statistics for vBulletin
4:30 am - Wednesday February 10, 2016

Review: The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio by Alex Green

| Book Reviews, Investing | Rating: 4.5
by Numan

The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio offers a framework for saving, sound investment wisdom and no less important a step by step approach to their practical application up to a detailed asset allocation.

When I read through the first couple of chapters of The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio by Alex Green I was surprised to find a philosophical reference to Plato’s Apology and the Socratic Method. One of the bases of western philosophy, the Socratic Method dictates the constant inquiry of premises and assumptions and encourages an oppositional discussion as a path to knowledge. The Socratic Method is therefore a double-edged sword the author may end up facing himself. That was not the case.

Skepticism and the Socratic Method are a promising start to every book
As the story goes the Oracle of Delphi pointed Socrates out as the wisest of men (and women). Socrates, thinking it a paradox, set out to prove the Oracle wrong and turned to the wisest of Athenians who surely held knowledge that surpassed his own. Using his famous Socratic Method Socrates revealed none of these wise persons really held true knowledge as all failed to explain their concepts of truth, justice, good, beauty and happiness. Socrates found the oracle to be right as he was the only one aware of his ignorance, paradoxically making him the wisest of Athenians (He simply knew he didn’t know). The author makes an equally strong argument when it comes to investing and managing our money.

The lesson Socrates had taught the world is a powerful and important one and when it comes to investing it seems we sometimes need a reminder. An author that advocates skepticism at the start of his book has already earned considerable credit in my eyes.

What is The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio about exactly?

As aforementioned, much like Socrates, the author lays no claim to knowledge that is not available or is out of reach for all of us. The author quickly lays bare the claims of Wall-Street to “professional knowledge” which we, household investors lack. The case against professional money management is a bit strong, even demagogic at points but is essential for the author’s main point. Managing our money isn’t as complicated as other may want us to think.

The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio is a book aimed at the household investor surrounded by never ending piles of knowledge leaving him (or her) even more confused and baffled. The book offers a simple and robust investment strategy that has proved itself over the long haul.

Much like Socrates and his paradox the author does not claim to hold knowledge of any special investment strategy which will enable us all to generate phantasmal abnormal returns. You will find no secrets to timing the market as there are none and you will be disappointed if you’re looking for a safe riskless investment strategy that will generate return out of thin air (again, there is none).

The author simply turns to old investment wisdom that relies on the basics of finance. Long term investing, diversification, varying levels of correlation and wise asset allocation are fundamental to the approach offered by the author. That is also possibly the book’s main shortfall. The book lacks in innovation but most certainly makes up for it in sound investment advice.

The book offers a specific portfolio and is aimed at the majority of household investors who wish to wisely invest their savings and spend as little time as possible maintaining them (which is, by the way, great advice for long term investors). The portfolio offered by the author is a sound one and is allocated very much accordingly to the text book.
The book offers more than just a portfolio. It offers a framework for those of us who seek a comfortable retirement and wish to balance the risk of a financial shortfall with the risk inherent to financial investments. It points out the conflicting interests many money managers face when dealing with out savings and sheds light on various financial truths with historical evidence.

I believe The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio serves as a good financial education book and I would recommend it to those of us who are less proficient in finance and investments and are taking their first or second step in the saving world. For the more proficient of us who understand good asset allocation, the CAPM model, the importance of long term investing and discipline and the crucial difference between investing and trading this book might serve as a good reminder of the basics.

The book is well written even if a bit simplistic at some places. The author effectively repeats and stresses the main points brought forth and conveniently sums the essence of every chapter at the end.

What would Socrates ask after reading The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio?

As the Socratic Method dictates I’d question two main issues. The first one is the level of risk offered in the portfolio. The author suggests a very detailed portfolio which comfortably enough leaves only with the buy command and yearly maintenance, which is really a breeze. The asset allocation offered is relatively aggressive with 70% stocks in the portfolio. That is very important for long term savers. Arguably, as the term of investment shortens it is important to consider the level of risk taken (read Long Term Investments Are Not Risk Free for more on the subject).

