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A Random Walk Down Wall Street

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  14,859 Ratings  ·  532 Reviews
Using the dot-com crash as an object lesson in how not to manage your portfolio, here is the best-selling, gimmick-free, irreverent, vastly informative guide to navigating the turbulence of the market and managing investments with confidence.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well established as a staple of the business shelf, the first book any investor should read before
Paperback, Revised, 464 pages
Published January 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 1st 1973)
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Devyn Duffy You might. This book will recommend that you put your money into index funds and will give you some ideas about which funds to start with.
Sue Section 3 of the book is pretty analytical, almost written for a different reader. If you want to concentrate on the practical advice, you can skip…moreSection 3 of the book is pretty analytical, almost written for a different reader. If you want to concentrate on the practical advice, you can skip it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 15, 2012 Jack rated it did not like it
Many years ago I bought this book about the stock market. In retrospect, it is the worst book I've ever bought because it made me believe in efficient capital markets. The author made his point with a lot of arrogance - just like finance professors did 15-20 years ago. At the time the markets very certainly not as efficient as the author believed. There have been several updates to the book, but the condescending voice of the author remains.

For the statistically interested, the problem with a lo
Roy Lotz
Because I read so often, I sometimes think that once in a while I should read something that might materially benefit me. So when my brother gave me this book, I thought "why not?" and dove in.

The first thing I noticed is that Malkiel is a surprisingly gifted writer. He is capable of telling a good story, he's cultured enough to make interesting references, and he has that quintessential skill of all popular writers: the ability to present ideas clearly without dumbing them down. For someone in
Todd N
Jan 01, 2008 Todd N rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
From talking to friends and reading an internal financial mailing list at work I got the vague impression that this book was somehow too esoteric or controversial to bother with. I am very glad that I decided to read this book.

It's hard to work in Silicon Valley without being affected by Wall Street. When I started working I was interested in technology, not business and finance. Business and finance seemed a bit beneath me. (Actually, technology seemed a bit beneath me too. I was kind of a snot
Kit Pang
Nov 22, 2014 Kit Pang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great theories to learn!I can see why this became a classic for investors.

-The Firm-Foundation Theory(Fundamental Analysis)
-The Castle-in-the-Air Theory (Technical Analysis)
Aug 01, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it
We live in an age when most people have to control their own retirement destiny by making decisions about 401(k), 403(b), and IRAs. Even people with the most modest incomes are encouraged to confront that reality.

Malkiel’s approach is excellent for most of us who are not into stock analysis. He gets high marks for a couple of things: (1) He proposed a market index fund before such a thing even existed. (2) He has revised his book eleven times. In other words he has some street cred. Wall Street
Mar 31, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000s, money
Malkiel's been writing and rewriting this classic tome on investing for the last thirty-five years. I gave him 5 stars for being fully engaged in the process of revision. Sometimes I wish all authors would write (and rewrite) just one good book (and that actors would star in only one movie). But that's like asking investors to put their money in just a few low-cost funds and hold it there for decades ... hey, that's what Malkiel's talking about! So it's not the most exciting approach to investin ...more
Jerry Kaczmarowski
Sep 18, 2014 Jerry Kaczmarowski rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best book ever written on the investment side of personal finances. It goes into extensive detail as to why you should strongly consider index funds or ETFs rather than mutual funds, individual stocks, or help from a personal financial adviser. All 3 of these last alternatives come with a load in terms of either your time or money (or both).

First, Mutual funds are managed and rarely outperform the market. For this lack of performance, you get to give away a percentage each
Ami Iida
Feb 25, 2015 Ami Iida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in finance
Shelves: finance
It is one of the book that gave the most influence in my life.

I apply that approach the (index funds) to the Nikkei Stock Average and the Dow Jones industrial average stock price.

I have already read the book several times by overlapping edition.

