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101. The Four Pillars of Investing
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102. Professional Stock Trading: System
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103. Running Money : Hedge Fund Honchos,
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106. Distressed Debt Analysis: Strategies
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101. The Four Pillars of Investing : Lessons for Building a WinningPortfolio
by William J. Bernstein
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071385290
Catlog: Book (2002-04-26)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 2583
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sound, sensible advice from a hero to frustrated investors everywhere

William Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing gives investors the tools they need to construct top-returning portfolios­­without the help of a financial adviser. In a relaxed, nonthreatening style, Dr. Bernstein provides a distinctive blend of market history, investing theory, and behavioral finance, one designed to help every investor become more self-sufficient and make betterinformed investment decisions. The 4 Pillars of Investing explains how any investor can build a solid foundation for investing by focusing on four essential lessons, each building upon the other. Containing all of the tools needed to achieve investing success, without the help of a financial advisor, it presents:

  • Practical investing advice based on fascinating history lessons from the market
  • Exercises to determine risk tolerance as an investor
  • An easy-to-understand explanation of risk and reward in the capital markets
... Read more

Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Overview of Investing Principles and Applications
I am an avid fan of Bernstein and his fellow travelers in the Efficient Frontier, Sharpe, and other innovations of Modern Portfolio Theory, so I was disappointed to see so little of this valuable information included in this book. I understand that this book was meant to be less intimidating to the novice and intermdiate investor alike, and he doesn't disappoint with accessible articulation and a witty style that should appeal to every reader.

The two chapters on asset allocation, the ~one~ thing the investor is able to control, and the one thing which directly rewards the investor, doesn't explain the "frontiers" and why four assets or ten is best for the individual investor. The efficient frontier in layman's terms would have been especially helpful. On the other hand, dauntless pages were dedicated to diminishing returns (DR), which were clearly adumbrated for their importance.

Then Bernstein concentrates on Vanguard investment opportunities, with only brief reference to ETFs (exchange traded funds). Vanguard is to be commended for bringing index-investing to the fore, but Vanguard's steep minimums and stiff penalties are impediments for the smaller investor and are downright subversive to the investor who does not believe in a "buy-and-hold" theory of investing. Many ETFs are more asset specific and can be had without excess cost through a discount broker. I wish Bernstein had discussed the merits and demerits of "buy-and-hold" as opposed to, say the Fabian and other methods of entering and exiting the market on certain MDAs (moving daily averages).

I found Bernstein's lack of mention of mid cap stocks throughout the book puzzling. None of the hypothetical asset allocations in the book have any room for mid caps, which can enhance performance and reduce risk. For Bernstein, there are only large and small market capitalization - no middle capitalization. Also, foreign funds and ETFs of foreign assets (such as EFA for MSCI-EAFE index) are considered important, but get only passing and ambiguous comments. The graphs and tables are helpful for the most part, but many are out of date, and some lacked a marked differentiation in plotting more than one overlap, which made for challenging deciphering.

The writing is effusive and accessible, making it a good introductory book and a refresher for bulls and bears alike. Overall, I found the book to be a tad bit too garrulous, but easy to read and informative . My cavils and criticisms aside, this book is truly one of the best books on investment in print.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best investment book I have ever read
A number of reviewers comment on Bernstein's aversion to active managers.

This is a point which has been demonstrated again and again in the financial literature. See especially 'A Random Walk Down Wall Street' by Burton Malkiel and both books by John Bogle. Although some managers, historically, outperform, they are not the same managers who outperform in the future. This has been demonstrated again and again with different sample periods and different data: it is the dirty secret of the investment management industry, that the rational investor would choose the low fee option.

In the institutional pension fund (defined benefit) market, where fees are *much* lower and sophisticated consultants advise the trustees, you would expect it to be much easier to select good active managers. The reality, which Bernstein addresses, is that institutional pension funds make *more* use of passive or indexed funds, than individuals do.

Bernstein's book brilliantly summarises the main points about investing for the individual investor today:

1. stock returns are likely to be a lot lower in the future, than in the past
2. fees on funds are going to be a very important influence on final returns (1 or 2% of 7% annualised returns hurts a lot more than of 13% annualised returns)
3. since it is impossible to know (in advance) who the superior fund managers are going to be, it is better to lodge the majority of money in index funds, which will provide a return, long run average, better than 2/3rds of money managers, at a far cheaper cost

But the book is much subtler and deeper than this. It looks at how we get 'valuation bubbles' like the recent dot-com/ telecoms boom, and how humans consistently make investment mistakes for deep seated psychological reasons. It helps you to look sceptically at a financial 'advice' industry, that is really there to make a living off your hard earned savings.

Bernstein's bias is towards value investing and he correctly points out that it is possible to pursue this investing style using 'value tilted' index funds, with low fees. Although value as a style has massively outperformed growth over the last 3 years (to the tune of 40% aggregate), it is still a point worth taking in. When stocks in general are expensive (as they still are on any quantitative basis), cheap stocks can still be the way to go.

Reading this book, along with David Chilton's 'The Wealthy Barber' and the books by Burton Malkiel and John Bogle, is likely to be among the most rewarding things you can do for your personal wealth, long term.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read - Wonderful Advice
This book is for everyone from the novice investor to the most savvy investor. The author does a wonderful job of explaining concepts and ideas without getting caught up in a bunch of analytical data and graphs. I wish this book had been published when I was much younger. All young people justing getting started in the work world should take the time to read this book. It will definitely help you later. Definitely worth the time to read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Win by not losing.
William Bernstein, market historian, scholar, and strategist, writes this new book with the confidence of his experience and the courage of his convictions, just as he did in his earlier "The Intelligent Asset Allocator." The work is an expansion on the theme that you cannot beat the market by timing or hiring active professional fund managers, so allocate, sit back, and enjoy the long-term ride. His advice is equally applicable to the novice as well as the veteran investor. You get a short course on what market returns you should expect, why you cannot beat the market, why the professionals can't help you, and how to set up your own portfolio using index funds. In other words, he has no use for the investment business other than the index funds it produces.
Chapter 5 on Manias is an excellent history of economic progress, and obviously the groundwork that led to his soon-to-be-published "The Birth of Plenty" (mid-2004) on the origins of the West's affluence. I particularly appreciated his credit to Hyman Minsky on the pattern of bubbles. Although Kindleberger has covered much of the same ground and with greater visibility in the press, Minsky's contributions are more insightful to understanding the distinct nature of economic manias.
Another interesting tidbit is his portrayal of technology as being, in general, a bad business endeavor. Bill Fleckenstein has made this point frequently that technology, unlike Buffett's desired "consumer monopoly," is easily outmoded and supplanted with the new, new thing. Let's just be thankful that earlier entrepreneurs took the time and the risk to create progress.
The true worth of the book comes under the heading of "Why investors lose money." This is the cornerstone of Bernstein's philosophy stating that if you can keep from losing, you will win:
(1) Instead of joining the herd mentality, get out when "everybody" knows that something is a good thing. It only means that everyone who wanted to buy already has; there are no buyers left. Prices can only fall.
(2) Overcome overconfidence by checking the performance figures. Few professionals ever "beat the market." Why do you think you can?
(3) Understand that all investments return to the mean, thus past performance is no indication of future performance.
(4) Don't trade for excitement. Look elsewhere for entertainment.
(5) Keep your eye on the long term and don't be panicked out by emotional short term swings.
(6) Realize that there are no "great companies." The 1000+% returns are few and far between.
(7) Accept that the market is random. Therefore don't get fooled into believing patterns repeat. Index funds are the only way to go.
(8) Check your accounting carefully. Don't overstate your successes while forgetting your losses. Keep track of the portfolio's total return.
(9) Don't get taken for a ride by the investment industry. Trust no one.
It gets a little trickier when he begins building portfolios. Using representative stereotypes, he sets up hypothetical investments using US stock index funds made up of large caps, small caps, large value, small value, REITs, plus Foreign securities. The remaining assets should be split up between cash and bonds (long and short). Your results will be dependent on how well you can approximate this theories. Another catch comes with "rebalancing." Bernstein's advice here is also well taken. Sell out a portion of the superior performers to bring your percentages back in line to their desired weigh in the portfolio and re-allocate those funds into the underperformers to bring their numbers up to desired percentages. Regardless of his distain for decision making, this does require skill and action on your part, but Bernstein has given you enough help to get the job done correctly.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Investing Book I've Read
I began seriously investing in stocks and bonds about three years ago. Since that time, I've read perhaps a dozen books on investing. This is my favorite. It has all the elements a beginning investor needs: clear explanations of basic investing concepts; lucid and entertaining prose; a brief history of the market to illustrate for the reader both the manias and extreme pessimism that have sometimes gripped it; and, most importantly, numerous cautionary tales about the industry that helps beginners make their investment choices.

Bernstein identifies four pillars for building a portfolio: theory, history, psychology and the business. The pillar of theory is about the conceptual framework of investing. This potentially could have been a very difficult section, but Bernstein makes it very readable even though he introduces a couple of ideas he claims most brokers are not familiar with. The second pillar of history is about how markets in the West have behaved in the past. Bernstein argues this history is important to remember so that investors develop reasonable expectations for what their investment will do and recognize both the warning signs of an overheated market or the symptoms of a depressed one.

The third pillar of psychology helps the reader to combat the usual mistakes beginning investors make: excessive trading, following hot stocks and funds, high fees, overconfidence, etc. Bernstein says the investor must learn to emotionally detach him- or herself from the investing crowd while still keeping a healthy respect for all he doesn't know. The fourth pillar of business emphasizes that those who provide investment services for you are often your worst enemy to getting a decent return on your money

This is a great book, but not a perfect one. I wish Bernstein had explained some things more fully - especially in the first section of the book on theory. But what he does explain, he explains well enough to catapult the reader to the next level of understanding, should he or she choose to go there. Some critics of the book might argue that Bernstein says nothing new. This is true. But the effectiveness of the book is in the way it is presented and how it is written. I recently read John Bogle's book "Common Sense on Mutual Funds". It is a superb book, and has many (but not all) of the same points as "The Four Pillars of Investing". But it fails to engage the reader as well as this book does. ... Read more


102. Professional Stock Trading: System Design and Automation
by Mark R. Conway, Aaron N. Behle
list price: $64.95
our price: $55.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971853649
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: Acme Trader
Sales Rank: 17631
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Learn the art and science of trading systems from professional speculators. The authors share powerful long and short trading strategies that span all time frames, including over one hundred annotated charts with commentary and rationale. The book contains a complete implementation of a professional trading platform, including dozens of TradeStation strategies, indicators, and functions. Further, advanced trading techniques such as pair trading and float trading are explained. These systems are integrated into a fully automated framework for position sizing and trade management. Finally, follow the authors as they track their stock selections throughout the week in real time.

Note: All of the free EasyLanguage code needed to run the trading systems and indicators presented in each chapter is given in Chapter 11. TradeStation is required. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars Volatility trading system is good
I give credit to these guys for providing the complete system rules for entries and exits along with some position sizing algorithms. There are many, many books on patterns, and few of them ever give performance statistics. At least with this code you can import it into TradeStation and be up and running in a matter of minutes. That said, some of the systems are good and some are not so good. I suspect that the pairs trading system might have worked when there was intraday volatility but the market has changed since then. The linear regression system (V) is good and should be applied to momo stocks. It has been phenomenal in this market, don't think I'd use it in a bear market. There is another system in the book that is even better but I'm not gonna say here. It's my bread-and-butter, so there ;-).

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for system traders
If nothing else, get this book for its rich code base. I downloaded the code from the TradeStationWorld site to save myself the typing. Yes, you do need to subscribe to TradeStation to use the code (the code is written in a Basic-like language for trading called EasyLanguage).

I have been a subscriber to TradeStation for a long time. The authors are generous contributors of articles and free code to the TradeStation community and are well-respected. I would check out their article that uses combinations of sentiment indicators, taken from Chapter 8 in the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable reading
It's an enjoyable book. Discretionary trading strategies are incorporated into a mechanical frame by means of a Tradestation platform. Most of the systems incorporate well-known price pattern concepts, with the exception of the float analysis system. The novice trader will obtain some good ideas on how to develop a trading system, with the exception on the issues regarding testing and optimization.

