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The Elements of Investing

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,930 ratings  ·  170 reviews
A timeless, easy-to-read guide on life-long investment principles that can help any investor succeed

The Elements of Investing has a single-minded goal: to teach the principles of investing in the same pared-to-bone manner that Professor William Strunk Jr. once taught composition to students at Harvard, using his classic little book, The Elements of Style. With great daring
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Hardcover, 154 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by John Wiley & Sons
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,930 ratings  ·  170 reviews


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Mayur Thakar
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Even though I agree with most of the advice given in this book, I am giving it low ratings because I had expected more going into this, and was disappointed. Also, it is centred around US so it's more useful for the US citizens. You can finish entire book into few hours and it is still repetitive. This book can be summed up in few sentences and if you need convincing for the advice given below then maybe you should read it -

In order to ensure you have proper funds when you retire follow these s
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Kit Pang
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quick and to the point.

"Best friends of any investor"
-Diversification
-Rebalancing
-Dollar-Cost Averaging
-Indexing

George Odisho
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is intended for those who are new to investing or who have made financial mistakes and are wishing to write those wrongs.

I'm 27 years old, contribute 16% of my paycheck to my 401k (in which my company's match of 3% is also added), take advantage of my company's 6% yearly profit sharing contribution that is directly transferred to my 401k in the beginning of every year, maximize the contributions to my own personal Roth IRA every year and have contributed a considerable amount of my own
...more
Michelle
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book, ever, about investing, make it this one. A slender volume, I read it today in one sitting. I picked it up on the recommendation of Bill McNabb, the CEO of Vanguard Group. Anyone who's talked to me for more than 90 seconds about finances knows that I am an unabashed Vanguard fan.

The author Burton Malkiel is most famous for his book "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" which basically posits that asset prices move randomly and defy prediction. I saw him at a conference rece
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Tom Kemp
Oct 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: finance
Vanilla. Max out your 401k. Buy an index fund. Stay out of debt. Could have been written as a pamphlet for your HR department. Boring.
Kelli
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great introductory guide to investing for the most basic investor. I do recommend that you do a little background reading on investment/economic terms just so things will make more sense.

Highly recommended for people in their 20s and 30s.
Rebecca
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Very good basic advice on investing: save more, spend less, diversify. Set up in the same format as The Elements of Style, the book provides easy to understand calculations and graphs.

Highly recommended
Chung Chin
Elements of investing is a straight-to-the-point how-to invest book. In this book, the two authors do their very best in dishing out simple advice to investors. Simple, but not easy. Because while the advices are simple, the execution is anything but.

This is a great book that would be suitable for investors at all stages of their life as well as investing knowledge. If you're just starting out, I think this will be a fantastic book to introduce you on the mental models to have. For more sophist
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Jenna Spencer
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for the person who has no clue. I have just stepped into the investment world myself, and can barely ever get past the first sentence because I don't understand the vocabulary. It is like a whole new language, and this book is the perfect introduction. Everything is explained simply and gives you a basic understanding and a good list of warnings. Once you finish there is a nice list of other books you can read. Every word written in backed up in some way, and if the authors ...more
Ruchi
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short concise book for beginners. No new information really, but a good read.
Darin Shreves
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, a great book on personal finance fundamentals. After an extremely strong start, it loses some organization and becomes repetitive towards the end, but nonetheless I highly recommend it.
Chase
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would give this book 5 stars, but I don't know enough about investing yet to know what's what.
What I do know is that this is the first book not to spoon-feed me "get rich quick" bullshit. The authors approach investing very realistically. If I've learned anything at all it's to:

- Diversify
- Rebalance
- Dollar-cost average, and
- INDEX, INDEX, INDEX, INDEX, INDEX, INDEX, INDEX. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, INDEX.
Jay Perkins
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: investing
Very helpful for one unfamiliar with the investing world. Will probably read again soon.
Leon Chan
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simple and straightforward advice on the basics of investing your savings. This book requires 2 hours reading time, and is divided into clear sections on the essential principles of investing.
Stephanie
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for beginners

Open my eyes to a whole different world. I would recommended it for individuals who need a better understanding in investing in your personal wealth. Pay yourself first always.
Todd N
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
Xmas 2009 present. This is one of two excellent overviews of investing that were published this year. (The other is The Investor's Manifesto by William Bernstein.) Malkiel is famous (at least in our house) for writing A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and co-author Ellis wrote a book I've been meaning to read, Winning The Loser's Game.

