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on January 18, 2012
I have never written a book review before, but I felt compelled to finally write a review. I bought this book based on the author's apparently positive reputation and the 30+ Five-Star reviews the book received. I suspect this is a new book and those Five-Star reviews are all from the author's personal friends! This book is disappointing: it is 95% filler and meaningless words. For example: what does several pages on the history of cancer have to do with picking stocks!?

Here, let me summarize the most important things for you: use stock screeners (but, she doesn't tell you which ones) to find stocks with LOW Price/Book ratios (Less than 1) and LOW Price/Sales ratios (even those less than 0.5)...that also have HIGH Revenue and Earnings/Share Growth Rates, Returns on Equities (ROE), etc.

Finally, the author's "magic" website that she gives you access too is: [...] Check it out for yourself. Do you see anything particularly innovative on this website? I don't. Of course, you will have to enter your personal information to access her truly "brilliant" advice so she can, no doubt, continue to spam you with more advertising on something else she wants to sell you.

There...Done. I just saved your $15.00 Your welcome.
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on March 11, 2012
The main point of the book is that it is much easier for a stock to go from 5 to 7, then from 50 to 70. This is due to lack of institutional ownership, and to market inefficiency at low prices.

The book is for beginners, and mentions a lot of things that experienced investors know.

1. It goes over using value line, standard and poors, and yahoo finance to do research.
2. It tells you to look at insider trading activity.
3. It introduces you to free stock screeners.
4. It has you look at what famous investors own the stock.
5. It has you look at charts.

The best part of the book for me was that it taught me that refiners, and investment companies can get very cheap in a bad economy, and that if you buy them then, you can make huge profits.

The worst part of the book for me, was recommending buying small biotechs. I don't believe the average investor would have any success picking which biotech will succeed, and which will fail. Also, she mentions reading the 10ks, and financial statements, but does not tell you how to do it.

I was personally, very offended by all the reviews I believe to be false. Granted, many people, have one or two friends, write a positive review, but in this case there were 30. I can tell if a review is fake, if it is glowing, and more to the point, if that is the only review the author has ever written. I am surprised that someone at Hilary's level, i.e. a hedge fund manager, a stock analyst, and a commentator on nightly business report, would sink to the level of having 30 friends write in fake reviews.

(I want to update this review by adding one thing. As someone who has been an investor for almost 2 decades now, and have read hundreds of books on investing (someone of them textbooks in finance), there is no easy way to make a killing in the market. I beat the market by maybe 3 points a year on average, and that is after reading hundreds of books on investing, and taking a class on a market beating strategy from someone who I respect a lot. Hillary herself knows that reading this book will not allow you to make a killing.) The best book for people learning about the market is the "The four pillars of investing" by William Bernstein
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on December 18, 2012
Very little substance. Chapter after chapter of hot air. Website is worthless. Kramer just wants to make money and have on her resume that she published a book.
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on February 19, 2012
Lacking somewhat on the details but still informative. This should be offered as a paperback for much less money. Screening ideas are helpful.
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on March 26, 2014
Hilary Kramer, editor of two investment letters and previous hedge fund manager and equity analyst at Morgan Stanley and Lehman here shares her hard earned insights from 25 years of small cap investing. Her starting point is that of a contrarian searching for beaten down and unloved stocks that have potential for spectacular returns to glory. The limited market value of smaller stocks gives significant stock market profits if large institutions start to buy the shares. After an introduction Kramer kicks off with three chapters covering the three categories of small cap stocks she favors. They are the fallen angels, the undiscovered growth companies and companies in the bargain bin. They all have in common that they are low priced, undervalued and have catalysts that give them potential for higher stock prices.

Fallen angels are previously well-regarded companies that have fallen from grace and have seen tumbling share prices as a result. Prospects could for example be found among the stocks with the largest declines over a period of time. When a list of prospects has been identified the real work starts. According to the author there are two questions to be asked: "what went wrong?" and "can it be fixed?". Without knowing the answers there is no way of distinguishing the potential comeback kid from the structurally impaired that should be avoided at all costs. Kramer correctly warns that the list will turn out "more demons than angels" - so be very picky. Undiscovered growth stocks are longer-term holdings where you just make money by sitting still as long as the company is doing structurally fine. These are not the highflying darling stocks of Wall Street. Instead look for stocks in mundane and boring below-the-radar-sectors that have produced high and stable sales and profit growth over the previous economic cycle. Kramer puts her growth threshold to 15 percent CAGR and also requires a debt-to-equity ratio of 50 percent. Finally the author searches for treasures in the bargain bin by looking for companies that combine a price-to-tangible book below one, a minimum debt-to-equity ratio of 30 percent, a share price below USD 10 and that is profitable. The purpose is to find companies that have net assets that are undervalued by the stock market. Often opportunities will present themselves when stocks in cyclical companies get sold down during business cycle downturns. The net asset value is only a safety backstop for the stock if those assets can be realized at full value should worst come to worst. The investor thus needs to take a critical look at the probable value of the assets should they be sold.

