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A Random Walk Down Wall Street

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  20,392 ratings  ·  759 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
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Paperback, Revised, 464 pages
Published January 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 1st 1973)
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Popular Answered Questions
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)

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4.08  · 
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 ·  20,392 ratings  ·  759 reviews


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Luca Ambrosino
English (A Random Walk Down Wall Street) / Italiano

A challenging walk around Wall Street, in different time periods that affected the American economy and consequently the World, in order to provide us the necessary elements to understand the main investment rules applied on the stock exchange. Burton G. Malkiel describes with clear examples the differences between audacious investment strategies, designed to quickly profit, and more prudent strategies that aim to increase profits in longer time

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Jack
Apr 15, 2012 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
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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
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Todd N
Jan 01, 2008 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
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Kit Pang
Nov 22, 2014 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)
Sue
Aug 01, 2016 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
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Chad Warner
Jun 12, 2011 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
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Scott
Mar 31, 2009 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 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
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Ami Iida
Feb 25, 2015 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
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Saeed
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Burton, for writing this masterpiece. I always have fear of reading this book because I thought it would be a tough one to read but now I am saying that this book is easy reading with much fun and I am very appreciated for Malkiel's great style of writing.

Great lifetime investing advice, fabulous wisdom and a complete book for Americans but As an Iranian person, I am saying It helped me to think sharp and by every piece of my heart I am saying that I am owing you, Burton G. Malkiel :
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Gwern
Jul 16, 2012 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
Leonard
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A common sense approach to investing. No hypes.
Thijs Niks
Ok overview of why active investing doesn’t work. Mediocre overview of why passive investing works.
Toe
Mar 22, 2009 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
Dan Riaz
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read for anyone who wants to learn more about investing, the financial markets, how the stock markets work or even the private sector in general.

While the book is over 400 pages, Burton Malkiel is entertaining in his approach, and his arguments / explanations are incredibly easy to follow. This book is aimed at the individual investor, and he makes a good amount of effort to make sure his knowledge is accessible to all.

That said, there is a lot here, everything from the historic
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Marshall
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book on investing. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about investing. It's very easy to read, and sometimes even reads like a story, and yet still manages to cover all the details. This is an impressive feat, considering that every other decent investing book I've found is a snoozer. I've found books that are easy to read, but they're only easy because they're simplistic. Add to that the tons of misinformation out there, telling you how you can "beat the m ...more
Vincent Li
Jan 27, 2016 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
Jason
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a college graduate with a child's understanding of economics and personal finance, Malkiel's guide was invaluable in understanding how the market works, tips on how to manage money, and his succinct yet rigorous and clear treatment of various investing strategies. I now have a much stronger grasp on how to invest and manage my finances as I enter post-graduate life.

Pros:
- An easy and mostly accessible read for those with almost 0 knowledge of economics or finance. Some economic and finance te
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Louis
Jun 03, 2014 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
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Haydngoseek
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a grade on a curve.

This book is a far more robust reference on investing than Dave Ramsey's advice. (Props to Dave for helping lots of people get out of debt though.) However, if you're reading this book, you're probably not really in the market for Dave Ramsey, and vice versa.

Investing has moved on since Malkiel wrote this book, and a lot of his thoughts and information are outdated. There's just better research - Bogle, Kitces, Wade Pfau, Larry Swedroe, et al have advanced the indexin
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Tom
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul DeBusschere
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Malkiel's book is just a repackaged version of the same garbage investment firms have fed to the public for years. If the last decade-plus has proved anything, it's that one cannot expect to succeed as an investor by placing your investments on auto-pilot. Following Malkiel's strategy of buying and holding index funds (and not reacting to market conditions), an investor would have reaped negative returns when inflation is factored in.

I've read more than a few books on investing and trading. Malk
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Peter Mcloughlin
Fairly good guide to the stock market for a lay person and a good introduction to the Efficient Market Hypothesis which has been under some scrutiny since the last financial crisis and challenged by the new field of behavioral economics which analyzes our less than rational actions in the marketplace. Very fun and the bottom line advice for those who want to beat the market is don't try. Get a diversified portfolio of index funds and hold onto them for a good while and you'll do about as well as ...more
Jono
Sep 16, 2015 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.
Brian
Jun 16, 2008 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 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.
Luke Masia
Good in the beginning when it talked about the past and gave factual information. Later on it got very subjective and I really disliked his ignorance to the point where I skipped multiple sections where he insulted other investment strategies.
Steven Ure
Dec 27, 2013 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.
Alex Kudera
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short version: Pay attention to P/E, and don't pay for the brokers' yachts or keep all your eggs in one basket.
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