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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating...
I have never read a stock market investment advice book like this one! Other books I've read talk about how to invest, strategies, techniques, and guidelines, but Full of Bull discloses the Wall Street actions that are so damaging to individual investing. I always thought I could take my broker's advice and act on it. Now, after reading Full of Bull, I understand the...
Published on January 14, 2008 by Paulina

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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointed
Having a good bit of investing experience, I went into this book very excited....hoping to gain a lot of good insight from the well-known analyst Stephen McClellan. After finishing the book, I felt a bit cheated! "Full of Bull" is broken down into 7 chapters that briefly touch on the secrets and misleading Wall Street practices, company evaluation, and how Street...
Published on January 2, 2008 by Long Hitter


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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointed, January 2, 2008
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
Having a good bit of investing experience, I went into this book very excited....hoping to gain a lot of good insight from the well-known analyst Stephen McClellan. After finishing the book, I felt a bit cheated! "Full of Bull" is broken down into 7 chapters that briefly touch on the secrets and misleading Wall Street practices, company evaluation, and how Street analysts really operate. To me, the book seems to lack focus as the author dances between themes....none of which are covered sufficiently. The only chapter of the book that I found to be really interesting was chapter 3 which is titled, "Strategies in Quest of the Ideal Investment". In chapter 3, McClellan does highlight a number of areas to focus on when evaluating a company as well as areas that should set off alarms. This section is a breeze to read and is quite interesting but gives very little application. Chapter 5, titled "Executive Traits Are a Revealing Investment Gauge", seems a little superficial to me. There are some valid points that the author makes (executives who act sleazy, are womanizers, drink too much should be making you wonder whether or not you want to invest your money in that company) but he goes a little too far by implying that executives who have a window in their office, dress in fancy clothes or are coiffed a little too nicely cannot be trusted and you should look out!! I get the point he is making that execs need to focus on what's important to the company....but it's a pretty far reach. The rest of the book seems to throw in little tidbits on the life of Stephen McClellan and his list of accolades in a kind of "McClellan is too cool for school" approach. There is no real discussion of how to make money in the market as the title claims.

If you are new to investing, this book definitely is NOT for you. It is rife with acronyms and confusing terms that will most definitely require you to consult the glossary every few pages. I was fortunate enough to begin reading the book with a pretty good amount of experience in investing so it didn't slow me up very much. Despite the criticism I have written above, I have to say that the book was an informative albeit cocky depiction of one analyst's experience of how the market really works. He does tell a lot about how the Street operates and how it is geared more toward big companies than the individual investor. It is ironic that "Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market" does not deliver what is promised in the title. If this book were renamed, "Full of Bull: What Wall Street Really Does" it would be perfect.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating..., January 14, 2008
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
I have never read a stock market investment advice book like this one! Other books I've read talk about how to invest, strategies, techniques, and guidelines, but Full of Bull discloses the Wall Street actions that are so damaging to individual investing. I always thought I could take my broker's advice and act on it. Now, after reading Full of Bull, I understand the Wall Street biases and untrustworthy recommendations. Full of Bull helped me understand these Wall Street ways so I will no longer be so naively trusting of the advice I get from Wall Street. This book also showed me some excellent investment strategies that are different from what I have heard before--such as only own a few stocks, and hold stocks that pay dividends. There is an incredible amount of good advice in this short AND easy to read book. I highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Inside Scoop!, June 28, 2008
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
Brokerages did not even track the accuracy of their analysts' opinions until recently. A 2007 survey found stock-picking 10th (out of 12) in priority of analyst attributes - ranked by their employers. Not surprisingly, their track-record for accuracy is often atrocious.

Problems begin with the fact that rating definitions differ between firms, and are usually overstated (in code) to pacify affected executives (eg. "Hold" = negative). Upgrades are usually late, rarely value-oriented, and usually momentum-driven. Unclear, but suspected issues (eg. lack of confidence in management's estimates, concern about untrustworthy management) are not put into writing, and may only show up in an analyst's body language or tone of voice.

Analyst coverage overemphasizes large firms (obviously greater interest in them), is biased towards the short-term (6 months, or less), misses Titan shifts (eg. moving from film to digital), reaches individual investors late (vs. media, and institutions).

Analysts generally ignore economists' projections - they're changed too often (and wrong). Analysts are reticent to downgrade a stock, fearing institutional holder retaliation via commission allocations.

Since 2000, the number of analysts has declined about 40%, and is en route to falling another 30% by 2008.

Best investments are those that are safe (low multiples, healthy balance sheet, not falling), small-cap, innovators, viewed for the long-term, and in a rising industry. Avoid IPOs (only dogs are offered to the little people), limit the number of holdings, firms with executives that blame external factors for their firm's problems, and those with flashy personal style.

"Full of Bull" does not address the question of the relative importance of timing vs. stock selection. In today's obvious down market (and prior boom markets), timing seems much more important.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Investing is completely different from the business of investing, August 14, 2009
By 
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
Did you know that investing is completely different from the business of investing? You can be the smartest person in the world, but unless you understand how Wall Street works, you are out of luck. This book teaches readers the business of investing. The author says that brokerage firms focus first and foremost on themselves. Next, they care about institutional clients such as mutual funds and hedge funds. Individual investors are not that important to them.

Wall Street analysts, who work for the brokerage firms, analyze and write reports about specific companies. These reports are first sold to institutional clients, and later, to individual investors. Some might think that analysts are great at picking stocks since they know so much about particular companies. But picking stocks is not what they get paid for. They are paid to follow a certain number of stocks regardless of whether they are good companies or not. Out of the companies that they follow, they must recommend something, even if there are better companies outside of the analysts' sectors.

