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One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market Paperback – April 3, 2000
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From the Back Cover
Peter Lynch is America's number-one money manager. His mantra: Average investors can become experts in their own field and can pick winning stocks as effectively as Wall Street professionals by doing just a little research.
Now, in a new introduction written specifically for this edition of One Up on Wall Street, Lynch gives his take on the incredible rise of Internet stocks, as well as a list of twenty winning companies of high-tech '90s. That many of these winners are low-tech supports his thesis that amateur investors can continue to reap exceptional rewards from mundane, easy-to-understand companies they encounter in their daily lives.
Investment opportunities abound for the layperson, Lynch says. By simply observing business developments and taking notice of your immediate world -- from the mall to the workplace -- you can discover potentially successful companies before professional analysts do. This jump on the experts is what produces "tenbaggers", the stocks that appreciate tenfold or more and turn an average stock portfolio into a star performer.
The former star manager of Fidelity's multibillion-dollar Magellan Fund, Lynch reveals how he achieved his spectacular record. Writing with John Rothchild, Lynch offers easy-to-follow directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots by reviewing a company's financial statements and by identifying which numbers really count. He explains how to stalk tenbaggers and lays out the guidelines for investing in cyclical, turnaround, and fast-growing companies.
Lynch promises that if you ignore the ups and downs of the market and the endless speculation aboutinterest rates, in the long term (anywhere from five to fifteen years) your portfolio will reward you. This advice has proved to be timeless and has made One Up on Wall Street a number-one bestseller. And now this classic is as valuable in the new millennium as ever.
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His main premise is that individuals, such as me and you, take part in the economy and are well aware of new trends and investing opportunities. By being aware and doing diligent homework before investing, you can find numerous "baggers" - stocks which increase by multiples over time - that can make you quite wealthy. In fact, Lynch points out this gives the average person an edge against professional investors, thus giving the book it's title. Throughout the book he details his ideas and methods for analyzing companies and serves as a good foundation to the value oriented investors. The author also seems to have a good sense of humor (like Buffett) which makes the book joyful to read.
The only downside of the book which I can find is that it is a bit outdated as it was written decades ago. Much has happened since then such as the dotcom bubble and the 2008 recession. But I find this a minor issue as the lessons and techniques detailed in the book are general enough to apply broadly. It in no way takes anything away from the quality of the book.
Now, back to the book. This book is known for emphasizing some of the advantages that individual investors have (say, over institutional ones) when it comes to finding investment opportunities. One of these advantages relates to the fact that -due to mandate or sheer size- institutional managers cannot even start considering investing in small caps. This leads to a second advantage, which is that individual investors can find very attractive opportunities by just looking around them. This advantage is even more true today considering the easy access everybody has to stock and company related data.
This is one of those books where, If you randomly pick a paragraph on any page, it will find a way to keep you engaged. The writing style is just too good. And I think it is that good because this man is pure wisdom. He could sit in front of me for the rest of my life and that probably would not be enough time for him to pass on all his knowledge. He was an investor, a trader, an equity analyst, a portfolio manager, and a businessman all in one. Incredible!
The three sections I found most valuable are these:
1- company/stock classification (slow/fast growers, stalwarts, turnarounds, etc)
2- description of the characteristics of a fast grower or 10-bagger.
3- details of the effect of interest rates on the markets’ historical P/E ratio.
Do yourself a favor a read this book. You won’t regret it.
I still think its a great book, but he is giving the average individual investor too much credit on being able to interpret what the financial statements are really saying and how to think about valuation of the stock. I really like his take on being aware of what you are seeing and hearing around you (not on TV or the web) as you walk through the mall to see the hot stores with the crowds, listen to your kids on hot products or fashions, etc. But once you get these ideas and then analyze the financial statements and valuation, most will want to also bounce the idea off a professional (financial adviser) or at least use a quantitative service like zacks.
That said, much of this book is repeated in his other books.
It is a fun, interesting, and potentially useful book if you are interested in high level investing. This book has less useful advice for the small investor than some of this other books.
Mr. Lynch's writing style is engaging and interesting.
All in all, a good book.
Top international reviews
This is a charming book written by a modest and engaging character, full of great anecdotes and sound advice. It has a place in my top twenty books on investing. Thoroughly recommended,.
Peter Lynch is a Wall Street legend. He drove Fidelity’s Magellan mutual fund to some incredible returns in the 1970s and 1980s, year after year. This is the strength and weakness of the book at the same time.
While Lynch's track record is undeniable, the way he writes sometimes comes off as susceptibility to selection bias. There's a lot of anecdotal and historical information about Peter's trades and the companies he's looked at. There's a couple heuristic lessons that are probably worth reading about if you are brand-spanking-new but if you are looking for an overview of the fundamentals you are probably better off looking elsewhere.
I particularly like the sections where he details some of his investments (good and bad) and includes the charts explaining where he bought and sold and the reasoning behind that. Peter actually goes quite in depth on some of his biggest mistakes which is a really nice touch and takes it away from being overly preachy like a lot of other investment books.
So far I've read it twice and I fully intend to read it again.
In one place he is dismissive of technical analysis, so do not expect that.
Given that this was written 20 years ago, it is remarkable that so many good principles, and bad practices, can be seen widely today.
Worth reading, even if you do not follow the Lynch approach.
the book covers how to find companies to invest in, how to value companies, and when to get out of companies invested in - the main theme running through the book is that an amateur investor can and will out perform professionals if they avoid the noise from wall street and focus on companies they understand.
the book gives great example of companies that were a "10 bagger/20 bagger" (meaning if you invested £1 you would have made £10/£20 etc.). lynch also gives example of where he missed companies/lost money as wekll - so the advice is very well rounded.
so why 4 stars? the book is well written with great examples and advice - but i question how relevant this is today when there are software packages and websites that can perform instant ratio checks, and profitability measures etc. - basically meaning that i am unsure whether lynch would have been as successful today as he was when the book was written - late 1980's. other than that, son't be put pff. this is a great book and well worth the read....
The theme of the book is that everyday folk like me will be open to spotting great investment opportunities before anyone on Wall Street or the London Stock Exchange gets a whiff of it. Once you spot the opportunity on the street, Peter makes light work explaining how you evaluate the company before investing.
One example in the book is of a fireman who drove past a factory everyday, and everyday he saw jobs being advertised and improvements being made to the grounds and buildings. This told him the company must be doing well and was experiencing growth (and didn't need to be a financial whizz to work it out). Long story short he retired a millionaire thanks to a fairly small investment in this company that became a global brand.
This book explains that we all have first hand experience with products, brands and companies that could be great investment opportunities. We don't need to be in the financial world to spot them.
*the reason for one minus star*
Lynch keeps on repeating same concepts for several pages (even chapters). At times, I felt I was rereading the previous page( or chapters). other than this, highly recommended book for investors