In 2000, Bill Bernstein published his first book, The Intelligent Asset Allocator. It yanked away the punch bowl from the New Era's party. While other investment publications (most notably, the best-seller Dow 36,000) advocated euphoria and heavy doses of then-popular growth stocks, The Intelligent Asset Allocator preached the unfashionable virtues of diversification, caution, and contrarianism. Among its recommendations were REITs and gold stocks. It was, in short, a hopeless cause--the rare investment tome that sold what would succeed, rather than what had already thrived. Obscurity beckoned.
Then, however, the 2000-02 tech-stock crash made Bernstein a prophet. That his book was clearly written, laced with humor, and addressed evergreen topics ensured its ongoing success. Over the past decade, it has been widely read by both do-it-yourself investors and financial professionals. (One Chartered Financial Analyst recently called it his "guidebook" for learning how to do wealth management.)