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SENSIBLE STOCK INVESTING: How to Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks Paperback – March 5, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1605280103 ISBN-10: 1605280100

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (March 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605280100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605280103
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Van Knapp has a degree in physics from Holy Cross College and in law from Georgetown University. He completed a career in legal and professional publishing in 2001. He is a successful individual investor and wrote this book to help other individual investors. He has no ties to Wall Street or any brokerage. Dave and his wife, Sue, live in Webster, NY.

More About the Author

I write for self-directed individual investors who want to profit from the stock market through capital gains, dividends, or both. My books are step-by-step guides that present straightforward systems for picking, valuing, and managing stocks. I do not attempt to dazzle, but rather to inform, educate, and guide. I write in a conversational style suitable for beginners and experienced investors alike.

My first book is SENSIBLE STOCK INVESTING: How to Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks, which was published in 2008. I also produce an annual e-book on dividend investing. The current edition is TOP 40 DIVIDEND-GROWTH STOCKS FOR 2011: How to Create Wealth or Income with Dividend-Growth Stocks. It is available from my Web site, www.SensibleStocks.com.

I can be reached at this email address: dave.vanknapp@SensibleStocks.com

Customer Reviews

Everything is logically thought out and very clearly explained.
Ross Cornell
In all, a good stock picking book with an easy to understand system for evaluating potential companies, valuing their stocks, and managing a portfolio.
L. Rohrer
If you are looking for stock market investment advice, I would highly recommend this book in your library.
J. Halbach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Trader75070 on August 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
The author uses a "points system" to identify potential investment opportunities. Returns on equity and dividend history are given the greatest weight, followed closely by historical and forecast earnings per share. Since the rating system takes multiple factors into account, a low score in one area does not automatically exclude a company from consideration.

Points are also awarded to companies that have compelling stories. Is the company a dominant player in its industry? Does the company have pricing power? Answers to questions like these will begin to narrow the range of possible investment candidates. To assist in that effort, the book includes a "company story" questionnaire that investors will find useful.

For stock valuation, the system looks at historical and projected price/earnings, price/earnings growth ("PEG") ratios, and dividend yields. Discounted cash flow analysis is not part of the author's suggested approach, for reasons that the book discusses in some detail.

The book also includes a sample stock watch list and sample worksheets for monitoring portfolio performance and for tracking market indicators, all nicely tailored to meet the requirements of the time-pressed investor.

The section on portfolio management takes an in-depth look at company- and market-related issues that enter into the decision to hold or sell, and examples are used to illustrate key points effectively. There is also discussion of circumstances unique to the individual that may warrant a sell decision, for example, the need to rebalance for diversification purposes.

The author's suggested guidelines for cutting losses (10% - 15% decline on new purchases) may strike some readers as overly cautious.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Ant Gara on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading several books on investing, I clearly fall into the "value" style of it. This book does a good job of explaining important financial evaluations, without relying on a discounted cash flow analysis to pick stocks. Considering the assumptions and projections needed to do such an analysis, sticking with financial valuation ratios is probably much easier for the average investor.


- Rejects efficient market hypothesis, which states that stocks are always "properly priced."

- Doesn't rely on DCFA. (Even though I use it myself on companies I know well enough)

- His "black box" method of understanding financial inputs and outputs is easily understandable.

- Has a definite "value" tilt, which over the long run has proven to be the more successful style.

- Stressing continually that a stock's price is tied to its earnings.

- Gives historical averages for important financial ratios.

- Explains why a stock may have such a high P/E

- Goes against several value investors who say you should always be fully invested, by saying you should have some cash set aside (John Neff was big on this) if nothing looks attractive. Not a huge percentage of your portfolio, but 15% is fine.

- "Market timing," which is usually shunned by almost everyone, is given good treatment here.

- Uses technical analysis to explain WHEN to buy a stock. Despite most fundamentalist saying avoid technical analysis at all costs, a stock that has wild volatility in a given period is a much better buy in the long run when its purchased cheaper (see page 232). He also doesn't use it simply to buy a stock, but uses it WITH fundamental analysis.
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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful By ttrenkner on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book stands head and shoulders above the great bulk of what I've read on the subject of stock investing. Much of what's out there these days seems to have been written either for the gullible, get rich quick types or for those who have completely given up on trying to come out ahead of the pack and have resigned themselves to the boredom of simply buying and holding index funds. But this book's premise is that the small individual investor actually can beat the market, not through some secret, author-discovered formula, but by applying logic, discipline, and a bit of effort. If you believe, as I do, that knowledge and diligence tend to be rewarded in the Market as in life generally, you're going to like this book.

The author does a great job of smoothly guiding the reader through a potentially dry and difficult subject, without presuming any particular prior knowledge or experience. In fact, the book could almost serve as a textbook on how the stock market operates if it weren't such a quick and enjoyable read. The contents are well organized, and the writing is clear and to the point. The author effectively uses two real world portfolios to demonstrate the application of his techniques and at the same time buttress his credibility. There are also several helpful appendices, including forms for valuing companies and reviewing a portfolio, as well as a handy investment calendar.

One other thing that makes this book special is the feeling it conveys throughout that stock investing can and should be approached as an engaging, enjoyable hobby, like, say, belonging to a fantasy football league. I think an investor who maintains such an attitude is the most likely to stick with the sound techniques this book espouses while at the same time he or she reaps an extra dividend of happiness.
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