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Winning the Loser's Game, Fifth Edition: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing
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Winning the Loser's Game, Fifth Edition: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The Classic Guide to Winning on Wall Street--Completely Updated and Expanded! "The best book about investing? The answer is simple: Winning the Loser's Game. Using compelling data and pithy stories, Charley Ellis has captured beautifully in this new and expanded edition of his classic work the most important lessons regarding investing. In today's unforgiving environment, ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by McGraw-Hill Professional (first published February 1st 1998)
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Mark
A short book with lots of difficult vocabulary about investing that concentrates too much on institutional investors especially through the beginning of the book. Ellis highlights a few central themes at the beginning about risk, returns, and portfolios with similarities to the points of Bernstein and Malkiel, but he explains in doing so how your investment manager should be watched. Ellis notes investment managers who happen to do very well, should be doing so within the predetermined risk tole ...more
Steven Knapp
For me personally, there was nothing new in this book that I haven't already read elsewhere. So while I didn't particularly enjoy it, I would recommend it for the average person who has a retirement account and needs to learn some basics. It contains some very basic and prudent investing advice. The basic premise is to invest properly, you must act like an amateur tennis player and make less mistakes. Professionals win points with their skill - amateurs lost fewer points than their opponents.

Wh
...more
Eric
Obviously the author was a successful investor. However, this book is a load of crap. He is a paid shill for Vanguard, American Funds, and T. Rowe Price (he does disclose in the book). His mantra is that active asset management doesn't work and the best funds are the cheapest. Being an investment professional, I have yet to find any of the "cheap" funds from Vanguard anywhere near the top 25% in performance. His incessant harping on indexing as the only way to invest doesn't answer the question ...more
Anthony
Jun 06, 2010 Anthony rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in controlling their own financial future
Recommended to Anthony by: internet
The value in this book is that it presents the arguement that index funds are a better long term investment than actively managed funds, in a clear, concise, easy to read, common sense approach. He explains how over the years, investment managers have turned the "winner's game" into the "loser's game". The major markets have become more efficient as more information is instantly absorbed by teams of highly educated, highly motivated, smart investment professionals. The author argues that over th ...more
Steve
I like the portrail of investing as a "losers game"--not a game that can't be won, but one which is usually decided by the loser faulting rather than the winner exhibiting superior skill or talent (pp. 1-6). Interesting that it hasn't always been this way, though. In the 1960s institutions did only 10 percent of the public trading; now they make 90 percent of all NYSE public trades (pp. 10-11). The advantage the professionals once offered is now gone--not because they "lack skill or diligence", ...more
Raghu
Apr 22, 2008 Raghu rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Raghu by: Raj Rajendran
Reading this book in 2008 may probably make some people feel as though it is not saying anything new. It emphasises a number of things that have become common wisdom nowadays - that you should invest in index funds, not try to beat the market but focus on beating taxes and inflation, that almost 75% of the fund managers underperform the market etc..etc.
But that does not make the book a boring one. To me, it makes an interesting argument as to why we should not try to beat the market. In the 1960
...more
Rich Williams
I couldn't decide between 2 or 3 stars. While I agree with main premise of the book (low cost index funds), it was very repetitive. The style is pleasant and easy to read but saying how you can be a winner, your unfair competitive advantage, the investor's dream team, etc. make it read like the sorts of investment books I avoid. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Malkiel and other books by Swensen and Tobias present more compelling cases for the same philosophy.
Jonathan Perez
I decided to read this book after seeing it referenced several times by Howard Marks in his own book The most important things. As many other reviews have said, it is a good reminder of the relevance and power of simply avoiding mistakes, passive investment and compounded interest. I especially liked the chapter about Mr Market and Mr Value. Simply explained and so true. That made me want to learn more about his achievements at Yale alongside David Swensen. I also wonder how he would qualify War ...more
Ryotaro Nagasawa
As reviewed "A must re-read", I just skimmed through for the first time. Concisely written and the message is crystal clear. A must-have and must-read as highly praised when it comes to investing, along with Intelligent Investor by Ben Grisham, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, etc.
Sean
Charley Ellis's message should resonate with investors: minimize transactions costs and superfluous fees, maintain a long-term investment horizon founded on a well-reasoned investment policy, tune out noise, and benefit from the profound effects of time and compounding on portfolios.

