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Question on 'Four Pillars of Investing'
Old 10-22-2007, 04:22 AM   #1
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Question on 'Four Pillars of Investing'

I've seen this book mentioned a lot here. I've read Bernstein's previous book, "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" and often recommend it to friends.

I was under the impression that 'Four Pillars' was essentially a re-write of the earlier book aiming for a broader audience. Hence I didn't think it was worth reading for someone who has already read the first one.

Is that an accurate assessment? Is there anyone who has read both that can comment?
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice View Post
I've seen this book mentioned a lot here. I've read Bernstein's previous book, "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" and often recommend it to friends.
I was under the impression that 'Four Pillars' was essentially a re-write of the earlier book aiming for a broader audience. Hence I didn't think it was worth reading for someone who has already read the first one.
Is that an accurate assessment? Is there anyone who has read both that can comment?
Yep. If you have any friends left, "Four Pillars" is a much more reader-friendly experience with lots more asset-allocation examples at the back. "Popular Mechanics" instead of "Scientific American". "Business Week" instead of "Al Greenspan".

I think it's worth reading just to pick up Bernstein's ways of explaining the concepts (great for cocktail parties!), and it's much less of a slog. You may also find out that your attitudes toward asset allocation & volatility have evolved over the time since you read IAA.

For the occasional economist or slice&dice guru, you can whip out your IAA recommendation and beat them over the head with it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:45 AM   #3
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I have not read his "Intelligent Asset Allocator" yet, and "Four Pillars of Investing" was my first foray into literature of this type. I had been reading this board and the M* Diehards board for a while before I read it so I was already pretty "Bogleized" at that point, I suppose.

I would suggest taking it out of the library first. If you aren't on board with Bernstein when you start, you will be by the time you finish it. There is a lot of historical information in it to support his point of view. He goes on and on (and on and on, and then continues). He makes his case, and then drives it in with a hammer.

Because of that, I feel it is terrifically boring if you are already in agreement with him, but I still recommend it to people. It would be especially good for those who are not completely decided in their investment philosophy.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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I've read both and pretty much agree with your assessment. IAA is more concise and math/theory oriented, seems to appeal more to engineers and scientists. 4 Pillars made a few mentions of more recent market history, but nothing that changed the basic message. It would probably have broader appeal for the reasons Nords mentioned.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:35 PM   #5
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Both are excellent investment books and both can cure insomnia.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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4-pillar is more readable.
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