Most of the systems incorporate the concept of price contraction/expansion and trading performance is mainly dependent on price volatility. These types of systems are a natural consequence of the bubble trading environment where prices surpassed normal levels of historical volatility by leaps and bounds. The trading environment is quite different now, as the recent rise in the markets is marked by low price volatility. This environment tends to favor trend following systems, something that the book does not present.

Stock selection and stop placement is a bit confusing. First, the position modelling incorporates an ATR factor of 1. The entry/exit default models call for a 0.3ATR trigger above and below the high/low. From the get go, the max. loss potential is 2*0.3+body of the bar, which in most cases will be greater than 1ATR. The exception to the case will be in the narrow range models, where the body of the previous bar may be small enough to limit stop loss at 1ATR. The other dubious issue is stock scanning and selection. It is not clear whether the authors trade the system on a stock for an extended period of time, or whether they scan the markets for stocks that meet the filtering criteria and perform a quick test to determine performance. If the latter, then the trading system works as an automated discretionary system rather than "mechanical" on its true meaning. The latter approach does not take advantage of the statistical edge of a system when only traded a few times in a certain stock, and becomes a random event.

The filtering seems somewhat very restrictive and the ATR trigger rather than the high or low of the bar is not convincing. I have developed and traded narrow range systems where the high/low of the bar works as a better triggering mechanisms. This is because of the nature of the stocks that the authors tend to favor in their selection. The filtering on the narrow range system is restrictive, and when traded on a single stock for a considerable period of time on a daily timeframe, the user might be disappointed.

But overall, the book is an excellent addition to your trading library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent sampling of Tradestation-based systems
I like this book--even though I don't have TradeStation to actually try the source code out on. It's a great nuts-and-bolts look at the actual step-by-step coding of several different sample systems. I recommend this for any novice trading system developer using the TradeStation platform. For non-TradeStation owners, I don't particularly recommend it, as many of the useful tidbits found in the explanatory parts of the book are drawn from other famous trading books. Without TradeStation, most of the book is rendered useless. Still, I was able to make use of the book because I am a programmer and can convert the tons of provided source code into Wealth-Lab Developer or Amibroker's proprietary languages. And the sample systems gave me some great ideas on how I can improve my existing systems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Commentary from Malaysia Trading Group
Our comments as follows.

- We computerised our trading floor with pattern code.
- Need Tradestation software
- Separate CD product has good intraday indicators for 3-line break and ACD code
- Rectangle pattern work very well daily and real-time.
- Lots of free code, book cheap for this reason ... Read more


103. Running Money : Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets and My Hunt for the Big Score
by Andy Kessler
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060740647
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 1258
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Book Description

A brilliant investor, a born raconteur and an overall smart-ass, Andy Kessler pulls back the curtain on the world of hedge funds and shows how the guys who run big money think, talk and act.

Following on the success of Wall Street Meat, his self-published book on the lives of Wall Street stock analysts, Andy Kessler recounts his years as an extraordinarily successful hedge fund manager. To run a successful hedge fund you must have an investing edge -- that special insight that allows you to reap greater returns for your clients and yourself.

A quick study, Kessler gets an education in investing from some fascinating and quirky personalities. Eventually he works out his own insight into the world economy, a powerful lens that reveals to him hidden value in seemingly negative trends. Focussing on margin surplus, Kessler comes to see that current American economy, at the apex of the information revolution, is not so different from the British economy at the height of the industrial revolution. Drawing out the parallels he develops a powerful investing tool which he shares with readers. Contrarian and confident, Kessler made a fortune applying his ideas to his hedge fund. Which only proves that they may not be as crazy as they sound.

... Read more


104. CFP (Certified Financial Planning) Exam Fast Track
by Jeffrey H.Rattiner, Jeffrey H. Rattiner
list price: $59.95
our price: $37.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471272655
Catlog: Book (2003-07-18)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 30329
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A CFP® Study Guide that delivers what you need to succeed!

This quick study guide for candidates preparing to take the CFP® Certification Examination covers the bare-bones essentials needed to pass this challenging exam in a logical and easy-to-absorb manner. Covering some of the most important disciplines of financial planning–– insurance, employee benefit, investment, income tax, retirement, estate, and general planning–– this text provides a no-nonsense approach to studying that includes:

  • A highly logical and efficient format
  • An in-depth outline of core essentials
  • Explanations of all relevant exposures complete with solutions and practical examples
  • Key points, exam tips, multiple choice, and mini—case study questions
  • Mnemonic devices and study techniques to reinforce key points
  • A format that directly parallels the CFP Board’s topic requirements

For students who have been through the traditional CFP® educational programs and want a book that brings it all together, Rattiner’s Review for the CFP® Certification Examination, Fast Track Study Guide keeps students organized, on track, and focused on what they need to succeed. In addition to its value as a quick-reference guide to supplement all CFP® texts and self-study materials, the Guide also serves as an important one-stop resource for financial services professionals who want information in a hurry.

"Jeff Rattiner has developed yet another valuable addition to our profession. Rattiner’s Review for the CFP® Certification Examination develops an excellent, comprehensive framework to prepare a student for the CFP® exam. The breadth and thoroughness of this book encompassing all 101 topics necessary for mastery will help students excel in their test preparations. "
–Stephen P. Wetzel, CFP®
Program Director and Adjunct Professor, New York University’s CFP® program

"I commend Jeff for providing relevant information in a clear and understandable manner for anyone in or thinking of entering the financial planning field. The book brings the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards education required 101 topics into focus. I definitely recommend the book to anyone preparing for the national certified financial planner examination."
–Kenneth M. Huggins, PhD, CFP®
Chair, Finance Department
Director, Financial Planning Certificate Program
Metropolitan State College of Denver ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Used This Book To Pass The CFP Exam
I found this book to be an accurate and concise review of the 101 topics covered on the CFP cerfifcation exam. This book was written in a great "review notes" format, much like I would take notes on a complex subject. I would highly recommend this book as a great CFP certification exam review. It is filled with only what you need to know- no extraneous commentary.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very useful book
This book is an incredibly detailed outline covering the vast selection of topics included on the CFP exam. Because of the outline format, I wouldn't recommend trying to use this book as a way to learn material for the first time. What it is ideal for is as a reminder of details and distinctions, improving your recall of topics learned in some prior class or self-study, but in much more detail. Because this book is updated each year, it references up-to-date tax dollar amounts you'll need for the exam. ... Read more


105. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings
by Philip A.Fisher, Kenneth L.Fisher
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471445509
Catlog: Book (2003-08-22)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 2757
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Critical Praise for Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings

"You will find lots of jewels in these pages that may do as much for you as they have for me."
–– Kenneth L. Fisher

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings. When I met him, I was as impressed by the man as by his ideas. A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil’s techniques . . . enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."
–– Warren Buffett

"Little known to the public, rarely interviewed, and accepting few clients, Philip Fisher is nevertheless read and studied by most thoughtful investment professionals . . . everyone will profit from pondering–as Warren Buffett has done–the investment principles Fisher espouses."
–– James W. Michaels
former editor, Forbes

"My own copy [of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings] has underlinings and marginal thoughts throughout."
–– John Train
author of Dance of the Money Bees

Updated features include a new Preface and Introduction from Kenneth L. Fisher

Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today’s finance professionals, but are also regarded by many as gospel. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings reveals these timeless philosophies. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid read; practical ideas
This book is a classic in the investment field. Fisher is acknowledged as one of Warren Buffet's intellectual fathers and it shows. However - like many books on Buffett - Fisher's approach relies on the ability of the individual to spend large amounts of time researching companies and stocks. While this minimizes the risk of investing badly, it also assumes that picking stocks is your life. I recommend that anyone interested in investing read this text as an example of how to think about companies in which to invest. However, be prepared that it won't be as directly usuable as, say, the writings of Peter Lynch.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not your typical investment book
"Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits" was an investment book with a different focus. Fisher focused not on valuation aspects such as the ones Ben Graham would use or technical trends that other would use, but instead focused on seeking out stable companies with good management and other qualities. Fisher prefers growth companies exhibiting substantial income and revenue growth. He likes what I would call the intangibles of stock investment; exceptional management, marketing, sales, and many other segments of a company. The only knock on Fisher's work is that he assumes normal people have the time or resources to seek out the leaders of a company. He also assumes that if you don't seek out the leaders of a company that you aren't doing your due diligence. Either way this book did provide me with several new concepts that I knew were important to investing but hadn't really thought about. This book will cover topics that Lynch, Graham and the other investment writers haven't covered.

4-0 out of 5 stars quite a few nuggets, but impractical at times
when "scuttlebutt" is one of the leading litmus tests before investing, you're dealing w/ a program that is impractical for average individual investors. but the book is quite valuable for its focus on long run investing, its 15 rules for investors (and moreso, the rules for investors to NOT follow), and its stress on conservatism in practice is very helpful.

ultimately, this book is less about security selection than it is in investing philosophy---which it excels at. that's why buffett loved it, and you may too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Every Investor's Library
I first read this book over ten years ago, and like the other reviewers, I too found it a difficult read. When I first read it, I thought the advice was somewhat impractical for the small time investor (try to imagine calling Bill Gates asking him what he thought of Steve Jobs' company). Graham's security analysis was much easier for the little guy investor to apply. Yet Fisher's techniques were and are used by the big time investors ( most notably Peter Lynch, and though I don't think he gives Fisher enough credit, Warren Buffett). Even the rankings of "Top CEOs" by Forbes, Businessweek, Fortune etc. was based on Graham's security analysis. Then came the corporate scandals of the 1990's, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and Elliott Spitzer of New York and now the little guy investor can apply Fisher's theory of investing. Fortune Magazine's CEO ranking has as much to do about corporate governance as it does with security analysis. There are websites devoted entirely to corporate governance. The Institutional Shareholder Service was created solely to act as a corporate governance watchdog. I recently re-read Common Stocks. It's still a difficult read and you can't read it in one day or even in one week. It's a book that you have to read and re-read to get the most out of it. The most useful chapters for an investor are Chapter 3 "What to Buy: the fifteen points to look for in a common stock", Chapter 8 "Five Don'ts for Investors, and Chapter 9 " Five More Don'ts for Investors." Fisher's Common Stocks and Graham's the Intelligent Investor are the two basic building blocks that every investor must master to be succesful in the stock market.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Investment Book of All Time
I first read this book in 1992, and it did nothing for me. At the time, I had very little investment experience and was only starting to study the market. I re-read the book again in 2001 and, wow, it took me to a different level.

I would not recommend this book to investors who have less than 5 years of stock investing experience. You simply wouldn't get much out of it and might unintentionally lead you down the wrong path. Once you get your investing fundamentals down, this book will expand your horizon beyond your dreams.

Warren Buffett credited Ben Graham as the most influential force in his investment style/thinking, but I believe that it's Philip Fisher who gave him the edge and made him one of the great investors of the 20th century. ... Read more


106. Distressed Debt Analysis: Strategies for Speculative Investors
by Stephen G. Moyer
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932159185
Catlog: Book (2004-11)
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
Sales Rank: 20217
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Book Description

Recently, reorganizations, restructurings, and bankruptcies have replaced IPOs as the common financial vehicle of the times. However, these distressed companies can still provide an avenue for profitable investing. This eagerly anticipated new reference helps guide you through this treacherous landscape in order to master the multi-move chess-like strategies required to achieve financially advantageous results for your portfolio. It is the most up-to-date and comprehensive book on the market to deal with the myriad of issues surrounding a distressed company.

Providing theoretical and practical insight, Distressed Debt Analysis: Strategies for Speculative Investors presents a conceptual, but not overly technical, outline of the financial and bankruptcy law context in which restructurings take place. The book covers the broader financial environment of the reorganization and the basic process of investment analysis and investment strategies. The author uses numerous real-world examples and case studies to emphasize important concepts and critical issues.

