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Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets (Wiley Finance) Hardcover – September 28, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Katsenelson's is straightforward enough to keep a rookie investor engaged, and in-depth enough to retain the interest of old pros, which makes this a great book for those of all skill levels. He does a comprehensive job of reviewing the market's past, projecting its potential future, and developing a case for why value investing will shine as the market stagnates. He combines historical and financial analysis, along with engaging stories from his experience as a professional investment manager.--Chuck Saletta, Motley Fool

This book should be considered a practical compendium of modern finance, leaving no stones unturned on your way to better investments. Katsenelson’s passionate, witty and accessible writing expertly takes the reader through his original framework for valuing stocks in range-bound markets. A student of history and an overzealous stock picker, the author entertainingly illustrates every concept with a collection of real-world examples, demonstrating an impressive breadth and depth of understanding of what makes stocks move!--J.P. Tremblay, CFA

"How to adapt value investing for "range-bound" markets." (Financial Times, Tues 26th February 2008)

"The new Benjamin Graham is Vitaliy N. Katsenelson. I highly recommend Katsenelson's book, Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets (Wiley, 2007). I like to think the old Ben Graham would have recommended it, too."--Forbes

From the Inside Flap

For the next dozen years or so, the U.S. stock market will be a wild roller-coaster ride—setting all-time highs and multi-year lows in the process. While the twists and turns of this ride are still to be written by history, the long-term, sideways "range-bound" trajectory has already been set by the eighteen-year bull market that ended in 2000. When the dust settles, only those who adapted their investment strategies to this range-bound market will have captured any meaningful profits.

Nobody understands this situation better than author, educator, and respected investment manager Vitaliy Katsenelson. And now, with Active Value Investing, he'll reveal how to achieve unparalleled success in these conditions by taking traditionally profitable and fundamentally driven strategies—developed during the eighteen-year bull market—and modifying them for use in range-bound markets.

This is not just another value investing book. It is a practical guide that contains innovative insights and timely techniques that will improve your investment endeavors during a time when others will be paying with their returns, and with lost time, for the valuation excesses of prior bull markets.

In the first part of the book, Katsenelson examines the historical performance of U.S. markets over the past two centuries and discusses what has caused prolonged bull, bear, and range-bound markets. He then looks at the emotions that have dominated each of these markets, why there is a high probability that a range-bound market has descended on us, and what you can do to forecast how long this market will last.

Part Two of Active Value Investing addresses practical application of this concept. Here you'll become familiar with performing proper stock analysis—from identifying what constitutes a good company to determining the stock price at which these companies become worth owning—and implementing an active investing strategy during range- bound markets. You'll also be introduced to the Quality, Valuation, and Growth (QVG) framework, which lies at the core of this approach. Rounding out this section are detailed discussions of the buy/sell process as well as complete coverage of important risk and diversification issues.

Range-bound markets may be difficult to invest in, but with Active Value Investing as your guide, you'll quickly learn how to squeeze real profits out of a difficult market full of exhilarating highs and surprising lows.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470053151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470053157
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of my only posts because few are so bad that they compel me to write a review.

This is easily the worst book on investing I've ever read. I actually experienced a sense of agony in reading this book knowing I could be reading something better. It should not even be called a value investing book.
The author suggests finding companies that have low P/E's, that are fundamentally sound. He gives a very brief, useless description of what soundness is and is not. In fact his method for determining a stock's value as a whole is very shallow. I felt like he is just a journalist describing the surface of things. He mentions nothing of where to find a companies fundamentals, but briefly describes how they should look "strong, good, upward-trending", etc.

The worst of all is that I have a firm suspicion the he had his close friends and colleagues give him such high reviews. For example take a look at all the reviews. Most read just like the editors review of the book. Very long and touting promise. Next he gave the book to several of the reviewers and asked them to review it. They actually mention that in their reviews. The result being that all the longer reviews sound the same as if he gave them some press release to put their own spin on without reading the book. And lastly, a good number of reviewers come from the city where he teaches at, Denver. Most likely associates of some sort just doing him a favor.
If you think that unlikely, Google the book. You'll find the same reviews of the book from Amazon on other investors websites.

Bottom line. Don't buy this book. I'll be putting mine on here for .01 cent if you really must have it.
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone fortunate enough to have invested during the bull market that began in 1982 will find easy to say "buy and hold forever." Indeed, for almost twenty years, the market had one general direction - up, and anyone who bought and forgot did well for nearly 18 years. Warren Buffett has described the bull market that began in 1982 as a period unlike any other for the markets and that it is highly unlikely or quite some time before the U.S. markets experience that again. And although Buffett is famous for his "our favorite holding period is forever" line, it wasn't until later in his investing career - when Berkshire's capital was enormous - that this approach really made the most sense for him and Berkshire Hathaway.

Consider that from 1983 until 1999, the average annual return on the S&P 500 was 15.7%, assuming the reinvestment of dividends. A similar return like this for the Dow Jones beginning in 2008 would mean that the Dow would be trading over 139,000 in 2024!

It is in this context that I found Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range Bound Markets by author and portfolio manager Vitaliy Katsenelson an interesting and insightful read on understanding the long mood swings of Mr. Market. One should not assume that the word "Active" in the title to suggest market timing - this is the last thing Vitaliy is concerned with. In fact he readily admits that trying to time the market is a fools game. Instead his focus on using fundamental valuation techniques - discounted cash flow analysis, price to earnings models, and margin of safety - to take advantage of range bound markets.

Any serious participant in the stock markets is well aware that markets trade in in ranges some periods longer than others.
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Format: Hardcover
2007 Wiley Finance, 295 pages (of which 256 pages form the main body of the book).

Before I start this review, you should know that I didn't just buy a copy of this book, read and then review it (as I've done with all my other reviews). The author (who I'd not come across before) contacted me, asked if I would review his book and supplied me with a copy. As it was endorsed by Nassim Taleb and James Montier, I thought it might be worth reading.

I was a bit sceptical of the book's title: surely value investing is value investing and the 'active' bit must be a gimmick? After reading the book I've come around, mainly won over by the extensive and very interesting statistics. Apart from the book's value in providing revision and reinforcement of the key value investing principles, it presents two particularly useful ideas. The first is that average stock market returns don't happen very often and the second is Katsenelson's multi-input PER (price/earnings ratio) model.

The first of these points is Katsenelson's main thesis: very long term (100 years+) average stock market returns (in the US) comprised protracted periods of above average returns (bull markets) followed by similarly long periods of below average returns (what Katsenelson calls 'range-bound' markets). I like the way the author puts it:

"...investors expecting the average returns observed over the past century are likely to be disappointed, as average happens a lot less frequently than we've been told."

This brings us to the most useful part of Katsenelson's book. His examination of data going back through several of these long-term cycles shows that economic growth, interest rates and inflation didn't explain the different returns in the periods of above average vs.
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