5 Brilliant Authors

Most books about  investing aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.  That’s not the case with just about anything written by these five gentlemen.  Start with something by Bogle or Bernstein, and then move on to Ellis, Loeper (especially his Whitepapers) and Taleb.$$

William J. Bernstein is a practicing neurologist, self-taught investor extraordinaire and – remarkably – one of the most proficient writers on the topic of investment management.  He has one of the best (if somewhat dated) investment-related “newsletters” on the Internet (www.efficientfrontier.com) and has written several outstanding (and bestselling) books on investing, including The Intelligent Asset Allocator (McGraw-Hill, 2001), The Four Pillars of Investing (McGraw-Hill, 2002), The Birth of Plenty (McGraw-Hill, 2004), and The Investor’s Manifesto (John Wiley & Sons, 2010).

John C. Bogle is the Founder and retired CEO of the Vanguard Group, one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world.  Often credited as being the inventor of the retail index fund, Mr. Bogle has written numerous books on investment management including the classic Common Sense on Mutual Funds (Wiley & Sons, 1999). In 1999, he was named one of the industry’s four “Giants of the 20th Century” by Fortune magazine.  In 2004, he was named “one of the world’s 100 most powerful and influential people” by Time magazine.  That same year he was granted Institutional Investor’s lifetime achievement award.  Almost everything he has written is worth reading, including The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (John Wiley & Sons, 2007) and Don’t Count On It! (John Wiley & Sons, 2011).

Charles D. Ellis is recognized as one of the foremost experts on investment policy and investment management.  He is, perhaps, best known for his assertion – back in the early 1970s – that (active) investing had become a loser’s game.  He has served as chairman of the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR) and as Director of the Vanguard Group.  Ellis has authored dozens of articles on investment management and finance, as well as several must-read books, including The Investor’s Anthology (John Wiley & Sons, 1997), Winning the Loser’s Game (McGraw-Hill, 2000), and Capital:  The Story of Long Term Investment Excellence (John Wiley & Sons, 2004).

David B. Loeper, CIMA®, CIMC® is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Financeware, Inc.  Mr. Loeper is a prolific writer (and thinker) and, through his company’s white papers, has successfully changed the way many in the industry view financial planning and investment management.  He is the author of Stop the 401k Rip-off (John Wiley and Sons, 2007) and Stop the Investing Rip-off (John Wiley and Sons, 2011).

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a self-described “epistemologist of randomness”.  He is the author of The Black Swan (Random House, 2007), a book described by the Sunday Times as “one of the twelve most influential books since World War II”, Fooled By Randomness (W. W. Norton & Co., 2001), which has been dubbed “the book that rolled down Wall Street like a hand grenade.” and Antifragile:  Things That Gain from Disorder (Random House, 2012). He has been a professor at several universities, a hedge-fund manager, a derivatives trader, and is currently an advisor for the International Monetary Fund. $$ Michael L. Gay, MBA, CFP®