STOCKS & THE MARKETS

FEATURED SELECTION

Fire Your Stock Analyst: Analyzing Stocks On Your Own
by Harry Domash

Pick your own stocks -- and outperform the experts! San Francisco Chronicle investment columnist Harry Domash has crafted a start-to-finish approach to stock selection that draws on winning techniques from the world's best money managers, uses readily available information, and is easy to learn if you're willing to invest the time. Whether you're a growth or value style investor, this book will show you exactly how to identify the best stocks for your portfolio. You'll learn to assess everything that affects a company's stock price -- profitability, underlying financial strength, competitive position, industry, business plans, management competence, upside/downside potential, and more. Like no other book, Fire Your Stock Analyst! cuts to the chase, capturing the essence of today's most successful stock-picking strategies. It's all you need to liberate yourself from the "experts" and become a more successful investor.

One Up On Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know To Make Money in the Market  by Peter Lynch
Written by perhaps the greatest fund manager ever, this book is easy to follow for the novice investor, yet offers deep insights for those more knowledgeable. Lynch shows how average investors can beat Wall Street professionals by using the information that they encounter in their everyday lives. His book is well written and  entertaining, and is widely recognized as a modern classic.

The The Great Crash 1929  by John Kenneth Galbraith
Of Galbraith's classic examination of the 1929 financial collapse, the Atlantic Monthly said: "Economic writings are seldom notable for their entertainment value, but this book is. Galbraith's prose has grace and wit, and he distills a good deal of sardonic fun from the whopping errors of the nation's oracles and the wondrous antics of the financial community." Widely and admiringly reviewed as a bestseller in 1955, John Galbraith's skilled chronicle and analysis of the causes of that most memorable year in our economic history, 1929, put the past in perspective. Now with a new introduction, it has become even more timely in the aftermath of the recent stock market crash.

The Great Game: The Emergence of Wall Street as a World Power: 1653-2000  by John Gordon
Here's a highly entertaining look at the history of Wall Street and its transition from a backwater trading post to the core of global financial power. The book includes marvelous anecdotes about the activities and actions of a broad range of characters, from Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to J.P. Morgan and Ferdinand Pecora. An excellent CNBC documentary was adapted from this book.

Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems  by Didier Sornette
The scientific study of complex systems has transformed a wide range of disciplines in recent years, enabling researchers in both the natural and social sciences to model and predict phenomena as diverse as earthquakes, global warming, demographic patterns, financial crises, and the failure of materials. Sornette boldly applies his varied experience in these areas to propose a simple, powerful, and general theory of how, why, and when stock markets crash. Anchoring his sophisticated, step-by-step analysis in leading-edge physical and statistical modeling techniques, he unearths remarkable insights and some astonishing predictions. Sornette probes major historical precedents, from the decades-long "tulip mania" in the Netherlands that wilted suddenly in 1637 to the South Sea Bubble that ended with the first huge market crash in England in 1720, to the Great Crash of October 1929 and Black Monday in 1987, to cite just a few. Any investor or investment professional who seeks a genuine understanding of looming financial disasters should read this book

Stan Weinstein's Secrets For Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets  by Stan Weinstein
Certainly one of the best books on the technical side of the market, this book is a must have for any investor. Whether you're just beginning, or can't seem to find the direction to profits in the market, this book will help you. The author spells out why most investors lose in the market, and how easy it is to make money if you eliminate your emotions, and follow his investing techniques and guidelines. His strategies will keep you out of  losers and help you become a confident investor. The author's investment philosophy is based on the view that nearly all stocks experience four price stages: accumulation (stage 1), uptrending (stage 2), top area (stage 3), and downtrending (stage 4). An investor, he says, has a high probability of success if he or she enters the cycle just before the stock moves to stage 2. He explains how to select a stock by simply studying its price/volume chart and how to time your entry. Don't let the publication date influence you. Start reading, and you will think he published it this year

Financial Fineprint: Uncovering a Company's True Value  by Michelle Leder
"Too many companies would prefer that you not read the footnotes," observes former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt. "That should be incentive enough to delve into them."  In fact, not only do companies prefer you ignore the details they are required to report – the pesky particulars on exactly how they account for those whopping earnings – they take calculated steps to make this information as hard as possible to understand. But for those who know how to look, the facts that predict a company’s true prospects are usually hidden in plain sight. Financial Fine Print  gives you the tools you need to break down annual reports and SEC filings, make sense of the deliberately cryptic language of footnotes, and get the real goods on a potential investment.

The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio   by William J. Bernstein
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.

Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression   by Robert R. Prechter, Jr.
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.
Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns and Long-Term Investment Strategies  by Jeremy J. Siegel
Stocks for the Long Run  is a comprehensive and highly readable history of the stock market that dramatically makes the case for long-term investing in stocks. Siegel considers subjects as diverse as the history of the various market indices and what makes for a business cycle to contrarian indicators and the utility of 200-day moving averages. If you've just come into investing in the last few years and feel the need for a solid and comprehensive text about the market, Stocks for the Long Run  is probably the best primer available. It also works as an excellent reference for seasoned investors and anyone else interested in how the market works.
Winning On Wall Street Revised Edition  by Martin Zweig
Renowned financier Martin Zweig guides readers to smart investing in the stock market with proven strategies on how to make informed buy and sell decisions, pick winners, spot major bull and bear trends early, and more. Zweig's "proven methods for market forecasting and stock selection" are presented in a simplified version of the approach he uses in his Zweig Forecast newsletter. Tables show how well an investor would have done by following the buy or sell signals for his Super Model, which is constructed of various monetary, momentum, sentiment and seasonal indicators. Scan earnings reports, he advises, be flexible, have patience and discipline, set stop orders, and "don't fight the tape."

It's Earnings That Count: Finding Stocks with Earnings Power for Long-term Profits  by Hewitt Heiserman
Recent market history has shown that semi-fictitious profit numbers, while looking good on paper, can spell disaster for investors. It's Earnings That Count  provides investors with an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process for identifying companies that, based on their earnings record, are more attractive investments than their counterparts. The author's trademarked Earnings Power Box uses a two-step approach to determine whether a company can finance its growth internally as well as how successful it is at creating value. Giving investors the tools they need to turn the tables in their favor, it also covers: techniques to determine the quality of a company's earnings; six ratios any investor can use to make or support decisions; and strategies for seeing through self-serving financial reports.

A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market  by John Allen Paulos
Paulos employs his trademark stories, vignettes, paradoxes, and puzzles to address every curiosity about the market -- Is it efficient? Is it random? Is there anything to technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and other supposedly time-tested methods of picking stocks? How can one quantify risk? What are the most common scams? Are there any approaches to investing that truly outperform the major indexes? He explains why "data mining" often leads to self-fulfilling beliefs, why "momentum investing" is nothing more than herd behavior with a lot of mathematical jargon added, why the ever-popular Elliot Wave Theory cannot be correct, and why you should take Warren Buffet's "fundamental analysis" with a grain of salt. Throughout this wide-ranging survey, the writing is spirited, funny and clear.

Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage of Wall Street  by Michael Lewis
Liar's Poker is a tragicomic look at life on Wall Street; especially the life of lower-level employees getting their start in the financial world. Michael Lewis draws on his personal experience at Salomon Brothers to tell the larger story of the rise and fall of the entire firm during the 1980s. Along the way he tells some hilarious stories and gives the reader an interesting, inside look at the fast-paced life on Wall Street. Lewis also describes for all investors the conflicts of interest and lack of governance on Wall Street long before Eliot Spitzer and Arthur Levitt became the champions of the little guy. Anyone who wants to know what a trader's life is like inside a major Wall Street firm will find this an interesting, humorous read that has become perennial bestseller.
The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders  by Connie Bruck
This book, Barbarians at the Gate  by Burrough and Helvar, and Den of Thieves  by Stewart fully depict the defining events of Wall Street in the 1980's. Of this triumvirate, this book is the only one that is more read than reported (both Barbarians  and Thieves  were written by WSJ reporters), and it really delves into the personal lives and backgrounds of the major players at Drexel. In reading this text you are provided with a full description and understanding of Milken and the driving forces behind the firm; above all, you understand the trap he worked himself into through his own success and how he wound up victimized by the financial system he worked within. The book explains Milken's brilliance, the market that he created and nurtured, and the catch-22 that led to his criminilization.

Den of Thieves  by James B. Stewart
Another perennial bestseller, Den of Thieves  tells, in masterfully reported detail, the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice. Pulitzer Prize winner James B. Stewart shows how four of the biggest names on Wall Street -- Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine -- created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America's most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice. Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, and containing explosive new revelations about Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky written especially for this paperback edition, Den of Thieves  weaves all the facts into an unforgettable narrative -- a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco  by Bryan Burrough & John Helyar
The definitive account of the largest takeover in Wall Street history. The fight to control RJR Nabisco, with $25 billion at stakem will be remembered as the ultimate story of greed and glory. Barbarians at the Gate  has been called one of the most influential business books of all time -- the definitive, gripping account of the frenzy that overtook Wall Street in October and November of 1988 is the story of deal makers and publicity flaks, of strategy meetings and society dinners, of boardrooms and bedrooms -- giving us not only a detailed look at how financial operations at the highest levels are conducted but also a richly textured social history of wealth at the twilight of the Reagan era. "All the suspense of a first-rate thriller . . . one of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980s." --New York Times Book Review.

 

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