The developments that have created these extraordinary investment opportunities have also created tremendous demand for professionals with experience and knowledge in the restructuring process. Distressed Debt Analysis: Strategies for Speculative Investors addresses the complete knowledge needs of investors and professionals in the burgeoning world of financially distressed companies. It is perfect for bankruptcy departments of law firms, restructuring advisory groups, turnaround consulting firms, and reorganization and distressed securities departments of investment banks.
... Read more


107. Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments
by David M. Geltner, Norman G. Miller
list price: $119.95
our price: $113.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324136765
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: South-Western Educational Pub
Sales Rank: 97426
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments presents the essential concepts, principles, and tools for the analysis of commercial real estate (income producing) from an investment perspective. The book integrates relevant aspects of urban and financial economics to provide learners with a fundamental analytical understanding of real estate investments. In addition, it bridges the gap between mainstream finance and the cutting edge of professional real estate practice, in order to address the implications of their key difference. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great text - solid presentation - just undertand its focus
I think this is a wonderful text. However, let me state up front this is NOT a general book about real estate as an investment vehicle in the broad sense. It is a text that provides the knowledge and techniques to ANALYZE commercial real estate as a financial investment. So, yes, the book is heavy on financial analysis and the many way markets and techniques that exist for investing in commercial real estate.

You won't learn a thing about how to pick or manage properties. Those are topics for other books and courses. This great book does have a rather specific focus, but it needs that because the topic it does cover is so large and there is a great deal to learn.

I find the book to be clearly written with the bare minimum of mathematics to make the content extremely valuable. Because the authors have a practical focus the reader is not overwhelmed or bogged down in abstruse topics or arcane formulae.

The book has thirty chapters grouped into eight parts. The eight parts are 1) Into to real estate economics, 2) Urban economics and real estate analysis, 3) Basic financial economic concepts and tools, 4) Real estate valuation and investment analysis at the microlevel, 5) Completing the basic investment analysis picture, 6) Mortgages from an investment perspective, 7) Macrolevel real estate investment, 8) Real estate development and other selected topics.

From this list of topics you can understand the nature of this book. If these are issues you are interested in I think you will find this book really delivers the goods and I am glad to have on my shelf of valued business texts.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Real Estate Text I've Ever Read
This book is not for the faint-hearted or for readers who want to skim a few paragraphs and then think they'll get rich quick.

If you read this book, chapter by chapter, and do the exercises at the end of each one, you'll probably know more about Real Estate Finance than many people in Real Estate boardrooms. This will take a few weeks as a minimum, but it will have immense value.

The writers Geltner and Miller really choose to go "in-depth" with each topic, almost to the point of annoyance when you're reading it, but afterwards you realize why, and importantly, realize what you've learned by doing it.

This book is immensely valuable, and requires some work to achieve that value. It's value will be with you permanently however, because you will have absorbed the true principals of what's going on it real estate and the associated financial markets, and not just have memorized some glib cookbook answers which many people may instead be hoping for.

This is a book for thinkers and practicioners who want carry lasting value with them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good text
This is a very good book. It covers urban economics and market analysis very well. The chapter on real estate and portfolio theory is more than worth the readers time. Text also covers commercial mortgages very well. This is not a get rich quick book but if you want to learn about commercial real estate, then this book is what you are looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
This is an excellent book for developing an analytical view on commercial real estate markets. It is not suited as a "commercial real estate analysis" step-by-step guideline for the average real estate professional, but it is great as a textbook in a university master course. Complex concepts and principles are described in an easy-to-understand way. The book has a broad scope, with chapters written from a finance, investments or urban economics perspective. One of the best books for an academic real estate course.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worthless!
My rating is based on two criteria: (1) The authors can't write readable prose. They do not even know how to constuct a coherent paragraph, let alone build a coherent full-bodied narrative. Mostly academic jargon. (2) The authors say that you can view commercial real estate from many perspectives, but they emphasize financial economics. Unfortunately, anyone who restricts their view to fin econ cannot make sensible decisions.This perspective renders the book useless. It's clear the authors have no practical knowledge of commercial real estate -- or if they do they're keeping it a secret. Written primarily to impress their buddies in university econ and finance departments. ... Read more


108. Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms
by John Downes, Jordan Elliot Goodman
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764122096
Catlog: Book (2002-11)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 3453
Average Customer Review: 3.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This updated, compact desk reference book defines and explains more than 4,000 terms related to investment. They include types of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as terms that apply to banking, corporate finance, and tax laws, including the most recent revisions in income tax law. The book also features helpful charts and graphs. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars More Than A Book
Expect this little work to be exactly what it is titled, "Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms". It does not contain a story, or financial advice, or commonly used terms. It is a financial dictionary. Its binding is "professional softcover" and has very thin pages- required due to 600+ pages. I notice some reviewers' felt it was not worth the money. Where else can you find a professional dictionary of specialized terms for under $12 ? I found the book so useful, I purchased Barron's Investment Guide, which includes the dictionary. I recommend both of these books (...)

If your looking for an enthralling read, the Finance Dictionary is not that. If you're looking for an inexpensive, professional little reference book, full of pertinent terms and explanations, this one will definitely earn its keep.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, But Very Useful
When I first got into the financial field many years ago, I kept a copy of this book (an earlier edition) close at hand at all times. As I read The Wall Street Journal and Business Week, this book proved indispensible to help me understand concepts and jargon. Today, it is dog-eared, wrinkled and dirty, but I still turn to it occasionally. Yes, some of the definitions are outdated or incomplete. Yes, some terms are missing. But this is the best dictionary of financial terms I've ever seen, and I recommend it to anyone who needs an easy-to-use reference guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Tool When Dealing with Finance or Investment
Unless you work in finance and investment, it is virtually impossible to keep apprised of the terminology and jargon. Even if you do, it's probably fairly easy to come across some word that you do not know the meaning of or are uncertain as to its meaning. This handy reference book is perfect for both professionals and non-professionals who find themselves confronted with the often arcane verbiage of the finance and investment world.

This book has frequently been of personal use to me in reviewing contracts for clients, as well as helping me when I stumble across some unknown term while reading. This is a nice little tool that should be on your shelf or in your pocket the next time you talk to someone about finances, investments, or even insurance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a panacea but extremely useful
I find myself somewhat amazed at the financial analysts and brokers who find this book unsatisfactory. The poignant analogy coming to mind is offering the book "Accounting for Dummies" to a CPA. Of course it is unsatisfying. A book like this is not aimed at seasoned professionals in the field; rather, it's intended audience is grounded in those with little or no exposure to the securities/financial fields.

I have been involved in securities litigation consulting for almost a decade now. As my consulting practice has grown, I have hired many individuals, most of whom are not well-versed in securities/financial jargon. In significantly all cases, these new employees feel ill-at-ease initially when reviewing case files and documentation due to the learning ramp and educational abyss. I have found if I offer them a copy of the DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS (DFIT) on their first day, the learning curve is flattened and becomes much shorter in duration. As a matter of fact, several of my employees have taken the initiative to take their DFIT home to look for particular words/phrases common to their daily routines. By derivation, this makes the employee feel much less out of place and instills some level of motivation relative to their work (this has been a definite intangible benefit to my practice).

I keep one in my office and although I don't crack it very often, there are times when I'm not as familiar with a word/phrase and then, I rely on DFIT. This is similar to the situation of reading a book, seeing a word you can pronounce and know but aren't quite certain of its EXACT meaning. Let's face it, with over 5,000 entries in DFIT, most professionals, even those entrenched in the field, will find themselves fuzzy on certain words and phrases.

While DFIT is not a panacea, it certainly fills the void. I would recommend this book for anyone new to the finance/investment fields and most professionals who deal on the fringes of these industries. ... I don't really see how one can go wrong here (particularly given that many reference offerings go for hundreds of dollars).

5-0 out of 5 stars Endorsed by an elected treasurer.
As the elected treasurer for a Califonia county we have had this wonderful little book since its 2nd edition.

Of all the reference and resource books we have at our disposal, this book ranks the highest.

The book is updated quite often and is worth its weight in gold! ... Read more


109. Market Models: A Guide to Financial Data Analysis
by CarolAlexander
list price: $125.00
our price: $78.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471899755
Catlog: Book (2001-11-15)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 27252
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Market Models provides an authoritative and up-to-date treatment of the use of market data to develop models for financial analysis. Written by a leading figure in the field of financial data analysis, this book is the first of its kind to address the vital techniques required for model selection and development. Model developers are faced with many decisions, about the pricing, the data, the statistical methodology and the calibration and testing of the model prior to implementation. It is important to make the right choices and Carol Alexander's clear exposition provides valuable insights at every stage.

In each of the 13 Chapters, Market Models presents real world illustrations to motivate theoretical developments. The accompanying CD contains spreadsheets with data and programs; this enables the reader to implement and adapt many of the examples. The pricing of options using normal mixture density functions to model returns; the use of Monte Carlo simulation to calculate the VaR of an options portfolio; modifying the covariance VaR to allow for fat-tailed P&L distributions; the calculation of implied, EWMA and 'historic' volatilities; GARCH volatility term structure forecasting; principal components analysis; and many more are all included.

Market Models: A Guide to Financial Data Analysis is the ideal reference for all those involved in market risk measurement, quantitative trading and investment analysis.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A financial Bible for both profesionals and researchers
Market Models is an essential tool for practioners who would like to gain fundamental expertise on financial modeling. Aside from the practical view, Alexander's book has got such a clear and comprehensive reading that even the most inexpert individuals can get enthusiastically involved in learning issues related to risk management, investment analysis and financial forecasting. Recent econometric techniques on time series are brilliantly applied with real examples on the finance field. The book demonstrates that the author has a great knowledge on both a theoretical as well as a practical basis on market modeling and knows how to combine the two aspects in a very intelligent way. I considered this book to be a fundamental reference for either financial profesionals and academics.

5-0 out of 5 stars MARKET MODELS
As a Ph.D candidate in finance at the University of Quebec at Montreal (specializing in hedge funds), I believe that Market Models is the leading text in the area of financial data analysis. Professor Alexander is considered as the leader by many in this field. Her many years of experience on both sides of the Atlantic (over 10 years) in consulting on risk management and investment analysis with positions in highly respected banking firms has put together this little gem of a book (long awaited). Professor Alexander's emphasis is based on understanding concepts and implementing solutions. Her past books have been best sellers and are extensively used both in academia and by financial institutions. This book is the only one of its kind that deals with key techniques for selecting and developing models, while using the latest insights into the pricing and hedging of options. At the same time the book focuses on a linear algebraic approach as an important tool for the anlaysis of financial systems. The book nicely deals with traditional time series analysis and is explained using 1)cointegration to long short equity hedge funds and 2) high frequency data prediction using neural networks. This book is a must read for academics, risk management specialists, money managers, analysts and others looking for a clear presentation of the subject. Congratulations on a great text. Hope a second volume is on the way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money
If you are looking for detailed rigorous mathematical development then look elsewhere, that is not the reason to purchase this book. It is targeted towards application and there it excels. I have not seen any other book on this topic that so effectively presents a level-headed applied approach that keeps the basic assumptions of the models firmly in sight.
What tool fits when is nicely discussed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice book
I will consider this book as a good introduction to different ways to analyze market data (covering mainly equity but do touch on fixed income as well as currency). I would emphasize that the book model the market more from an empirical point of view. The author gives a good description of the GARCH model as well as PCA analysis. Being a fixed income derivatives trading, I find both sections particularly useful for real world trading. The risk modeling section should expand into topics other than VAR such as coherent risk measures which are more useful. The co-integration section is a must for any traders who want to trade mean-reversion or stats arbitrage.

