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Finding #1 Stocks: Screening, Backtesting and Time-Proven Strategies Hardcover – April 26, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470903406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470903407
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Learning new and better ways to pick more profitable stocksis one of the quickest ways to improve your trading, no matter whatlevel of success you've already achieved. Nobody understands thisbetter than author Kevin Matras, a vice president at ZacksInvestment Research, who is the fundamental stock screening andtechnical chart patterns expert there.

For the past two decades, Zacks has been helping traders andinvestors beat the market with independent analysis and innovativeproducts such as the Research Wizard, their stock-picking andbacktesting program, and the Zacks Rank, a stock rating systemwhose Strong Buy recommendations have generated an average annualreturn of over 27% since 1988.

Now, in Finding #1 Stocks, Matras shows you how toimplement the proven trading techniques used by Zacks—as wellas some of his personal favorites—in your own trading.Focusing on earnings estimates and stock analysis, this reliableresource skillfully details how to create your own stock-pickingscreens and trading strategies and how to test them to ensure theywork. Throughout the book, you'll be introduced to practical andactionable strategies that can help you identify stocks with thehighest probability of success, to maximize your returns andminimize your overall risk.

Along the way, you'll gain important insights on what you reallyneed to succeed, including:

  • Identifying what kind of trader you are or want to be

  • Understanding the basic trading styles—momentum,aggressive growth, value, and growth and income—and figuringout which is the best fit for you

  • Creating customized strategies that combine elements of theZacks approach with other types of fundamental and technicaldata

  • Managing your risk and paying attention to your portfolio

  • And much more

Written with savvy traders and investors in mind, Finding #1Stocks will put you in a better position to excel in today'sdynamic markets.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Finding #1 STOCKS

"You are only as good as the stocks you trade. You can be thebest professional trader in the world, but if you are in the wrongstocks, you will not make money. Here, Kevin Matras helps you finda system for finding the best stocks for you to improve yourtrading game."—MIKE BELLAFIORE Cofounder of SMB Capital andauthor of One Good Trade

"After thirty-seven years in the technical analysis world, Ihave read almost every book on the subject of investing. Many aregreat, some are horrible, and most fall in the category of 'it hadsome good points, but probably not a full book's worth.' I foundMatras' book to be exceptional in its thoroughness of process whileoffering all investors a methodology based upon sound principlesand reason. This is a book every investor should read. The chapterdevoted to classical chart patterns was worth the cost of the bookalone."—GREGORY L. MORRIS Chairman, Investment Committee, andChief Technical Analyst, Stadion Money Management, and author ofCandlestick Charting Explained and The Complete Guide to MarketBreadth Indicators

"As a devoted chartist, I confess I wasn't sure what I wouldthink of a book dedicated to fundamental analysis. Having readFinding #1 Stocks, though, I'm convinced of its value. Thisvolume takes topics that have every right to be complex and makesthem easy to use and understand. The Zacks name has been one of theconsistent brands in this industry for many years, and once you'vefinished reading Finding #1 Stocks, you'll understand whatmakes the Zacks Ranking system tick and how it can make a bigdifference in your trading."—TIM KNIGHTauthor of ChartYour Way to Profits and founder of Prophet FinancialSystems

"I've successfully used Zacks for years as a stock screeningtool. Finding #1 Stocks is a terrific explanation of how theZacks Ranking system works and how it can be used by everydayinvestors to outperform the market. Even if you don't use Zacks,the book provides an easy-to-understand, step-by-step method foridentifying and investing in high-potential stocks. This is agreat, commonsense guide for everyday investors."—JEFFHIRSCHEditor and President, Stock Trader's Almanac

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Customer Reviews

I must have read the book at least 5 or six times over the last few weeks.
I was also very surprised that Zacks has a web site forum based only on Research Wizard questions, you can exchange screens, ideas, thoughts.
I found the book filled with great info, thought provoking and fascinating.
Phil Roethle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Turner on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The sales pitch in this book borders on nauseating. I get that lots of authors do this with stock / investing books and i have somewhat come to expect it, but this book just takes it to an entirely new level.

You cannot run ONE SINGLE SCREEN in this book without a subscription to Zack's Premium service, which as you guessed, costs $$$. Every single screen requires the Zack's Rank, which is proprietary and non-existent outside of their paid service.

