On the Bookshelf

“The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne’s Long-Term Investment Strategy” (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) is an updated guide to implementing one of the better known alternative diversification strategies. The strategy simply calls for holding equal 25% allocations in U.S. large-cap stocks, gold, long-term bonds and cash. It also serves as the basis for the Permanent Portfolio (PRPFX) mutual fund.

Much of the material presented in this book is based on Browne’s “Why the Best-Laid Investment Plans Usually Go Wrong” (William Morrow and Company, 1987). The value authors Craig Rowland and J.M. Lawson provide is updated information on how to implement Browne’s strategy. Rowland and Lawson not only list specific mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, but they also give options for buying physical gold.

“The Permanent Portfolio” is a great book for those unfamiliar with Browne’s writings or who want to learn how to implement his strategy. For those who have previously read Browne’s text, this book gives a refresher, but does not cover much new ground.

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