Ellis also highlights the use of trusts as a tax minimization technique to transfer wealth, which will help wealthy readers with succession planning.

Overall, I recommend this book to one starting out in investing.
...more
Kathleen
In a nutshell, don't buy stocks buy stock indexes NOT managed funds. You'll never lose over the long run. This is an enlightening book especially for individuals making their own long term investing decisions for retirement, as many regular folks are doing. It's well written and keeps the non-professional reader engaged and reading till the end. Some interesting points: even if you are retired, keep a long horizon as your investment goal, high costs of money management eats into stock fund gains ...more
Glynn
Bought this book as it came up in a search in relation to UK tax (I know...zzzzzzzz), but unfortunately the tax information in here was quite light but the content in relation to investing, creating and managing a diversified portfolio is really good.
Brentley Campbell
Really this book is more of a 3.5 stars but a lot of it is better. Charles Ellis clearly explains how the market fluctuates and gives great advice to individual investors. His concept of the institutional investment game being a loser's game is definitely true, however, one can always play a different game and not invest in just the S & P. However, for investors who do not have all of their time to dedicate to investing, going with a great value manager (if you have enough money to invest) o ...more
Hong
SUMMARY
Individual investors should invest in equity-based index funds around the globe, have a time-horizon of decades and follow explicit, well-thought policies. T-bills, bonds, real estate, commodities and mutual funds are poor investments compared to equities.

REVIEW
Too much on why mutual fund sucks and why it is important to diversify. "it is more rewarding to study investment history than to study the present", I wish to find a detailed discussion on the great depression, the high interest r
...more
Julian Bu
makes the case of passive investing with data, cogent rationales, and authority. a classic for both active and passive investors.
C
Generic but important advice found within this quick read. The main idea: skip active management and assemble your portfolio with index funds. If you are looking for specific asset class allocation advice, that is not found in this book.
Dana
This was a little hard to get through in the middle of the book, as it largely seemed to repeat itself, but we'll worth it in the end. His closing chapters were eloquently written and the repetition, however annoying, did serve the purpose of really drilling in your head that index funds are the way to go. I ended up settling for ETFs, but this book was responsible for leading me there and I am quite pleased with the outcome.
Loren
This is a great "case for indexing" book. In addition, Ellis gives some sound advice investing advice. For me, personally, it was a good reaffirmation of everything that I believe/know about investing. In fact, if anything, it helped me expand my perspective and time horizon even further. I'll probably re-read it when times get tough.
Pyoungsung Choi
별 2개와 3개 사이에서 고민했으나 결국 별로라고 생각해서 2개로 결정했다. 책 구성이나 내용이 나쁘지는 않았다. 하지만 효율적 시장가설에 기반한 도서들이 다 그렇듯 모든 인간이 합리적인 결정을 한다는 기본 가정부터가 틀린 채로 시작하니 거기서 이야기는 발전이 없다. 그냥 인덱스 펀드 가입해서 장기보유하라는 것이다. 그 외에도 기존 다른 인덱스펀드 예찬론자들의 책에서 본 내용에서 크게 이 책만의 차별성도 없었다. 마지막으로 지은이가 세계 최대의 인덱스펀드 운용사 뱅가드의 이사다. 뭘 더 이야기하겠는가?
Michael
Makes a compelling argument for ditching expensive, fee-based, ineffectual actively-managed investments for low-cost market index-based mutual funds over a long-term investment horizon (20+ years.) Maybe a bit too "financial-ese" for some, but worth getting your head around.
Christian
Just because you have an IRA or 401K doesn't mean you're an investor. Regular investments in a balanced portfolio of global index funds is the only way to save for retirement. Anything else is entertainment or gambling.
David
For the intermediate investor. Excellent book.
Rob
Very good conceptual and non-technical book about long term investing strategies for the individual investor.
Peter Keilman
An accessible analysis of active versus passive management and the risks commonly experienced by many investors
Devin Partlow
Pretty good investment book. Nothing groundbreaking, just methods of investing for the long-term.
Jeffrey
A must read for anyone investing money for the future.
Gavin
Good book. Interesting points to think about.
Tahni
good advice, but I've heard it before.
Gavin
Gavin added it
Apr 16, 2015
Izham Rusli
Izham Rusli marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
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