In order to actually backtest anything, you also need Zack's Research Wizard, another service -- this one around $1,000/yr.

And on the subject of backtesting, let's talk about offensive. Practically every one of these screens comes with backtesting results, and you know what the results are? The results are that the screens in this book are generating returns of upwards of 80,000% in some cases. Yes you heard me right -- EIGHTY THOUSAND PERCENT. If this isnt a cheap trick to lure in the fresh meat to buy these obnoxious services then I don't know what is. Yea, sure, there are the obligatory disclaimers like "These tests do not take into account slippage and other factors, so your results may differ significantly." Oh wow, ya think? This is unacceptable and sleazy at best, offensive at worst, and it is a grotesque illustration of luring people in on false hopes. Advice to the author - instead of saying in metaphorical fine print "This test was completely and utterly useless", here's a crazy idea. -- MAKE A TEST THAT ISNT USELESS. Whatever you need to "account for", account for it.

To top it all off, I even question the legitimacy of these reviews since the very first 5 star review appeared on exactly the date of publishing and is not a verified Amazon purchase.

This book is broken.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Liberty4all VINE VOICE on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having recently reviewed a book on investing anomalies by Mitch Zacks and given it four stars for its honest and realistic view of harnessing anomalies for stock portfolios, its ironic that I have to give two stars to this book by another Zacks employee.

One has to keep in mind while reading this that it is first and foremost a marketing tool for Zacks' services. In order to entice someone to try the services the author would likely present some wildly profitable backtested screens to seduce you into trying their services and that's exactly what happens here. Some of the screens claim to achieve compounded results of nearly 70% per annum over a ten year period! Of course in real-life this is completely unachievable. The reason I say they are unachievable is because many of them involve buying and selling a new list of stocks every week. The costs of commissions and far more crucially, the bid/ask spread will eat into the actual results so severely that I wouldn't be shocked if the total anomaly benefit is wiped out by the total trading costs.

What prevented me from giving it just one star is the fact that the author often reminds the reader that these results don't take commissions, slippage and bid/ask spreads into account. However and crucially, nowhere in the book does the author even attempt to give the reader any idea of how much these factors will detract from performance. I have no doubt that the author has a fairly good idea of what these figures are, but if he presented them, the magic trick would be revealed for what it is; sleight of hand.

Do we have any actual portfolio(s) we can examine to see how the Zacks screens perform in real life? Not exactly, but Zacks does manage a few mutual funds.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RustyCas on February 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I received a free copy of this book with a low-cost trial of Zacks Ultimate service. I hadn't read it until I realized that my "stock picking" was getting me nowhere faster that I wanted to go. I did eventually subscribe to Zacks Premium service and they offered me a free trial of the Research Wizard. So I started reading this book which basically explains the screens that Zacks has built. Yes, it is geared toward their service. But it also contains a wealth of information about what makes a stock a "good stock" which to me means one that goes up in value while I own it. You owe it to yourself to read the book. I can attest that the return numbers that the author uses are valid based on the backtesting I've done using the same screens.

For further info and some detailed examples of the effects of "trading costs", see my comments in the review titled "Offensive" by Zachary Turner.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MARC TALBERT on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I felt the book did a great job on all levels. When I called Zacks, I spoke to someone at who offered me a 2 week trial period, which I took. After sending numerous emails to the Research Wizard department regarding questions on the product they got back to me within hours. I then bought the program, and have been happy ever since. The program IS NOT only for screening, it is in my opinion the most powerful program when it comes to research. I have used other programs and the Research Wizard is on different level. I was also very surprised that Zacks has a web site forum based only on Research Wizard questions, you can exchange screens, ideas, thoughts.

Kevin Matras did a great job explaining why and how certain screens work.

I highly recommend this book as well as the Research Wizard.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Kevin Matras, Vice President at Zacks Investment Research, is the fundamental stock screening and technical chart patterns expert. He heads the Research Wizard Division at Zacks, which focuses on stock screening and backtesting. Matras also runs the Chart Patterns Trader service, dedicated to chart pattern analysis, and the Options Trader, which applies his stock-picking techniques with winning options strategies. He has been on television and quoted in magazines, and his stock-picking articles can be found on various financial sites. Matras can also be seen weekly on Zacks Roundtable Review videos along with his popular weekly video segments of Screen of the Week and Know Your Options on