Overall, I think that the book covers all basic to intermediate mathematics, econometrics and finance necessary for anyone who wants to model market data. The book explains how to use such model for trading, risk management as well as market data visualization / understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lucid Essential Reference
Carol Alexander is a lucid writer and illustrator of financial models. It is a joy to find a book that is as well written as this with real-world examples. Professionals who need to refresh their model skills will make this their top book of choice. For modelers of credit derivatives needing good product descriptions, I highly recommend Tavakoli's book "Credit Derivatives and Synthetic Structures". ... Read more


110. Applying Elliott Wave Theory Profitably
by Steven W. Poser
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471420077
Catlog: Book (2003-07-18)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 121352
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I have always found Elliott Wave difficult to understand and more difficult to apply, but finally Steve Poser has written a book that makes sense and is born from real experience. This is not Elliott made easy but Elliott that makes sense. Hats off to Poser for creating the book the marketplace has needed for so long."
–Bruce M. Kamich, CMT
Adjunct Professor of Finance at Baruch College and Rutgers University
Past President of the Market Technicians Association

"Steve Poser is one of the few people I’ve met who can integrate Elliott Wave analysis into a normal conversation on the markets and make sense."
–Michael Kahn
Editor, Quick Takes Pro technical newsletter
Technical Analysis Columnist, Barron’s Online

Numerous books have tried to capture the essence of Elliott Wave theory, but they either made Elliott more complicated than it needed to be, or, in an effort to overcome the perceived complexity of analysis using Elliott, oversimplified the process.

In Applying Elliott Wave Theory Profitably, author and Elliott Wave expert Steven Poser takes a fresh approach to this proven trading strategy, giving you the most well-rounded and straightforward lesson on how to make money using Elliott Wave theory. Drawing from his many years of Elliott Wave experience, Poser:

  • Explores how and why technical analysis works, and shows you where Elliott Wave theory fits into that picture
  • Reveals each of the basic and advanced patterns that the market might trace out and discusses the market conditions that typically produce these patterns
  • Outlines how to build an efficient trading plan
  • Illustrates how to continuously update your plan in real time as the market provides you with further information by way of a constant stream of prices, volume, and news
  • Examines how to review the market from multiple time frames, so you know what degree of price retracements to expect, as well as what your risks and rewards may be

Written in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, Applying Elliott Wave Theory Profitably is a thorough and essential resource for any trader looking to better understand a proven trading strategy and boost their bottom line. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Understand the market for the first time
Before reading this book I was a struggling with the question of technical analysis vs fundamentals.I was losing money and I felt true fear for the unpredictable market.I am in forex and I just could not get it right.As soon as I could draw a trendline it was violated , I felt the prey of the market and I felt that I did not know where I was and where I was going.

By reading Mr Poser's book and learning the basic as well as the more advanced concept of elliott my whole trading life flashed in front of my eyes - how many times has technical analysis faltered me because of basic elliott patterns - I understood why technical analysis had failed me and how I could use elliott to fill the gaps and the shortcomings I had experienced . I can honestly say that this book and Mr Poser's approach as depicted in this book has turned me from struggling trader to an excelling trader.For novice to expert I would highly recommend this book ( If I were a dictator I would force it on the people )because by using this book you are unlocking the secrets of the market forever.

The way Mr Poser takes you through the trading plans and adds more and more evidence enables the average man to unlock his destiny and outperform many a portfolio manager!

Thanks Mr Poser for this book , it has had a huge effect on the destiny of my trading career as well enriching my whole life

After this book I know where I am in the market , why I am there in the market , where I am going in the market and believe it or not - even how long it will take me to get to where I am going in the market.A must read for every every trader.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly edited, complicated, save your $$
The Author speaks only about himself, with this book you won't go anywhere, this book poorly written simply forget the reader, and makes Elliott 's waves even more difficult.
the best are "Prechter books".
Don't listen to the other reviews they must be made up.
Sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars A logical approach for discretionary traders...
Most of the literature on technical analysis focuses on easily compuerized techniques, such as moving averages, momentum divergences, volume/price comparisons, etc.

The authors of these books advocate a mechanical approach to technical analysis, and stress the benefits of objective rules to reduce emotional errors. These techniques have become quite sophisticated, from examining the effect of various money management algorithms, to using out of sample data to test the ability of the system to trade in different conditions.

I do not dispute that these techniques have substantial value for some traders. Yet, for all of this sophistication, I think most of this research is of limitted utility, for the simple reason that past performance has NO RELATION to future results. If a clearly definable system is discovered by a significant number of people, the markets inevitably change to render that system useless.

Then, once the system is deemed useless by the majority, it's likely they will turn profitable again.

Even system traders need to understand market psychology and logic in order to develop robust systems. This book will help them do it.

Mechanical systems neglect the underlying psychology of market participants. In an environment where the only constant is change, a successful trader needs an underlying philosophy to guide him on what is likely to lead to profits NOW, as opposed to what has happened before. This is where Mr. Poser's book comes in.

Poser teaches you that technical analysis is about understanding CURRENT market psychology. He does this through the framework of Elliott Wave theory. He also stresses the importance of other factors--including classical technical tools, computerized techniques, fundamentals, and intermarket relationships relate and enhance the interpretation of Elliot wave theory.

He describes how to develop detailed trading plans that take into account these various factors. As someone who focuses heavily on price patterns and momentum indicators, this is a method that I had sort of stumbled upon independently, as I have gained experience trading the markets.

It isn't mechanical, but it is clearly a logical and flexible framework for those up to the challenge of discretionarly trading.

4-0 out of 5 stars a concise and practical guide to using elliot wave
this book is well written and laid out beautifully. the author first explaining what each chapter is about; he slowly guides you along on the subject at hand -- how to use elliot wave theory profitably.

he starts off by discussing how we should read the waves. the basics of each wave. these are discussed in a clear and concise manner.he constantly emphasises on the need to combine various factors like the economy, using indicators, reading crowd psychology etc, into reading the waves. the intersting thing about this author is that he is trying to teach how the reader should be 'street smart' in wall street...

the next few chapters would see the author sharing some of his analysis to show you how to apply elliot wave theory profitably. this so that you can see how to apply what you've just learnt.

in the final chapter, he tries his hands at doing some predictions using what he just wrote on the dow jones, the US$ and the nikkei.

i'm giving only 4 out of 5 stars because i find some discrepencies in chart references. a few charts are not labelled as the writer referred to. causing some minor confusions. however, the content and presentation of this book is excellent. the best book on eliiot wave i've read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Elliott Wave book so far
Poser has put together a very good book. He shows you how to use Elliott Wave without turning it into some sort of mystical religion. He does not say that there are times that you cannot trade with Elliott, but he does tell you what to look for when the patterns start to get sloppy. He also shows you how to do your research (and turn it into a trading or investing strategy) and very importantly shows the link between market psychology and the wave patterns. The book also explains how to use Elliott along with technical indicators and classic chart patterns.

No book is perfect, and although Poser does give you detailed trading plans, and also presents some trading tips, I wish he would have made the tips a more consistent feature throughout the book. His clear writing style and clear depth of knowledge makes this an excellent choice for somebody who want to learn how to use Elliott Wave and why it actually works.

In the end, the book is aimed at showing you how to use Elliott to trade, which is why this book is a buy for anybody interested in learning how to use the Elliott Wave Principle in their trading. ... Read more


111. Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom
by Van K. Tharp
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070647623
Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 7304
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Your own strengths, style, and personality­­and the steps found in this book­­can revitalize your trading program!

"Van's book gets directly to the heart of what it takes to be a successful trader. It's the best book I've read on trading successfully; not fluff or hype like so many others."­­Tom Basso, President, Trendstat Capital Management, Inc.

"The trading public owes Dr. Tharp a debt of gratitude for this insightful masterpiece." -Edward Dobson, President, Traders Press, Inc.

... Read more

Reviews (86)

5-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Research in Layman's Terms
Dr. Van Tharp's excellent book "Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom" is truly a work of groundbreaking proportions. It is the single most important book I have ever read on the subject of trading sucessfully. Using a very organized and readable format, Dr. Tharp leads the reader step by step through the maze of myths about trading and arrives at the true meaning of the Holy Grail -- that the secret of success is inside you. Dr. Tharp serves as your personal guide, taking you safely through the treacherous terriroty surrounding information about trading systems. In the end we are much wiser for the experience, arriving at our destination stronger for having completed the journey. In short, we gain the wisdom that comes with knowing one's Self and become very clear on what works...and what doesn't. By interviewing thousands of successful traders during a 15 year period, Dr. Tharp was able to find out what was common in their individual systems of success. He then created a "model" of those variables, arriving at these basic truths: Low risk ideas combined with appropriate exit strategies and position sizing create the foundation for developing successful trading systems. Dr. Tharp shares his research with the reader, supporting his conclusions with rich examples. After finishing Tharp's book, even a layman has the tools to design a highly profitable trading system that contains all the strengths common to the best trading systems but also "fits" that particular trader's personality. This book transformed my experience of trading and allowed me to trade with the confidence that comes from knowing the truth about what works. Since implementing Dr. Tharp's strategies to my trading style, the results I have experienced are nothing short of miraculous. Quite frankly this is the first and last book you will ever need if you are serious about trading (or investing) your way to financial freedom. If you want to develop a highly profitable, low risk trading system that produces consistently strong returns, then read this book! All you need is an open mind and the courage to put some of Dr. Tharp's innovative research to the test. I promise you, if you read this book and apply Dr. Tharp's proven concepts, your trading will immediately improve and your bottom line will stay in the black. Without a doubt, Dr. Tharp's book is the best "investment" I have ever made. My return on this "position" is incalculable...

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best trading books I've ever read.
With all of the hoopla surrounding "trading" recently, it's interesting that many, if not most, would be traders don't know how to get started.

I should know. I'm a professional, full time trader and I'm constantly being asked,"John, how can I daytrade and make a living?" After reading Van Tharp's new book, I finally have a great answer to that question.

Sometimes I think I've read almost everything published on trading. Some are so basic they insult the reader, in their naïveté. Others are very advanced technical treatises. Van Tharp's book is refreshing. I found it a great read...a blend of the foundational concepts such as "fundamental analysis" with very advanced concepts including "expectancy"...a topic that very few traders understand at all.

Along the way, Tharp gets the reader involved by asking plenty of self-analysis type questions. Questions designed to immerse the reader in the complete process of trading. From understanding biases and success roadblocks...to designing and implementing a winning system...it's all here.

Whether you're brand new to trading, or a seasoned pro...there's plenty of material to dig into here. A lot of meat...very little fluff. I rate it five starts. Get it. Read it. Understand it.

And best of SKILL in your trading!

1-0 out of 5 stars where's the success?
I bought and read it. So where's the success? I mean the author's success as trader? I pay to see his trading statements for the last 15 years. Got to be audited statements. I mean, he says he knows what the holy grail is, how it (the market) works, how one makes money at it (the market). So he's got to have broken it right? Trading that is. (!)

Or, are we talking about a DIFFERENT KIND of success???!! Success in selling the idea that he "knows" all there is know about making money at the markets? Terribly cinic in my opinion. People need to beleive in anything. Beleive Van. You are contributing to his bank account.

Not one SINGLE piece of evidence is available about his success (at trading the markets). The other success is well known.

Oh Aristotle, you were right! Not all those who attend the games (the olympics) are players. Some are cynics as you say and so many spectators (consumers) for both the cynics and the players.

A player!
(for 4 years)

So, I bought it, read it and returned it. But go ahead.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great read - but superficial
This book introduces the reader to the importance of position sizes exit strategies , and risk management. These are all important aspects. However , inspite of the fact that the author repetedly mentions about the importance of position sizing , it is dealt with at a superficial level at best.
It looks like you have to pay additional money to go to Dr Tharp's site and buy his products , this book skims along the surface for what is supposed to be the main topic of the book

1-0 out of 5 stars a joke
If the author knows it all why doesn't he trade? If I knew it all about trading I wouldn't do anything else and I certainly wouldn't teach it ...
Simplistic, aimed for the ignorant, hopeful reader. The concept exposed is very simple: the market is random. If you bet 1% you can't loose ... at the end of the year you win. I mean Van writes that even without a method you make money like this ... you got to be kidding me! ... Read more


112. How To Make Money In Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times or Bad, 3rd Edition
by William J. O'Neil
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071373616
Catlog: Book (2002-05-23)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 1345
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

THE BUSINESSWEEK, USA TODAY, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BUSINESS BESTSELLER!