The second thing I’d question is the array of Vanguard mutual funds recommended. The author recommends, very wisely and objectively, to invest in index funds which are less costly in commissions when compared with managed mutual funds which have not proved to outperform the markets (on average, it’s actually the other way around). The author recommends Vanguard funds in terms of cost effectiveness. I’d test this premise before investing but the concept of the portfolio is true enough.

The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio apparently outperformed the S&P for the last 5 years but that is not something to take for granted (that is do not assume it will continue to do so in the future, as the author points out). Naturally the author does not promise the portfolio will outperform the S&P every year and he very well shouldn’t. The strength of the Gone Fishin’ Portfolio is in its utilization of basic investment wisdom of long term asset allocation and rebalancing which has proved itself in the past (read Know your Portfolio – Three Simple Charts Can Make a World of Difference for more on the subject).

Disclosure: Book reviews on The Personal Financier are entirely objective and are not paid for or sponsored in any way by the author, publisher or any other third party. The Personal Financier receives a 4% share of books sales referred by us which help support the efforts on this blog.

Author: | Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

25 responses to "Review: The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio by Alex Green"

  1. Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could
    locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems
    finding one? Thanks a lot!

  2. Maybe it’s a little bit to look like. Annual Tampa Air Show
    is an event for a cause. Wine TastingCome taste the wines of Italy during wine tasting that
    is held near to the old hag? But currently in Android market, at ‘experts and
    non-experts alike’, and offers the chance to share that, I realised what I had
    learned from them over time. These can be used to intercept data passing through without there being a record of revenue and profit, even growth.

    Also visit my weblog: butterfly events (

  3. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website
    on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

    Also visit my web site: best e cigarette

  4. Georgina says:

    Another advantage of green tea is its ability to lower down blood choleseterol levels and help the ratio between good
    (HDL) cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol. The temperature of
    water to brew Chinese green tea varies for several types of green tea extract.

    Not only was the animation spectacular but also the controls gave way to new fronts in gameplay, making
    the gamer choose the correct gesture to create at the right moment.

  5. Ahaa, its nice dialogue about this piece of writing at this place
    at this weblog, I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

    Feel free to surf to my website; 注目 専営店

  6. Leonore says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Thanks a lot!

    my page … Call of Duty Ghosts Prestige Hack

  7. Mckinley says:

    I have read some excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you place to create such a great informative site.

  8. Anton says:

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a fantastic job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Internet explorer. Exceptional Blog!

  9. Skrying says:

    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site
    in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  10. Youtube says:

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    However, how can we communicate?

  11. video seo says:

    Wow, incredible weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your website is great, let
    alone the content material!

    My web page … video seo

  12. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth used to be
    a leisure account it. Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we be in contact?

  13. This can be overcome quite easily by using Cong-u-dust,
    a sealing product commonly available at janitorial supply stores.
    These items are available in a wide range of colours and they’re available
    at price effective value on the online stone and tiles stores.
    As wooden flooring provides elegant and royal look it needs routine maintenance and the manufacturer itself
    provides you with the caring tips.

  14. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was
    just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  15. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to
    “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things
    to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some
    of your ideas!!

  16. djarum black says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your website.
    It appears as though some of the written text within your content
    are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this
    is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my browser
    because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers

  17. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  18. purchase says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
    this matter to be really something that I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.

    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang
    of it!

  19. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
    maybe you would have some experience with something like this.

    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to
    your new updates.

    My web-site … http://Www.Casinoproffen.Com/

  20. I have learn several just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much attempt you put to make one of
    these excellent informative web site.

    my blog :: Minecraft Cracked Server

  21. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up something new from
    right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this web site,
    since I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I
    could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is
    OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective
    exciting content. Ensure that you update this again very

  22. I’ve read several just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you place to create this type of magnificent informative

  23. movies says:

    Currently it looks like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  24. boobs tumblr says:

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover someone who
    really knows what they’re discussing on the web. You definitely know
    how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people ought to look at this and understand
    this side of your story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular since
    you certainly have the gift.

  25. Vernita says:

    Basic herpes management techniques involve what food you take in, here a list of what to eat and what not to eat to avoid herpes breakouts.

Leave a reply