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Ahead of the Curve: Nine Simple Ways to Create Wealth by Spotting Stock Trends Hardcover – September 18, 2007

3.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Hilary Kramer's insightful perspectives on the markets and what may be the 'next big thing' have never been more timely and important to a broad base of Americans." -- Ken and Daria Dolan, cohosts of "The Dolans" nationally syndicated radio show

About the Author

Hilary Kramer, a global investment specialist, is the Finance Editor of AOL and also serves as the AOL Money Coach. Her expertise in investing spans more than twenty years of experience in equity research, asset allocation, and portfolio management. She graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA, and within a decade she was recognized as one of the best equity investors on Wall Street and had amassed a personal fortune of more than $10 million. She has since then devoted her energies to helping individual investors apply the simple secrets that she used to bring her wealth and freedom from financial worries. She appears regularly as a commentator on the Nightly Business Report on PBS and has provided market commentary to The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel, ABC, Bloomberg, and CNBC, among others. Hilary also appears daily on the nationally syndicated radio show Doug Stephan's Good Day. She has held directorships in both NYSE- and NASDAQ-traded companies and, from 1994 to 2002, was the senior managing director of a $5.2 billion global investment fund with both private equity and publicly traded securities.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st Free Press Hardcover Ed edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416546855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416546856
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Jensen on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book reads as if someone looked over the past few years of stock prices, picked a few stocks that went up significantly in price, then made up stories to explain why she invested in them. The endless tales of stock market success could not possibly be true. Well, they might be, but there would have to be an almost equal supply of purchases that did not fare so well. Nobody could have the batting average this woman implies.

Basically, she explains, over and over again, how she caught wind of a trend (brilliantly ignoring all the fads and looking only at real trends), found a stock that could profit from the trend, bought it low, then sold it high. Presto! Easy as that. She even demonstrates a worksheet that takes us into her thought process. She writes "lower interest rates," then makes deductions from there on the impacts to various industries, such as housing and mortgage finance companies and makers of home fixtures. Incredibly, her ability to predict what stocks will benefit from low interest rates includes companies that sell all manner of home renovation equipment, but she presciently manages to exclude the giant home reno stores like Home Depot and Lowe's (which of course have not performed well over the past few years).

There is simply no way anyone could have made as many brilliant forecasts as this woman claims (at least not without making a commensurate number of not-so-brilliant forecasts). While her concept of looking for trends and trying to logically deduce the extent of the trend and any secondary and tertiary effects is a great idea, all the difficulties inherent in doing such analysis is completely ignored.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ahead of the Curve is geared towards novice retail investors. It is about finding great investment ideas by making simple observations in the news and every day life. We are constantly immersed in a sea of new products and trends - many of which we subconsciously ignore. By being cognizant of such trends as a new fashion of clothes, a change in demographics, or a newly hyped product advertised on television, it is easy to find an idea in which to profitably invest.

Most of the book is a barrage of examples revolving around new trends. The author tries to show that money can be made at points all along the value chain - from basic raw materials to the latest "hot product." She lists an endless number of investment plays including the baby boomers, green energy, and geopolitical news events.

BEWARE! This book may sound innocent by its cover, but I believe it does a great disservice to its audience. The author makes investing sound much easier than it actually is. Following her advice, a reader can easily be suckered into buying shares of a company with shoddy fundamentals. Very often a product may be hot, but the company's management is in distress or the stock is overvalued. Hilary Kramer does very little to prepare investors for expecting the worst.

To further encourage reckless investing, she constantly inserts her own anecdotes of acting on a crackpot idea, and then doubling her money in the stock market. This could easily cause uninformed readers to forget that even the best of stock market pros make huge mistakes. If investing were as simple as buying shares of the newest restaurant in town, we would all be rich beyond our wildest dreams.

Ahead of the Curve plays on the prospective reader's itch for easy money to sell a book.
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2 Comments 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I had high expectations for this book. "Ahead of the curve" suggested an opportunity to gain insight for future profits. Ms. Kramer, instead relates her own experiences in a style which simply doesn't match up to expectations. Of the hundreds of books I've read this was probably the biggest surprise in that there was very little guidance which I could put to my own use. Awareness of various factors is fine, but it is a very long jump from there to identifying stocks which have good to excellent prospects. This book reads like it was written by an absolute amateur in the market and I couldn't recommend it to the most innocent beginner initiating an investment portfolio. There are much better books out there to identify trends.
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Format: Hardcover
"Ahead of the Curve" is a magnificent book. I am a longtime follower and fan of Hilary's, and I know her personally, and so I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that she is every bit as intense and passionate about market trends in person as she is in her fabulous first book. The book is most useful for those who want to invest in the stock market. I think it's pretty clear that if you wait until they recommend something on television, that it's probably too late to take full advantage of the company's recent success. Sure the stock may continue to go up a bit, but if you could have figured out what it was going to do before everyone on TV started saying that it was going up, then you would have been in much better shape.

Hilary is well known to AOL subscribers (which includes myself, for better or worse) as the columnist of "Hilary on Stocks". She writes a daily column recommending a different stock, a formidable task especially considering the fact that people can track her success (or failure). She's also a regular speaker on the nationally syndicated radio show Doug Stephan's Good Day, where she talks about stocks and other economic trends. What the book does that you won't get from any of these places is give you an overview of how she keeps "ahead of the curve".

The book is well written and reads like a novel. Doing what she recommends, however, is not a five minute a day activity. Trend tip #5 for example, is be a news junkie, and trend tip #6 is study the stats. For those who do not want to make stock trend spotting their new consuming passion, the book is highly entertaining and gives you a very good insight into how Hilary and possibly other stock analysts make their choices. In the end, you can still rely on them for your actual stock choices. But for the more serious stock investor, the book can potentially help you tremendously to gain insight into how to choose the best stocks, and possibly make lots of money.
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