The bestselling guide to buying stocks, from the founder of Investor's Business Daily­­now completely revised and updated

When it was first published, How to Make Money in Stocks hit the investing world like a jolt, providing readers with the first in-depth explanation of William J. O'Neil's innovative CAN SLIM investing method. Five years later, O'Neil, founder for the industry icon Investor's Business Daily, revised his classic text and provided readers with a newer glimpse on how the average investor can make money in the equities market.

This third edition of How to Make Money in Stocks has been revised and updated with new chapters designed to help investors increase their performance. New discussions include:

  • Greater clarification of the key CAN SLIM investment strategy
  • Expanded analysis of the general market from the top of year 2000 to the market bottom of 2001
  • New models of the greatest stock market winners that provide more basis for the ongoing effectiveness and superior performance of the CAN SLIM strategy
  • Fresh stock charts featured in two colors for easier analysis of trends
  • And an invaluable guide on how to maximize both Investor's Business Daily and www.investors.com to find winning stocks

Like his international bestselling 24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success, which stayed on international business bestseller lists for close to 6 months in 2000, How to Make Money in Stocks is the best reference for the individual investor in how to stay afloat and ahead in the rocky and volatile equities markets of the 21st century.

... Read more

Reviews (158)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the beginner to moderate investor.
This is an excellent book for someone starting out in investing. It teaches you WJ O'Neil's CANSLIM method of picking stocks.

What's CANSLIM you ask? CANSLIM is a method of picking stocks developed by William J. O'Neil. He's taken his years of investing knowledge and developed a system of picking stocks that has repeatedly proven to be successful.

The book takes you through each part of this method from quarterly earnings through annual earnings, when to buy, trading volume, stock leaders, institutional support and market direction.

He also teaches you when to sell a stock even in a bad market. He'll show you how to cut your losses and why it's important to sell at the right time to prevent major losses on a stock.

Finally he takes you through some of the best stocks in recent history and shows you how to read the signs that they put out. This will teach you how to recognize today's stocks that are ready to burst from the pack and soar to new highs.

This book pushes WJ O'Neil's newspaper, Investor Business Daily, as it has much of the information needed to use the CANSLIM method. But even without his paper this book teaches you the methods needed to make money in the stock market.

All in all I think this is a great book for investors.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Book I Started Trading With...
Ten years ago, this book probably launched tens of thousands of eager investors on a journey towards riches. Two years ago, it probably ruined thousands more. I'm not saying that O'Neil's methodology doesn't work. In fact, I have great respect for O'Neil and this book because it launched me on my journey into the markets just a few years ago. The only drawback is that this methodology works best in a bull market environment. When you hit a persistent bear market like we've seen for nearly 2 years now, you are basically sitting in cash spending endless hours looking for that perfect stock to break out of a long-term consolidation. If you don't have the time to search chart-after-chart every night for the perfect setup then you should try a great investment book I just heard about called the 401(k) MarketBuster. The 401(k) MarketBuster will probably find you the same, or better, account returns in the long-run that you'd find with intermediate-term trading; at a fraction of the research time (literally minutes a year). If you are like me and have the time and inclination to learn more about the markets so you can find that elusive "perfect" setup to trade (Lord help you), then you might want to take a look at Dave Landry's book on swing trading. It will offer you more opportunities more often.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best you'll find.
This is the best system you'll find anywhere. I originally worked as a broker for a firm that followed the Bill O'Neil philosophy and that firm made $$ for their clients consistently. Now I follow this system and trade for my own accounts with even better results. My last stock, TASR, was up roughly 100% (much more on margin) in one month and I found this stock by using the fundamental & technical analysis that I've learned through Investors Business Daily along with dailygraphs (www.dailygraphs.com). His strategy of cutting losses quick and letting winners ride is necessary to preserve capital and maximize gains. AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) rated this as the best performing strategy over several years period.

4-0 out of 5 stars sparse on some concepts, but relevant in bull markets
First, I would have to comment that the criticism about IBD as a normal newspaper is unfair. Its analysis and opinions are encapsulated in the numbers, systematically compiled for any common stocks worth considering as investments. Any individual investor would see that at one dollar, IBD is a bargain. "How to Make Money in Stocks" is the guide to understanding the ratings of IBD, as well as a clear introduction to O'Neill's investing philosophy. The prevailing market conditions are very important to the success of CANSLIM, and reviews of the book written in the depths of the 2000-2002 stock funk may be colored indeed.

I, too, had some questions about "pivot points," etc. that seem sparsely described. This is because you are supposed to look at the charts. If this isn't enough, look at more charts (the book has plenty). "Pivot points" and "accumulation" are not exact concepts, so one has to practice looking at the chart and acquire an understanding of these concepts. "How to Make Money in Stocks" is one of those rare books that relies on the graphical presentation of data as much as copy writing to communicate its sometimes fuzzy ideas.

This book is superb at describing the CANSLIM method on analysis, which can be done these days with free internet sources. An excellent description for novices of investing research.

My advice would be to pick up this book, read it, buy a copy of IBD, and keep track of ten or so stocks for 60 days or so. If the market goes up and these stocks don't, look for a better method. If you need more comforting words in the newspaper to guide your money decisions, drop this stuff and hire some investment professional.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invest comfortably
I have been investing in the stock market since 1998. I've made my share and lost my share. However, it was always a chaotic affair. I wasn't investing based on anything solid, it was just going with the market. Besides who could lose in the 90's? Then came 2000 and 2001.
Lucky for me I ran into this book and let me tell you something, it has made me comfortable with the way I invest. I don't need to keep up with the market every minute and I don't stress as much. I also understand better how to read graphs and how to interpret market activities. A book well worth it.
It does mention the Investors Business Daily paper a lot because they publish it but it's a worthy paper also so I don't see anything wrong with that. ... Read more


113. Monkey Business : Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle
by John Rolfe, Peter Troob
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446676950
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Warner Business Books
Sales Rank: 5441
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

" Many a starry-eyed megalomaniac has followed the siren song of Wall Street. Money, prestige, and power await them as they waltz off into the promised land...or so they think. They soon discover that the seductive sirens are actually a band of bowlegged sea hags. The promised land, it turns out, is always one more twenty-hour workday and another lap dance away. MONKEY BUSINESS is the hilarious confession of two young investment bankers, John Rolfe and Peter Troob, of what it's like at ground zero on The Street. Forget what you've read, forget what you've heard, forget what you've been taught. MONKEY BUSINESS pulls off Wall Street's suspenders and gives the reader the inside skinny on what working at an investment bank is all about.

Fresh out of Wharton and Harvard business schools, the authors ran willingly into the open arms of investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Once there, they discovered themselves foot soldiers in an investment banking army of overworked and frustrated lemmings furiously trying to spin straw into gold. Escaping with their sanity only partially intact, John and Peter have perfectly captured the chaotic essence of the Wall Street carnival and the outlandish personalities that make it all hum.

Uncensored, unsanitized, and uncut, MONKEY BUSINESS is as riotous as Animal House. It's more fun than a co-ed slumber party, and it's the smartest, most entertaining investment that you'll make this year." ... Read more

Reviews (248)

4-0 out of 5 stars a funny caricature of I-banking
Monkey Business is humor first-reality later. If you are looking for a real unflinching look at life as a Junior I-banker this isn't the book for you. If you want a few good laughs at the expense of the I-banking world then you have come to the right place. They were several times that I laughed out load when reading about the trials and tribulations of Rolfe and Troob as they swung through the I-banking Jungle.

This book is about the authors John Rolfe and Peter Troob and their experiences in I-banking. What some reviewers don't seem to understand is that this book is meant to be humorous. If Monkey Business was really 'a must read for every potential investment banker', then nobody would go into banking.

I have a lot of friends who are investment bankers and they complain about the hours and the work, but not like Rolfe and Troob. What the authors are doing is humorously discussing the feeling of frustration that accompanies working on pitch book that goes nowhere, the seemingly endless abuse from superiors, and the complete lack of a social life. They wrote about these feelings they are funny and because at some level they are part of starting off in any job not just investment banking. Another book that captures these feelings is Robert Grossbach's "A Shortage of Engineers."

While funny at most times, the banal locker room tone and hackneyed expressions at times take away from this book. Although this book is meant to be humorous, it is fairly decent introduction to investment banking to a complete novice. It explains common industry terms like 'pitch books', 'prospectus', and 'road shows.' Troob and Rofle explain the hierarchy of most I-banks from Managing Directors, to senior VP's, to VP's, to Senior Associates, to Associates, and finally Analysts. In sum, Monkey Business is a caricature, not a photograph, of I-banking, and like a caricature it makes some of its defects and flaws more noticeable than they actually are.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Monkey Business is great! The book is well written and extremely entertaining. The story is lively and the overall cadence of the book makes it easy and fast to read. Rolfe and Troob have a nice style of writing and are two authors that the reader really likes. They seem like good guys. What I really like about the book is that it is not about deals. I was worried that when I picked it up to read that it would be about boring deals. It is just the opposite. It is a joy to read and I think I learned something in the process.

I have lots of friends who are bankers and I never understood why they never seemed happy. They made lots of money, but always seemed nervous and jumpy. This book allows the reader to "jump on board" and experience what junior investment bankers do. The stories are great and the characters are unforgettable. This book is not just for men. Monkey Business is a great read for anyone who wants to understand banking and laugh while reading and learning. It is perfect for a plane trip or while on vacation. It is lots of fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and witty
It's not often that a book can make me laugh outloud but this one did just that on multiple occasions. The authors' descriptions of their lives as associates gives a different perspective on what's viewed by most outsiders as a glamorous job. The book is engaging throughout and is a quick read. I highly reccomend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the inner workings of the I-banking world.

1-0 out of 5 stars I couldn't finish it.
Wow. Such blatant mysogeny is surprising in the 21st century. I was getting annoyed by it, and then the language suddenly turned extremely vulgar and borderline homophobic, too. Unapologetic descriptions of company sponsored visits to strip clubs and sexual harassment are what made me eventually decide it was not worth any more of my time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hillarious!!!
This book made me laugh out loud several times. It is very entertaining but sometimes gets graphically vulgar so it should be rated R++. A great guys book and an eadsy read. I looked forward to my treat each evening of getting to the next pages. ... Read more


114. Options, Futures and Other Derivatives, Fifth Edition (Solutions Manual)
by John C. Hull
list price: $39.00
our price: $39.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130091448
Catlog: Book (2002)
Publisher: Prentice Hall College Div
Sales Rank: 19158
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great help on the course!
There are many exercises after each chapter of Hull's book and they help a lot in understanding the chapter's content and many questions are very classic. You've got to have this solution manual to know the answers! More importantly, many of the homework questions and even exam questions in my class were very similar to the exercises and I benefited a lot from having this solutions manual! Thank you!

3-0 out of 5 stars Still great, classic, but dated.
Classic Hull, with good problems sets, but a little dated. While this is the best of its type, I gave it only three stars, because it falls short on practical applications and descriptions of current products.

For example, I bought and recommend "Credit Derivatives" by Tavakoli, since I was looking for material on this subject, and this manual didn't cover these products in any detail.

3-0 out of 5 stars A practical manual on futures & options
Well, what can I say. Hull's solutions manual is practical but not entirely useful book. I need more professional solved cases, specially of the real life. The exercises are very simple. Any way, it's a good manual for beginners in derivatives instruments.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solutions manual; Options Futures ...
clearly the best reference for a derivative trader...

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Oprions, Futures and Derivatives: Solution Manual
Hull's Solution Manual is an excellent addition to the text. It allows an individual to do problems following each chapter with in depth answers that may not be provided by professors. The questions and answers allow for understanding the material. ... Read more


115. The Automatic Millionaire : A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
by David Bach
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767914104
Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 375
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Despite its sensational title, David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich is not a get-rich-quick guide. Rather, the book is a straightforward march through common-sense personal financial planning that suggests readers "automate" their contributions to retirement and investment vehicles. Bach, in fact, calls his model the "tortoise approach" to becoming wealthy by retirement age.

