Index Funds: The 12-step Program for Active Investors

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IFA Publishing, Inc., Jun 16, 2006 - Business & Economics - 392 pages
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The financial services industry has a dark secret, one that costs global investors about $2.5 trillion per year. This secret quietly drains the investment portfolios and retirement accounts of almost every investor. In 1900, French mathematician, Louis Bachelier, unsuspectingly revealed this disturbing fact to the world. Since then, hundreds of academic studies have supported Bachelier's findings. This book offers overwhelming proof of this, and shows investors how to obtain their optimal rate of return by matching their risk capacity to an appropriate risk exposure. A globally diversified portfolio of index funds is the optimal way to accomplish this. Index Funds is the treatment of choice for wayward investors. Below market returns in investment portfolios and pension accounts are the result of investors gambling with their hard earned money. This 12-Step Program will put active investors on the road to recovery. Each step is designed to bring investors closer to embracing a prudent and sound strategy of buying, holding, and rebalancing an index portfolio.

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Page 24 - All that can be required of a trustee to invest, is that he shall conduct himself faithfully and exercise a sound discretion. He is to observe how men of prudence, discretion and intelligence manage their own affairs, not in regard to speculation, but in regard to the permanent disposition of their funds, considering the probable income, as well as the probable safety of the capital to be invested.
Page 165 - Wise men say, and not without reason, that whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who have been, and ever will be, animated by the same passions, and thus they must necessarily have the same results.
Page 67 - OCTOBER. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.
Page 15 - Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. Those following this path are sure to beat the net results (after fees and expenses) delivered by the great majority of investment professionals.
Page 125 - The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing".
Page 165 - I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past...
Page 135 - Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.
Page 211 - These principles instruct trustees and the courts that: 1. Sound diversification is fundamental to risk management and is therefore ordinarily required of trustees. 2. Risk and return are so directly related that trustees have a duty to analyze and make conscious decisions concerning the levels of risk appropriate to the purposes, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trusts they administer.
Page 16 - I am no longer an advocate of elaborate techniques of security analysis in order to find superior value opportunities.
Page 19 - It is not easy to get rich in Las Vegas, at Churchill Downs or at the local Merrill Lynch office.

About the author (2006)

Mark T. Hebner is the president of Index Funds Advisors in Irvine, California. His flagship Web site,, is considered the leading Internet source of information on index funds. He led a team of over 60 writers, artists, graphic designers, mathematicians, statisticians, and researchers to build the Internet's most comprehensive Web site on index funds. Hebner has been founder, president, and CEO of three companies, one of which became a publicly held corporation. Since discovering the index funds philosophy, he has worked tirelessly to educate the investing public on the advantages of investing in index funds.

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