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The Secret Code of the Superior Investor: How to Be a Long-Term Winner in a Short-Term World Hardcover – January 2, 2002

3.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Has the stock market bottomed? Will the Dow and NASDAQ do better this year? While media outlets such as CNBC and CNNfn love to fill their airtime with these kinds of questions, James Glassman has a hard time finding the upside to such pursuits. He suggests that investors would do better by turning off their TVs and looking for real value instead, and in the The Secret Code of the Superior Investor he shows how. Glassman organizes his advice into 47 bite-size chapters that cover everything from the types of companies you should invest in ("solid citizens," pharmaceuticals, for-profit education) to what you as an investor should pay attention to (cash flow) and ignore (the latest Fed gossip, CNBC). At the heart of Glassman's "secret code" is the belief that stocks are the best long-term bet there is; the trick is finding solid companies to invest in and then sticking with those companies through thick and thin. This book is for anyone (especially those getting over the recent technology boom and bust) who is looking for a reliable and balanced approach to managing a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

From Booklist

In an era when public sentiment hangs on the daily gyrations of the stock market, Glassman, coauthor of Dow 36,000 (1999), holds firmly to the staid principles of long-term investing. His "Secret Code" is a repackaging of those well-worn Wall Street mantras: buy and hold good companies for the long term, diversify, and don't try and time the market. It all makes a great deal of sense as long as the recent market swoon is just another pause in a perpetually roaring bull market, rather than the harbinger of a drawn-out bear the likes of which Japan has seen for more than a decade. But Glassman is sticking to his Dow 36,000 theory and believes that stocks are cheap right now; he doesn't seem to care that P/E ratios remain historically high, profits are dropping, and layoffs are rampant. He's certainly correct that chasing the latest hot stock or mutual fund is the wrong approach. Jittery long-term investors looking to take comfort will find it in the confidence of this perennial bull. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1st edition (January 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812991087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812991086
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a world that starts each business day with someone broadcasting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as if investing were some sort of a horse race, this book is much more than enjoyable. It's important to read.
Glassman takes the fear, uncertainty and doubt out of investing heightened if not created by the broadcast media's constant focus on what the fed, economy or Osama Bin Lauden will or won't do next and what it all means for the price of stocks tomorrow. He deals with the implied "action imperative" using what amounts to a logical, easy to read and understand three step process. First, he provides basic, factual and well-researched information that every investor should know. Second, he details a sound and time-tested investment strategy that anyone can understand. Third, he provides the information sources, tips and techniques to execute against that strategy. The sort of how to information that moves concept to action. Along the way he explains what is important to consider and to ignore. He also offers some really good advice on things to avoid.
The Secret Code of the Superior Investor has the rare qualities of being informative, enjoyable and actionable. The content is as superb as the writing. I am 53 years old, financially independent and retired. I have been an investor for nearly 30 years and read many books on investing. Take it from me. Glassman nailed it! Turn off the TV and read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I sorely missed James Glassman's column when he took a break from writing for the Washington Post. Now that his column has resumed every Sunday, its like an old friend has moved back to town. Do the math exercise. Pick any prior Dow closing price and compound the Dow by 10-11% per year historical average annual return and you'll find when the Dow will be at 36,000. Or pick another return figure you like and see when Dow 36,000 occurs. Whenever that happens, Glassman's prior book will be "rediscovered" by the financial media and he'll be praised as having incredible vision. How did he know? But by then it may be too late to invest to achieve decent returns. And I trust at that point he'll say so.
One of the key messages in Secret Code is don't be fooled by the title. Glassman demonstrates that all of the information you need to make rational, informed decisions is quite public via the web and other information resources. Glassman is a teacher and interpreter. He references the sacred texts (Graham, Buffet, Siegel) but doesn't dwell on them. Instead he will sit and discuss this information with you in a straightforward manner. Each chapter is about a newspaper or web page column length, great for short bursts of reading. If you want to be manic or listen to people shouting turn on CNBC or Jim Cramer. The heart of the Secret Code is that it's quite straightforward. Look at how a company achieves returns on invested capital, assets, and equity. Watch out for too much debt. Spend a little time with the financial statements. Are they growing their top line business? Don't look at earnings too much. A lot of earnings games are possible (My god will they beat (or miss) by a penny!) Instead focus mostly on the cash flowing to the bottom line.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contrary to what some may think, there is a secret to good investing, and Glassman does a good job of explaining it. It's an open secret, to be sure, but one most so-called investors ignore: generating cash (for example, through day trading and other high-turnover practices) does not lead to the accumulation of wealth. Only through a disciplined approach to investing, involving (1) the accumulation of quality stocks, mutual funds, and/or other preferred financial assets, and (2) patience that allows time to let these investments work for you, will it be possible to achieve your financial goals. Following the heady, market-drive craze of the late 1990s, it's a secret that even the most seasoned investor would do well to reconsider.
No question, it's the new or inexperienced investor who has the most to gain from a read of this book. For one thing, Glassman's review of the many investment vehicles available today provides, in one readily accessible volume, the information needed to make intelligent decisions regarding asset allocation. And the explanations that attend the presentation are written in language that even the novice will understand.
If you've already made your millions and view playing the market as a pastime, this book is not for you. But if you believe that there must be a better way to select from among the many investment theories touted and to identify, and invest in, preferred investment vehicles appropriate to your age and temperament, purchase of The Secret Code of the Superior Investor may well be among the best investments you could make.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is for people who are totally unfamiliar with the "buy and hold" school of stock investing based on selecting superior companies with outstanding management. The material in it is almost totally derivative from the research and experiences of others available in more detailed popular books.
The key points are that (1) you should know yourself, so that you invest in ways that fit your emotional makeup when stocks are doing poorly; (2) time is money, and you should start buying stocks at the youngest possible age; (3) pick stocks by the caliber of the company and its management; (4) own stocks in diversified portfolios to avoid excessive fluctuation risk; (5) risk of stock price loss is reduced by holding stocks longer; (6) avoid trading stocks -- buy and hold instead; (7) ignore what the media says about stocks (unless the information brings into doubt the reason why you own certain stocks); (8) ignore the Federal Reserve; (9) for short-term investments buy high quality bonds; and (10) pay attention to reducing expenses, taxes, and outperforming inflation. In support of these points, well-known studies and books are cited such as those by Jeremy Siegel (Stocks for the Long Run), about Warren Buffett (and other famous investors like Phil Fisher, Philip Carret, and Sir John Templeton), and by Ben Graham.
Mr. Glassman is one of the authors of the theory that stocks are way undervalued and the Dow should soon trade at 36,000. Although most professionals and academicians have questioned his theory, Mr. Glassman stands behind it in this book.
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