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Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered: Wall Street Truisms that Stand the Test of Time Hardcover – December 1, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gallea, an executive at Smith Barney and coauthor of Contrarian Investing, is someone people will want to believe. Given the stock market's recent upheaval, investors are nervous and confused, and Gallea understands why. A frank businessman, he knows that he hasn't always made the wisest decisions, and he wants to tell investors how to learn from his mistakes. Gallea offers snippets of advice that touch on the most common investing strategies and concepts, including selling short, using options, choosing the safety of bonds, risk and reward, etc. He sticks to the basics and doesn't offer long explanations for what he sees as unnecessary moves. For example, on high-risk bonds, he says, "Buying junk bonds, penny stocks, and fractional out-of-the-money options is, for most investors, to be avoided. Each of these securities is among the poorest values in its respective asset class.... Just look at the price. The cheaper the price, the longer the odds." He gives pointers on assessing readers' performance as investors, too, advising them to do "postmortems on all your trades." More sophisticated investors are likely to quickly flip through Gallea's book and note where they agree with the author's philosophy. Though not quite brimming with hypothetical portfolios or real-life scenarios, Gallea's book is appropriate for nascent or earnest investors.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Anthony M. Gallea is a senior vice president-investments, senior portfolio management director at Smith Barney and leads a team of 12 people who are responsible for 1 billion dollars in client assets. He is the author of many articles on investing and finance and was named as one of the 10 outstanding brokers in America.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press; 1st edition (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735201455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735201453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Shkodra on April 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice little book written by a savvy investor who has a strong proven track record over the decades. It's mainly written for the small investors and new participants who are eager to learn about the ways of the market, and as such, it truly provides a whole host of kernels of market wisdom.

The most part of the lessons and ideas in this book will seem like ad nauseam repeated old stuff. But it's really amazing how often individuals will tend to forget or even ignore the most fundamental of rules over the weeks, months and years (I know what I'm talking about, I'm one of them). As they say, your trading and investing skills are tested every day, so you really need constant reminding of some fundamental things. After all, every market participant is a never graduating student in the art of trading and investing, regardless of age or experience.

I just wish I had read this precious little book many years ago, when I first naïvely and overconfidently introduced myself to Mister Market. Who knows? Had I done so, maybe I would have paid less tuition to Him, and He would have made less fun of me throughout my first two trading years.

This book offers advice on what not to do, rather than what to do. I've always thought that first and foremost you have to learn what not to do (this may sound easy, but sometimes it can be really difficult), and only thereafter you can learn what to do. Throughout the book you find precious little gems that have really stood the test of time.

So go ahead, be whatever you want to be, a bull or a bear, but never, ever, be a pig! Be humble when you win and gracious when you lose!
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Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. Organized with each strategy or example to a page, it is an easy read that uses common sense, illustrated with everyday examples to discuss how to handle various portfolio management decisions and investments. There is a very broad range of subjects and strategies covered. If you're looking for a book that offers tactics, discipline and a wealth of practical investment advice grounded in what really works, this is the book to read.
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Format: Hardcover
Certainly the headline is exaggerated, but not much. No matter how long one had stayed in the market and how much one had gained or lost, it's not over until one had completed a cycle, which could be as long as several years, or even decades. Unless you get what you deserve or your system/style really works, what you earned is just what you borrowed, as concluded by the author of "When Genius failed", an account of rise and fall of the Long Term Capital Management, the once biggest of all funds.
In this book, the author, with his time proved success in fund management, told the readers, in the format of newspaper columns, his failures, successes, thoughts and thus hard earned productive experience about how to survive in the markets. The stories are interesting, concise, and easy to understand. As a veteran trader, I can tell the book is so valuable in reminding me of, thus deserving a regular rereading of it, what I easily forgot in the so exhausting trading war field.
To end my review, I would like to copy a few words for anybody's reference:-
"But it's the pigs who get slaughtered. It's the investor who loads up on a single position and crosses his fingers and waits for that big move that will carry him home. It's the investor who has a full position in a commodity, and the contract moves in his favor, and he responds by loading up past all reasonable and prudent risk. These are the pigs, and they are slaughtered with distressing regularity.
At the very least, set a stop loss that preserves some profit on a winner. Profits in the market are difficult enough to come by. Once you have one, it is simply not acceptable to let the profit turn into a loss."
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Format: Hardcover
This collection of investment wisdom tips is easy to follow and not as dense as competitors - yet it presents solid investment advise organized around maxims. From standard perceptions about stocks beating bonds in the long run (Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered tells why) to advice on how to ignore the 'experts' - and when - enjoy a book packed with tips and easily-followed strategies.
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Format: Hardcover
You should read the Asset Allocation chapter because it discusses how stock allocation decisions are more important than individual security selections. What the author means by that is that an investor who allocates investment dollars well among stocks, bonds, and other investments will beat an investor who is good at selecting individual investments, but fails to allocate among different asset classes.

The advice on diversification is good. The author states that investors should diversify, but not too much because over-diversification comes at a price. It decreases the changes of beating the market. I appreciate this advice because many other authors just preach diversification, but do not talk about how over-diversification can hurt returns.

I recommend this book to investors, but I would warn readers that basic investment knowledge is necessary to understand most of this book.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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