Investors interested in digging deeper into the nuances of asset allocation will find the following five books of interest. Here is my list of the five best books on asset allocation. In a later post, I will add another five books to this group, making up my top ten list of investment books.
- The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio – William J. Bernstein
- Asset Allocation: Balancing Financial Risk – Roger C. Gibson
- The Investor's Manifesto – William J. Bernstein
- All About Asset Allocation: The Easy Way To Get Started – Richard A. Ferri
- What Wall Street Doesn't Want You To Know – Larry E. Swedroe
William Bernstein, of Oregon, is the author of my number one and number three picks. Actually, The Intelligent Asset Allocator, his first book is my favorite (not on this list), but I would not recommend it as the first to read as the above suggestions are easier to read. If you are unfamiliar with the language of asset allocation the Top Five will get you started. Begin your journey with The Four Pillars. Roger C. Gibson, in his Asset Allocation (number two pick) book does a remarkable job of showing why one should build a diversified portfolio. However, I am still waiting for an author who will provide compelling data for using over ten different asset classes. Since I first wrote up this list of five books, Bernstein came out with his third book, Investor's Manifesto, and that book replaced Mark T. Hebner's book. Hebner provides one of the best overviews for passive or index investing. In his Index Funds book, Hebner goes into the history and research for this approach to investing. If cost is an issue, this book is a best buy. I also recommend visiting the IFA web site as it is one of the very best available. I provide a link off to the right under “Links.” Larry Swedroe fills out this list of outstanding Asset Allocation books. My one complaint about Swedroe's book is that it does not have an index. If anyone has a favorite book on asset allocation, please add it to this list under the comments section. Your contributions are most welcome. Lowell Herr Photograph: Lima, Peru students taking a snack break.