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Showing 1-10 of 86 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 115 reviews
on July 23, 2011
I found this book to be an entertaining introduction into value investing approximately a year and a half ago when it came out. It is written in a style to motivate someone who might feel incompetent to try to invest their own money. The book gave me the confidence to start investing and with his advice, I made several very good investment decisions (buying Netflix at $75/share, for one... which I just sold at a 285% profit). I also made several unnecessarily risky investment decisions (buying Joe's Jeans at $1.90/share... which decreased by 50% but I am still holding on because I still believe in the company's long-term potential). My losses have been more than outshadowed by good picks.

I agree with another reviewer's post that the website does NOT deliver on its promises and also that I found his method for valuing companies to be overly risk-averse. If you stuck with his recommended margin of error, you would NEVER invest in the market. I found very few stocks that met the balance sheet test by his margin of error and those that met that test I decided against for other reasons (no barriers to entry, declining value as technology advances, etc.) I used his calculator online to value companies but only in relation to each other. I didn't wait for his target price to buy... because I never would have invested $1 if I had.

I am currently reading Ben Graham's Security Analysis, which I find much more useful. However, I don't know that I would have been ready to dive into Security Analysis as a novice and thereafter be so willing to experiment if I had read it a year and a half ago.

Thus, I recommend this book in general to other complete novices. It is good, sound advice and it is written in a way to explain complex ideas to someone without a finance education. However, I'd also recommend other sources like fool.com. Value investing information can be learned from other sources... this is just one of them. It isn't magic or a different type of value investing than Buffett or Stock Advisor on fool.com. I also recommend reading other things after you make a few stock purchases because reading this book will not be the only thing you need to read for investing long-term. It is a continual process of trial, error, study, testing theory, trial, error... you never stop learning.
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on November 6, 2012
I had orginally read Rule #1 a few years ago but never followed its investing strategy that closely. After a few stock market plunges where my mutual funds tanked, and a few bad individual stock selections, I decided to buy Payback Time as well as a few other investment books about Warren Buffet and from Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor), and Joel Greenblatt (The Little Book That Still Beats the Market). Graham's book is a classic on value investing and was a good but difficult read. Greenblatt's book requires you to blindly trust his stock picks with little explanation of how they were chosen. For those who don't have the time to get a finance degree and learn security analysis, Phil Town's books are the best guide to learn how to value a company and actually price what the fair market value of a stock should be. I've used his pricing method to determine the MOS (Margin of Safety) for many stocks such as AAPL and SBUX and have been successful investing in them. Are people really complaining about spending $17 to get this book which includes added material on stockpiling, when to sell, and how to calculate payback time? Yes, some of the stock pricing material is the same as in Rule #1, but by reading this book it will reinforce the principals to good stock selection. If you follow the advice of the book closely, you will make your $17 back many times over. That being said, there were a few chapters I would have like to have seen in this book, such as how Payback Time's stock valuation method compares to other valuation methods that are used in the finance industry. Also, some examples of when you might want to lock in a profit on a stock by using a stop order would have been helpful. I'll probably try to read Graham's Security Analysis at some point, but his books are definitely not easy to read for the average person. Phil Town's books can be understood by almost anyone (take detailed notes while reading!). Overall it's the most valuable investing book I have ever bought.
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on May 28, 2016
A great investment tool. Make sure you go with a company you are passionate about that fits the criteria. If you go with their recommendations on their website, you may be waiting a long time for the returns. I've put EPAM on my watch list (predicted at 4000% return by them) and have not seen much movement on that stock over the past year.
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on April 5, 2010
I dont normally post reviews but wanted to add my thoughts about this book.

I read Rule number #1 when it first came out and it got me interested in investing. I found i did not like trading and could never time the tools right. I was always getting in to late or out to fast. I started studying more on investing and found that I liked the approach that is more akin to payback time.

I like to use the way Phil recommend to value a company to get an initial feel for the value and his calculators make this easy. He also makes very good points about buy a business and not a stock and that you should be interested in what you buy and understand it.

Both Rule# 1 and payback time are easy to read and you finish understanding how to begin to value a company (something I did not feel good about after reading my first few investment books.

