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The Intelligent Portfolio: Practical Wisdom on Personal Investing from Financial Engines

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Praise for The Intelligent Portfolio

"This is one of those rare investment books that actually raises your investment IQ. Christopher Jones's ten basic rules get investors focused on what really matters. You may have heard some of these investment truths before, but probably never in a way that is so powerful and intuitive. Filled with practical and insightful examples, this book is a real eye-opener for anyone serious about planning for a bright financial future."
—Jane Bryant Quinn, columnist for Newsweek and Bloomberg.com and author of Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People

"Books on personal investing are a dime a dozen. But if we add them up, all those dimes come to plenty of money. This book is worth all that and lots more. With its strong foundation in theory, the depth of its insights, the power of its message, the clarity of its exposition, and the value of its examples, The Intelligent Portfolio is worth many multiples of anything else in this overcrowded field."
—Peter L. Bernstein, author of Capital Ideas Evolving

"Christopher Jones gives investors a guided tour of the inner workings of modern portfolio theory. If you prefer to look under the hood and kick the tires of your retirement plan, this hands-on manual can help you turbocharge your portfolio."
—Mary Beth Franklin, Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

"Jones provides his readers with a refreshing investment guide, chock-full of pithy and pertinent advice. Can you ignore expenses if a manager exhibits excess performance? His no-nonsense advice, 'the view that you can ignore the impact of fees is just a bunch of hooey.' And for those chasing yesterday's hot funds, he reminds us that 'good funds are not defined by how well they have performed in the past, but how well they are likely to perform in the future.' A quarter century of experience tells me readers will be better investors if they heed his easily digestible investment wisdom."
—Harold Evensky, CFP, President, Evensky & Katz


Christopher L. Jones is Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President of Investment Management for Financial Engines. Working closely with founder William F. Sharpe, Jones built and led the team of experts in finance, economics, and mathematics that developed the financial methodology for Financial Engines' personalized investment advice and management services. Jones has led the investment management function at Financial Engines for more than a decade. He holds an MS in business technology, an MS in engineering-economic systems, and a BA in quantitative economics, all from Stanford University.
Financial Engines, Inc., is a leading provider of personalized investment advisory and management services to investors in workplace retirement plans. The company provides advisory services to more than 6.8 million employees, including workers at 109 Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Financial Engines manages more than $16 billion in defined contribution assets for individual employees as of year-end 2007. All advisory services are provided by Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C., an independent registered investment advisor and subsidiary of Financial Engines, Inc. Financial Engines does not receive compensation based on the investments it recommends.
Acknowledgments.

Introduction to Financial Engines.

Chapter 1. Making it Personal.

A Changing World.

The Grand Social Experiment: 401(k).

Knowledge Gap.

The Traditional Advice Model.

Institutional Tools of the Trade.

Chapter 2. No Free Lunch.

I'll Take the One With the Highest Return…

A Little Bit of Latin: Ex-Ante and Ex-Post.

How are the Prices of Risky Assets Set?

The Link between Risk and Return.

When High Risk Does Not Mean High Return.

Hidden Risks and the Peso Problem.

How Much Risk am I Taking?

The Risks and Returns of Different Assets.

Does it Pass the Blush Test?

Chapter 3. History is Bunk.

History and Expected Returns.

The Past is Not the Future.

History is Sometimes Not What it Seems.

Investing with Perfect Hindsight.

The Lucky and the Skillful.

Evaluating Fund Performance.

Chapter 4. The Wisdom of the Market.

The Efficient Market?

What is the Market Portfolio?

What Does the Market Portfolio Look Like?

There's No Place Like Home.

History of the Market Portfolio.

Betting Against the Market.

Avoiding Unintentional Bets.

Risk and the Market Portfolio.

The Market's View of Future Returns.

Market Portfolio Simulations.

Final Thoughts

Chapter 5. Getting the Risk Right.

How to Measure Risk.

Asset Mix and Short-Term Loss.

Risk and Portfolio Outcomes

Risk and Time Horizon.

Factors to Consider in Selecting a Risk Level.

Examples of Informed Investor Behavior.

Chapter 6. An Unnecessary Gamble.

A Different Sort of Beast.

The Risk of Individual Stocks.

The Implications of Individual Stock Risk.

Expected Growth Rates.

The Biggest Mistake in 401(k).

What about More than One?

Do You Feel Lucky?

How to Do It Safely.

Hidden Costs.

Dealing with Unwanted Stock Risk.

Chapter 7. How Fees Eat Your Lunch.

It's Basic Arithmetic.

Big Business.

For Every Winner There Has to Be a Loser.

It Still Adds Up to Dollars.

A Wide, Wide World.

How Fees Eat Your Lunch.

It's a Heavy Load to Bear.

Fees and the Bigger Picture.

Practical Considerations.

Chapter 8. Smart Diversification.

The Goals of Diversification.

The Big Picture.

Why Hierarchy Is Bad for Portfolios.

The Value of Asset Class Diversification.

Diversification Ain't What It Used to Be.

Diversification and Investment Choices.

The Big Picture: Part II.

The Search for Better Diversification.

Chapter 9. Picking the Good Ones.

The Stuff That Matters.

It's About the Future.

Risk Tolerance and Fund Choice.

Investment Style.

Fund Expenses.

Predicting Mutual Fund Performance.

Rating Funds.

Putting the Pieces Together.

What it Takes to Rank Among the Best.

Chapter 10. Funding the Future.

The Benefits of Being Flexible.

Taxable and Tax-deferred Savings.

How Much Do You Need?

From Wealth to Income.

The Myth of Absolutes.

Risk, Time, and Savings.

What it Takes to Get There.

Chapter 11. Investing and Uncle Sam.

Why You Don't Want to Minimize Taxes.

How Taxes Impact Investment Returns.

The Impact of Personal Tax Rates.

Tax-Efficiency of Asset Classes.

Asset Placement.

Mutual Fund Tax-Efficiency.

Municipal Bonds.

Capital Gains and Losses.

Putting It All Together.

Chapter 12. Wrapping It Up.

Appendix. Getting Started with the Personal Online Advisor Service.

Notes.

Glossary.

About the Author.

Index.