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The Four Pillars of Investing, Second Edition: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (2ND ed.)

SKU: 9781264715916
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The classic guide to constructing a solid portfolio―without a financial advisor!

First published two decades ago, The Four Pillars of Investing has been the go-to resource for an entire generation of investors. This updated edition of the investing classic provides the foundational knowledge you need to avoid the most common pitfalls and build a portfolio in today’s roller-coaster world of investing.

Retired neurologist and master investor William J. Bernstein has seen it all throughout his career. Buying investments with borrowed money. Chasing past performance. Overestimating one’s own risk tolerance. Listening to cable news. These are just a few of the many mistakes he has witnessed smart, serious investors make, to the peril of their portfolios. Add to these behavioral errors such economic factors as deflation, sudden stock declines, soaring inflation, and the like―and investing can seem like something to be avoided at all costs. But with the right discipline and knowledge, you can build and manage an impressive portfolio. It all comes down to understanding four key pillars:

  • Theory: Risk and return go hand in hand―you can’t make money without risk
  • History: Understand past markets to understand today’s markets
  • Psychology: Avoid the most common behavioral mistakes that tank portfolios
  • Business: The cost of investment services can be high―unreasonably high

After taking you on a deep dive into each of these topics, Bernstein walks you through the process of designing and maintaining a powerful portfolio.

Times have changed. Economies have changed. And markets are ever-changing. But sound investing principles haven’t changed. Use The Four Pillars of Investing to stay a step ahead of your investing peers and build a portfolio to be proud of.


William J. Bernstein, PhD, MD, is a retired neurologist and the cofounder of the investment management firm Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of three finance books―The Intelligent Asset Allocator, The Four Pillars of Investing, and The Investor’s Manifesto―and four history books, The Birth of Plenty, A Splendid Exchange, Masters of the Word, and The Delusions of Crowds. Bernstein won the prestigious James R. Vertin Award from the CFA Institute in 2017.