That being said Payback time does not offer a whole lot of information over Rule #1. I was hoping that Phil was going to provide a way to evaluate cash flow or another method of evaluation. Instead the addition of payback time is only how to grow estimated earnings to determine at what point you could buy the whole business. Phil also clarifies some of his information from Rule 1 but you could have found most of this information for free on his website. The idea of a Berky is simply having a account you have cash flowing into at regular intervals and having a plan to use this cash to invest.

I do not feel like I wasted my money on this book because I did get some useful information and it was a good review. I think this is an excellent book for someone just starting out and would recommend this book over Rule #1. It does not cover the tools but I found them to be kind useless in todays market. I think they may have there place when the bear turns into a bull and may revisit them in the future.

I think the biggest lesson that can be learned from the last few years is that Warren Buffet is on to something when he sits on a cash horde for years and buys like crazy when the markets crash. Fear and greed are powerful things but knowing what something is worth gives you the knowledge and comfort zone to pull the trigger. Payback time will not make you a PHD in Finance but it will give you a better starting point then most other investment books out there.

From there spend some time reading seeking alpha, the motley fool and other investing websites.

Hope this helps.
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on March 3, 2017
Excellent!!! Brings the process of owning your own businesses via stocks down to Earth for anyone to comprehend. The second of two books that makes financing your future enjoyable. Thanks you Mr. Phil Town.
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on August 24, 2014
Phil's books have changed my financial life and given me the tools and the confidence to direct my own fiscal future. The clear, concise, simplified approach to investing is guaranteed to change your life if you have the discipline to do just a little leg-work. As a small individual investor, you can "beat the market" consistently over time and secure your own future, and that of your family. Phil's easy-going, everyman demeanor and conversational writing style lend a confidence and encouraging tone not found in many financial guides. Highly recommended reading for anyone who thinks they should let someone else take care of planning their retirement.
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on March 27, 2017
AWESOME!!!
I am listening to it for the third time in two weeks!
Cant get enough. Already signed up at the website.
Its Payback Time like never before!!!
Thanks Phil
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on November 5, 2012
I have read this book five times and have bought numerous copies to give to family and friends. Being an accountant, former banker and financial adviser in Australia, I have read many investment and financial books. However Phil's "Payback Time" stands "head and shoulders" above the rest. Written by a former river canyon guide, it is simple, straightforward and easy to be understood by the average person wanting to learn how to invest their own money and not leave it to the "experts" who have had an atrocious track record over the last few years. This book and the principles it is based on is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to achieve true financial independence and prosperity. If you only read one financial book in your entire life, make it this one.
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on June 18, 2010
I just finished this book. Unlike some reviewers here, I did note significant differences between Rule #1 and Payback Time --- Payback Time is more geared towards fundamentals and knowing the business you own; Rule #1 leaned ever so slightly in the direction of technical analysis.

With the discussion of Floors and Ceilings, though, we're still in the realm of doing some charting.

The problems I see are that Mr. Town is: a) hyping his website, but not realizing it does not deliver what he claims it will (e.g., where on the website is this "Investor Profile Questionnaire"? I certainly cannot find it ... ) ; b) a schill for his seminars and ancillary products --- Ok, I get it dude, you offer workshops, but do you really have to spend pages and pages selling me on the idea of going to them?

And besides, if you (Phil Town) are as rich as you claim to be, why set up these investment seminars in the first place? Just to "help" people? C'mon.

But really, the part that bugged me most was the description in the book of the wonderful associated website, and in reality the website just does not deliver on those promises.

On the plus side, the website does describe using Google Finance screens instead of the recently scaled back MSN screen. That alone merited an extra star ... otherwise I would only have rated this book "Fair" with two stars rather than three.
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on August 2, 2010
Like many other reviewers, I have also read Rule #1- just before all the market craziness that began in 2007. I have been afraid to try out strategies, but yet know I must do something. Part of my problem is that, as I approach 50, I felt it was too late- I was just hosed. This book gave me hope that I can turn things around in 20 years. I also like how it goes into much more detail as to how to use the online finance analysis tools. Plus the information about where to park money while you're doing the research.

Where this book is lacking is in the resources on the companion web site. The web site is referenced heavily throughout the book, but resources the book claims to be on the web site aren't there. I, too, could not find the investor profile test that is supposed to be on the web site. Maybe it's there after you register, I don't know- I registered but the confirmation email to complete the registration process has not been sent to my email. It's VERY disappointing that the book relies heavily on a web site to give the information needed to implement the plan- when the website does not contain the promised information!
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