Category»

Statistics Graph

 

'NEXT BOOK REVIEW'에 해당되는 글 3

  1. 2011.10.04 The Intelligent Investor
  2. 2011.10.03 This Time is Different
  3. 2011.07.05 Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
 

The Intelligent Investor

NEXT BOOK REVIEW | 2011.10.04 01:07 | Posted by 영환

When I first came across the first edition of this book in my local library in 1959, I was a teenager. Back in those days there were only a handful of books about the stock market. And I've read all of them during my junior high and high school years.

This latest updated 623-page paperback (the index alone is 33 pages) version updated by Jason Zweig is a welcome addition to this classic. The original chapters are intact, but with footnoted comments by Zweig. Moreover, he provides his own commentary on each chapter contents in a separate chapter following each original chapter. He provides extensive research, charts, tables and commentary that updates the book to the present years. He is not afraid to take on the big guns of Wall Street and show how wrong they were in some of their extremely bullish predictions during January-March 2000, when the market was at its peak.

The first nine chapters cover investing basics that all investors could benefit from. There are many truisms spouted on Wall Street that are not really true. These chapters provide the investor with a realistic picture of how Wall Street works and what investors need to do to come out ahead.

Chapters 10-20 focus strictly on fundamental analysis, stock selection, convertible issues and warrants, and other subjects. Investors who plan to invest directly in stocks should make sure to read these chapters. However, for readers more interested in investing in mutual funds, and in particular index funds, they need not concern themselves with all the detail in these chapters unless they have the time or interest in the subject matter presented.

In conclusion, the combination of pioneer Ben Graham?s original work coupled with Zweig?s meticulous and enjoyable update, make this a remarkable book about investments and investor behavior that every new and experienced investor should read. Of the 500 investing books that I?ve read, this one certainly is one of the greats of all time.

신고

'NEXT BOOK REVIEW' 카테고리의 다른 글

The Intelligent Investor  (0) 2011.10.04
This Time is Different  (0) 2011.10.03
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco  (0) 2011.07.05

This Time is Different

NEXT BOOK REVIEW | 2011.10.03 21:50 | Posted by 영환

Reinhart and Rogoff's book provides a quantitative history of financial crises derived from over 600 years and 66 nations. The basic message from all their data is that there are remarkable similarities in today's financial crises with experience from other countries and nations. The common theme is that excessive debt accumulation by government, banks, corporations, or consumers often brings great risk. It makes government look like it is providing greater growth than it is, inflates housing and stock prices beyond sustainable levels, and makes banks seem more stable and profitable than they really are. Large-scale debt buildups make an economy vulnerable to crises of confidence - especially when the debt is short-term and needs to be refinanced (the usual case).

Reinhart and Rogoff go on to conclude that most of these booms end badly. Outcomes include sovereign defaults (government fails to meet payments on its debt), banking crises (heavy investment losses, banking panics), exchange rate crises (Asia, Europe, Latin America in the 1990s), high inflation (a de facto default), and combinations of the preceding (1930s, today).

What did the authors learn from their data digging? Severe financial crises share three characteristics: 1)Declines in real housing prices average 35%, stretched out over six years, while equity prices fall an average 56% over 3.5 years. 2)The unemployment rate rises an average of 7 percentage points during the down phase (average length = four years). Output falls more than 9% over a two-year period. 3)Government debt tends to explode, an average 86% in real terms. The biggest driver of this debt explosion is the collapse in tax revenues; counter-cyclical fiscal policy efforts also contribute, as well as spiking interest rates.

Reinhart and Rogoff also identify what they find to be the best and worst (pronouncements from the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury heads, and more than a few 'successful' academics and stock-pickers) early warning indicators of crises. Finally, the authors warn that premature self-congratulations on early successes in correcting a banking crisis may lead to complacency and an even worse state of affairs.

The 'good news' is that Reinhart and Rogoff have provided a detailed and credible accounting of past experiences. The 'bad news' is that despite the authors' scholarly and intense efforts, "This Time is Different" is not likely to sway many minds for two reasons. 1)The book is too much of a scholarly tome to become widely read, and there are too many self-serving 'think-tanks' offering contrarian opinions. Others, more data-driven, will point out that most of "This Time Is Different" is drawn from earlier days and non-U.S. nations, and thus of limited applicability to the U.S. today. 2)Despite recent disproof of claims that government has mastered the economic cycle via Federal Reserve fine-tuning and counter-cyclical government spending, and that 'the old rules of valuation no longer apply,' we're back blowing bubbles. Today's MSNBC headline reads 'New Market Bubble May be Brewing,' the 'Greenspan Put' (government will bail out falling markets, while allowing soaring ones) continues, no action has been taken to rein in Wall Street gambling and unwarranted bonuses, financial institutions believed 'too big to fail' are bigger than ever, and 2010 election pressures will undoubtedly auger for continued easy money, inflating ourselves out of debt, and increased debt at all levels.
신고

'NEXT BOOK REVIEW' 카테고리의 다른 글

The Intelligent Investor  (0) 2011.10.04
This Time is Different  (0) 2011.10.03
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco  (0) 2011.07.05
Burrough and Helyar are two former Wall Street Journal reporters who present a comprehensive telling of the battle for control of RJR Nabisco, ultimately won by KKR, led by Henry Kravis in 1988. The book was written in 1990 and provided the final chapter on the LBO excesses of the 1980's. By 1990, the stock market rally had made LBO's less attractive and some of the earlier deals were already starting to unravel and collapse under the weight of the debt payments, as predicted by long-time junk bond critic and rival RJR Nabisco bidder Ted Forstmann.

There are some criticisms of this book. The authors, despite their finanical backgrounds, seem to prefer story-telling to financial details. Hence, they have written a tale of personalities, with an especial interest in Ross Johnson and Henry Kravis, to the detriment of really explaining the financial and business details. The reader can learn intricate details about Johnson and the Wall Streeters preferences in cars, apartments, drinks, wives, schoos, etc. The authors seem to think we need a biographic account of all minor players, starting with their grade-school years, and the end result is 528 pages and still minimal financial explanation.

The other main criticism here, reading this now, is how dated the material has become. The authors would do well to provide some new material on how the deal has worked out. From other sources, I learned that KKR renegotiated the deal in the early 1990's (the resets were nearly toxic after all) and sold out their position entirely in 1995, more or less breaking even, depending on whose numbers you use.

The story of the final bids and the final final bids is truly riveting and meticulously researched here. The Johnson group ultimately presents a bid that is slightly higher than the KKR bid, but the board discounts the Johnson bid since it does not guarantee the bond pricing, and calls the whole thing a tie, much like the 2000 election. At that point, the Board accepts the KKR bid, for non-economic reasons, mostly bad publicity related to Johnson's greed. Ironically, Johnson had already given up much of his payout in order to boost the total value of the bid to the shareholders.
 

신고

'NEXT BOOK REVIEW' 카테고리의 다른 글

The Intelligent Investor  (0) 2011.10.04
This Time is Different  (0) 2011.10.03
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco  (0) 2011.07.05
 

티스토리 툴바