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What Works on Wall Street: A Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time Hardcover – May 31, 1998

ISBN-13: 063-9785304982 ISBN-10: 0070482462 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: What Works on Wall Street
  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (May 31, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070482462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070482463
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Investors -- be they aggressive or conservative, self-directed or professionally managed -- are always on the lookout for an edge. And in James O'Shaughnessy's What Works on Wall Street: A Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time, they'll find a solid one: authoritative analysis of popular practices from the past. The author examines three decades of stock market data to show how 15 of the most common investment tactics have fared over time. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

``. . .analysts praised his stock-picking strategy, explained in his well-received book. In it, he digs into more than 40 years of data to find out what strategies would have picked the winning stocks.'' (The Wall Street Journal 1997-09-15)

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Customer Reviews

This is a must read book for investors of any level.
Kenneth Levens
BIBLIOGRAPHY Rather suprising given that the book is almost all tables and charts by the author, is that he quotes 6 pages (hundreds), of sources.
"kangaru"
And he does present some very interesting and useful results here.
Alex Sellers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 131 people found the following review helpful By late_night on March 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What Works on Wall Street? According to a study of 45 years of stock market data in a book called "What works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnesy he came to the conclusion that some strategies would have produced greater returns than the S&P 500 whilst others produced less. He tested a range of strategies, re-balancing the strategies annually, with each strategy involving the 50 stocks which met the criteria for inclusion.
The worst strategy that you could have adopted was to buy last year's losers each year. The message is clear - losers carried on being losers. Sometimes the weak beats the strong, but it's not the way to bet your money.
The next ten worst strategies involved buying Companies on high multiples such as high price to sales ratio companies. These companies were generally on high multiples because they were thought to be high growth or sexy companies with lots of potential. They were the then current stock market darlings that investors were prepared to pay up for in order to join in with the latest investment fad or fashion.
As far as the best performing strategies are concerned, he found that the top 6 strategies all involved buying companies with high relative strength in combination with a value factor such as low p/e or low price to sales ratio. These companies were generally on low multiples because they were in out of favour sectors or old economy share that had been overlooked. By combining it with high relative strength (i.e. shares which were rising), these strategies caught those shares whose under-valuation was finally starting to be recognised by the market.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By frankbif on May 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
James O'Shaughnnessy's book is the latest to engage the Age Old Question: growth stocks or value stocks? Instead of focusing on those 2 sectors specifically, he meticulously looks at the multi-decade history of various metrics -- price-sales, price-book, price-earnings, etc -- in making sound investment decisions.
The books major highlights are as follows:
(1) A bent towards small and microcap stocks, particularly value-oriented stocks, works very well. Buying microcaps is difficult for institutions but NOT for most individual investors.
(2) Price-sales is underused as a method for finding good (value) stocks and market-beating performance.
(3) Price-earnings and dividend yield are also good indicators, especially in the context of larger cap stocks.
(4) Value edges out growth. (NOTE: The starting and ending points for measuring long-term cycles are so important that changing the dates by a few years can often reverse the results. While value stock investing might have a slight edge in the time frames studied in "What Works On Wall Street", keep in mind that depending on where growth and value stocks are in their respective cycles when you decide to invest is very important to your portfolio choices. For instance, after a big value runup, growth stocks often outperform for a decade or so.)
(5) Using more than 1 metric is important in helping outperformance while reducing risk/volatility.
The book has tons of data and backs up its claims well. Keep in mind, this book was published in 1998 with the data going through 1996. Had the data stopped at 1999, the results would have looked VERY DIFFERENT! And, of course, had it been updated through recent years, different again.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark Spaur on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am an engineer and geek at heart. This was the first investing book that I have read that gave me all the data that I could ever want to back up what was asserted in the conclusions. He gives clear directions on how to pick a 25 - 50 stock portfolio that over any rolling 5 year period will seriously out perform the market. I bought the first edition and had a paper portfolio for a few years before I made the plunge and invested real money. My 50 stock portfolio that has 25 stocks from the Cornerstone growth formula and 25 from Cornerstone value has averaged better than 26% annual returns over the last three years. I created the portfolios inside a self directed IRA, so I don't have the tax consequences for rebalancing every year. And, the returns mentioned about include spending $10 per trade in my Ameritrade account. If you're not into all the data, buy his book "How to Retire Rich". It's a recap of this book and is an easier read than "What Works on Wall Street." In "How to Retire Rich" he calls Cornerstone Value "Leaders with Luster" and Cornerstone Growth is "Reasonable Runaways." In the 3rd edition of "What Works on Wall Street" he tweaks the value screen to include a test for shareholder yield. If you get to the point of buying "How to Retire Rich" and using the strategies from that book, check out the 3rd edition of "What Works on Wall Street", Chapter 19, for an explanation of shareholder yield.

This book has put my retirement plans back on track and I'm confident that I will be able now to retire with enough money to live comfortably.
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