- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (September 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1578512522
- ISBN-13: 978-1578512522
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns Hardcover – September, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Instead of focusing on the short term--earnings per share, price-earnings multiples--Rappaport (Creating Shareholder Value), formerly a professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, and Mauboussin, chief investment strategist at Credit Suisse First Boston, recommend "expectations investing," which "starts with the current stock price and uses the discounted cash-flow model to `read' what the market implies about a company's future performance." They discuss sample companies (Gateway), historical patterns, competitive strategies and share value. Though they expertly simplify a complex topic, beginners may find the book overly technical. However, the authors' credentials, a national interview campaign and author appearances should attract deserved attention. Tables.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Alfred Rappaport is the Leonard Spacek Professor Emeritus at Northwestern's Kellogg School and is Shareholder Value Adviser to L.E.K. Consulting. He originated the Shareholder Scoreboard for the Wall Street Journal.
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Top customer reviews
"Expectations Investing" is divided into three parts. Part I details how to determine the expectations for a stock based upon its current market price. Interestingly, rather than determine a "fair price" based upon a company's free cash flow, the book turns this process upside down, using a company's stock price to determine the market's expectations for free cash flow going forward. Next, the book helps identify "expectations opportunities" - places where revisions in the stock market's expectations are likely to take place. By focusing on key areas where expectations opportunities may take place (so-called "turbo triggers"), the skilled investor can modify their discounted cash flow projections to determine the appropriate price. This section further provides a framework to determine when to apply buy, sell, and hold decisions. Lastly, Part III of the book explains how certain, specific corporate events (mergers, share buybacks, and incentive compensation) may signal that expectations revisions are in order.
Within the book itself, I found the chapter on "Analyzing Competitive Strategy" to be an outstanding, investor-focused distillation of many of the points contained in Porter's "Competitive Strategy." Moreover, the chapters on specific corporate events were interesting insofar as they explain, in greater detail than I had read before, the quantitative analysis that underlies decisions related to mergers, share buybacks, and incentive compensation.
Potential readers should be aware that the authors of this book, like many stock analysts, adhere to the so-called "Capital Asset Pricing Model" school of thought (that the value of a security equals the rate on a risk-free security plus a premium, beta, which is determined based upon the volatility of the security in question). This model is just one of many that investors may use. Moreover, although stock analysts may have access to customers, creditors, competitors, and company insiders, many individual investors will lack those contacts, and thus face some difficulty in determining possible expectations revisions. Even if an investor had access to such information, the developing field of behavioral finance (see Belsky and Gilovich, "Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes" as but one example) would caution that investors seeking to implement the methods set forth in this book need to be careful of confirmation bias (tending to view information in a way that supports their pre-determined preferences) and information cascade (too much information), among others.
Lastly, readers should be aware that modeling out the process described by this book requires some math, and the ability to create spreadsheets of middling-level complexity. This is not a "buy low P/E" book - readers will have to do their homework to use these methods. Anyone who isn't looking to put several hours into investigating each stock they are interested in should look elsewhere.
In all, this is a well-written book that makes a very complicated process relatively simple. It is not designed for the casual reader, and implementing the expectations investing process certainly takes considerable work. However, the book provides valuable insights into how analysts function and how stocks are priced by public markets.
However, if forced to pick a well-written, fairly sophisticated book on investing, I'd recommend a few other books ahead of this one, including "Security Analysis" by Benjamin Graham and either of Martin Whitman's books ("The Aggressive Conservative Investor" or "Value Investing").
Armed with this process, and the blackjack winning strategy (you bet big when you have favorable odds), it becomes evdient to me that in the long run, small ivestors can achieve excessive returns. "More than you know" is another book you MUST read. The favorable odds likely happen when investors' indenpendence break down as a result of some legitimate big events.
I have read all of the articles written by Michael Mauboussin that can be found on the internet. It is one of the best gifts I give to myself.