Sunday, October 23, 2011

 The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy

THE SMARTEST PORTFOLIO YOU’LL EVER OWN: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy Daniel R. Solin. Perigee.

Not having read the author's other books, I generally consider most investment gurus and books with a jaundiced eye. I think he spends a lot of time, too much, in fact, disparaging traditional mutual finds and investment advisers but that is what his goal was. His philosophy seems to make sense and I'm curious how well he would fare in the schizophrenic market we experience daily.  I wish he had put his money where his words are and shown actual investment gains and losses of his own money using the portfolio; his credibility would have been stronger. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

Clear and easy to read and understand. However, the portfolio strategy delivered in the book is not really a breakthrough, as claimed in the book title. There is no new concept here. I found myself flipping through the pages. I think the book message could have been delivered in a 2 to 3 pages article. I like the quotes at the begining of every chapter and the takeaway at the end of each one. Smadar (Sammy) Sasson, Aventura

Solin's strategy for The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own seems feasible but its feasibility can not be proven without trying it out first which means an investment is necessary unless you just keep track of things and watch to see what happens without investing actual money.

In his own words he recommends not going with an adviser or listen to someone who pushes their own
agenda and yet he does just that with index funds which is his expertise.  He also seems to be recommending following the global market. In light of what is happening there in today's market, it makes me skeptical to follow his advice there.

It is interesting to find at the back of the book in the Publishers Note the statement that the contents of the book should not be taken as financial advice. The reader should consult a registered investment adviser prior to making investment decisions even though Solin says one is not needed. The publisher clearly states in the disclaimer that the views are exclusively the author's and do not represent views of anyone else.

Perhaps Solin is only offering his views and ideas under the guise of advice.  The standard advice for investors he presents would more than likely hold true, however — diversify your investment holdings and remain alert! Margot Byrnes, Miami

To be honest, I was prepared to hate this book as I hate most books that are focused on the stock market. Many similar books have sucked me in under the guise of being the investment guide for the layperson and have failed, leaving me feeling stupid and inept. However, author Daniel R. Solin was able to explain the most complicated theories in a way that a person of average intelligence, or an English major like me who thinks that algebra -- the mixing of numbers and letters is the work of satan -- could understand. These are cynical times and, I, like most people watch the daily ups and downs of the stock market and on a down day, my reaction is, "Oh, THEY'VE manipulated the market again and must be taking their profits."  Feeling like someone emerging from an abusive relationship, I'm no longer engaging with the wild mood swings of Wall Street.

This book encourages you build your portfolio on the model that reflects your retirement horizon and has suggestions for everyone from the novice to the more seasoned investor. Just when Solin would venture into areas that could make the reader say to him/herself, "What the *&^@ is Fama and French and why do I care about their theories?" he would explain in easy-to-understand nuggets and then summarize before moving on. In fact, the short "What's the Point?" boxed summaries did a good job of cementing each chapter before moving on to the next idea. I also like the fact that the author provided many options for the reader to choose from in terms of investing for retirement. For example, my current plan is to set my retirement on autopilot and hope for the best, so Solin has an option for me. He explains that the Target Date plans allows an investor to minimize their risks over time by choosing a Target Date handily named the year of one's retirement (Vanguard 2023). The investor basically "sets it and forgets it" with a Target Date plan. These plans become more conservative over time (more bonds than stocks) which supposedly mitigates the risk. The average individual probably doesn't want to spend the time figuring out that approach and then jiggering their portfolio accordingly, so Target Date portfolios are one viable option.

If you can suspend your disbelief that the entire system is manipulated by insiders gaming the system with computerized, short-term trading and other tricks that generate profits not based on reality, then "The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own" could go a long way in helping you plan for your retirement. Kathy Doran, Miami

After reading this book, I was disappointed.  Alot of the language used in the book is for someone who is an investment broker or advisor.  I could not do my own portfolio without understanding why I would need to choose a particular bond or stock.  Each chapter was very small one or two pages with a noted thought on the last page.  What I hoped for was to learn about stocks and how and why to choose, what to look for in that stock, how long to invest and see the movement of the stock.  I currently choose my stock and someone who worked as an investment broker told me what to look at and if I wanted to take risks with stock I would have to monitor the movement.  I was also told not to put all my money into one stock (basket) but to split it like 30%, 40%, 30% to equal 100% in different stocks.  This idea has worked for me and I have seen my money grow.

In the beginning the book referenced the horrific mess we are in today with our mortgages as well as  the Mondoff Ponzi scheme.  He was a trusted advisor and no one questioned it; they were getting a return on their investment so they let it ride.  He played on his clients trust and he know who would be interested and who wouldn't.  I am sure everyone would love to invest and get 25% or 35%  back on their investment.  But in closing there is no sure thing out there.  Patricia Garcia, Miami

Daniel Solin’s book follows the KISS principle—Keep Investments Simple Stupid.  Determine if you want to be an active or passive investor.  Do you want to invest in a financial advisor or a Dimensional Fund Advisor?  What is your risk tolerance?  Once you figure out the answers to these three questions, you can delve into one of four different approaches that will limit you to ETFs or index funds, plus a few bond funds, with low management fees.  Rebalance the portfolio a couple times a year and call it a day.  Easy.

Solin’s approach is brilliant in its simplicity and logic.  His explanation has made me rethink entirely the individual equities I have traded and has made me realize that my advisor has truly  been looking out for my best interest in steering me towards the very structured portfolio outlined in the book  that can maximize my returns so I can retire when I want.

Bottom line—no one person can “beat” the market day in and day out.  The data and analysis he shares clearly demonstrates that those who try to time the market will lose.  He further debunks some of those old adages that buying a good company means buying a good stock.

The problem of course is that picking a hot stock can be exhilarating.  It’s gambling, just without the blackjack dealer.

I promise to shed the equities. I will drop my subscription to Motley Fool and Jim Kramer’s newsletter.  But it needs to be next week.  I want to try to ride this latest uptick in the market just a little longer… Kim Miller, Miami

Excellent book I wish I could have read thirty years ago but great advice for anyone who wants to put their investments on cruise control.  I especially liked the ability to lock in your retirement date and work backwards.  I have recommended this book to both of children who are just starting out and who needs to manage their own 401k and retirement plans.  Quick read and to the financial point. Paul Bartoletti, Scranton Pa


  © Template by 2008

Back to TOP