 14-01-16

Dated information. Conflicting perspectives.

This book is a useful primer for investing information. Written in the mid-2000's, the exam market examples are at least 10 to ti25 years old.

The book primarily supports the Efficient Markets Theory (in which a stock price always -- and correctly, a reflects a company's underlying value) but occasionally seems to support a Value Investing approach. (I practice the latter, not the former)

Not a /flawed/ reference, but not one I can unreservedly endorse for inexperienced investors.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-09-18

Incredible insight

I definitely got a few things from it. I loved the history breakdown it is worth the listen.

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  • RK
  • 04-06-18

A good quick investment guide for beginners!

This audiobook is a very good concise, yet comprehensive guide to investment for the beginners.