on June 14, 2011
It was just three years ago that the financial world as we know it ended in the spectacular collapse of the real estate and banking sectors. Hundreds of billions of dollars in stock market values and home equity evaporated almost overnight, delaying indefinitely the retirement plans of many baby boomers. Yet now, after more than two years of almost uninterrupted bull market, investors appear to be letting their guard down again and are making many of the mistakes they made in the years leading up to the crash. To give an example, risk premia in junk bonds and emerging market bonds have all but disappeared--implying that investors believe that these volatile sectors are no longer risky. Easy money made available by the Federal Reserve has helped to unleash the market's animal spirits again, but is the optimism warranted?
In Facing Goliath, Keith Springer gives it to you straight. He is neither a bull nor a bear; he is a realist. There are plenty of attractive investment opportunities out there for investors willing to take a tactical approach. But those investors accustomed to growing wealthy by buying and holding have a long, hard slog in front of them. The tailwinds that pushed the market forward over the past 30 years have now reversed to create some very menacing headwinds. Unlike in 1982, the start of the last secular bull market, we are not starting from a position of high and falling interest rates and inflation; both are near 30-year lows.
Furthermore, the easy credit that characterized the period is now a thing of the past. Rather than make new loans, banks are struggling to repair their balance sheets. And consumers, given that their homes are likely underwater, have little interest in borrowing more, even at rock-bottom rates.
Using historical examples ranging from 18th century France to 1990s Japan to support his arguments, Springer sees a prolonged period of on again / off again deflation and advises his readers on how best to invest in this climate.
If you are concerned about your retirement savings, pick up a copy of Facing Goliath.
on August 29, 2011
Keith is a master at taking complex subjects and boiling them down to the basic driving facts. Once done with that he can weave the emotional texture over the top so you can cope with both the long term market drivers and the short term pounding of the drums. He is focused and doesn't fill the book with alot of redundant noise or divergent paths. It is precise and to the point. It will not waste your time on any page. While not the only book you should read it is one of the MUST reads, and multiple reads in my library.
on June 16, 2011
I really liked this book because it was accessible, understandable, and actionable. What I liked most was Springer's truly holistic understanding of how the world works at the macro level (e.g., how demographics and geopolitics reshape economies and markets, how the US and the world ended up in so much debt, etc.) and his ability to articulate - in plain English rather than investment psychobabble - what that means for you and how you invest.
Springer makes a very strong argument that the "buy and hold" investment strategy doesn't work and then describes a new way to invest. For such a short book, it packs a whole lot of important information and concepts. As you read this book you will find yourself saying, "I wish I knew this when....".
It is clear that Springer is well informed and passionate about helping investors thrive regardless of the market environment. I wish I had this book when I started investing and I will absolutely be giving this book to my son as I teach him about investing.
on March 9, 2012
As a practicing CPA, I have ample opportunity to read reports and analysis of all sorts, but seldom am I treated to an explanation of complex matters that have been translated into such simple terms, and with humor, to boot. Reading any analysis of our complex economic system is a daunting task at best. I generally find myself looking for that trusty shortcut...the 'Executive Summary'. But Springer moves from point to point with such clarity and good humor that any summary of the book would truly do the book an injustice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to step up to the next level of understanding. And yes, I do include all of you professionals who want to more competently explain these matters to your clients. Of course, if you are the client, you will better understand what you financial planner is to for you (or to you) by reading this book.
on June 23, 2011
From introduction to conclusion this book is engaging and approachable and infused with Mr. Springer's personality. He makes complicated and frankly boring topics readable and understandable. From the artfully described science of economics to the clear and succinct description of the forces that created these economic problems, Mr. Springer has written a great primer on what happened, why it happened and how to invest in order to take advantage of the market.
Although suited to all intelligent readers, this book is a must read for individuals with wealth (who are not in the financial world), but who are sharp enough to recognize good advice when they read it. I've purchased the book for some of my family members who get the bulk of their information from CNBC and periodicals. The clarity he sheds on basic concepts such as risk vs. return, the effects of demographic shifts on spending is extremely useful when contemplating investment options. I definitely recommend this book even if you think you know what happened over the last 3 years.
on June 9, 2012
I'm a concerned investor trying to find some answers for these troubled times and to help shape my thought process and approach for future investing. This book definitely helped me with a vast amount of data and research confirming the conclusions and recommendations. I'm a big believer in 80/20 (leverage) and cause and effect (root cause analysis), and Keith uses both of these principles throughout. I've had the opportunity to meet with Keith and his associate (Ed Guanill) to further understand their logic/approach and confirm the findings. I strongly recommend this book to anyone willing to take the time to get a handle on what drives the economy and is as concerned as I about our future.
on April 11, 2012
Keith Springer has managed to explain complex economic subjects so main street understands them. He is also one of the few that see deflation rather than inflation as a real and threatening market force on the horizon. Keith masterfully draws parallels to the issues that toppled Japan off the throne of economic leadership in the 80'.
This is a must read for those willing to think outside the box.
on October 4, 2012
I research the guests for my radio show THE LISA BRYS SHOW on AM 1380 KTKZ on Saturday morning's at 7:00 a.m. and I was interested in finding an expert in the financial field.
I had heard of Keith Springer on the Armstrong and Getty Show and had run across his book Facing Goliath in my local Berean bookstore.
His book is wonderful, he made difficult financial information easy to understand and fun! I look forward to Keith being on my show January 12, 2013.
Thank you Keith,
on February 9, 2012
Keith explained the financial mess America is in, in a clear and succinct manner. Moreover, I can now sleep at night because Keith seems to have the knack for making sense of it all to me, reducing my anxiety over my hard earned investments. Facing Goliath made me feel better about the future. Not that is will be perfect. Only that it seems to be predictable if one methodically puts all the pieces of the puzzle together before making an investment decision. He believes in not rushing, read the signs first. I recommend this book to anyone who has investments. And who wants to sleep better. Tony
on August 23, 2011
Keith Springer's Facing Goliath is page turner that artfully describes how economics, financial markets and government policy have put the economy where it is today. After reading this book, I now understand exactly why the American economy is broken and what I need to do to not only protect myself but to profit from it. This book convinced me to be more proactive, instead of just "sitting tight" while my investments drop hoping for a rebound. It's going to be a tough few years, but after reading this book I know I am now ready to face and beat Goliath!