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The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read: The Simple, Stress-Free Way to Reach Your Investment Goals

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Solin's easy-to-follow plan allows investors to create and monitor their portfolios in 90 minutes or less per year, explaining how to assess risk and how to allocate assets to maximize returns and minimize volatility. Solin's easy-to-follow plan allows investors to create and monitor their portfolios in 90 minutes or less per year, explaining how to assess risk and how to allocate assets to maximize returns and minimize volatility.


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Solin's easy-to-follow plan allows investors to create and monitor their portfolios in 90 minutes or less per year, explaining how to assess risk and how to allocate assets to maximize returns and minimize volatility. Solin's easy-to-follow plan allows investors to create and monitor their portfolios in 90 minutes or less per year, explaining how to assess risk and how to allocate assets to maximize returns and minimize volatility.

30 review for The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read: The Simple, Stress-Free Way to Reach Your Investment Goals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mihai

    The entire point of the book could be made in half a page - don't buy actively managed portfolios, instead buy an index fund from Vanguard, Fidelity or someone similar. While I don't necessarily disagree with this, I find it completely excessive to repeat the same thing over and over again over 100 pages. More research, examples and a more in-depth look into the matters could have turned it into a good work, meanwhile it looks more like a blog post stretched to fit the editorial needs to be sold The entire point of the book could be made in half a page - don't buy actively managed portfolios, instead buy an index fund from Vanguard, Fidelity or someone similar. While I don't necessarily disagree with this, I find it completely excessive to repeat the same thing over and over again over 100 pages. More research, examples and a more in-depth look into the matters could have turned it into a good work, meanwhile it looks more like a blog post stretched to fit the editorial needs to be sold as a book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This book by author, Daniel R. Solin, is intended as a guide and strong endorsement to investing in index funds (he calls "Smart Investing"). Author Solin makes the following points: (1) Brokerage Firms (Solin calls them Hyperactive Brokers) do not know the direction of the market, cannot time the market, make money only if they are constantly trading, are "marketing" driven (not research driven), and are not obligated by industry standards to represent their client's best interests. Their high This book by author, Daniel R. Solin, is intended as a guide and strong endorsement to investing in index funds (he calls "Smart Investing"). Author Solin makes the following points: (1) Brokerage Firms (Solin calls them Hyperactive Brokers) do not know the direction of the market, cannot time the market, make money only if they are constantly trading, are "marketing" driven (not research driven), and are not obligated by industry standards to represent their client's best interests. Their high fees eat into their clients' potential returns. Historical data shows that brokerage accounts managed by Hyperactive Brokers (brokerage houses) return less value than index funds. The author avers that index funds are superior than actively managed accounts because (1) they are less volatile over time; (2) they are not reduced by high brokerage fees; (3) diversification between US equities, Intl equities and bonds can be achieved by investing in as few as three reputable index funds (based on the particular fund manager). The author suggests looking at three broad-based index funds (US equities, Intl equities and Bonds), offered by each of Fidelity, Vanguard and T. Rowe Price; and (4) they can be managed from home with minimal time (rebalancing diversification perhaps twice a year). Finally, the author suggests different levels of diversification between equities and bonds based upon the investors age, years to retirement, risk tolerance, and other factors.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jay French

    This short audiobook can be summed up as "index funds are good, brokers and load funds are bad". There is actually some detailed fund suggestions to balance a portfolio, but I'm afraid they are quite dated - they were defined before the ETF era. If you haven't read an investment book, this could be an OK start, although dated. If you have previously read an investment book, or if you know what index funds are, look elsewhere. This short audiobook can be summed up as "index funds are good, brokers and load funds are bad". There is actually some detailed fund suggestions to balance a portfolio, but I'm afraid they are quite dated - they were defined before the ETF era. If you haven't read an investment book, this could be an OK start, although dated. If you have previously read an investment book, or if you know what index funds are, look elsewhere.

