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One of the best books I have read on investing in recent years. An excellent guide to factor investing and asset allocation overall as it covers more than just public markets. Worth reading whether you are interested in the mathematical explanations or not. I read the chapters in the order I found them interesting rather than in order.
I can't say how much I enjoyed reading this book. "Enjoy" is probably not the word because 600 pages is quite a slog !. But I was thoroughly pleased with the content, and I would say it has given me a very complete and well-documented update on theory and practice. The book provides a very complete overview of the entire field of investing, and its evolution over the past 40-50 years. Ang gives a thorough review of the main asset classes, the development of financial theory and above all, a (relatively brief) overview of the emerging field of factor investing and its foundation in theory. Brief, but enough to understand the theory and application. Ang offers a very critical view of theory and approaches to investing and shows with reference to many ( a huge amount in fact ) academic studies how the CAPM and mean-variance investing are no longer adequate as an explanation of markets. He is also very critical of the claims of Hedge Funds and Private Equity to superior performance and convincingly proves how on a risk-adjusted basis, they offer no alpha. He has very interesting insights on commodities, and real estate investing and also debunks their claim to be inflation hedges. Although taking its point of departure from theory, and academic studies, Ang does a great job of helping the reader with interesting practical details and quite a few anecdotes, and of course, concrete examples of model portfolios. Grateful to Andrew Ang for taking the time to write such a fascinating book, and after finishing I felt like I had taken a 6-month course on modern financial theory and practice. It is also good to see that he now heads an important division in Blackrock where many of his ideas in factor investing are being implemented through a series of new ETFs which he has created there. Can't recommend this book too much to those in the field of investing.