I ordered this book after reading Joel's positive review (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/). The review ends with:

What if I told you that you could read one book and know everything you are going to need to know about managing your investments? And I mean, everything. Well, it's true. And this is the book. If you can't be bothered to read anything else about investing, read this one book.

Well, I heartily agree. This is probably the best finance/economics book I've ever read.

Burton Malkiel takes a simple, logical approach, with intuitive mathematical expositions, statistical studies and numerous examples to explain his view of the investment practices on the stock market. He analyzes fundamental and technical analysis and points out their flaws (loaded with historical studies that prove his point). Then, he presents the random walk theory (efficient markets) and takes a position as its proponent to some degree. The book concludes with a guide to investment taken from his own experience.

There's something very charming in the methodical, determined approach of this book. Malkiel takes no prisoners with the techniques he criticizes. He presents studies, both academic and by financial institutions, simulations, discusses some economics related maths and presents historic evidence to prove his points.

I'm not sure I agree with Joel on the "only one" part of the review. I'm glad I've read some investments books before this one, so I can fully grasp Malkiel's criticism. I can especially relate to the attack on technical analysis. As I wrote in previous reviews, this technique of investment analysis seems somewhere from unreal to ridiculous to me, and reading this book just made this opinion stronger. It's very amusing to read about some of the occasionally-popping technical analysis gurus, about running computer simulations with historical data that shatter all the technical "signs" and about random simulations that contain "head and shoulders", "triple bottoms", etc.

The investment plan offered in this book is probably the most logical and down-to-earth one I've read about. To conclude, go get this book, it's a terrific review of where you should and shouldn't invest money.


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