I carry out the index funds .
Periodically I buy it
Practice is important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
---------- it probability distribution manner to distribute the investment in each month
This is the right decision.
the book is worthy of reading repeat and then You
Aug 10, 2016 Leonard rated it really liked it
A common sense approach to investing. No hypes.
Mar 22, 2009 Toe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Burton Malkiel's "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" is the book that popularized passive investing. As a Princeton professor and board member of the Vanguard Group, Malkiel brought the practical implications of the efficient market hypothesis to the general investing public. The ideas in this book are now so ubiquitously accepted, that I actually learned very little new information. However, I am pleased to have experienced the original source of this powerfully simple yet effective investment phi ...more
Chad Warner
Jun 12, 2011 Chad Warner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: investors
Shelves: finance, non-fiction
Investors are bound to have heard about this classic and it’s author, economist Burton Malkiel. In this book, he explains that the market is highly efficient, and no one can accurately predict its ups and downs; it’s a “random walk”. So, the best approach is passive, “buy and hold” investing using diversified index funds held long term. I recommend this book to investors of any level, especially those attracted to active, speculative investing.

The book begins with a fairly boring recount of seve
Vincent Li
Jan 27, 2016 Vincent Li rated it liked it
A pretty good read for what it's worth. A good primer into basic finance. Personally, it was a good review of finance 101, with a pretty solid explanation of modern portfolio theory, and CAPM. Book seems timely, updated to include a large section on speculative bubbles, and even includes a chapter on behavioral economics. Includes a brief section on the 2008 financial crisis (kind of the standard narrative). It discusses the two competing views of stock prices, which is basically the fundamental ...more
Jun 03, 2014 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was already sold on Malkiel's approach to the stock market before I even picked this book up -- I'm a big supporter of Wealthfront, the investment platform for which Malkiel serves as CIO -- but it was a valuable exercise to understand his reasoning in greater detail. A good representative quote:
The record of professionals does not suggest that sufficient predictability exists in the stock market or that there are enough recognizable irrationalities to produce exploitable opportunities to earn
Jan 07, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 16, 2015 Jono rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very thorough treatment of the case for long-term index investing. Most of the book is summed up in the first page of the preface.

"Investors would be far better off buying and holding an index fund than attempting to buy and sell individual securities or actively managed mutual funds."

There's not much more to it.

The rest is a generally readable and informative background and support for this theory, plus a lot of good general investing understanding.

I feel more informed after reading this.
Jul 16, 2012 Gwern rated it liked it
It's hard to believe at this point that Malkiel's views on the desirability of indexing and not trading and the basic truth of the efficient market hypothesis were ever controversial or not conventional wisdom (the 1 and 2 star reviews here notwithstanding... how many geniuses like Peter Thiel blew up betting against Treasuries in the past few years, guys? Efficient markets FTW.), but nevertheless, he was a pioneer. I didn't wind up learning too much from this since it's targeted at beginners, b ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing
Good introduction to personal finance. For some reason does expect some familiarity with bonds (especially relationship between price, YTM, face value etc.). Argues very persuasively that broad index funds with low fees is best investment around. Gives some advice on individual stock picking, but recommends that it is done with small percentage of portfolio and undertaken with the understanding that it is more fun than profitable...Introduction to basic options trading, hedging strategies. Recom ...more
Christopher Luc
Jan 02, 2017 Christopher Luc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good history of the stock market, talks about the bull and bear markets of the past few hundred years and provides fundamental analysis and explores various trading and investing techniques used. The book explains meticulously and thoroughly about different investment tools and techniques for the average investor. It's a good read for the experienced investors that provides more theory and insight from a very experience investor and fund manager.
Steven Ure
Dec 27, 2013 Steven Ure rated it it was amazing
Best finance/investing I've ever read. This book offers no get-rich schemes, it simply informs you about investments that are the least risky and offer stable returns. What more could you ask?

