The only three questions that count, by Ken Fisher is probably one of the best investment books I have read in the last 10 years.
Ken Fisher is the son of Phillip A Fisher and a great investor. He manages $30 billion and is personally a member of the Forbes 400.
His theses on investing make a lot of sense. I have been reading his column for years in Forbes. Fisher is the only columnist, I ever recommended to anyone as being worth reading. He is fond of empirical data, questioning assumptions and trying to discover new things. This requires a degree of curiousity and humility which is deeply refreshing.
I was reminded of reading Karl Popper's thoughts on Science and Thomas Kuhns work on the importance of the falsifiability of a hypothesis, while finishing Fisher's book.
Fisher likes to think things that others haven't thought or at least thought through. He discounts the crowd and looks where others don't. He isn't a simple contrarian, but rather suggestes using original thought and empirical analysis before investing in an idea. I like this. It is amazing how little people actually study money and their own investments.
One concept many held true in the U.S. was that home prices across the country in aggregate couldn't go down, because they never had. This is unfortunately proving false.
I would urge anyone who is investing to read Fisher's book, it is one of the best around. The only thing he hints at that I would have liked more insight into is Asset allocation (allocating between bonds, equities and cash). His advice is that this is market timing and most of the time for most people a full equities situation is best. Fortunately I am going to re-read my old copy of Asset Allocation from Gibson.
If you don't have time to read Ken Fisher's book and have less than $300k to invest, please go buy an S&P 500 Index Mutual fund from Vangaurd and sit with it for a long time. Remember, even if your are 50 today, your investment horizon is probably 30-35 years. Park your money in an S&P 500 index mutual and don't look at it.