The books keep rolling in! It’s getting challenging trying to keep up with the book reading/reporting between all my other duties. However, since the readers seem to enjoy them (or maybe it’s the giveaways), I will keep doing them!

This hardcover book is about investing, portfolio creation and risk management. It’s titled “The Intelligent Portfolio – Practical Wisdom on Personal Investing from Financial Engines” written by Christopher L. Jones. The book is fairly lengthy and technical, but the beauty lies in the summary at the end of each chapter.

Who is the Author?

According to the publisher:

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.

What Topics are Covered?

  • Recognizing the link between risk and reward
  • Leveraging the wisdom of the market
  • Minimizing losses due to investment fees
  • Avoiding the risks of stock picking
  • Selecting funds with proper forward-looking criteria
  • Understanding how to realistically fund financial goals
  • Investing tax-efficiently

Important Lessons

  • The most important diversification is the split between stocks/bonds, then between domestic/international equity.
  • Minimizing your investment expenses will result in a huge difference in portfolio value over the long term.
  • Higher expected returns will have a higher risk associated with them. However, not all high risk investments come with higher expected returns.
  • The most important factors in choosing a risk level are the tolerance for downside outcomes and the time horizon before the money is needed.
  • Investing in individual stocks are an unnecessary gamble. Historically, investors do better with diversified instruments like ETF’s/index mutual funds.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this hardcover book as it provides a lot of insight into the value of diversified low cost index investing through facts and hard earned experience. I would say that this book is geared towards investors who are already familiar with the markets but looking to expand their market knowledge.

For the beginner investor, this book may be a little intimidating and a touch on the dry side as it is fairly technical. However, I would say that this book would provide the right start on how to create a diversified portfolio at a risk level that is right for you.

Want a Free Copy?

  • Simply leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered in the draw for a free copy.
  • Please only 1 comment entry / person (please enter a valid email address).
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter (publisher rules, sorry).
  • Contest will end Thursday 5pm EST June 12, 2008 and the winner announced shortly afterwards!

Find out how you can save an additional 4% on this book from Chapters.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Looks interesting, however I’d rather read a book that also spoke of the Canadian market.

Interesting review. I would love a free copy and I do have a N. American address! Let me know if you select me and Thanks for keeping up with the reading and posting the information!

Sign me up for the big W! This book looks like a very fascinating read!

I was just looking for some more advice on how to start creating a portfolio. Looks like an interesting read.

Excellent. I love these contests! Thanks again FrugalTrader.

Sounds like a great book!

sign me up.

I like winning!

Thanks for the contest! Sign me up.

Here is my post.

Sounds like a great read – Tks Judy

A book about the strength of index investing, that sounds very good!

Sounds like an interesting read.

Pick me, pick me :-)

Always want to learn more! Sign me up for the draw!

Sounds like a great book. You can never have too much knowledge especially when it comes to investing.

sounds like it would be a fairly interesting read.

Sounds like a good read,

I would love to win the book

i would like to see how this differs from the other investment books i have read.

Time for me to level up from beginner to high-beginner books, as we’re just setting up self-directed RRSPs. This sounds like a useful book at this point in our financial journey.

Thanks for the review.

Thanks for the book..

Here’s my entry!

Seems like an interesting read. And the price is right!

thnaks for the book review. Hope to win it

Sounds like an interesting read

I’m in.

I like these investing books that have a mathematical basis to the theories.

Does it also show how to recognise when a higher risk investment won’t come with higher returns?

Pick me for the free book! This could be a good read!

Love to learn…and I must say that I really enjoy your site. I have learned a lot and like the simple easy format. I look forward to my read every day. Thank you, FG

Nice book! Too bad for me im not qualified to join:(

I am interested in this book.

Please, count me in. I would love to read something serious on the topic.

An intelligent portfolio? Count me in for the drawing!

Thanks for the review! I hope you pick me! :)

Would saying that it’s my birthday tomorrow help me win? Did not think so. :-)

Thanxs for the review. Good luck to everyone.

Looks good. Mine could certainly use some sprucing up!

I am in, thanks.

I’m feeling lucky!

Sign me up :).

This book sounds like what I need.

Book? I’d love it!

Another very interesting book read from a very interesting site.
When are you going to be writing your own book FT?

I would love a free copy, thanks for the chance…

Sounds like a good book. I like the sounds of a book with a heavier technical weighting. Often I find books tend to shy away from the technical side of things to appeal to a larger audience. This makes it hard to find good material if you are interested in those details.

Sign me up for the draw, please!

Sounds like an interesting read; especially about choosing ETFs over individual stocks.


Has this book on portfolio creation changed any of your views on using a couch potato style portfolio?

Please put me in for the draw.


If you own stocks then you can’t afford to get news later than everyone else. Try for a week and you’ll see what I mean. There is no fee and no spam…so make money now and sign up for

Hope foreign markets are sufficiently addressed!