Remember that scene from The Graduate? Well, don't invest in plastics. Invest in Index Funds. Simple.
Desiree Wills Velazco
Mar 07, 2015 Desiree Wills Velazco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
Incredibly boring first two parts (though historically informative) but the last part was stellar! Definitely a book I will refer to again.
Khalid Alnaqbi
Nov 10, 2014 Khalid Alnaqbi rated it really liked it
For those who study finance, after reading this book, you'll realize that most of what you studied in finance (especially Investments courses) are useless. :')
Feb 23, 2014 Lawrence marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Oct 04, 2014 Max rated it really liked it
This is a well known introduction to personal finance. I appreciated that it combined theoretical discussion with practical advice.
Floris Wolswijk
Nov 01, 2014 Floris Wolswijk rated it really liked it
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

Lessons learnt: Invest in passive index funds for a very long time with money you won't need until retirement!

Stocks go up and stocks go down - that's about it for my knowledge on stock markets. In A Random Walk Down Wall Street Burton G. Malkiel argues that I'm not too different from almost all financial 'advisers'. After reading the book your knowledge has however gained two very important pieces of information:

Stocks ten
Jon Bettcher
Jun 21, 2017 Jon Bettcher rated it really liked it
Best financial book I've read. Breaks down the math behind index investing and why it makes such good sense in the long run. Touches on all kinds of financial instruments, and debates the relative merits of each. I really liked the "exercises" section, and the lifecycle guide. I found the history fascinating, and the more practical chapters extremely useful.

The more "abridged" version - "The Smartest Investment book you'll ever read" is probably sufficient for most people just looking for quick
Sep 09, 2014 Terry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investing
Key ideas:

This is a nice sum-up of the EMH and MPT. The author explains why fundamental stock analysis cannot beat the market, therefore the best way to invest is to buy an index fund. He started with the major financial bubbles and concluded that the stock market is very unpredictable and even the brightest mind cannot foresee the bubbles. He went on to explain why the market is very efficient, behavior finance, and why most fund managers cannot beat the market. He then analyzed different asset
Paul Abernathy
Aug 09, 2014 Paul Abernathy rated it liked it
Shelves: financial
Overall, I thought this was a helpful overview of the financial markets and had some generally good advice for a regular person on how to invest and navigate the financial markets. The book gives some history of financial markets, explains the basics of fundamental analysis vs technical analysis (which I did not know until reading the book), talks about strategies people have used in the past to make money, explains ways risk of a stock is measured (like the beta measure), and so forth. The rand ...more
Mark Geise
Apr 26, 2015 Mark Geise rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" a lot. I read the ninth edition, which was published in 2007, so I cannot speak to the content of more recent editions (I believe there are eleven editions now). Malkiel advocates for investors to focus their portfolio on no-load, low-expense index funds rather than try to beat the market with actively managed funds. He goes through the various trends on Wall Street and tries to refute them with studies and historical statistics. I tend to agree with mo ...more
Sean Smith
While I was studying finance 5-7 years ago, my professors loved this book and I purchased it at the time. We reviewed parts of it in a few classes, but I am only now finishing it. It was interesting to read now that I have been in the industry for some time now.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Positively, Part 1 of the book (Stocks and Their Value) and Part 4 of the book (A Practical Guide for Random Walkers) are very helpful and straightforward and well worth the read for anyone intereste
Devyn Duffy
Oct 31, 2015 Devyn Duffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: most people interested in investment
Recommended to Devyn by: many sources
Don't be fooled by the title: this book is not math heavy, is accessible and funny, and does not spend much time on random walks. Instead, it's an investment primer similar to Benjamin Graham's superior work, The Intelligent Investor.

Malkiel goes over various methods of determining how stocks should be valued, backed up with historical examples including a chapter on bubbles. After a well-intentioned but misguided defense of the Efficient Market Hypothesis, Malkiel concludes with investment str
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Bloomfield Public...: A Random Walk Down Wall Street 1 10 May 04, 2013 07:14AM  
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor
  • The Four Pillars of Investing
  • Stocks for the Long Run
  • Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street
  • Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing
  • Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation
  • Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment
  • The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
  • Irrational Exuberance
  • Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics
  • Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings
  • The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
  • One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market
  • All about Asset Allocation
  • The Money Game
  • Security Analysis: Principles and Technique
  • The (Mis)Behavior of Markets
  • Your Money and Your Brain

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