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Probable Outcomes Hardcover – January 14, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Ed Easterling has hit another home run! Probable Outcomes is a brilliant follow-on to Unexpected Returns and masterfully explains, in an understandable way, the most likely directions for the stock market over the next decade. This essential resource prepares investors to succeed in volatile and challenging times. You will profit from the many valuable insights that are much more effective than hope.

Source:  John Mauldin, President, Millennium Wave Investments; Author of The Endgame and Bull’s Eye Investing

Probable Outcomes makes a strong case that the stock market over the coming decade at best will deliver only average returns to buy-and-hold investors. Once again, as in his splendid earlier book, Unexpected Returns, Ed Easterling tells investors not what they would like to hear, but instead what they need to know.

Source:  Richard Sylla, Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, Stern School of Business; coauthor of A History of Interest Rates

Easterling has done it again. In an investing world obsessed with short-termism, Ed reminds us that the long-term matters, and that investors can prosper – handsomely – by recognizing that valuation and long-term secular trends have an immense impact on our own long-term investment success. Swimming against the current is for heroes and idiots, not for sensible mortals.

Source:  Rob Arnott, Chairman & Founder, Research Affiliates, LLC; Former Editor, Financial Analysts Journal

Every captain needs a good navigator. Now investors can have Ed’s market insights helping them navigate the market’s tricky waters. In Probable Outcomes, Ed sets different courses depending on your view of inflation, the economy, and market valuations, helping you select the best investments for your course. For stock pickers wanting to understand the market environment, Probable Outcomes should never be far from reach.

Source:  David Meier, Senior Analyst and Writer, The Motley Fool

As a practitioner and a teacher of finance and economics, I am captivated with Easterling's insights and quantification of the important and critical role of price stability in producing superior investment returns.

Source:  Harvey Rosenblum, Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Adjunct Professor of Finance, Southern Methodist University

From the Inside Flap

What's Ahead?

When will the stock market again deliver better returns?

Probable Outcomes continues the Crestmont Research tradition of extensive full-color charts and graphs that enable investors and advisors to differentiate between irrational hope and a rational view of the stock market. This book's empowering insights prepare you to take action during the current period of below-average returns. The unique combination of investment science and investment art explores the market from several perspectives and addresses the significant implications for a broad range of investors. Beyond concepts, Ed Easterling delivers a dramatic analysis of the likely course for the stock market over the 2010 decade. Investors and advisors will benefit from this timely outlook and its message of reasonable expectations and value-added investing. This essential resource offers a compelling understanding of the key fundamental principles that drive the stock market. Derived from years of meticulous research, Probable Outcomes provides sensible conclusions that will guide your future investment choices and allow you to invest with confidence, whatever your financial strategy.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cypress House; first edition (January 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879384825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879384828
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is difficult to give a mediocre review to someone as insightful as Ed Easterling. However, I found little new in this update to his Unexpected Returns. This may partly be because Mr. Easterling's web site at Crestmont Research provides quarterly updates to his vast set of research and also because the overall market dynamic of a long-term bear market punctuated by artificially-induced cyclical bull markets continues. Unexpected Returns is by far the better book and contains the full set of his charts (incredible use of graphics). If you have read and understood UR, then there are no new insights here.

However, because Mr. Easterling provides all his research for free online, perhaps the money spent on this book can be seen as a contribution back to him for his great services to investors.
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Format: Hardcover
Probable Outcomes: Secular Stock Market Insights by Ed Easterling is a follow-on to his excellent book Unexpected Returns: Understanding Secular Stock Market Cycles.

The book begins by reviewing and elaborating on how to understand and identify what drives secular stock market cycles. Students of secular market cycles or those who follow Easterling's work Unexpected Returns: Understanding Secular Stock Market Cycleswill recognize the key theme of these chapters: those who invest hoping to achieve the long-term "average" returns for the stock market will feel lucky (or smart) during secular bull markets that typically produce mid-teens average annual returns and frustrated (or give up trying) during secular bear markets that typically produce zero or negative real returns.

In the first few sections, the author reviews the characteristics of these secular markets, describing what economic conditions drive changes in P/E multiples and thus eventual returns to the stock market over time. A discussion about various states of potential economic growth and inflation could have been improved with a more global perspective on what will drive future changes to the U.S. economy. Easterling spends considerable time discussing the difference between the widely used Cyclically Adjusted P/E produced and popularized by Robert Shiller ([...])Irrational Exuberance and his own version which aims to improve on the widely used (but often ignored) measure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ed Easterling has done it again; provided a big picture approach to the market using time-tested historical data and sound principles. Ed's first book, Unexpected Returns, was the first time I had heard of the way secular markets were defined - by valuations. Probable Outcomes expands and updates the first book. Easterling builds a methodology that is robust and clearly void of preconceived notions about the future; a refreshing approach rarely seen in books about the stock market.

The first part of the book is a lesson in market finance and economics from a practitioner view and not the usual financial academic approach - again quite informative and refreshing. Every concept is supported by data and colorful charts, which make learning and understanding the process enjoyable. He spends a great deal of time and effort to ensure that his explanations are easily understood and succinct.

Secular markets are driven by long-term trends in Price Earnings ratios (PE), which, in turn, are driven by inflation/deflation. This removes the scale of time from the secular cycle definition and only uses the trends and cycles of PE and inflation as the identification of secular bear, and bear market cycle beginnings and endings. Simply, a secular bear begins when valuations peak and reverse because of a trend back toward low inflation, then continue to decline throughout the secular period. Once sufficiently low, usually single digit PE, a new secular bull period can begin.

The book wraps up with a thorough evaluation of how the current decade (2010-2019) could possibly play out (currently in a secular bear), using a large number of different EPS, PE, and Inflation combination scenarios.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the macro, top-down investor this book crystallizes what drives the major cycles in the markets. The information that one learns from this book is timeless, because it represents data collected for over a century. Added to that is the fact that the information presented is fundamentally based on human emotion and fundamental growth limitations. The most important piece of information that I came away with was that the market cycles are driven by valuation, and they are not time dependent. Ed Easterling doesn't come across as being either a perma-bull or a perma-bear - he just presents the facts. With my doctorate degree in the sciences, I sincerely appreciate his data driven approach. This is one of the best books in this field that I've read. Ed's earlier book "Unexpected Returns" deserves the same accolades although there is some overlap between the two books.
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