- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; Revised and Updated edition (November 12, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470139501
- ISBN-13: 978-0470139509
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wall Street Waltz: 90 Visual Perspectives, Illustrated Lessons From Financial Cycles and Trends Hardcover – November 12, 2007
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“…the book gives new insight into investing in stocks while keeping the historical perspective intact.” (Gulf Business, March 2008)
From the Inside Flap
On the surface, Wall Street always seems to be changing. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll quickly see that while events and curious phenomena enter and exit the scene almost daily, nothing really important has changed over the years. In fact, much of what happens in the financial world today has been played out in history many times before and has been captured in the cycles and trends of financial charts created over time. Understanding the movements within these charts provides a clearer perspective of today's market and can help you make the best possible investment decisions tomorrow.
As a successful money manager and respected financial columnist, Ken Fisher understands the importance of this information and now, with a revised and updated edition of The Wall Street Waltz, he brings it to life through 90 of the most revealing and provocative financial charts ever assembled. Many of the charts in this reliable resource are snapshots of modern financial marketswhich reveal how stocks relate to sales, earnings, dividends, cash flows, and assetswhile others include early twentieth-century originals, and new charts of even older events. In each case, Fisher provides what he calls a visualization, in which he analyzes each chart according to its origin, historical significance, and most importantly, its relevance to today's market.
The key to making money on Wall Street doesn't involve fancy moves, it requires focusing on the simple steps. The illustrative charts and informative explanationswhich address what you should see in each chart and why they're importantfound throughout these pages will provide you with a new perspective on the highly orchestrated "dance" known as the Wall Street waltz and detail timeless investment insights that will enhance your everyday investment endeavors.
The Wall Street waltz has been around for over 200 years, surviving wars, revolutions, depressions, and inflation. It's gone on all around the world in boom-bust cycles with a rhythm all its own. If you want to waltz, the 90 visualizations found in this indispensable volume will provide you with the practical guidance to do so. And tomorrow or ten years from nowwhen some seemingly new mania or hysteria is causing those around you to panicyou can turn here for help in gaining and maintaining your financial footing.
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Many of the charts are fascinating and Fisher's insights are generally worth reading. This is, however, hardly an updated version from the one published 20 years ago. Many of the charts even are now outdated, meaning that they are merely an anecdote of old times that have no relevance today. Most of the charts are the same with a short added commentary by Fisher regarding the 20 years between the editions. Fisher even does not bother to add any for some charts, feeling that the message has stood the test of time. Case in point is chart 25, where he comments: "If you updated this chart, the story would be much the same." Why on earth doesn't he simply update it himself?
Although I think the book itself is interesting, I do deduct a star because of the lazy attitude towards this version (am even tempted to give another minus because of Fisher's constant promo references to his recent book). It is definitely worth getting for anyone with an interest in financial history, it simply should have been better.
Seeing charts of some of the financial cycles going back to the 1600's was simply astounding. I make all my own investment decisions. This book has upped my investing and financial decisions to a much higher level and has paid for itself many times over. I consider this book a must-read.
Like others, I would have liked a better update from the 1987 publication. The chart updates in the appendix should have been a re-write replacing the articles.
BTW I used an Apple IPad to read and display the picture, with a Kindle app.
He challenged me to throw away the CFA Syllabus and think independently -- to focus on my own competitive advantage. That led me to analyze what had worked and failed in my prior efforts in value investing, and that led to what would become the Eight Rules. I did well in the prior era, but much better after my discussion with Ken Fisher.
One more note before I begin the book review. He told me that if something is known, it is not valuable for investing. I have modified that rule to be, "If something true is relied upon by many investors, it is not valuable for smart investors. If something false is relied upon by many investors, it is valuable for smart investors to bet against that."
The Wall Street Waltz takes you on a graphic tour of economic and financial history. Using beautiful old charts created by multiple sources, he uses them to describe market action in the past, and what they might imply for the present. The original version, of which I have a copy, was written in 1987. The new edition updates Ken's comments to 2007.
The charts provide a springboard for Fisher to explain a wide number of concepts:
* Why preferred stocks are suboptimal investments. (Chart 31 -- learned that first hand a a little kid as I saw my Litton convertible preferred crater.)
* How economically linked Canada is to the US (Chart 15)
* The value of P/E ratios for the market (Charts 1&2)
* Why you shouldn't panic over bad political/disaster news. (Chart 24)
* How inflation is correlated internationally (Chart 49)
* Gold preserves purchasing power in the long run, but that is about it. (Chart 57)
* Stocks create value in the long run, despite short/intermediate-term fluctuations. (Chart 88)
I could go on. I chose those pages randomly. There is a wealth of knowledge here. I would like to close with a timely page that I targeted, Chart 64 -- Unemployment and the 1 Percent Rule. The stock market tends to rally after the unemployment rate rises 1%, though the challenge is timing when to sell, and I don't know what the rule should be for that. After the last unemployment report, the rate is more than 1% over the recent low. If correct, it is time to be a buyer, though what is true on average is not always true in specific.
Most investors don't benefit from an understanding of economic history, which gives a broader skill set for analyzing current problems. This book is an aid in gaining understanding of economic history.