Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: Debunkery

Debunkery (2011) by Ken Fisher

The author of this book sets out to debunk 50 myths and misconceptions about the stock market and investing. Each "bunk" is addressed in a 3-5 page chapter that discusses relevant facts and analyses in an understandable and laid-back manner. Some of the bunks covered in the book include: bonds are safer than stocks, age determines asset allocation, beta measures risk, don't fight the Fed, lower taxes help the market, and various factors (high unemployment, high oil prices, big national debts, trade deficits, terrorism) hurt the market. Many of his counterarguments involve presenting historical data that show no reliable relationship where one has been posited (e.g., unemployment rate vs. stock market performance). Overall, I think he succeeds in demonstrating that a lot of the "wisdom" one hears about the stock market has little empirical support and does not stand up to critical analysis.

Note: I read this book in February 2012.

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