Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing
Old 03-15-2007, 07:38 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
martyb's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bossier City
Posts: 2,182
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing

I bought the book through Amazon laST week, just barely cracked the first few pages so far. I'll devote some time to it this weekend. So far so good.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” - Edgar Bergen
martyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: The Four Pillars of Investing
Old 03-15-2007, 09:07 PM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
DRiP Guy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 546
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing

I'm a little pooped out to do this all right now, but I will say this as a place-holder:

1. "Four Pillars" is great. Bernstein is both wise and a good author. That said, he is NOT perfect.

2. I have had some misgivings with some of his stories used to support ideas. The ideas may be sound, but a few of the illustrations just seem like old saws that may not hold up to either fact-checking or statistical rigor. I am NOT saying anything other than he may have made the all-too human mistake of being attached to some old war stories and useful examples that might not all pass a 'Snopes check'.

3. Sure enough, his use of the example of Bayesian statistics to find a sunken sub, USS Scorpion, seemed unlikely, and I thought the numbers seemed artificial, and the story highly improbable. (The technique was used, has validity, but the story was a bit TOO pat).

4. My intuition appears correct. Here are a couple of clips directly in contravention of Bernstein's colorful story. As is usual with accidents involving aircraft, ships, and other intricate technology, the real story is MORE intriguing, less certain, and far more subtle than the short chestnut would make it out to be.

5. So is his point wrong? No. But this (IMHO) is likely just one of many places where loose use of 'stories' or 'common knowledge' might mar otherwise excellent insight and advice.

Many might think it unworthy of me making this criticism, but to me anything that gets us closer to the ground truth is good. Hopefully some will be interested.

I am going to link to three or four small blurbs out of a book available on Amazon, and can't imagine this would be an issue because 1) It ought to generate eyeballs and interest for book (I have no $ interest), 2) "Fair Use" Law indemnifies those who are not for profit, doing critical assessment, using in limited way, extended use, etc. I am doing all of that.


Intro to Gordon Hamilton and SOFAR:


La Palma:

Recordings & concept:

3 months of searching...:

The sled finds it:

Bottom line? Well, this is how Gordon Hamilton (and many others) saw it:


At the Bermuda SOFAR Station the initial SOSUS research was done (with Joe Worzel), the first Precision Depth Recorder was developed (by Bernie Luskin) and my research, data and analysis led to finding the lost USS Scorpion debris field in 1967.

DRiP Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing
Old 03-16-2007, 01:13 AM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing

Originally Posted by Sam
William Bernstein's book pops up several times a week on this forum since I joined this board. Yet, I haven't read it. Before I commit myself to spending $20, I have a few questions:

1) Isn't there a single thing wrong about his theory? What didn't you like about this book?
Bernstein does not really provide a prescriptive theory. He provides a lot of data about what has and what hasn't worked in the past. I don't find Berstein as compelling as many posters on this board. He does collect and present a great deal of academic and financial literature in a well-organized fashion. But I also think he sometimes gets lost in mathematical space and fails completely to couple the mathematics to reality. This results if a few mistakes.

2) Sounds like he's saying that there's no chance of beating the market. Did he mention Warren Buffet at all in his book?
I think he builds a strong case that beating the market over the long term is very rare. He does discuss Warren Buffet. I have to add, that investors need to understand that Warren Buffet achieves his results as much through his management skills as through his investment skills.

3) Do you follow his method to the letter?
there really isn't a prescriptive method to follow. I don't agree with all of his conclusions.

Should I spend TWENTY dollars on this book?
No. Check it out from the library. That's what I did.
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing
Old 03-16-2007, 04:56 AM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,427
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing

Sadly Pillars is not only not available in the Barnes & Noble, but the only copy in the Hawaii library system is an downloadable audio book.

Of course, the audio book software isn't compatible with an iPod (thank you Apple and RIA) so I am listening to it while surfing the web.

Frankly without the charts I am not sure it is all that great.
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing
Old 03-16-2007, 07:16 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 16,438
Re: The Four Pillars of Investing

Originally Posted by clifp

Of course, the audio book software isn't compatible with an iPod (thank you Apple and RIA) so I am listening to it while surfing the web.
Don't blame Apple. Blame the audio book publisher - they chose the DRM. iPods will play any DRM free audio.

The music labels forced the DRM on the music that they sell through the Apple iTunes Music Store.

Steve Jobs statement:
Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free. ...... Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.


ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Four Pillars of Investing - Efficient Market Theory!?!? Running_Man FIRE and Money 54 04-04-2007 09:41 PM
Four Pillars and Bogleheads' Guide Jeb-NY FIRE and Money 3 01-04-2006 02:34 PM
(DVY) and Dividend Investing charlottebandito FIRE and Money 11 08-01-2005 09:35 PM
Book Report - Four Pillars of Investing cute fuzzy bunny FIRE and Money 24 03-25-2004 11:24 AM
International Exposure in Investing arrete FIRE and Money 21 04-03-2003 09:54 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:42 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.