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About Laurence B. Siegel
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How the world has become much better and why optimism is abundantly justified
Why do so many people fear the future? Is their concern justified, or can we look forward to greater wealth and continued improvement in the way we live?
Our world seems to be experiencing stagnant economic growth, climatic deterioration, dwindling natural resources, and an unsustainable level of population growth. The world is doomed, they argue, and there are just too many problems to overcome. But is this really the case? In Fewer, Richer, Greener, author Laurence B. Siegel reveals that the world has improved—and will continue to improve—in almost every dimension imaginable.
This practical yet lighthearted book makes a convincing case for having gratitude for today’s world and optimism about the bountiful world of tomorrow. Life has actually improved tremendously. We live in the safest, most prosperous time in all human history. Whatever the metric—food, health, longevity, education, conflict—it is demonstrably true that right now is the best time to be alive. The recent, dramatic slowing in global population growth continues to spread prosperity from the developed to the developing world. Technology is helping billions of people rise above levels of mere subsistence. This technology of prosperity is cumulative and rapidly improving: we use it to solve problems in ways that would have be unimaginable only a few decades ago. An optimistic antidote for pessimism and fear, this book:
- Helps to restore and reinforce our faith in the future
- Documents and explains how global changes impact our present and influence our future
- Discusses the costs and unforeseen consequences of some of the changes occurring in the modern world
- Offers engaging narrative, accurate data and research, and an in-depth look at the best books on the topic by leading thinkers
- Traces the history of economic progress and explores its consequences for human life around the world
Fewer, Richer, Greener: Prospects for Humanity in an Age of Abundance is a must-read for anyone who wishes to regain hope for the present and wants to build a better future.
Research into the equity risk premium, often considered the most important number in finance, falls into three broad groupings. First, researchers have measured the margin by which equity total returns have exceeded fixed-income or cash returns over long historical periods and have projected this measure of the equity risk premium into the future. Second, the dividend discount model—or a variant of it, such as an earnings discount model—is used to estimate the future return on an equity index, and the fixed-income or cash yield is then subtracted to arrive at an equity risk premium expectation or forecast. Third, academics have used macroeconomic techniques to estimate what premium investors might rationally require for taking the risk of equities. Current thinking emphasizes the second, or dividend discount, approach and projects an equity risk premium centered on 3½% to 4%.
Building on more than 15 years of asset-allocation research, Paul D. Kaplan, who led the development of the methodologies behind the Morningstar Rating(TM) and the Morningstar Style Box(TM), tackles key challenges investor professionals face when putting asset-allocation theory into practice. This book addresses common issues such as:
- How should asset classes be defined?
- Should equities be divided into asset classes based on investment style, geography, or other factors?
- Should asset classes be represented by market-cap-weighted indexes or should other principles, such as fundamental weights, be used?
- How do actively managed funds fit into asset-class mixes?
Kaplan also interviews industry luminaries who have greatly influenced the evolution of asset allocation, including Harry Markowitz, Roger Ibbotson, and the late Benoit Mandelbrot. Throughout the book, Kaplan explains allocation theory, creates new strategies, and corrects common misconceptions, offering original insights and analysis. He includes three appendices that put theory into action with technical details for new asset-allocation frameworks, including the next generation of portfolio construction tools, which Kaplan dubs "Markowitz 2.0."