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on October 17, 2001
Maria Bartiromo is not a money manager. She's a reporter, and one without any real insights of her own. After all, this is the woman who, when asked if the market was in danger of crashing about a year ago, blithely replied that in the Internet age, a correction that used to take 2 years to complete could be over in 2 weeks. But don't blame poor Maria. She was probably just repeating what somebody told her the day before.
So if she doesn't have insights of her own, what exactly did she put into this book? Mostly comments by other people. In fact more than half of the book consists of lengthy quotations from Maria's Wall Street cronies. But what sort of people cozy up to the media on Wall Street? Why, it's the marketing and PR people of course. So there you have it. It's no accident that so much of the book was devoted to relentless name-dropping. After all this book is mostly a marketing campaign for Maria and her friends on the Street.
That doesn't mean that everything in the book is false. In fact, most things said in the book are true. But as with most marketing campaigns, the problem is not what they tell you, but what they DON'T tell you. The used car salesman may not outright lie to you, he just won't mention that the transmission has been rebuilt. So don't expect any deep, incisive expose of Wall Street practices in this book. When people talk to a reporter, they won't say anything that's bad for their firm. When a reporter writes a book, she wouldn't say anything that makes her sources look bad.
What's in this book is also in many other books. Save your money.
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on August 1, 2001
I had read many of the negative reviews for this book, but decided to ignore them and picked up the book in an airport bookstore (that's right, a full price book store...ouch!). What a waste of money. You guys were right, and I should have listened to you. You guys who wrote the congratulatory reviews must be friends of Maria's because you couldn't have read this book.
Just to show I am a complete follower, I also read Navigate the Noise by Bernstein as suggested in one of the other reviews of Maria's book. Nav the Noise is a much much more helpful book.
So, I'm one for two.
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on December 16, 2001
Simply another marketing exercise of tying a book, any book, to an attractive face with some media exposure to make some quick money. Not much difference between this and a Life Philosophy book by Vanna White or a biography of Britney Spears. The content is basic new investor instruction that you can find done better and for free at Web sites like Motley Fool and others. Very badly organized with lots of extraneous material ... this book is at least two rewrites away from an acceptable first effort. Look elsewhere, friend.
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on July 13, 2001
What's said in this book is reasonable, but how do you take seriously an author who warns you that everybody has an agenda in the book, yet did not practice what she preached?
Did she ever tell you if a stock she's touting in the morning is in the hedge fund run by her husband? When she talked about Symbol Tech. did she ever tell you her father-in-law was a major shareholder?
How can a financial reporter be literally in bed with a money manager and still have any integrity?
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on June 13, 2001
This style of "investing" is already over, and the gossip column speculating style of CNBC and Maria B. the head cheerleader for the bubble is just about done. There are numerous worthwhile books to read about investing in the markets and making money. Read one if that is your purpose; this is not one of them.
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on October 2, 2001
My problem with Bartiromo has been explained by many previous reviewers. While everything she wrote sounds sensible - in theory, in reality she has no actual investment experience and worse yet, does _exactly_ all those things she tells investors not to do in her book. So, either she doesn't believe in her own advice, or she doesn't care what she does as long as it gets ratings, whatever that's left.
I've also read Navigate the Noise and will write a review of it later. To sum it up here, that's a much better, and much more _credible_, book on the same topic.
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on August 11, 2001
In the last few years, CNBC has become the unofficial mascot of the Great Bull/Bubble Market of the 1990s and reporters such as Maria B. have gained near star status. Unfortunately, CNBC was never taken seriously by Wall St. professionals which is all the more true today. The problem is that CNBC is all about ratings, not sound financial advice. CNBC's producers and anchors are not idiots - they know what's right. Therefore, in the morning the talking heads will give you stern lectures about not taking analysts on face value, and in the afternoon they will trumpet ad nauseum some ludicrous recommendations like a price target of ... on Qualcomm. Now, everybody on Wall St knows that it's just a transparent grab for publicity and every serious analyst is rolling on the floor laughing. Was CNBC simply naive, or they cared simply for ratings?
This schezophrenia is reflected in Ms. B as well. I will admit the book is full of sensible sounding principles. But then, how does Ms B's own reporting stack up against her own book? In her book she listed stock splits, company tours, earnings warnings as 3 of 13 top noise makers. But what does she talk about all morning but pending stock splits, company tours and earnings warnings? Isn't one of her favorite questions "Do you buy the stock ahead of earnings next week?" If she doesn't think investors should be asking questions like these, why does she?
I wouldnt go so far as to say the book is useless - it's sensible sounding enough. However, what's in this book is in many other investment books and somebody else is probably more deserving of your dollars.
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on August 2, 2001
A well-designed book with natural appeal to new stock market participants. A familiar face on the front cover naturally draws the uninitiated in, leaning upon our culture's attraction to and blind faith in celebrity experts.
Which makes us ask the question, "What trading or investing expertise does Maria have"? To which the honest reply would be "None". She and all other CNBC talking heads are greatly limited in how they participate in the market. Maria's next book could be on life in the NFL or surgery in third world countries with equal hands-on experience.
This book contains theory and observation only from arm's length reporting and nothing else. No inside wisdom or experience gleaned from life in the market trenches with real money on the line while influenced by the only two forces that move financial markets: human fear & greed.
An interesting read but very little of value to anyone. News-driven market action has quickly become a thing of the past and CNBC along with other media channels wield far less influence over a shrunken audience than ever. Only in the past few months have any CNBC celebrities become aware of downside risk to the markets, long after most of their loyal viewers were led to slaughter by ignorant bullish bias.
From a professional trader's viewpoint, this book was not worth printing in my opinion. Well-written but total fluff for content. Much better exists on the market and time is our most valuable asset. I'll spend mine elsewhere.
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on July 2, 2001
To people who watch CNBC all day long reading this book must seem like quite a contradiction. As far as I'm concerned this book is a clear example of shameless self promotion. If Maria could dissect the news on her own do you really think she'd write a book about it? Think about it, she reads from a teleprompter or pre-written notes when she reports. Much like any of the other reporters at CNBC, all she does is read from something that someone else has written. So who is the ghost writer for this book? Dissecting the news will absolutely not make you money in any market, anyone who falls for that deserves to take massive losses in the market. Try reading a book by Peter Lynch or Warren Buffett, they've proven they can make money in any market. Maria has only proven that she can read a script.
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on June 14, 2001
Maria promotes the very concept that led so many naive and inexperienced investors to disaster -- that is, seeking advice from so-called "professionals".
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