14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Bold Prediction -- So Far, So Good,
This review is from: Super Boom: Why the Dow Jones Will Hit 38,820 and How You Can Profit From It (Hardcover)
Jeff Hirsch's Super Boom is a prediction that the Dow Jones Index will hit 38,820 by 2025. When I saw the cover, I thought, "You're kidding, right?"
It was bold enough that I figured I had to take a look. Plus Doug Kass endorsed the book. So I got a copy and blasted through it in just a couple days. Predictions aside, the book is about boom periods, the patterns that surround "super booms" (quantitatively, a 500% rise in a bull market), and the elements that compose a market boom. According to the book, there have been three recorded super booms each following a major world war, significant inflation, and some kind of significant technological development (internal combustion, automobiles, computers, the internet, etc). I love books that coin a phrase (Super Boom), prove its existence (with data, not opinion), and then make it worthwhile to know about (relevant to today).
The pattern, which the book is based upon, is interesting and I enjoyed the quantitative focus (though sometimes a bit number-heavy) and the effort of the author to prove the pattern's existence throughout history (that it is a recurrent phenomena, not a blip).
The contents, briefly: Chapter 1 was a breakdown of what a super boom is. Chapter 2 followed with our current outlook. The next few chapters went through some of the other famous predictions out there (where they went wrong, why they're wrong now), which was probably worthwhile (remember Dow 36,000???) if a bit tedious. Then the book gets to the historical stuff -- the patterns throughout history, the main criteria of a boom. The author concludes with advice about the current boom -- how to prepare for it and what to invest in going forward.
There is specific investment advice (stocks, sectors, strategies, etc) which was helpful (the Switching Strategy in chapter 10 could've been a book by itself), but I think the real value is the boom pattern. As the author readily admits, the next technological breakthrough hasn't happened yet, so it's very hard to know what will be the largest driver of the next super boom. So there's a little bit of "wait and see." That said, with all the fear mongering in the media, it's incredibly refreshing to hear a legitimate argument for long-term market growth, instead of "Is gold a bubble? Are tech stocks a bubble? Are all financial institutions going to collapse!?" The book offers a positive outlook grounded in reality.
I'm a fairly simple investor -- some individual equities and a 401(k) -- but I do play with timing in and out of the market (which helped a ton in 2008 and 2009) and so this book was helpful in convincing ole contrarian me that what we're seeing now is not a temporary upswing, but part of a potentially much longer and larger boom, something like what we saw in the 80s-90s, a super boom. I highly recommend picking up a copy.