The two of them teamed up to write a simple book on investing, a la Strunk and White's Elements of Style. It's a very simple book that covers a lot of topics succinc
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Philip
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for simple investment advice, particularly those just beginning.
Malkiel and Ellis combine their investment experience and share the basic "elements" of investing with us, inspired by the same concept Shrunk and White used to streamline key writing principals into the book Elements of Style. Their main concepts are: 1) Save, and save NOW. 2)Index your stocks and bonds (their main theory is that as a long-term investor it's virtually impossible to "beat the market," so buy mostly low-cost index funds instead of large numbers of individual stock shares. 3)Diver ...more
Evgeniy Vasilev
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Targets mostly US market, but nevertheless holds sound and simple guidelines.
Derek Postlewaite
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: finance
I borrowed this book from the library to get a bare bones understanding of investing. Bare bones instruction was the stated objective of the authors. Mission accomplished. Some of the biggest takeaways: index funds outperform traditional mutual funds for one reason only--low expense ratios. Next, take advantage of tax deductions on investments. For example, the authors say that a person of moderate income (although they don't put a number on moderate) can invest $5,000 in an IRA, deduct every do ...more
Kristie J.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book about investing, this one should be it. I listened to the audiobook because my library only had the audiobook on CD (3 CD's long) and not the printed book. Many of the concepts I already knew from reading other investing books (like Suze Orman's books), but they are solid, important concepts for managing your finances. I really appreciated that the book was short and to-the-point and mentioned specific funds to look for. I would like to read more investing books, but mo ...more
Christopher Durand
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've always thought that a random walk down wall street was one of the best investment books ever written, but found that it may be too in depth for your average investor trying to make sense of their 401k. This book remedies the problem by being concise and easily read in a afternoon. It hits all of the major points and should sit on everyone's bookshelves. High school students would be served well by reading this before they graduate and for any college student Its a must read. Far too many pe ...more
Gavin
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Malkiel and Ellis distill the best practices of sound investing in this short, easily understandable book. If you are just looking for good practical investment advice, this book is a fine one to turn to. If you are not satisfied with the advice itself and want a better understanding of why practices like indexing and diversification are best practice, try Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street instead.
Ben
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. You can read through the whole thing in a few hours. With a pleasant, conversational writing style, the authors cover some absolute basics regarding how to take care of your finances. I actually read this first when I had very little money, but since my financial success I've reread it, followed their advice pretty closely and I'm happy with what I've done. Recommended.
Stefan
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have been wanting to educate myself more on investing (I really would like to retire before 65, more time to read: -) ) and this book is a great starting point for grasping the basics. The material is not dry nor too condensed to leave a beginner with more questions than answers. If you are looking to learn more about personal investing this book is a good place to start.
Trevor Price
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first book to read about investment. It's a great start, crystal clear, and very helpful. I really appreciate that the authors don't lose focus and that their message is finely tuned.

Even this very brief intro was sometimes repetitive, but I felt the points being driven home were so important that I can overlook it.
bookreader
A simple restatement of investment verities by two of the world's most esteemed (and readable) financial writers. Since the book breaks no new ground, however, it's more suitable as an introduction for someone who knows nothing about investing, or somebody who has been investing ineffectively for some time.
Deas
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book describes the 5 elements of investing in a very simple and well presented manner. It then gives lessons and strategies on how to plan for retirement with many US account types being explained. The elements of saving, indexing, diversifying, avoiding blunders and keeping it simple that this book teaches will stay with me for years to come.
Sharath
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A clear and simple book. It emphasizes basic principles and also provides sufficient practical details about which funds to invest in. On the latter, I am not an expert but feel the authors present a balanced portfolio without attempting to promote any specific financial company.
Ariel
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book breaks down investing and what it takes to make a great profit with minimal risk. Its a quick read and gets you thinking about investing in your future whether you are young or old. This will give you great insight.
Greg Greben
This was a short, straight-talk book about investing that covered some very basics principles such as diversification, rebalancing, dollar-cost averaging, and indexing. A great book to brush up on simple principles.
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