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Stock Cycles: Why Stocks Won't Beat Money Markets Over the Next Twenty Years Paperback – October 12, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse Star (October 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595132421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595132423
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Alexander, Ph.D., is a research engineer at Pharmacia Corporation. He has had a lifelong interest in economic and stock market history. His first book, Stock Cycles is the result of five years of historical research and economic analysis. Alexander recently published The Kondratiev Cycle, a novel about what rhythms of history tell us about our past and future. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he now lives with his wife and two children in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Customer Reviews

To read this successfully, you must really enjoy viewing charts and comparing the wavy lines across the page.
GreyFox
Of course like most people reading Michael Alexander's book, I wish I had read it when it was published and been smart enough to act on it.
Citizen John
"Stock Cycles" is a highly useful book for anyone interested in technical prognostication about the future movements of markets.
Thomas W. Jeffries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Jeffries on July 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr. Alexander has tackled one of the most difficult, ambiguous and controversial topics of economics: long wave cycles and their effects on stock market prices. His text along with the more popular "Irrational Exuberance" by Robert Shiller is a highly cautionary perspective on stock market investments. Both books appeared almost simultaneously with the downturn of the market in January 2000. Both books, for different reasons and by different routes, arrived at the conclusion that that the market was grossly overvalued.
Alexander takes a historical approach by looking at the performance of traditional indicators over many decades or even centuries. He analyzes the statistical probability of trends continuing for one, five, ten and twenty years, and then derives relationships that can be used to predict future behavior. One of the more interesting indices developed by Alexander is the P/R or Price/Resources ratio. The Price term is the traditional index of stock prices. The Resource term represents the sum of "plant, equipment, technical knowledge, employee skills, market, position, etc." that enable the operator to produce a profit. Alexander aggregates and normalizes this value to constant dollars. He then uses the P/R ratio to express whether stocks are over or under valued.
Shiller tends to camouflage his statistics, but makes a much stronger argument for how people think about stock values: When prices are going up, it is easy to get excited about buying; prices rise, excitement rises, and they feed on one another. When prices are going down, people get discouraged, prices fall, people panic and loose faith in the ability of the market to produce future value. While we know and understand this relationship, we get caught up in it all the same.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
With the glut of books published today on the prospects for the stock market, most of which are nothing more than hype pieces, Mr. Alexander brings together information largely overlooked or mostly undiscovered by the layperson and scholar alike. A truly ground-breaking work, Mr. Alexander presents evidence to construct an exceedingly sound argument for why today's wildly overpriced stock market not only cannot continue its pace of manic gains but why stocks (as measured by the S&P 500) are so richly priced that prices are not likely to exceed by any significant degree 1999-2000 all-time highs for the better part of the next generation.
If you are the typical bubblehead, looking for a stock tip or two to make a quick buck, you will not get from this book a list of stocks that will triple in three months; but it is this kind of market participant, given the behavior of recent years, who needs the information in this book more than most.
For the long-term investor, especially the tens of millions of Baby Boomers retiring (or planning to) en masse in the next several decades, the information contained in this book is indespensible to your financial future.
For professional money managers and academics, save for Professor Brian Berry's "Long-Wave Rhythms" and Robert Shiller's "Irrational Exuberance", there are few books in recent memory that do such an excellent job in presenting follow-on research to the heretofore largely dismissed (wrongly so , I hasten to add) foundational work of the Russian economist Kondratieff and the subsequent analytical research since the 1930s-40s (Schumpeter, et al.) that has come to be known as the Long Wave.
If you are interested in a serious, unbiased, quantitative, and historical examination of the dynamics of long-term stock market cycles, Mr. Alexander has created what I am convinced is the definitive work to date.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kit. Webster on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
The title of the book reveals one of the conclusions which result from an understanding of the longwaves in the economy and in the stock market. Mr. Alexander does an excellent job of examining the longwave and along the way explaining some of its implications, including why the recent explosion in the Nasdaq was to be expected and not an exception. Since the longwave provides the critical context for long term investing, it is an important tool for long term investors in the equity markets.
The analysis and explanatory work in this book deserve 5 stars. However, I awarded 4 stars because of the lack of discussion of the philosophical and policy implications if one assumes the validity of the longwave.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Janicki on December 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is written in clear language that uses actual historical information to better understand the changing investment environment we are in today. The graphs provide clear illustrations of probabilities for investment returns in a way that you don't have to be a statistician to understand. It turns out that we are not the only generation that thought the market boom would last forever, but in fact it is cycling in ways that are understandable if you look at factual data and not hype.
As an investor in today's environment it was definitely in my best interest to understand the implications uncovered in this book. In fact, I read this book just in time to save myself from huge losses in my stock investments!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I wish I read this book five years ago before the bubble broke, I'd have alot more money now if I did. Alas, hindsight is 20/20. However, this is the first book that presents a very logical and thorough view of investment cycles that are clearly present in our economy. Yes, this book is somewhat tedious as another reviewer commented, but the true nature of the opportunities and risks of investing in the stock market are not something that reads like a vapid tabloid story. The lessons available to be learned and applied from "Stock Cycles" come only from studying, interpreting, questioning and back testing large amounts of data produced from the trading of stocks every day of every month of every year for decades and decades. Michael Alexander has done just that resulting in a work available for the layman to the investment professional from which to benefit. Michael Alexander also challenges the investment industry in that it has massaged much of that data to the detriment of the individual investor, ie.: the mutual fund industry and its "buy and hold" mantra it has been preaching since roughly the beginning of the last bull market in 1982. The mutual fund industry makes its money by maintaining a large asset base from which to generate fee revenue. Sure, "buy and hold" works pretty well in a secular bull market, but there have been many times in the past 200 years where there was little if any growth in stocks and the stock market for an extended number of years. And that number of years may be too long for many investor's investing goals to be achieved. Alexander shows that there is large amount of economic evidence indicating that we may be in just the beginning of one of those stagnant, yet unsettled cycles.Read more ›
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