In the early part of the book Bach builds on ideas he established in Smart Women Finish Rich and other bestselling titles. His core principle is that, to succeed, you must "Pay Yourself First." In other words, he suggests using pre-tax retirement accounts (i.e. 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs) to set aside a fixed, monthly sum of money before considering what is left for living expenses. The "automatic" part of the title comes from Bach's emphasis on using automated payroll deductions to avoid the temptation of using the money to pay today's bills.

Bach insists that "regardless of the size of your paycheck, you probably already make enough money to become rich." But his claims that his plan requires "no budget, no discipline," is a bit disingenuous. His discussion of the "The Latte Factor" shows that, to find money to start a retirement plan, a person with a modest income needs to make an up-front commitment to stop accruing debt and to reduce spending on such "wasteful" items as lattes and cigarettes.

In the end The Automatic Millionaire does not offer much that is new for readers already familiar with personal finance basics like accelerated mortgage payments, "the miracle of compound interest," and the setting up of emergency funds. But, for those just starting with financial planning, Bach provides a host of resources to put recommendations into action. He walks his readers through such fundamentals as shopping for interest rates, creating a balanced retirement portfolio, and consolidating debt. And Bach's conversational style will make this quick read highly palatable for those daunted by more detailed investment and personal finance titles. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (190)

5-0 out of 5 stars Income is not wealth, income only pays for your lifestyle
I used to think that income represented wealth. The fact is your income is not your wealth, only potential wealth. You can live off your income, but you can't get wealthy off your income. You only get wealthy by investing and the proper use of money strategies.

Dave Bach offers powerful money strategies that really work. The first and most important one is to pay yourself first. You must save at the very least, 10% of what you earn before you pay any bills. Isn't it amazing that Americans have such great difficulty saving 10% while the Asians save over 30%!

I know some Doctors who earn a 6 figure income, but are always broke and have nothing to show for it. $150,000 income is nothing when you are spending $175,000.

Bach also offers strategies to cut your mortgage payoff time in half. Pay off credit card debt in 2-3 years, not 5-10 years and more.

I'm with a company that does business in 10 different countries. Our company did over $40 million in sales in it's first year and has created several millionaires in 17 months. Some of the millionaires in this company highly recommend Bach's advice and live by it. That's why they are millionaires. EARNING MONEY IS THE EASY PART. KEEPING IT IS THE DIFFICULT PART. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD!

I can't rave enough about Dave Bach's book. I also have his tape set from Nightingale-Conant which goes even deeper into the strategies than this book does.

5-0 out of 5 stars An easy read and effective, too.
My grandmother, who lived through the depression and experienced WWII, gave me this book. My grandmother grew up dirt poor(she had one pair of shoes for school). She dropped out of the eighth grade and yet she is one of the most well read people I know.

This book is so easy to read and just as easy to understand. I've started putting into action the principles put forward in this book and I will have $7,000 saved by the end of the year. I will most likely double that every year, if I keep utilizing the strategies in this book.

I highly recommend this book. Granted most of the advice in this book should be common knowledge. You could learn such things in a Personal Financial Management class; but it's the book's simple language that makes it a quick and easy read. Buy this book, then read it, then practice what it preaches, and you'll be on your way to not having to sit around waiting for the government to take care of you(which is a very scary thought because I don't trust the government to know or care what's best for me).

If more people would stop counting on Medicare and social security, we would all have more money from our paychecks to save and invest for ourselves, instead of giving our tax dollars to losers who don't want to work or take initiative and save/invest for their own futures.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nothing earth shattering, but useful
A lot of people are screaming that there is nothing really new in here. Sometimes you just have to be reminded of the basics. This is not a 7 figures in 7 days type of book. If you looking for instant wealth, look elsewhere. If you want to retire and not be stuck eating government cheese, then read it, follow it and just do it.

It reminded me of a couple things that I already knew, but just needed somebody to tell me again.

2-0 out of 5 stars What about normal people?
I have 2 problems with this book, otherwise it is a good tool.

#1...what if you aren't in your 20's? What if you picked up this book because you are 40 and just realized that you need to do something by the time you're 65! Not much help there. This book is aimed at 20 year olds.

#2...What about when real life happens??? I did actually start saving in a 401K in my twenties. I had a couple of thousand bucks saved and was on my way...Then life happened and I got a divorce. Suddenly I needed that money just to keep my house, and by the time I was 33 I was broke and starting over. Oh yeah, and then when I started saving again in a new 401K, the market crashed and my a/c went to less than 1/2 what it had been.

I wish Mr. Bach had made the book so it could be used by people of any age. Yes, wouldn't it be nice if we all started saving at 20, but most people who pick this book up (I would bet) are in their late 30's or older, in panic mode, hoping for a couple of good ideas to help them get them from here to there without waiting another 40 years to retire.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's what I think about this book...
People may criticize this book and say its too simple and a bunch of common sense, I disagree. I found it very helpful and feel that simple, straightforward advice will always win in the end over some get rich quick scheme. I give it 5 stars for giving the reader sound advice most people don't practice. Other self-help books I like include "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution. ... Read more


116. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: Completely Revised and Updated Eighth Edition
by Burton G. Malkiel
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393325350
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 1587
Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The million-copy bestseller, now fully up-to-date and ready for post-dot-com investors.

Using the dot-com crash as an object lesson in how not to manage your portfolio, here is the best-selling, gimmick-free, irreverent, vastly informative guide to navigating the turbulence of the market and managing investments with confidence.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well established as a staple of the business shelf, the first book any investor should read before taking the plunge and starting a portfolio. With its life-cycle guide to investing, it matches the needs of investors at any age bracket. Burton G. Malkiel shows how to analyze the potential returns, not only for stocks and bonds but also for the full range of investment opportunities, from money market accounts and real estate investment trusts to insurance, home ownership, and tangible assets like gold and collectibles.

Whether you want to verse yourself in the ways of the market before talking to a broker or follow Malkiel's easy steps to managing your own portfolio, this book remains the best investing guide money can buy. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars An academic's view of Wall Street
A Random Walk takes the reader on a path from the point of view of an academic, rather than that of a trader. That is sufficient to make this book different from most other stock market tomes. Malkiel's premise is that neither the the average investor nor the professional trader can expect to perform better that the "market" over any significant period of time. He considers market events to be random, and thus unpredictable. He offers piles of data to support his contentions, and his arguments are compelling.

Yet, those who trade using technical analysis scoff at books such at this, claiming their systems consistently beat the averages. The author points to the fact that most managers of mutual funds, pensions etc. fail to perform better than index funds and Malkiel recommends that public investors place their investment money into broad based index funds. The S&P 500 Index fund is recommended, as it is unrealistic to expect fund managers to perform better.

This classic has been around for 30 years and this revised edition is worth your time, especially if you have never read an earlier edition. Just be aware that many technical traders consider this to be a work of fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Malkiel has an irrefutable position (paradoxically)
Burton G. Malkiel's "Random Walk," first published over 30 years ago, is now a classic text on investing and is surely worth anyone's time and effort. Simply written, Malkiel conveys the debate over the validity of the efficient market hypothesis with ease and effectiveness; this edition's updated comments on the dot-com craze are insightful and probably worth the price of the book themselves.

While I support the view that fundamental and technical analysis generally offer very little in the way of helpful advice, I believe that Malkiel's view that no investment strategy can beat the market over the long run is, to put it simply, irrefutable. Therein, however, lies its problem.

Suppose, for instance, that I have this remarkable strategy of buying and selling stocks which has earned me consistant long run returns on the market. Of course, if I tell anyone the specifics of this strategy and how wonderful it works, they will want to start using it for themselves. But then my strategy will stop working; the more people use a particular strategy, the harder it is for that strategy to continue work. Malkiel himself notes that if everyone uses the strategy of buying stocks on January 1st and selling them five days later, a simple strategy of buying on December 31st and selling on the 4th will generate consistant, long run returns. But then, if everyone adopts the new strategy, the long run returns vanish!

The key to a successful investing strategy, then, is to keep it secret. Since any strategy published in Malkiel's "Random Walk" is likely to be read and studied by millions, the moment he publishes something that would refute the efficient market hypothesis, the hypothesis is again reconfirmed. Clever devil, that Malkiel.

Other than that, my only problem with Malkiel's book is that he refers to countless articles and studies published in academia, but he leaves the inquiring reader clueless as to where to look for them. A simple "references" section would solve this problem (although it would easily provide further reason to justify publishing a new edition, thus earning Malkiel even more money).

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid advice for funding your life
In a nutshell Malkiel's advice is to own your own home, buy no-load index funds (equities and bonds), buy international index funds, and mix your investments according to your age. You should also have medical and plain term life insurance, and cash on hand for a few months in case of an emergency. This book is a complete course in how to manage your money effectively, whether you're a millionaire or a low-income earner. It also gently but firmly chastises proponents of get-rich-quick schemes such as day traders.

First, the book explains what is financial risk, and points out that everything is risky, even insured savings accounts since inflation can destroy the value of cash. Malkiel describes just how risky various investments are, and how the risk is one investment is often offset by the risk in another. Second, Malkiel describes a variety of specific investments (e.g. no load index funds, your own home, individual stocks) and suggests how individual investors should mix them, depending on their personal circumstances. For instance, an ambitious young woman in her twenties can consider aggressive high-risk high-growth funds. If they boom, she's rich, if they bust she's young enough to recover her losses through income. This would not be true of a middle-aged couple about to pay for their children's college years.

"A Random Walk Down Wall Street" should be in every family's library.

1-0 out of 5 stars Spurious Monkey Business
Very few fund managers, brokers or money managers can beat the market. OK, that is factual and common knowledge. Yet, the vast majority of investors entrust their stock portfolios with these poorly performing professionals instead of parking all of their investment capital in no- load index funds or ETFs. Is the market then truly efficient or are their millions of sato- masochistic investors out there that want to underperform?

In 1999, the Nasdaq market leaders traded for well over 100x p/e. It defied logic and a few shorts would have been "efficient." The market continued to rocket upwards until March, 2000 and shorts would have been death to you in 1999. A share of some company breaks out of a trading range and moves up 5% in value in 10 minutes on no news or fundamental change. This type of thing still happens. How can a market be truly efficient when there is ingrained stupidity such high levels? Consider the handicap mutual funds are strapped with: They must be at least 70% invested on the long side at all times regardless of how overvalued the equity markets are. That means mutual funds will be sloshing money in defensive industry stocks such as casinos and bottlers during a market melt down. Conversely, it means "value" stocks will be frequently trading for less than book value during boom times. In an efficient system, you have real checks and balances insuring stock prices on an equal footing with intrinsic value and not cosmetic tomfoolery.

How does investor psychology come into play? Human psychology is not efficient but it is sometimes predictable. I'm betting that whatever look Brittney wears in her next video and whatever is worn on the runways of Milan will be adopted within a few months by the hordes. The darts won't tell you that.

In 1983, a Members Only jacket and a pair of designer parachute pants would set you back maybe $150. Today, you can only find these items in a thrift store for considerably less. The lesson is that in the short term, there are all kinds of irrational trends. Over a long time span, a regression to the mean will filter out lots of follies only to be replaced by some other ridiculous fads and a few long lasting good ideas. Everybody knows that garish haute couture has a higher profit margin than the common t- shirt. I'd rather be hawking the haute couture.

There is marked inefficiency in the markets over longer time frames also. Check out the valuations on Coke and the consumer staples over the last several years and compare them with historical norms. Many stocks seem to be permanantly overvalued. And what is this fascination with historical valuations? Many investment managers are in awe of the historical valuations as if it were definitive. Frankly, the variables have changed over time and comparisons with history make less sense today.

