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One up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market Paperback – February 1, 1990

462 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

The authors argue that average investors can beat Wall Street professionals by using the information gleaned from everyday life. "Investors will be able to put the shrewd insights presented to good use," remarked PW. 200,000 first printing.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (February 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140127925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140127928
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

336 of 357 people found the following review helpful By Lance Mead on February 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I ever read on investing. My cousin, Paul, who was a broker at Merrill Lynch, recommended it to me. I followed Paul into the financial services industry, toiling 12 long years peddling stocks, bonds, mutual funds and insurance products. During my tenure as a Wall Street professional (I use that term very loosely), I must have read 200 different books on investing. Oddly enough, I have discarded many of those poorly written investor guides and still refer back to this classic book penned by Peter Lynch, mutual fund demigod, investment guru, stock-picking legend!
At the heart of Lynch's case is that each individual has enough inherent knowledge and experience to be a successful investor. He uses numerous analogies to show investors:
1. The power of common knowledge (take advantage of what you already know) 2. You don't need to be a Wall Street analyst to uncover great investment opportunities 3. You are not disadvantaged vs. large, institutional investors You don't have to accurately predict the stock market to make money in stocks 4. To keep an open mind to new ideas
From my years on Wall Street, I found many of his theories and ideas to be completely accurate. Many other books I have read focus on the inherent evils of the possessed financial consultant community. Yes, the industry has its problems. However, $8 stock trades are not the only ingredients in profitable investing. In fact, I don't recall him emphasizing the need for discount trades, a fact over-emphasized in almost every other book I have read (remember, I am no longer in the industry...I don't need to strike a case for broker commissions). Instead, he shows you what information to focus on and how to apply it.
Do yourself a favor: Buy this book. Read it twice. It is not outdated...
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129 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Mat R. Diehl on April 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are 3 books any person who is new to investing in the stock market MUST have. This book, Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor and Pat Dorsey's The 5 rules for successful stock investing. The insights these 3 books will give you are priceless and a MUST for anyone wanting to make money in the market. I am very happy to own all 3 and intend on passing them along to my son so he can learn how to best make his money work for him. Lynch goes through how to identify companies that may be of interest, then how to further analyze the prospects of making money by purchasing that company's stock, and then how to continue monitoring whether the stock is likely to head upward. Lynch places companies into 1 of 6 categories and gives you strategies for buying and selling companies that fall into each of the categories. As a fund manager who has proven his strategies are successful, his insight definitely carries some credibility.
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Format: Paperback
Peter Lynch has managed to achieve enormous results with his stock picking method. His investment results are sometimes mentioned in books on the efficient market hypothesis as a form of proof markets cannot be random. Quite a compliment.
Peter Lych seems like a nice guy. He doesn't consider himself to be some kind of genious nor did his trading results changed his ego too much in my opinion.

His stock picking method is fairly simple. He likes simply walking around malls and stores to pick up investment ideas. Afterward he'll check they're fundamentals (the level of debt, sales & earnings growth, net cash position, PEG ratio, industry components, ...) with special attention to the available space to keep on growing. He then goes for 10-baggers, stocks you can sell at a price 10x the price you've paid for them. Lynch doesn't mind owning dozens or hundreds of stocks if he thinks they'll grow. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac apparently were two cash cows for Lynch (luckily he didn't own them the past years).

Although Lynch is very open about his investment selection process and what he looks at when studying balance sheets, I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't get any practical value out of this book. The most usefull I got out of this were his investment selection criteria to create a stock screen to select stocks with fundamental characteristics Lynch would consider important. But there it also stops.
Another thing Lynch doesn't mention is his position sizing strategy or his exits from the stocks he owns. This would certainly have been helpful for traders/investors like me.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Giancarlo Nicoli on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Note: I assume you already know who Mr. Lynch is (a former fund manager), and what Mr. Lynch did (he consistently beat the market - "he has a proven track record" - for almost twenty years).

The book has a witty, easygoing style; it's entertaining and informative, and you'll pretty soon find the urge to read it all as soon as possible. Beware, it's not an easy book! To read this book is not a substitute for hard work. There are no magic formulae to apply. There are no shortcuts to riches, you have to do your homeworks anyway!

"One Up" is divided in three sections. The first deals with how to assess yourself as a stockpicker; the second deals with how to find the most promising opportunities, what to look for in a company and what to avoid, and what to make of the various numbers (p/e ratio, book value, cash flow, etc - explanations are clear, this is a book for everyone) that are often mentioned in technical evaluations of stocks. The third part basically is about everything else, including when to buy and when to sell.

Mr. Lynch opens the book with his rule number one, devoted to those believing that professionals will do better than individuals because professionals know more and have more skills (I'll extensively quote him): "Stop listening to professionals! Twenty years in this business convinces me that any normal person (...) can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert". No wonder here and there we find 1-star, angry reviews of this book!
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