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Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street

ISBN: 978-0-471-73174-0
360 pages
June 2005
Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street (0471731749) cover image
Capital Ideas traces the origins of modern Wall Street, from the pioneering work of early scholars and the development of new theories in risk, valuation, and investment returns, to the actual implementation of these theories in the real world of investment management. Bernstein brings to life a variety of brilliant academics who have contributed to modern investment theory over the years: Louis Bachelier, Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, Robert Merton, Franco Modigliani, and Merton Miller. Filled with in-depth insights and timeless advice, Capital Ideas reveals how the unique contributions of these talented individuals profoundly changed the practice of investment management as we know it today.
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Acknowledgments.

Introduction: The Revolution in the Wealth of Nations.

PART I: SETTING THE SCENE.

Chapter 1. Are Stock Prices Predictable?

PART II: THE WHOLE AND THE PARTS.

Chapter 2. Fourteen Pages to Fame.

Chapter 3. The Interior Decorator Fallacy.

Chapter 4. The Most Important Single Influence.

PART III: THE DEMON OF CHANCE.

Chapter 5. Illusions, Molecules, and Trends.

Chapter 6. Anticipating Prices Properly.

Chapter 7. The Search for High P.Q.

PAR IV: WHAT ARE STOCKS WORTH?

Chapter 8. The Best at the Price.

Chapter 9. The Bombshell Assertions.

Chapter 10. Risky Business.

Chapter 11. The Universal Financial Device.

PART V: FROM GOWN TO TOWN.

Chapter 12. The constellation.

Chapter 13. The Accountant for Risk.

Chapter 14. The Ultimate Invention.

PART VI: THE FUTURE.

Chapter 15. The View form the Top of the Tower.

Notes.

Bibliography and Other Sources.

Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Peter L. Bernstein, one of the foremost financial writers of his generation, is the author of the bestselling, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk and The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession, both from Wiley, as well as five other books. He is President of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., an investment consulting firm he founded in 1973 after many years of managing billions of dollars in individual and institutional portfolios. He is the founding Editor of the Journal of Investment Management. He has lectured widely throughout the United States and abroad, and has received the highest honors from his peers in the investment profession.
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  • Successful first edition. The first edition sold about 40,000 copies in softcover.  It was published by Simon and Schuster, under the Free Press imprint.
  • Author reputation.  Peter Bernstein is a giant in the investment industry.  Without question, he is the preeminent historian of modern investment and finance.  He is the most widely-known, most respected, and best-selling author in professional investment and finance.
  • Broad audience.  Bernstein’s books are popular with professionals in investment, finance, and economics – that’s the foundation of his audience.  But clearly Bernstein’s appeal transcends the boundaries the financial world.  Fundamentally, his books are about the history of ideas and how the ideas are manifested in the real world – and, as such, he appeals to intellectually active readers who may have only a casual interest in finance and investment.
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