The entire market is based on stupidity, manic emotion, misinformation and knee jerk responses. I could get into wirehouse sales tactics and conflicts of interest but I will spare you. That is not to say that it can be figured out.

Oh, and if the market were efficient it would learn from its mistakes. There were bucket shops in 1890, and there are bucket shops today. At the turn of the century, automotive stocks were doubling seemingly overnight only to later crash and burn. Fuel cell stocks were the rage a couple of years ago.
Most fuel cell stocks are now trading for a fraction of what their highs were. There is nothing new under the sun.

4-0 out of 5 stars Has Solid Information
This book has its rough spots, but all in all it's definitely worth the money. This book has a very comprehensive treatment of risk, reward, and diversification, and these alone make it worth reading. I dispute some things that Malkiel says. He seems emotionally attached to the efficient market theory, and no piece of evidence can make him question it. It gets a little annoying to read page after page of examples that clearly show inefficient stock pricing, only to have Malkiel "explain away" the apparent contradiction with the efficient market theory. Throughout the book he also unnecessarily insults practicioners of technical and fundamental analysis, which is probably why there are some emotionally charged negative reviews. [An earlier reviewer said that this book was geared towards women. I don't know how he infered this!] Though Malkiel did not convince me of the validity of the efficient market theory, he did convince me with this book that it is very, very difficult for anyone (professional or independent investor) to consistently beat the market averages. If you can overlook the negatives of this book you will find that there is quite a bit of excellent information. ... Read more


117. Making Big Money Investing in Foreclosures : Without Cash or Credit
by Peter Conti, David Finkel
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0793173655
Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
Publisher: Dearborn Trade, a Kaplan Professional Company
Sales Rank: 3767
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Real estate experts Peter Conti and David Finkel's new book Making Big Money Investing in Foreclosures without Cash or Credit is a comprehensive money making guide that helps readers discover the road to financial freedom.

Making Big Money Investing in Foreclosures without Cash or Credit is an easy to follow manual designed to help real estate investors launch a successful career in the foreclosure investing business. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST.....
I am not to good at this and this is my first time but this book was soooo GREAT ...About 2 years ago I bought a course on TV went though it and at the end of it just could not understand it,So I gave up..Last July I was in a bookstore and came across Making Big Money In Real Estate from these two gentlemen there 2nd book and I was able to understand the concept,.Picked up this book when it came out and let me tell you those guys know how to get there point across and say it so anyone can understand it,I knew nothing about Foreclosures or what was involved or what a short sale was.
I am almost done reading this book and I now have there 1st book
How to Create Multiple Streams of Income,Just waiting to be read next.Keep up the good work guy's and Thank you..

5-0 out of 5 stars So easy & so simple, it's a must to start today!
This book is written for everyone, easy to read and understand with all the information needed for anyone to get started. Peter Conti and David Finkel teach not only how to build wealth buying foreclosures but more importantly how to do it with integrity. Solving problems for those that have financial issues, while making sure not to ever "take advantage" of them is a point made clear throughout all of Peter and David's books. Making Big Money Buying Foreclosures..... is more than a book about Real Estate investing, as you read each page you get a real feel for the authors, the genuine spirit of fair play and sincerity both Peter & David posess reach out from each page letting you know this is not just about building wealth; but helping people.
I had the opportunity to spend this last weekend in Devner, CO with the Mentor Financial Group (owned by Peter Conti & David Finkel) and I am sold on the fact these two gentleman walk their talk. Buying foreclosures is a time spent working with sellers in an emotional state; this book teaches you as an investor how to work with these sellers in a way that is not demeaning but even uplifting. If you are an investor, big or small or maybe someone simply considering the purchase of a few properties to hang onto for future income or a more quality retirement, buy this book. Making Big Money Investing In Foreclosures......was not written and published to be put on your shelf, I have read dozens of books regarding Real Estate investment and for me, it's always been about the people I am working with and the wealth & freedom building, in that order. Even if you know nothing about Real Estate investing or are a licensed Real Estate Agent - (...) - READ IT - FOLLOW WHAT IT SAYS, EXACTLY HOW IT SAYS TO DO IT.......IT'S THAT SIMPLE! It has something for everyone and you will be glad you did.

2-0 out of 5 stars Advert for their seminars/courses
This book is heavy on excitment and 'systems' but very light on details. Not something to buy if you want to actually go out and DO something now. This book is mostly intended to get you involved in their very expensive mentoring, coaching, or course programs.

2-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Newbie
This category of books (Investing in Real Estate) has the formula down cold. General topics are covered as well as the gist of possible scenarios, but NO details are given regarding the process. As the saying, goes the "devil's in the details" - in this case so is the money and you won't make ANY if this is the only book you read. If you don't have ANY book on foreclosures this would be an OK place to start, but my suggestion is to keep looking or find a good foreclosure attorney (no I'm NOT an attorney) willing to tutor you in the ins and outs of the process and explain the pros and cons for the homeowner and mortgage company and where an investor/buyer may fit in.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent information and approaches
This book provides a relatively poor overview of the foreclosure process (understandable since it changes somewhat by locality) and spends way too much time on salesy sounding scripts to use when talking to people. However, there are enough useful tidbits to make the book worth reading. ... Read more


118. How to Trade in Stocks
by Jesse Livermore, Richard Smitten
list price: $29.95
our price: $23.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0934380759
Catlog: Book (2001-11-14)
Publisher: Traders Press
Sales Rank: 23811
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Original Livermore Content is Fabulous. Smitten's is Trash
I'm not sure whether this book deserves 1 star or 5. I read the thing several times and learned a lot from it. The first few chapters (50 or so pages) are the original text from Livermore's book of 1940. The rest is an astonishingly poorly written, edited and organized 'summary' and 'expansion' of the original text.

The first 50 pages are a must-read. The rest is an irritating dog's breakfast from someone who does not appear to be terribly familiar with the stock market and trading.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent stuff
If you want to sit in on a seminar with one of history's greatest speculators, this book and reminiscences of a stock operator are as close as you will get. There are many golden nuggets of trading philosophy and method in this book. If you can grasp what livermore says in this book, and as he says actualy have the patience and discipline to follow it you will be well on your way to success in the financial markets. It is important to realize that this book was written 17 years after the other great book on livermore ( reminiscences of a stock operator was wriiten in 1923) This book was written in 1940, the last year of Jesse livermores life after spending 40 plus years as a professional speculator. If the wisdom of a 4 decade plus career of making and losing multiple fortunes in the stock market (which in my opinion is what this book captures)does not help you, you are most likely not cut out for success in speculation. Understaning and applying the lessons of this book will cut the learning curve of becoming a succesful speculator. As for any skeptic who is critical of this book as being old and outdated, this is simply not true. If you will read this book you will understand that the workings of the financial markets never realy change because human nature never changes, and the financial markets are a representation of human beings opinions in action. This book is not the only book you need, but in my opinion it should be in your trading library. Keep in mind that all reviews are only opinions, and as jesse livermore says in this book, "Opinions are often wrong, markets never are" so find out for yourself whether this book can help you and do not mistake an opinion for a fact.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing New
This book was written over 60 years ago, the pivot point referred to in the book is simply what we call today a trend reversal. Only the first 56 pages are actually livermore`s writing, the rest of the book is all smitten trying to fill pages repeating the things livermore says in the beginning of the book. No big revelation in this book that you won`t find in any decent modern Technical analysis book. The material is a bit outdated, technical analysis has come a long way since the writing of this book. (Reminicences of a stock operator) , would give you a better idea of livermore`s philosophy on trading than this book if thats what you want.

3-0 out of 5 stars Shoot the works!
Jessie!
First off the pictures are magnificent as far as seeing about Jessie's life. Jessie took many millions of dollars out of Wall Street but he played for the game. He was up and down so often, and so high, that there was nothing left after the thrill was gone.

The antidotes on Jesse's life are very entertaining but not much use to refining a traders technique. If he had died a few years sooner he would have been a hero. As it is people confuse this personal life with that of a great trader who just got tired.

The included "Livermore Secret Market Key," reprint contains a wealth of information from Livermore's own hand. If I did not already have it, Smitten's book might have been useful.

Cycles!
Jesse mentions market swings from 5 to 20 points that take from a week to a month. It seems like Jesse is talking about what we now call cycles when he refers to the time element. Trading into the future.

Trends!
He talks about this idea that the best trades are those that show a profit right from the start. Therefore, by definition if a trade dips into a loss and violates your definition of what a trailing trend is, Speculators lose no sleep jettising it off right away.

Never permit speculative ventures to turn into investments. Involuntary Investors ... make a bet, stay with it, and if it goes wrong, they lose it all, "they buy a stock that goes down, and they refuse to sell and take their loss."

Trends work automatically, and consistently along certain lines. If you recognize a trend and wait to get in at the precise time, drawdowns should be at a minimum. The drawdown itself should flash a danger signal.

Pyramiding!
When your security is acting right you can safely add to your line from then forward.

One of the unique ideas that I may have overlooked in Reminiscences is that entering a trade a little late is a bit of added insurance.

There is a psychological value in drawing money out of your winnings. Something I just love to do.

Pivot Point!
There is allot in here about his Pivotal Point entry. However, unless you can get it out of the "Livermore Secret Market Key," reprint contained in the book you will not find it in the "Smitten," part.

Anyone can see where pivot points were, the psychological entry point can be determined when groups of other securities confirm the change in trend.

Double bottoms!
Jessie gets into what we now call a double bottom. The first bottom is the primary pivotal point the second bottom (or top) is what he calls the "Continuation Pivotal Point."

CPR's!
Jesse did early work on what we now call CPR's. Closing Price Reversals. CPR's often occur at the Pivotal Point.

He teaches us to only trade on pivot points. But then goes on to explain the benefits of Box-break outs, trading on new highs and new lows.

Livermore's system of Sister Stocks is clearly explained and is a welcomed addition to Reminiscences. I wonder why Smitten did not show these as a spread?

Money Management!
Your position is defined as the percentage of your portfolio you will invest in any single situation.

Find your Pivotal Points and trade in the direction of the momentum. It is the big swing that makes the big money for you.

Jessie suggests averaging up, "within the pivot point range," without defining what a "pivot point range," is. It may be the center reaction in the W of a double bottom.

The final time to pyramid is a break out (of the pivot point range?) on heavy volume. It is riskier to enter a pyramiding action when the stock is far from the base.

My take on this is that Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre is more helpful to a trader than "how to trade in Stocks."

The bottom line on Livermore's money management still remains something I learned from Stanley Kroll. To Quote Jessie Livermore in "How to Trade in Stocks."

Shoot the Works!
"The only area I may have differed from most speculators, was when I felt I was truly right, dead right, for-damn-sure right-then I would go all the way, shoot the works."

4-0 out of 5 stars Reminiscences II
...I would come back from my grave to personally scalp the person who dared to illustrate my books with photos taken at all the low points of my live and dares to comment on these as Richard Smitten has done.

It is interesting to see at Amazon.de that there actually exists a German translation of a book in which the also famous Richard Wyckoff interviews Jesse Livermore.
Why not publish the English original also ???

Note: as most will know, Reminiscences of a stockoperator is also based on interviews with Jesse Livermore, first published in Saturday Evening Post of 1922-1923. ... Read more


119. The Stock Market Course
by George A.Fontanills, TomGentile, George A. Fontanills
list price: $45.00
our price: $29.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471393150
Catlog: Book (2001-02-28)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 10086
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Praise for The Stock Market Course

"An essential guide for anyone who wants to avoid getting burned in the stock market. This book tells you how to make money and how not to lose it. Risk management is something that institutional investors have long employed to limit their losses and boost their long-term gains. This book explains risk thoughtfully and enjoyably."–Michael Molinski, Mutual Funds Editor and International Editor, CBSMarketWatch

"An excellent book that explains all of the critical factors that affect your investments. Comprehensively discusses how to analyze companies and markets. The simple descriptions paired with valuable online resources allow the reader to obtain critical information for making investing decisions.With the breadth of this coverage, you can’t help but learn something new!"–Victoria Vestal, Yahoo! Finance

"Fontanills and Gentile have written the comprehensive stock market book–stuff you want to know now, stuff you’ll have to know later. Complete the workbook and you’ll have fast-tracked your investing foundation."–Michael Smith, Cofounder of the BigEasy Investor www.bigeasyinvestor.com

"A classic must-read primer for both the novice and experienced investor...comprehensive and easy-to-read, this book provides an innovative approach for learning how to survive in today’s volatile markets. If you need the bottom line on trading do’s and don’ts, read this book!"–Julie Craig, eSignal

"A comprehensive book on the equity and option markets for both the new and experienced investor. Readers can benefit from increased knowledge and a focused and disciplined approach to the markets."–Eric Alexander, Managing Director, Wall Street Access (www.wsaccess.com)

"This is the best course I’ve seen in 20 years in the investment business...profit from it."–Clay H. Womack, Chairman & CEO, Direct Capital Markets, Inc.

