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on April 8, 2013
book outlined some good resources for generating ideas. It probably could've been a white paper (ie could have been even more concise and get the same effect). I would recommend it, especially to a newer investor or a seasoned one looking for a reset
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on February 11, 2012
I like the fact that Chris Mayer is able to see the forest for the trees in a world of terrible investment advice ruled by the minute by minute ticker on CNBC. If you're a fan of all the technical analysis, 50 DMA, golden cross, double bottom, breakout and breakdown, you're probably too far gone to understand how to invest without making your broker rich on commissions.

Buy value for the long term. Mayer won't invest in dividend paying stocks unless it's a bonus. I say apply his rules to dividend paying stocks and you'll be better off.

If you enjoy this book, you may want to try his newsletter. I did it for a year and it's one of the more affordable ones out there. Take it for what it is, a monthly essay to follow up on this book. I just got sick of Agora trying to sell me their $1,000 a year newsletters in every email (and they send around 4 a week.) Also, his portfolio consists of around 25 stocks (good luck maintaining that in real life) with most stocks so far above the buy price, they are not an option to even buy. That is how these guys come out looking like geniuses; they get lucky on a good buy price. If it goes bad, sell it and it won't count against the 'current portfolio' return. Most newsletters are just a ferris wheel of buys and sells with no way to authenticate the true return so you're forced to limit your review to only the current holdings. Oh, but if they do sell a big winner for 40%, they'll never let you hear the end of it.

My favorite caveat in the Agora newsletters is something like, "Authors are not allowed to hold any recommendations in their accounts." In other words, they don't eat their own cooking.

Anyway, I just did a major cleanout of old books and did hold on to this one so there is some value in it. Read it if you want to learn to buy stocks from a more fundamental and long term standpoint. (And LT means years, not months.)
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on September 11, 2010
An excellent explanation on what kinds of stocks to choose and how to find them. He gives a very definitive explanation and holds back no secrets.
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on August 14, 2009
The author states that to be a dealmaker means to think of stocks as whole companies and as things with real assets and cash flows that exist in the real world. Many times stock valuations do not reflect what private buyers would pay for the entire companies based on their assets. The differences in prices between public and private markets create opportunities for great returns.

Once the readers are aware that these types of opportunities exist, the author shows readers where to hunt for them. The first place to look is to observe what the great money managers are buying. Other hunting grounds are screens for net tangible asset values and special situations such as spin-offs. He even includes Greenblatt's "Magic Formula," which is simply a screen of companies with low valuation and high growth rates. This book is full of resources and ideas for investors.

- 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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on January 2, 2009
I enjoyed Mr. Mayer's insight and philosophies in "Invest Like A Deal Maker". Clearly Mr. Mayer's financial history is top notch and he dole's out numerous references for the avid financial historian. I am a firm believer that for as long as money has been around that smart investing hasn't really changed. Yet there are always the a latest investing trends.

It helps me to think of investing like fashion. New fashions are just that, a flash in the pan. You buy into the trend but years later the clothes are in the back of closet and you never wear them again. Will you be wearing Crocs a decade from now? Doubt it. Classics, like black leather coats, solid jeans, khakis, etc never go out of style and are worth the investment.

Mr. Mayer explains his "C.O.D.E." which is firmly rooted in basic, intelligent principles and is the black leather jacket of approaching investments. Success takes discipline and time.
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on October 25, 2008
I think it was in the Money Game that I read that everything important about money and markets has already been written (many years ago.) So I did not expect to pick up anything new, despite the seductive title.

Invest Like a Deal Maker, has managed to put together some timeless concepts in a new way. And in doing so gives us an intersting, entertaining and easily readable reminder of basics and more advanced ideas of value investing (as espoused by Graham, Buffet, Munger and others.) As well as the techniques of many less well known masters of the Game.

What I found most useful in this book were the 8 hunting grounds where Chris (the author) finds new original stock ideas. I would guess his unique contribution (I haven't seen this list anywhere else.)

[...]
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on September 1, 2008
I can't recommend this book as a standalone contribution to the how-to world of personal investing. The title is misleading, and the book itself...well, it isn't really a book. It's more like a lengthy newsletter followed by a summary of a bunch of other books and newsletters.

Here's what you get in the 200 pages...

1. The simple notion that a 'Dealmaker' doesn't think in terms of earnings, as earnings are regularly massaged and manipulated to satisfy Wall Street analysts. Instead, look at enteprise value, cash, and assets that are actually worth something and may be understated on the balance sheet (i.e. land). This is essentially the only real investment discussion in the book.

2. Constant plugging for the author's Capital & Crisis newsletter.

3. Meandering summaries of different fund managers' philosophy styles, and constant plugs for their newsletters, books, memoirs, etc...

The positive of this book is that it essentially lists many different books and styles to explore, briefly summarized here. It is a good jumping-off point for examining other literature. The summaries though are highly superficial. Things like 'Joe Blow beat the S&P500 10 years in a row by not following the herd. He explains this in his book called...'

A cynic would say that the general summary of this book is "Investing is hard, here are some investing generalities, you probably won't feel comfortable investing with these generalities, so invest in my newsletter and I'll add context to the generalities".

I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt though for compiling summaries of many different books that you may not have heard about, and may interest you.
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on July 9, 2008
Having been reading Chris Mayer's articles (in which he recognised the housing bubble already in 2003) and his investment newsletters, I was really happy when he finally published a book about investing.

If you will read only one book about investing I wouldn't recommend this one because this one is simultaneously something more and something less than an ordinary investing guide.

ILDM is a book about investors own attitude towards stock investing and the whole wealth creation process and how you should think the whole philosophy of investing (and what great names have thought about it). It is also about how to avoid making the usual mistakes in investing. I had a little Deja Vu feeling having already read Mark Tier's book "Winning Investment Habits of Warren Buffett and George Soros", which I recommend warmly.

This book is not a "How to become a millionaire"- style book about the physical process of picking stocks. It is not a book about cyclical analysis either (as an co-advocate of the Austrian School I was a little disappointed). And there is actually hardly any mention about competing asset classes such as bonds, commodities or gold.

Fun to read although occasionally too anecdotical, and maybe should have needed more graphical illustrations and some examples on how to use for example EBITDA/EV - model.

Perhaps not a classic like "Intelligent Investor" (Graham) or "Margin of Safety" (Klarman), but absolutely worth of reading if you already know something about the subject.
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on May 30, 2008
Started off really well and I though I was in for a treat! The author makes a lot of sense in the first hundred pages by challenging the reader to look past the usual 'value' rations such as P/E and to focus on real tangible value and assets.

The next half of the book read more like a book review where his favourates were glorified.

Wished it was stronger - you are better of just reading the first half.
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on May 27, 2008
I'm about a third of the way through....and am taking a break. I don't know very much about the details of stocks, but bought the book to become better educated and a better investor. I'm in what the author calls "the hardest chapter to get through"...and it is. A lot of technical info that a sample balance sheet or income statement would make a lot easier to understand. Something to refer to so you could see what the heck he's talking about would be nice. Like I said I am a novice when it comes to evaluating the value of investors...I'm sure someone with more experience would understand it better.
I'll pick it up again...maybe it will come around and be easier to understand.
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