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Anatomy of the Bear: Lessons From Wall Street's Four Great Bottoms

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9628606795
ISBN-10: 9628606794
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Russell Napier is a consultant with CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets writing on issues affecting global equity markets. After studying law, he began his investment career sixteen years ago at Baillie Gifford in Edinburgh managing funds in the Japanese then the US and finally the Asian markets. Moving to Foreign & Colonial Emerging Markets in London he was responsible for managing Asian portfolios. In May 1995, Russell relocated to Hong Kong to become Asian equity strategist for CLSA, a leading Asian equity brokerage. He occupied that position in a full time capacity until 1999 and was ranked number one for Asian strategy in all major industry polls including Institutional Investor from 1997-1999. Since 1999, apart from fulfilling the consultancy role with CLSA, Russell has created and established a new course called A Practical History of Financial Markets (www.sifeco.org), which is taught through the Edinburgh Business School and has been approved by the CFA Institute as part of its Professional Development Program.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: CLSA (December 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9628606794
  • ISBN-13: 978-9628606795
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another classic of this type is "Manias Panics and Crashes".

This one is specific to the four big Bear markets of the last century. The author goes through each one as an example. He identifies each stage and has clippings from the markets on peoples sentiment. Shows pricings and looks for what was the best indicator at the bottom. There is no hype, predictions, or false systems in this book. It's more presenting information and presenting patterns that occured.

All the bears follow similar patterns where there is froth, leverage, money sloshing around and everything is priced up a bit. Then some triggering event happens and people either re-evaluate or are forced to change their minds on valuations. Prices drop until they hit a bottom. Things uptrend for a while even though the news is still bad.... The author goes over each bear and how it's the same and how it's different.

Until reading this book, I did not understand or even think about using commodity prices as a leading indicator. Did not know that the stock market turned up before the economy did. Did not know that the great depression involved multiple stages, an international banking crisis, and a late move to gold.

After reading this book, now when I see someone on the TV saying that "They've never seen anything like this before" about LTCM, Bear Strerns, or the price of oil or gold... I have a better perspective. When someone tells me that "the market has definately found bottom" or "Can't go down from here"... I kind of chuckle now.

I do know that when people say "This is a great time to buy stocks..." they often don't know what they're talking about, or they're making it up.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a detailed history of the financial markets in the US, particularly the 4 bear markets in the 20th century. The style is a little technical, but still fairly readable. It could have used a little more editing (typos) but it's still a well-researched and very thoughtful book.

The author's main thesis is that stock markets move from periods of overvaluation to periods of undervaluation, and that there are certain signs that can be found at the end of any bear market. This information would be extremely valuable to any serious investor - rather than listening to a lot of the chatter on the internet or on TV, which often amounts to little more than cheerleading and wishful thinking, the information in this book will help an investor analyze at what point in the bull-and-bear cycle the market is at.

Obviously a lot more money can be made when buying at the bottom of the market, and the author did extensive research to uncover the indicators of a market bottom, so that you can apply them when the time comes.

Most recent investors have only seen bull markets, and so don't recognize the signs of a real, steep bear market - often losses can exceed 50% or more, perhaps 70%. Sometimes it can take decades to recover from the losses. This book will open the eyes of anyone who has believed the mantra, "it doesn't matter when you buy, just get into the market anytime, since stocks go up forever."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is rare in that it examines the four greatest bear market bottoms that would have made you the most money if you would have entered them at the right time, instead of the endless books out that show how to buy the hottest stocks in a perpetual bull market. What I like about this book is that the author stays away from his own opinions and simply shows the facts by examining the Wall Street Journal articles during each of these periods, August 1921, July 1932, June 1949, and August 1982. These were the actual bottoms when the market finally began to reverse. You will surprising see that unlike common Wall Street myths the bottom is not when things are the worse and everyone has a negative outlook, actually the WSJ article show that there was hope of a turn around, volume had dried up, P/E ratios were obviously absurdly low, and car sales were beginning to pick up. You will do very well to buy and read this book and add its information to your arsenal of trading and investing. While most of us sit out bear markets to keep our gains it is very important to know when to buy back in for the next up leg, this book can help you do just that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, written before the melt down, is a must read in these times. The events leading up to the falls are reviewed and more interesting now, when things bottom. It is not a sensationalistic or get rich quick book. Rather, it offers clear insight. By reviewing the great bear markets of the last century, common patterns are discovered, some contradict conventional wisdom and TV talking heads. The case is made for a handful of predictors when we have really bottomed, all easily monitered. The books is relatively easy to read but assumes some basic market understandaing, but even a novice would get the point. At times, it was a little tedious and i admit to skipping along towards the end of the book. It is rare to find such a insightful work.
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