"The best stock market introduction ever written for traders and investors searching for the path of trading success."–Francis Gagnon, Producer for Active Traders (LiveCharts & QCharts), Quote.com (www.quote.com)

"If you wish to increase your knowledge and profitability in trading and investing, here is where you’ll learn."–Bill M. Williams, PhD, CTA, and author of Trading Chaos and New Trading Dimensions ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK FOR ALL INVESTORS
I am the type of guy that buys all the books on investing that may give me at least one simple idea that might make me extra thousands of dollars. I am recommending this book as one that all investors may gain great investment ideas from. Other books that fit in this same catagory include: (1) Making Dollars With Pennies: How The Small Investor Can Beat The Wizards On Wall Street by R. Max Bowser, and (2) Guaranteed Profits With Small Stocks by R. Max Bowser. Both of these books are available on Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a must!!
I purchased this book along with the Stock market course workbook for my husband and he loves it. Being a novice on the workings of the stock market we both wanted to be prepared before investing any money into the market either with an online or a traditional broker. This book has such a wealth of inforamation in it that I suggest if you are interested in investing you need to check out this book along with its wookbook. It is money well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're looking for a pace to start...
I would highly recommend this book to anyone seriously looking for a good book on how the market and its many facets work. The book is correctly named, it reads like a textbook from a 101 college course and it even has a companion book (sold separatly) to "test" your knowlege of what you read in the textbook.
Bottom line - easy to understand, thorough, informative. Will provide good general understanding of the stockmarket.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book for a beginner
Easy explanations of most of the things a trader should know. There are some typos and errors, but overall the book is packed with useful information. The material does not require any previous economics or business knowledge, but will be useful for pros as well. I recommend it to everyone

5-0 out of 5 stars All about Risk Management - A must read
I already had quite a bit of knowledge about investing and trading before studying this course, but still learned more. My only regret is that this wasn't available 5 years ago. ... Read more


120. Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression
by Robert R. Prechter Jr.
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470849827
Catlog: Book (2002-06-21)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 31730
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In Conquer the Crash, Robert Prechter explains why he thinks the boom times are behind us. Based on his interpretation of the Elliott Wave principle (an idea premised on the notion that mass investor psychology is what really drives markets), Prechter believes that the U.S. economy is about to enter into a deflationary depression that few investors are prepared to deal with. In making his case, Prechter assembles an impressive array of data that in essence suggests that the bill for the last 10 years of market excess is about to come due. The second half of the book shows how to avoid becoming "a zombie-eyed victim of the depression" and offers advice on protecting one's assets in a deflationary environment (cash is king). If there's any good news in the future that Prechter sees coming (other than how to avoid it), it's that all-out depressions don't last very long. Conquer the Crash should appeal to gloom-and-doom investors and to those desperately looking for a safe haven from the uncertainties of today's markets. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (89)

5-0 out of 5 stars Who are you going to believe?
Subscribers to Prechter's newsletters will have already read most of what is in this book. But for the other 99.99% of investors in the world who are not his subscribers, he has distilled down his reasoning and recommended course of actions into one convenient place.

This book is really two books within one set of covers -- the publisher even uses two different kinds of paper stock to differentiate the "books." In "book one," Prechter draws from history and shows charts & graphs (some going back 300 years) of what has happened in situations similar to what we are going through today. Known for his Elliott Wave analysis, Prechter does not stop there. He uses all of the tools of technical and fundamental analysis to methodically build his argument that the current market downturn is very far from over. Like a lawyer presenting a case, he covers everything from esoteric considerations such as rising federal debt as a percentage of GDP, to public psychology, to the ultimate impotence of the Fed. At the end of the section, the reader is left with the choice to either believe that history repeats, or that "this time it's different."

"Book two" presents practical advice of what to do now. He offers suggestions of what to do if you're in the stock market and your account is way down. He covers junk bonds, real estate, treasuries, pension plans, 401Ks, insurance, gold, and the whole spectrum of investments. To help the reader, he lists the safest banks in the country. He has eye-opening advice for people who are relying on government protection such as FDIC bank account insurance. Finally, he shows how to actually profit in the environment we are currently in.

Some disparage Prechter for his past fault of getting out of the market too early. It's a valid criticism; nevertheless, every one of his predictions are currently playing out. How do you argue with someone who is right?

Ultimately, the reader is left with a choice. One is to follow the financial mass media, economists and brokerage analysts who say recovery is just around the corner. The other is to look at history and Prechter's prediction, along with his track record of being only one of a handful of people to predict the magnitude of the market crash. Who are you going to believe?

5-0 out of 5 stars Shows you how to profit from the coming depression.
In his new book, Robert Prechter makes a convincing case that we are heading for a deflationary depression, similar to the environment the U.S. saw in the early 1930's, and Japan has experienced for the last 12 years. Readers are shown how to prepare, and even prosper as this deflationary scenario unfolds. While most will be crushed by the weight of their own mortgage and credit card debt, readers of this book can take advantage of a once in a lifetime investment opportunity.

Prechter's understanding of technical, contrary, and economic analysis is exceptional. According to conventional wisdom of investors, traders, and the so-called "experts" on Wall Street, external events and fundamentals cause psychology and social mood to change. Flying in the face of this conventional wisdom, Prechter maintains that in reality the opposite is true; psychology and social mood cause underlying economic and market conditions to change. Once you view events from this perspective you can successfully anticipate conditions and properly adjust your investment techniques for maximum wealth appreciation and preservation.

Prechter identifies the many ways for readers to profit off the continuing stock market decline. Whether you trade stocks, bonds, commodities, or options you will find valuable advice in this book. It will have a permanent spot on my own bookshelf next to Prechter's earlier classic "At the Crest Of the Tidal Wave". Prechter's advice will surely be used in my own trading.

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but...
I like Prechter because he's an interesting, unconventional thinker. But... I want to be careful and fair... doesn't his track record leave quite a bit to be desired?

At one time (I think the early 80's), I've read or heard he did well with his market predictions. But, not sure, didn't he get the 87 crash wrong in the sense that the market quickly recovered and that would've been the opportunity of a lifetime to buy? And, hasn't he's been bearish though another great opportunity, the incredible bull market of the latter 90's?

Finally, here we are in mid 2004, with Gold holding _above_ $400, the stock averages within spitting distance of their old highs, and the fed likely to raise interest rates because of the economic recovery (along with job creation) to keep inflation in check.

It just seems like Elliot Wave strings you along... there're always unlikely alternate counts and unlikely alternates to those that make you question why the unlikely of the unlikely seem to happen so often. I'm not trying to bash; would actually prefer to be more positive; but am simply expressing an honest dissapointment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
Prophets of doom have always made entertaining reading. In his latest fire-and-brimstone warning, Robert R. Prechter, Jr., an experienced forecaster of long-term economic and social trends, says financial Armageddon is just around the corner. While his technical analysis ("Wave Theory") may appear to be stock-market astrology, readers may appreciate his examination of the basic functions of money and credit, his argument that worldwide central banking has fundamentally altered these functions, and his perceptive comparisons of the late 1990s with the Roaring Twenties. Prechter might have appealed to a broader audience by toning down his graphs and technical talk, and focusing instead on his investment suggestions: If the market turns down, you'll save your skin, but even in a bull market, keeping your money safe can't hurt. We recommend this book to anyone looking for bear-market investment advice, as well as those interested in technical analysis or an opinionated view of business and market cycles.

2-0 out of 5 stars A poorly argued case, even for market bears.
Mr. Prechter is best known as a popular advocate for the Elliot Wave principle. He continues this school of thought in this book.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part attempts to persuade the reader that the US economy is headed for a deflationary depression. The second part recommends actions to prepare and prosper during a deflationary depression. This specific edition of the book also includes an update written in 2004. (The original book was written in 2002.)

First of all, with any investment book review, it is important to understand the reviewer's biases. My belief is that the US will enter some type of unwinding, either through an extended securities bear market, or more severe overall imbalance. I maintain a minor belief in technical analysis but do not rely on it.

Elliot Wave analysis is, at its core, a technical analysis methodology. Elliot Wave claims to find a recurring pattern in short term, long term, and ultra-long term market price charts. What is gravely missing, however, is some sort of explanation or justification for its supposed utility. Many schools of technical analysis, for example, give plausible explanations for why "resistance levels" exist based on market or individual investor psychology. This is completely missing from Mr. Prechter's writings and thus he fails to distinguish himself from a long line of failed data miners.

This missing and crucial "why" is the most glaring hole in this book. While other writers attempt to prove a thesis through a chain of reasoning and supporting data, Mr. Prechter skips steps in his thesis. The holes are not glaring to a casual reader, but a person with some breadth in economic knowledge will easily spot large omissions.

For example, even if you accept the disjointed framework of technical and fundamental analysis, the fundamental arguments for deflation are seriously flawed. Note, also, that Elliot Wave principles claim only to predict the performance of securities. Thus, Elliot Wave is agnostic with respect to the inflation vs. deflation debate. Therefore, Mr. Prechter's arguments for deflation are purely fundamental in basis. This is where his loose foundation really comes apart. His understanding of the Federal Reserve functions are contrary to those written by many other writers and scholars, including many who share similar contempt for the Federal Reserve. This is rather crucial, because the specific authorities and obligations of the Federal Reserve can determine whether a presumed economic failure results in deflation or hyper-inflation. Convincing cases for deflation have been made, but Mr. Prechter does not offer one.

Where many market bears thoroughly argue and carefully build their conclusions, Mr. Prechter glosses over far too many details to arrive at this deflation conclusion and blatantly ignores examples that contradict his thesis. He uses the US depression of 1929 as his sole argument that monetary policy is powerless to prevent deflation, forgetting that Federal Reserve authority was much lesser back then. Meanwhile, he ignores the numerous historical hyper-inflation examples caused by monetarism, such as 1970's US "stagflation", the recent collapses of Argentinean and Mexican currency, or even popular historical cases such as the South Sea Company bubble and post World War One Germany. Mr. Prechter is either grossly ignorant or deliberately avoiding such cases. Neither speaks well for him.

Most importantly, he sets up his own case of why he is wrong. He admits that there is a small probability that he could be wrong and that hyper-inflation will set in. Mr. Prechter says that this would be indicated by a declining US dollar and a price of gold reaching above $400 per ounce. Both are now clearly true, yet in his 50-page 2004 appendix, he conveniently ignores this fact and chooses to emphasize only his market index prognostication.

The rest of his fundamental case rests on material already beaten to death by other bearish scholars. He writes about historical price to earnings ratios, the contrarian indications given by popular finance magazines and long-to-short ratios, for example. His fundamental arguments are not thoroughly presented and escape ridicule only because others have argued the case before him. He adds nothing new here.

Since the first part of the book is so poorly supported, the second part regarding how to survive a depression is irrelevant. His recommendations generally apply only to deflation and would not work in a hyper-inflation or zero-inflation economy.

When one supports an already argued case, the burden of proof is small. However, if one dares to present a different case as Mr. Prechter has done, one needs to cover all well known and reasonably applicable cases at a minimum. Mr. Prechter has failed in this regard and by his own criteria. ... Read more


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