Yet again, why I think Kindle will be a game-changer

by phil on Thursday May 21, 2009 3:29 PM

So I wanted to pick up a copy of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor, which Warren Buffet calls "the greatest book on investing ever written." I really wanted it now because I got bit with stock market fever. So these are the options I considered:

  • The book's available at a public library about 20 minutes away, but which requires navigating some gnarly traffic-laden highways.
  • I can request a transfer from that library to a nearby, walking-distance library, which means I'd get it on Thursday.
  • My local bookstore, which is walking-distance away, sells it for $21.99.
  • Amazon sells it for $14.95 which means I could probably get it by Friday.
  • The Kindle version is $9.99.
I don't own a Kindle, but I do have the free iPhone app. The best choice for me was to get the Kindle version.

I think this kind of decision tree is going to play out more and more in the future, which bodes well for digital distribution of text.


Steve said on May 30, 2009 7:25 PM:

Most academics agree with the Efficient Market Hypothesis in some form. What that means is that it's very, very difficult for anyone to reliably beat the market over a long period of time. A Random Walk Down Wall Street provides a great layman introduction to this research.

This Amazon review sums it up pretty well :

"A Random Walk takes the reader on a path from the point of view of an academic, rather than that of a trader. That is sufficient to make this book different from most other stock market tomes. Malkiel's premise is that neither the the average investor nor the professional trader can expect to perform better that the "market" over any significant period of time. He considers market events to be random, and thus unpredictable. He offers piles of data to support his contentions, and his arguments are compelling.
Yet, those who trade using technical analysis scoff at books such at this, claiming their systems consistently beat the averages. The author points to the fact that most managers of mutual funds, pensions etc. fail to perform better than index funds and Malkiel recommends that public investors place their investment money into broad based index funds. The S&P 500 Index fund is recommended, as it is unrealistic to expect fund managers to perform better.

This classic has been around for 30 years and this revised edition is worth your time, especially if you have never read an earlier edition. Just be aware that many technical traders consider this to be a work of fiction."

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