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Which Bernstein book to buy for someone?
Old 01-22-2010, 05:27 AM   #1
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Which Bernstein book to buy for someone?

I want to buy one of Bernstein's books for a friend who's ready to take asset allocation and index investing seriously.

I've only ever read the first one (The Intelligent Asset Allocator).

Should I assume his latest book contains his most current thinking and is most relevant? Or is the latest book just dumbed down for a wider audience, thus I'd be better off with an earlier book?

The guy I want to buy this book for works in finance and is highly numerate.

I appreciate suggestions from those who have read several or all of his books.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:00 AM   #2
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While I enjoy Bernstein and just finished his recent "The Investor's Manifesto", I would be hesitant to recommend any of them to a non-receptive reader. The shortest one is the last one TIM, but it wastes too much time in history which Bernstein's obviously loves.

If you want to get right into the meat of indexing and asset allocation, then I would recommend Larry Swedroe's "The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need" instead. It gets right into the meat of how to set up a portfolio and why.

Bernstein spends too much time on real estate along LeeuwenBrug in Amsterdam in the 1300s. It's a good 2nd or 3rd book to read.

Another possibility is Rick Ferri's "All About Asset Allocation"

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Given your description of the person as highly numerate, I would definitely go with Intelligent Asset Allocator. I've read the other two. Four Pillars taught me how this stuff works, but Intelligent Asset Allocator taught me how to do it.

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Old 01-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #4
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Agree with stevenst. I've read TIAA and T4P, am halfway through TIM. TIAA is a book for geeks/engineers who like to know the math (mostly probability/statistics in this case) behind the arguments. TIM seems to be geared more towards someone with a general college education, and T4P is somewhere inbetween. I happen to like the history sections as well, and think they provide useful perspectives to think about how one might deal with similar situations.
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