If you do not understand certain conflicts of interest that different players on Wall Street have toward their clients and the general public, you must read this book. You will never view Wall Street the same way again.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars waiting for the juicy tidbits, November 6, 2007
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
I HAVE ONLY GOTTON HALFWAY THROUGH AND AM STIL WAITING FOR THE NEW , USEFUL INSIGHT I CAN EMPLOY WHEN MAKING A NEW AND IMPROVED INVESTMENT DECISION. A GREAT MANY PARAGRAPHS ARE DEVOTED TO THE DESCRIPTION OF THE RARIFIED LFE OF A WALL ST. INSIDER. THE REST IS REPETATIVE AND CERTAINLY NOT NEW. I HAVE NO DOUBTS THAT MR. MCCLELLAN DESERVES A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT FOR HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BUT SO FAR...THIS BOOK LEAVES ME FEELING DISAPPOINTED AND UNENLIGHTENED. ILL REPORT BACK WHEN IVE REACHED THE END.
Well, finished the book...nothing really helpful for me. Yes, the book jacket is outstanding but the entire content could be reduced to ; dont believe the upgrades/downgrades. I really find his attitude telling in the Afterword, where he quotes a market observer, "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement". He then adds his own words stating that bad judgement is really a polite term for stupidity. I was stupid to read this WHOLE BOOK!..but I was hoping to learn what Wall Street does to make money.I like simple staightforward lessons, and there a few , if any in "Full of Bull".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an honest voice from Wall Street, March 25, 2008
By 
Jason Wall (Sacramento, Ca) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
I heard about 'Full of Bull' while listening to Money Talk with Bob Brinker. I trust Brinker, so when he recommended the book and did an interview with the author, it got my attention. I never really understood how detrimental how some of Wall Street's actions can be to my personal investing. This book describes these practices and has helped me learn how to avoid taking what brokerage firms say literally. I never knew why Wall Street analysts are such bad stock pickers, or that emphasis lists are useless, or that stock price targets are just a guess. These guys are just trying to keep the big institutional investors happy. The stories the author tells are very candid and amusing. What I really liked was that after identifing all the land mines, the author gives some really solid, conservative investment advice. Own only a few stocks, don't diversify, no turnarounds or IPOs, and always look for dividends. The most important advice pertains to protection of capital. No one else really talks about this in detail. I wish the book was longer, had a few charts and tables, and that I had discovered it sooner. This is one of the most intriguing, informative books on the stock market.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and wise, December 11, 2007
By 
San Francisco Palette (San Francsico, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
Full of Bull is a bold, forthright and insightful tool for the average investor. I was particularly impressed by the author's commonsense approach to investing: preserve your capital above all else, and learn how to be a long-term "investor", rather than a "trader" (looking for a quick windfall that is usually highly risky). The book's wisdom lies, I think, in its emphasis on careful, thoughtful study and analysis of one's investments, with an eye on steady growth over the long-term.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique and Informative Investment Bible, November 11, 2007
By 
Chuck Childress (Buffalo Grove, IL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
This is one of the most unusual stock market books I have ever seen. I find I have highlighted things on almost every other page. It's amazing to learn all the Wall Street activities and recommendations that are averse to real investing. This is the first time I have come across such direct, clear, and revealing information about security analysts and research. It will change the way I deal with research reports, analyst opinions, company comments, and even what I read in magazines and newspapers. The author, after clarifying the "insider" practices that are surprisingly negative for investors, then lays out his own recommended investment strategies that are long term and conservative. Things like only own a small number of stocks and focus on dividend paying stocks. These alone are worth the price of the book. The book is packed with excellent guidance and not cluttered up with tables and charts. So it's a handy reference. The writing style is clipped and often sounds like a casual conversation. Sometimes I want to hear more about a topic but he quickly moves on to the next thing. I would love to have him give us more of a tell-all but maybe that would stray off the main topic. My friends who are investing in the stock market, like me, I know will want to read this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the world of a Security Analyst, July 17, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
Buy this book if you would like to take a look inside the world of investment banking and how security analysts really operate. After reading this book you will not take buy and sell recommendations as seriously. This book recommends that when a strong buy is reduced to a buy it is a warning to institutonal holders and it is a good time to sell, and when a buy is changed to a sell it is a good time to buy due to all the bad news being out.
The author tells about his daily experiences as a stock analyst, his schedule, amount of travel, and that only 20% of his time was spent in research, the majority of tim is spent keeping clients of the investment bank happy. You will learn all about the conflicts of interest that exist in ranking stocks and the politics involved. The author gives his opinions on how the industry should be cleaned up by making resarch separate from the bank and the analysts should be held accountible on how their recommendations perform. The author gives solid investment advice through out the book, but it is rather basic. I was a little disappointed in not getting the inside insight that I believed he may have.

Legendary investor Gerald Loeb on stock analysts:
"In a bull market,you don't need them, in bear market, you don't want them."
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars revealing, informative and fun, January 11, 2008
This review is from: Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market (Hardcover)
this book opened my eyes to the way wall street really works. very revealing and telling. it provides invaluable information as to how to decode street information and make informed investment decisions. you must read this book before investing or you are going to be misled. it's as simple as that. mcclellan's off-the-cuff writing style and smattering of personal anecdotes makes for an enjoyable read.
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