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Reading Minds and Markets: Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Returns in a Volatile Global Marketplace Hardcover – June 29, 2009
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From the Back Cover
- Why you "must" take a top-down view of the market--and how to do it
"Avoid getting caught off-guard in choppy, highly volatile markets"
- Respond to the market's powerful signals about relative risk
"Master strategies for improving return without increasing risk"
- Discover the five factors that consistently tell you where to invest
"Cut through the clutter of irrelevant data: find what matters and use it"
- Stop being your own worst enemy
"Overcome the #1 obstacle to structuring your best portfolio: human nature "
Top Customer Reviews
These two questions are important because Jack Ablin's "global macro" strategy is not for beginning investors nor is it for people who are not able to make running their portfolio one of their core activities. Implementing Ablin's strategy will require a substantial amount of planning and setup activity and, depending on how complex your models become, probably a significant time commitment once things are up and running.
In addition, you must be able to commit enough capital to the strategy to make all the work worthwhile. The global macro strategy would be an insane amount of effort for portfolios that are smaller than the minimum initial investment (typically somewhere between $250k and $500k) for a customized account run by a professional manager.
OK--if all that didn't make you too discouraged--let's say you're game to check out the strategy. You'll find Reading Minds and Markets to be a good primer on how many big money managers, such as private bankers and high-net worth advisors, make asset allocation decisions. Ablin describes, in fairly broad terms, the five macro factors he uses to select asset classes, countries, and economic sectors. There is some useful discussion about edge and why it's important to invest globally, but the main focus is on explaining the key data that drive his strategy and tactics. It is left to readers to move themselves beyond these first theoretical building blocks and actually build a robust and useful model. Ablin doesn't provide much guidance on choosing benchmarks, portfolio diversification, or risk management either.Read more ›
Ablin accurately identifies the major misconception among small investors that the way to invest is by stock picking. He spends a good deal of time showing the futility of the exercise for any little guy because he is up against highly sophisticated investors in NY and elsewhere. Instead he teaches why focusing on the big picture is best and how that is the path best taken by prudent do-it-yourself investors. One of the things I really liked was the author's intense effort to remind the reader that this is not a get rich quick book. He lays out how his strategy of identifying what he calls "metrics" is for finding long term trends for various asset classes in an attempt to ride multi-year type moves. If you want to know if you should buy IBM or McDonald's you have the wrong book but if you want to decide between the US market and foreign markets this is the guy. I think both weekend warriors and the pros would be well served to crack open this book.
Specific deficiences include:
* He promises a new world of "global macro" then spends exactly two pages on international markets. There is no insight here into global or macro. (you'll want to admire the shiny globe on the cover because that's the last global thing you'll find here)
* The asset allocation offered is absolutely ancient: decision 1 is "stocks or bonds," decision 2 is "which kind of stocks (foreign is listed but no insights), decision 3 is which sector or style (style + sector), decision 4 is which funds. That's fine, but brings nothing new to this framework and nothing on alternatives (commodities) or options or ETF (okay a half page, not helpful). In other words, the asset allocation strategy here is both ancient and not really actionable. I dare you to actually construct a portfolio with this recipe.
* Here is the worst problem, in all seriousness: because this is offered as advice and because the advice is absolutely routine, this is a recipe for following the crowd. I wouldn't mind that if it were fundamental, value-based strategy that truly does minimize risk but the metrics include P/E.Read more ›
In the beginning of the book, the author attacks the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH). This was to be expected from a professional money manager, because even the weak form of the EMH states that you cannot make money off technical or fundamental analysis. There have been tons of empirical evidence showing support that US markets are at least weak form efficient, and plenty of research supporting that US markets are semi-strong form efficient (i.e., prices incorporate all publicly-available information). In addition, the author selectively cites evidence (including a quote from Warren Buffett) to show that EMH does not hold in practice and, like many anomalies that have been reported, selectively chooses certain events that would be contrary to market efficiency. However, as previously mentioned, the book does not discuss the magnitude of evidence that shows the US stock market is efficient.
The author once again name drops Warren Buffet and how Buffet describes the existence of "pockets of inefficiency" that canny investors can take advantage of. However, the author fails to realize that this argument IS consistent with market efficiency.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If using common sense and keeping a cool head when approaching investment opportunities nowadays equates to "reading minds", then this should be your favorite book about using... Read morePublished on April 20, 2012 by C. Gafton
...this book actually offers basic, time-honored, and largely traditional investment strategies.
So, no, this book won't help you "read minds" or "read markets" but does... Read more
The value you get out of Reading Minds will depend on how experienced an investor you are. For the advanced novice, it's a good read as it is a good introduction to asset... Read morePublished on December 16, 2010 by Stacy E. Burrell
Anyone who intends to select individual stocks or even ETFs owes it to themselves and their dependents to take at least a year and watch the markets carefully, read a few good... Read morePublished on August 30, 2010 by mheld45
Even with my MBA, it's hard to get excited about and fully digest books on Finance.
Basically this one boils down to buzz words, and a recommendation to gain... Read more
Provides a basic introduction to fundamentals, metrics data analysis, dollar cost averaging and momentum. Read morePublished on November 26, 2009 by Mike
I liked this book. I believe it is geared more towards a professional, or full time investor. But I do think a novice investor will find some good information here. Read morePublished on November 23, 2009 by Chris Jaronsky
No, this is not an actual mind-reading book... although READING MINDS AND MARKETS is a fascinating read at a time when we wonder what lies behind generic investing slogans such as... Read morePublished on November 16, 2009 by Cynthia Sue Larson