  4. 4 out of 5

    R Brown

    Good information but the amount given could have been presented as a short brochure, not an entire book, it was very, very repetitive.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    4 stars for the premise, 2 stars for the execution. This short book has some good information in it — the advantages of index funds, the hidden incentives of the finance industry, etc. — but unfortunately it's stretched quickly thinly. For being so short, this book was oddly repetitive, and could have been greatly improved by cutting out the redundant bits and going much more in depth on the research; as it is, this reads more like an extended blog post than a full book about investing. Solin ta 4 stars for the premise, 2 stars for the execution. This short book has some good information in it — the advantages of index funds, the hidden incentives of the finance industry, etc. — but unfortunately it's stretched quickly thinly. For being so short, this book was oddly repetitive, and could have been greatly improved by cutting out the redundant bits and going much more in depth on the research; as it is, this reads more like an extended blog post than a full book about investing. Solin takes an aggressive tone like that of many other finance writers, which I know is very common but which I personally find off-putting as a reader. Having been published in 2006, this book is also a bit outdated (through no fault of its own except the passage of time) and although a lot of these claims still seem accurate based on my other reading, it would still be nice to have updated examples, especially given that this book came out before the 2008 crash. I agree broadly with Solin's points, but I can't help but believe there has to be a more thorough and well-researched introductory book on index funds out there.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Acalinei

    Pretty repetitive.. and even though it makes some good points effectively, it doesn't offer a ton of insights. Basically, the (4-step) recipe really is simple. If you can subtract your age from 100, then the hard math is done. Then Solin tells you exactly which no-load, index funds to buy depending on which brokerage you want to use, and in what proportions to mimic "the market". Besides re-balancing the investment proportions each year ... that's it. This book is good if you need a reminder or mo Pretty repetitive.. and even though it makes some good points effectively, it doesn't offer a ton of insights. Basically, the (4-step) recipe really is simple. If you can subtract your age from 100, then the hard math is done. Then Solin tells you exactly which no-load, index funds to buy depending on which brokerage you want to use, and in what proportions to mimic "the market". Besides re-balancing the investment proportions each year ... that's it. This book is good if you need a reminder or more convincing that active mutual funds tend to generate poor results, and that everyone on Wall Street is trying to take your money. Also great if interested in learning about the benefits of index investing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Strong, but better for a US audience.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    It’s remarkable people still need to be told they cannot beat the market over the long term. Here is another book trying to teach that and the virtues of index funds & ETF’s. The author misses a chance to educate the audience on the distinct capital gains advantages of ETF’s over Mutual Fund Index shares in taxable accounts. He also goes off the rails a bit suggesting a few fund families that have higher fees than is necessary.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Ellington

    I did this as an audiobook and retained nothing

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian tipdawg20

    I would have given this book five stars as its principles are profoundly simple and yet completely accurate, but about 3/4ths of the way through the book the author states two inaccuracies. 1) “Most portfolios should never be more than 80% stocks as the difference in return is ‘merely’ .7% and the volatility is considerably less.” That would be a difference of over $600k in my own portfolio investing over a 30 year time horizon. I’ll take the volatility and save the “safe” bond addition when I’m I would have given this book five stars as its principles are profoundly simple and yet completely accurate, but about 3/4ths of the way through the book the author states two inaccuracies. 1) “Most portfolios should never be more than 80% stocks as the difference in return is ‘merely’ .7% and the volatility is considerably less.” That would be a difference of over $600k in my own portfolio investing over a 30 year time horizon. I’ll take the volatility and save the “safe” bond addition when I’m closer or in retirement. 2) After heralding the fallacy of stock picking he proceeds to advertise for his own investment company saying they can pick index funds better than others. Huh? My advice for what it’s worth: invest 100% in a broad market index fund such as a Total Stock Market Index Fund until 10 years before you plan to retire. Then start lowering your risk by reducing your equity exposure by 10% each year until you are 5 years away from retirement. At that point you should meet with a fee only financial advisor to effectively plan your retirement. This is something not recommended in the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ankur Saxena

