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Jackass Investing: Don't do it. Profit from it. Paperback – May 20, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


There aren't too many books that are able to both introduce ground-breaking concepts, yet also provide specific strategies to use to exploit those concepts. Jackass Investing is one book that does both. Read this book. --Futures Magazine

I read the entire book on a recent flight. Once I started I couldn't stop. It is very well written. The author clearly shows he knows what he's talking about and expresses his wisdom concisely. Readers will find Dever's investment principles practical and compelling. I highly recommend it to both new and experienced investors. --NIBA Journal

From the Author

The Writing of Jackass Investing

The year was 1999. Everyone "knew" that the sure path to financial independence was to simply buy stocks and hold on for the long run; that a diversified portfolio was one that held a variety of stocks, such as large caps, small caps, and maybe even a few from other countries; that government regulations ensured a safe investing environment; and that commodities and futures trading were a sure path to reduced wealth. I vehemently disagreed and viewed these supposed "truths" to be, in actuality, costly myths. It was in that environment that I resolved to write Jackass Investing.

Over the following decade I cataloged dozens of investment myths, and over the years researched the basis for each one. In this book I condense that list to 20 of the most pervasive. My purpose is not just to expose each myth, but to show people how they can profit by exploiting the myths. This required an extensive amount of research, both to show why each myth is just that - a myth - and not a fact, and also to create the investment approach that you, the reader, could use to profit from the behavior of those people who believed in - and invested pursuant to - each myth.

As a result, Jackass Investing is really two books in one. The first is the print (and electronic) book. It contains 300 pages of research and narrative designed to expose each myth. I've written this book to be entertaining as well as informative, and incorporate numerous comparisons between the myths and popular culture (one of my favorites, and most valuable, is the comparison between George Costanza on Seinfeld and the behavior of most so-called "investors"). The second part is the online "Action Section". It is here that I reveal specific "Trading Strategies" that you can employ to create a "Free Lunch" portfolio. A Free Lunch portfolio produces both greater returns and lower risk than the "conventional" portfolio that is advocated by the vast majority of financial professionals and publications.

My goal, as I state in the Introduction to the book, is "to put to rest the investment paradigm that has been overpreached and accepted without hesitation, despite its obvious flaws, for far too long" and to help my readers "transform their lives and gain what every adult in the modern world dreams of and rarely achieves ... financial security."

Best wishes,
Mike Dever
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Ignite LLC (May 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983504016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983504016
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Dever, first and foremost, is a trader and investor. He has been on the front line of investment innovation and trading for more than 30 years. His firm, Brandywine Asset Management, has produced top-ranked returns for its clients that are uncorrelated to all conventional investment benchmarks. Mr. Dever's out-of-the-box thinking, innovative investment philosophy and investment success have made him a featured subject of three books, "Bulls, Bears and Millionaires," "Market Beaters" and "The Investor's Guide to Hedge Funds."

With the release of "Jackass Investing" (also released under the title "Exploiting the Myths"), he is now a published author. Mr. Dever was driven to write "Jackass Investing" in 1999, after seeing the fever instilled in people at the peak of that great U.S. stock market bubble. But writing the book took a back seat until the financial crisis of 2008 demanded its completion.

Today, Mr. Dever devotes his time to running Brandywine Asset Management, which follows Mr. Dever's Return Driver based methodology to trade broadly diversified portfolios in the global currency, interest rate, stock index, metals, energy and agricultural markets.

Mr. Dever lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife Kim. They have three sons; Mitchell, Matthew and Charley. He has a bachelor degree in business from West Chester University (1981) and obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 1985.

More information can be found at www.brandywine.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Jackass Investing" came to my attention through a recommendation by the author, Michael Dever. Normally, such a title would cause me to pass over the book. After reading many of the above reviews (highly recommended) I decided to buy and read the book. It is sufficiently challenging that it merits not only reading, but additional study. I applaud the book (and author) in that it challenges the reader to rethink many investing truisms.

When reading any type of investment book I want to come away with some suggestions I can put to use. Dever meets this standard with his "Composition of the Free Lunch Portfolio" at the end of the book. However, there are several hurdles when it comes to implementing the "Free Lunch" strategy, and prior reviewers failed to point out what I see are inherent problems for the small investor.

Beginning on page 263, where the example portfolio begins, we see two trading strategies crop up. They are: Piotroski Trading Strategy and CANSLIM Trading Strategy. To pull off these strategies, one needs access to a database similar to one provided by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). "Stock Investor Pro" is the database and the cost is $199 per year for AAII members. Write that down as one of the "Free Lunch" costs.

A little further down the page are two more trading strategies, the Market Trading and Sector Trading Strategies. These receive additional explanation on Dever's web site. One begins to pick up clues that "Free Lunch" is not a simple strategy. But wait, there are higher hurdles to jump.

Within the "Free Lunch" portfolio are two funds that will slow down the small investor. Three percent of the portfolio is recommended to be held in Frontier Markets using FRNMX.
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Format: Paperback
In this informative, entertaining, and quick read, the author - Mike Dever, Founder, CEO & Director of Research of Brandywine Asset Management examines the misconceptions or "myths" of current investment theory and replaces it with what he describes as a "return driver" based methodology that results in both greater returns and lower risk.

I read the entire book on a recent flight from San Diego to Chicago to attend a business meeting. I wasn't planning on finishing it in one sitting but once I started I couldn't put it down. It was well written, concise, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A few weeks later I had the book with me again on a flight back from vacationing in Colorado. A fellow passenger noticed the provocative title and commented, "Jackass investing? All investing is jackass investing...nobody makes money investing." If this passenger had the benefit of knowledge contained in this book I believe he would come away with a different point of view and perhaps avoid creating what Dever calls a "poor-folio" - a poorly constructed portfolio, which is the main goal of the book.

Most investors, Dever believes, make decisions based not on rational facts but on myths and emotions. He exposes the truth behind those myths and provides a rational alternative to the conventional wisdom that permeates the financial industry.

The book is divided into 20 chapters in which Dever explores and debunks 20 different commonplace investment myths and their attendant unnecessary risks. The author's definition of 'jackass investing' is taking these unnecessary financial risks. He explains each myth by using numerous, studies, relevant facts, simple graphics, anecdotes, and great analogies.
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2 Comments 52 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Michael Dever has hit so many nails on the head in this valuable and very readable JACKASS INVESTING that it will be snatched up by people who manage their own money with or without advisors. He offers common errors in investment strategies that are myths (20 of them to be precise) including such controversial topics such as 'Buy Low, Sell High', 'Stocks Provide an Intrinsic Return', 'Government Regulations Protect Investors', 'Commodity Trading is Risky', ''Trading is Gambling - Investing is safer', and so on - and for the informed reader this may sound like a list of Rule to Follow: wrong!

What Dever does - and this is where the majority of readers will find much needed enlightenment - is explain the process expressed in his 'myths' and in doing so he has provided one of the best Primers for those of us who know little and understand less about how the investment market/business operates. The terms he uses he explains in simple language, terms that daily become more prevalent in the media with the money market crisis bleeding to death globally. Probably several readings of this book will be necessary to fully take advantage form his sage advice. Not that it is a difficult read - quite the contrary: his verbiage is unfettered and is accompanied by helpful quotes, examples, graphs, and researched elements that practically assure that even those of us who have always considered the investment market foreign language ridden territory understood only by brokers and counselors will find light at the end of this once-threatening tunnel.
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