After a chapter on international investing and one on biotechnology companies (with a more general point of always taking into consideration if the company have the prospects of being bought up), Kramer finishes off with further thoughts on analysis of small cap stocks. To find the `breakout' stocks she's searching for one has to look for signs of improvement. It's change in company fundamentals, not absolute levels, which will drive positive or negative change in stock prices. As a general rule Kramer however wants her companies to be profitable and to have low debt levels to provide security should the investment backfire. She also wants to understand reinvestment needs and the operating leverage of companies as measured by the proportion of fixed and variable costs. Further she looks for accounting red flags and management insider trading to gain insights. The selling process is trickiest when it comes to loosing positions. The question deciding the course of action is "are you wrong or just early?", i.e. have you missed a negative factor in the analysis, have things changed to the worse and or is fundamentals improving and the case is thus still intact?

This book gives solid advice and it does its job for the novice, but there is very little detail. As a matter of fact this review probably covers most of the book's content.

This is a review by investingbythebooks.com
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on December 5, 2012
If you have any time of experience with the stock market, then you are beyond this book.
This is for someone who has no clue about the markets whatsoever.
If you buy the book based on the reviews, then go back and read the reviews, it's obvious the reviews are fake.
I was offended.
So I googled the author.
I came up with some of her articles praising the country of azerbaijan.
I did some more research....turns out azerbaijan is an islamic dictatorship swimming in oil money and known to spend $$ lavishly for positive PR.
I have a feeling I've been duped by an author with no ethics.
Disappointed.
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on February 18, 2015
Yea, do not waste your time. It is a story telling book. Praises herself, so you will go to her website which sucks. Then it sends you to another site which you have to pay. If you like stories well the book is great but if you want to learn than not a great book.
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on October 15, 2014
I bought "Big Profits from Small Stocks" in September. When I purchased the book the advertisement said I would have access to their website with a lot of information on it. But, whenever I went to their website I was presented with ads for the book I just bought and prompted to create a login. When I entered my email I was simply taken back to the opening page. I tried to contact the company on their Facebook page on September 22 advising them of my problem. To this date I have received no responses what so ever. So, I have to say that customer seervice is nonexistant.
As far as the book itself goes, it would be an interesting read for a total beginer to investing. But for anyone with any experience at all it is not at all helpful. It is almost like a comeon for her stock advisory services. In the book she often makes references to how she will explain the details of a pparticular strategy later, but later never comes. My recommendation is to keep looking for something else and pass this book up.
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on June 9, 2013
Ok, great book to check out of the library and read in a night or two (144 small size pages) . Actually, all the "Little book" series are pretty great to check out of the library and read. "The Little Book of Big Profits from Small Stacks" differs as it focuses on picking undervalued individual stocks under $10 and essentially acts as an ad for the author's website. The ideas are pretty straight forward and well known. Some of the basic concepts are: buy before the big institutions and brokerage houses do and sell when all are piling into the stock, look for companies that have fallen from grace and are posed for a rebound and look for undiscovered companies that are going to break out. The continual reminder is to do your due diligence and to look more towards book value, debt and management plan rather then just a company's P/E . This is a book for someone with a brokerage account who likes to pick individual stocks not for someone who is a day trader of likes to simply put money in mutual funds. The stories are good and the book worth buying if you are collecting the "little Book" series. I felt that it was worth the time and noticed and recognized that I already use and have used some of the concepts and strategies in my Scottrade brokerage account.
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on June 30, 2015
The book is easy to read, and offers a different take from every other pundit or analyst out there. Kramer breaks down some interesting and simple strategies to identify stocks, but I don't think that very many private investors will benefit from them.

Why not?

Mainly because unless one is already wealthy, few would have the patience or disposable finances to potentially profit from such trades. Most of the actual examples in the book are along the lines of "I bought this stock in 2002, and by 2010 it had gained 500%". It's easy in retrospect to tout one's own successes, but I don't recall reading about any of her failed or flatlined investments. How many would be willing to sink enough into a stock to realize more than a few hundred or thousand dollars in profit after so many years... and only IF all went exactly to plan?

Then there's the issue of having the means to identify potentially profitable bargain stocks. For example, in the chapter "Bargain Bin Breakout Stocks", she defines Book Value, and recommends searching for stocks with a Price to Book Value ratio of less than one. I have dabbled with many online stock screeners, and not a single free screener offers Book Value in their search criteria. Also, she advises asking your "contacts"... business partners, financial columnists, investing firm executives... what they think about a particular stock. I imagine that anyone reading this book doesn't have those kind of resources on speed dial.
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