    The book is a good start for beginners who plan to understand personal investing and the perils of hyper-manged investments. The author stretches this a bit too much and comes to the point only towards the end few chapters. Much of the information in the first 3 quarters of the book seems repetitive. The book can actually be summarized in 10 pages maximum. The appendices have some good information and the questionnaires will help you get to the right direction of investments. I wish the author had The book is a good start for beginners who plan to understand personal investing and the perils of hyper-manged investments. The author stretches this a bit too much and comes to the point only towards the end few chapters. Much of the information in the first 3 quarters of the book seems repetitive. The book can actually be summarized in 10 pages maximum. The appendices have some good information and the questionnaires will help you get to the right direction of investments. I wish the author had emphasized more on the concrete steps that the main investment profiles can take. On the plus side, this book takes examples from the Canadian market (while most others limit themselves to the US).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Johan Sulaiman

    Prompted me to create a "not worth reading" goodreads shelf. Sorry Daniel Solin, I know you appear often in CBS ABC BBS ETC ETC but I fail to see why from reading this book. This short book carries even shorter substance. The shallow idea of "you cannot beat the market" and "just invest on index funds or bonds" appears too many times. Prompted me to create a "not worth reading" goodreads shelf. Sorry Daniel Solin, I know you appear often in CBS ABC BBS ETC ETC but I fail to see why from reading this book. This short book carries even shorter substance. The shallow idea of "you cannot beat the market" and "just invest on index funds or bonds" appears too many times.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Quick read, with some good basics. Overall theme was entirely simplistic ("pick some no-load index funds and then just monitor your allocations once in a while"). Thesis completely ignored the timeline of managed vs. passive results, esp as pertains to index funds & ETF's. Quick read, with some good basics. Overall theme was entirely simplistic ("pick some no-load index funds and then just monitor your allocations once in a while"). Thesis completely ignored the timeline of managed vs. passive results, esp as pertains to index funds & ETF's.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book spent a bulk of its time trying to convince you that you shouldn't blindly trust your money to Wall Street and investors. The rest of it (the actual part about what you should invest in) is the same info you can find in the money and 401K books he wrote. This book spent a bulk of its time trying to convince you that you shouldn't blindly trust your money to Wall Street and investors. The rest of it (the actual part about what you should invest in) is the same info you can find in the money and 401K books he wrote.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    Pretty good. Oversimplifies some things for the purpose of avoiding in-depth discussions of things target readers of this book don't care about, so while it irked me slightly in places as a finance major, overall a good read, very good and must read for most of the population. Pretty good. Oversimplifies some things for the purpose of avoiding in-depth discussions of things target readers of this book don't care about, so while it irked me slightly in places as a finance major, overall a good read, very good and must read for most of the population.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sukal Mondal

    Chapter 33 on-wards was ONLY worth reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Although I agree with his advice (forgo brokers for index funds), it was not worth a whole book. Literally 4/5s of the book was to convince you that he's right. Although I agree with his advice (forgo brokers for index funds), it was not worth a whole book. Literally 4/5s of the book was to convince you that he's right.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Just all about investing in low cost index funds across a range of objectives, such as stocks, bonds, international, for diversity and holding them for the long term.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah

    I think a better title for this book would be "Why Wall Street is a Joke of an Industry." The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read is incredibly useful in two ways: 1) clearing away the opaque financial services industry; 2) admonishing individuals to invest in indexes that track the market. 1) Daniel Solin demystifies mutual funds, hyperactive traders, advisers, analysts, and brokerages by breaking down how they make their money, what their track records indicate, and why it is generally j I think a better title for this book would be "Why Wall Street is a Joke of an Industry." The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read is incredibly useful in two ways: 1) clearing away the opaque financial services industry; 2) admonishing individuals to invest in indexes that track the market. 1) Daniel Solin demystifies mutual funds, hyperactive traders, advisers, analysts, and brokerages by breaking down how they make their money, what their track records indicate, and why it is generally judicious to avoid them. 2) He advocates a market-indexing strategy. Indexes for the S&P 500, NASDAQ, DJIA, et al tend to out perform the majority of firms striving to "beat the market." When calculated over 10 years, only 2% of mutual funds outperform the market. He builds the case that indexes are better because investing in them requires very low fees, infrequent transaction costs, and minimal time and energy on the average person's part. This is not a book for people who are intelligent and driven enough to actually "beat the market" by finding trends, thoroughly researching, doing value investing, finding niche strategies, etc. Thousands of investors *do* outperform the market over the longterm, so dismissing them is unrealistic. The market index strategy also can be devastating if started at the wrong time (e.g. now). When the stock market is incredibly overvalued like it is today, it's generally a good idea to stay out of the market. No index performs well during contractionary periods in the business cycle. Overall, the book provides some decent information on what to be wary of in each type of financial industry firm. This is an excellent book for people lacking knowledge of investing who want their money to grow over the long-term during periods of economic and financial growth.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paula Horstman

