Top critical review
21 people found this helpful
"Pop Finance" -- Trite and Poorly Researched
on January 28, 2015
This book is bewilderingly shallow. As a professional trader with a physics degree, I have had the opportunity to read many books on finance (and a few on physics). Buchanan's is the only book that I wish I could somehow un-read. Contrary to the title, he spends most of his time trying to explain some of the stock market's behavioral idiosyncrasies. Unfortunately, he succeeds only when explaining the previously explained; many of his "big ideas," like dynamic disequilibrium, have been widely discussed for at least 40 years. Some of the minor points, like the observations on directional and volume relationships at major price-trend changes, were published as early as 1948 (i.e. Edwards & Magee). The discussion of "crowded trades" is considerably less insightful than, say, those in "Reminiscenses of a Stock Operator" from 1923.
Ultimately, "Forecast" is a collection of useless analogies and "personal" observations, grounded in a financial understanding so flimsy that you may question whether Buchanan has actually read the source material. When discussing Soros' work, in particular, the author sounds as though he is working from the Wiki. Does it matter to us that the work of Robert Lucas reminds Buchanan of Shrodinger's Cat? And will someone please tell him that "John" Tudor Jones' actual name is Paul Tudor Jones? To a trader, that's like saying Alfred Einstein.
Please, I implore you, save yourself. If you are considering this book, please try:
Behavioural Investing by James Montier
The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros
The New Paradigm of Financial Markets by George Soros
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Any of Fischer Black's published papers (they're free!)
Those are far more useful and enlightening.