    Already a short read, the first half of the book devotes itself exclusively to convincing you to stay away from brokers. Not much help if you're already of that philosophy, in which case you skip a huge chunk of chapters and get to the part where Solin builds a case for what Smart Investing actually is. For Solin, Smart = Passive investing. You're not sweating bullets daytrading, you're putting your money into index funds, a few of which he name-drops, then walk away. Maybe re-balance your portf Already a short read, the first half of the book devotes itself exclusively to convincing you to stay away from brokers. Not much help if you're already of that philosophy, in which case you skip a huge chunk of chapters and get to the part where Solin builds a case for what Smart Investing actually is. For Solin, Smart = Passive investing. You're not sweating bullets daytrading, you're putting your money into index funds, a few of which he name-drops, then walk away. Maybe re-balance your portfolio 1-2x a year but that's it. The "Smart" factor is building value over time in lower-risk funds. Meh. That's not everyone's cup of tea, but Solin seems to think it should be. As for nuanced strategies and mindsets, you won't find that here. The book could pretty much be summarized with: Don't hire a broker, Invest on your own and Invest in Indices. So much for expertise! Sure, the strategy is simple but that's because it's just about the most hands-free, low-risk strategy to investing there is. If you're starting out as an investor, don't lock yourself in thinking there is only -one- smart way to invest.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carbon

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start investing but is too nervous, anxious or overwhelmed with everything. The author explains things very well and the chapters are short and sweet with a lot of information. For someone who is already investing this book is more tedious than anything. 108 pages of the author explaining as to why you should invest your money yourself instead of letting a money manager, or what he calls "hyperactive managers", do it. In this book that is 35 cha I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start investing but is too nervous, anxious or overwhelmed with everything. The author explains things very well and the chapters are short and sweet with a lot of information. For someone who is already investing this book is more tedious than anything. 108 pages of the author explaining as to why you should invest your money yourself instead of letting a money manager, or what he calls "hyperactive managers", do it. In this book that is 35 chapters. Of course, the chapters are about 2 to 3 pages long but that's still a little excessive for someone who is not a beginner. The reason why I would recommend it is mostly because he explains everything well and it would be able to answer a lot of questions. His advice in what to invest in is very good also.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Corry

    Quite possibly the dumbest investment book I have ever read. Summary: if you hold any portion of your investments in a non-index mutual fund, sell that and move it to an index fund. Also Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch are the only investors able to beat the overall market and you aren't them so stop "stock picking". If you invest in individual securities based on Buffet principles as opposed to "stock picking" this book is a complete waste of your time. I gave it 2 stars instead of one because unfor Quite possibly the dumbest investment book I have ever read. Summary: if you hold any portion of your investments in a non-index mutual fund, sell that and move it to an index fund. Also Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch are the only investors able to beat the overall market and you aren't them so stop "stock picking". If you invest in individual securities based on Buffet principles as opposed to "stock picking" this book is a complete waste of your time. I gave it 2 stars instead of one because unfortunately there are still billions of dollars invested in actively managed mutual funds and that is not smart.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Wish that I would have had this book back when I was in college. This will be the first book that I will recommend to my kids if they ever ask me about investment literature. It was published in 2006, so one of the things that has changed is the fiduciary rules, but it is still applicable to today's investment environment, nevertheless. One of the things that Daniel Solin mentions in the book are the use of ETFs and investing in foreign stocks. Great advice. Just be sure to use broad funds and n Wish that I would have had this book back when I was in college. This will be the first book that I will recommend to my kids if they ever ask me about investment literature. It was published in 2006, so one of the things that has changed is the fiduciary rules, but it is still applicable to today's investment environment, nevertheless. One of the things that Daniel Solin mentions in the book are the use of ETFs and investing in foreign stocks. Great advice. Just be sure to use broad funds and not sector-specific (unless you like to live dangerously. LOL!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nadejda L.

    This book is somewhat repetitive, but it gives a nice overview of possible variations of investment portfolios (taking into account your circumstances and the risk you are willing to take). It also offers advise on how to manage your investment by yourself without utilizing services of financial advisers. I am a complete beginner in investment, and this books gave me hope that I can actually do it myself. This book does not provide any technical details, but it puts your mind in the right state.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    This a great book and short read. The entire book is explaining how the system is designed to rack up fees to make brokers a ton of money by selling the lie that they can predict the market. It reminds me of how banks make their money on the backs of ridiculous overdraft fees and other shady dealings. Dan Solin presents some great arguments backed by research about why trying to beat the market is a bad idea. I’m a new investor and definitely learned a few things about index funds and asset loca This a great book and short read. The entire book is explaining how the system is designed to rack up fees to make brokers a ton of money by selling the lie that they can predict the market. It reminds me of how banks make their money on the backs of ridiculous overdraft fees and other shady dealings. Dan Solin presents some great arguments backed by research about why trying to beat the market is a bad idea. I’m a new investor and definitely learned a few things about index funds and asset location. Best of all, I was able to finish it in one sitting because it’s so short and to the point.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Quick-paced and understandable. A few notable items include: - What small investors need is something very simple to implement: 1- low transaction costs; and 2- appropriate asset allocation. (ch. 35) - 4-step process: 1-decide on your asset allocation; 2- open an account with one of several fund families (see ch. 38); 3- invest the funds (stocks & bonds) in your portfolio in certain index funds (described throughout the book); and 4- rebalance your portfolio 2x per year to keep your investments ali Quick-paced and understandable. A few notable items include: - What small investors need is something very simple to implement: 1- low transaction costs; and 2- appropriate asset allocation. (ch. 35) - 4-step process: 1-decide on your asset allocation; 2- open an account with one of several fund families (see ch. 38); 3- invest the funds (stocks & bonds) in your portfolio in certain index funds (described throughout the book); and 4- rebalance your portfolio 2x per year to keep your investments aligned with your proper asset allocation. (ch. 36)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Molly PW

    The first 38 chapter are him venting about how sketchy brokers are. He’s not wrong. But 38 chapters is excessive. Chapter 39 does offer some nice allocation percentages for retirement investing thought I think this info is common and easily accessible elsewhere. his recommendations for who to use- fidelity vanguard Schwab troe. Same thing. good but also not a novel perspective. I would recommend other money books before this one

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jon Bettcher

    3.5 stars. Really easy to digest, and contains the most concrete financial advice I've read. The book itself is like cliff's notes to "A random walk down wall street". You don't get the math or the extensive reasoning, but you get good portfolio advice. It's a bit coarse-grained though. If you have the time I'd suggest just reading a current edition of "random walk" and skipping this. 3.5 stars. Really easy to digest, and contains the most concrete financial advice I've read. The book itself is like cliff's notes to "A random walk down wall street". You don't get the math or the extensive reasoning, but you get good portfolio advice. It's a bit coarse-grained though. If you have the time I'd suggest just reading a current edition of "random walk" and skipping this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Connor Joyce

    Solid investment advice, will save many people a significant amount of money if they follow the advice here over their lifetime of investing. I thought it was great advice, but could have been more interesting than it was. A lot of the same information is available via popular personal finance podcasts like ChooseFI and I think they do a better job of making things interesting.

  30. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    Excellent advice for the starting investor. 3-stars is a personal assessment given my own background (in finance), but would highly recommend to any person looking to start investing. Much better than any other book out there on the topic.

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