Tag Archives: investment book reviews

A Capitalist’s Lament Book Review

capitalist's lament book reviewA Capitalist’s Lament by Leland Faust is a book about “How Wall Street is Fleecing You and Ruining America.”

For full disclosure, the publisher of this book sent me a copy for free. That said, it did not impact my review.

And by the time you’re done reading, I think you should have a great understanding of what this book is all about, and whether or not it’s the right investment book for you.

One of the interesting things about this book, is that the author is a decided capitalist. It would be one thing to read a criticism of capitalism written by a Marxist. But in this case, the author has been a successful investment advisor featured prominently in the media over the last couple of decades.

Now that you have that background in mind, let’s take a closer look at what this book is all about.

A Capitalist’s Lament – Book Overview:

A Capitalist’s Lament is exactly what the title sounds like. The book is written by a dedicated capitalist, who seems to be legitimately disenfranchised with what our economic system has become.

As the sub-title of the book implies, the contents of the book is all about the many different ways Wall Street takes advantage of it’s customers. And there are many of them.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Outrageous execution compensation.
  • Why Wall Street has largely become a short-term focused casino.
  • The various conflicts of interest that exist in the financial services industry.
  • The high-fees brokers and bankers often push on their clients.

And much, much more…

The book accurately critiques a variety of things that have gone wrong with our modern form of capitalism. It really is a lament.

In a lot of ways, this investing book has a similar feel to David Stockman’s book The Great Deformation, and the all-time classic, Where Are The Customers’ Yachts?To some degree, I think this latter piece indicates the problems on Wall Street are relatively persistent, and not necessarily something new.

Even though that’s the case, A Capitalist’s Lament was published in October 2016. So there are lots of contemporary examples that make the book interesting and relevant. But there’s one aspect of the book that really stood out to me.

My Favourite Part About a Capitalist’s Lament:

The author of A Capitalist’s LamentLeland Faust, is a successful investment advisor. He’s the founder of a company called CSI Capital Management, which he started over 33 years ago after graduating from Harvard Law School. Today, the company has over $1.5 billion in in assets under management that he supervises. For his role actively managing money, Faust also has numerous awards and accolades. So why does all this matter?

To be honest, given the credentials of the author, I take the criticisms of the book much more seriously. It would be easy for someone outside the system to throw stones. But for someone to have been so successful in an environment, only to turn around and objectively criticize it is very interesting.

It’s one thing to see sensationalist headlines about the misgivings of majors banks and the financial fees they pay. But when it’s supported by this educated and informed critique, it really makes you stop and think. And I think in large part, that’s what this book delivers. For me, it was the author’s seasoned and respectable perspective that really made the book sing.

On the other hand, there was one part of his tone I didn’t love.

Where A Capitalist’s Lament Comes Up a Little Short:

Overall, A Capitalist’s Lament does a very effective job summarizing the problems, conflicts and fees plaguing investors. The book rightly shines a light on the fact hat most individual investors are getting fleeced.

And I also realize that the book is titled a lament. So in some regards, this slight criticism might not even be warranted. But as a reader, I would have appreciated a little more focus on potential solutions.  While awareness of the issues certainly matters, it isn’t enough on it’s own.

To that end, the book does have some recommendations on next steps and questions to ask of your investment advisors and product dealers. I think this kind of information is very helpful, and I would have appreciated it if some of these ideas were sprinkled throughout the book a little more. Overall though, I really did enjoy the approach in this book. So let’s finish this book review up.

A Capitalist’s Lament – The Final Word:

By now, I hope you have a good understanding of what A Capitalist’s Lament is all about. The book does a good job accurately summarizing the problems facing Wall Street, and the general investing public. For this reason, it may be of interest and I recommend taking a closer look at the book on Amazon.

I also encourage you to check out the short video book review. After that, you’ll have everything you need to know about A Capitalist’s Lament.

A Capitalist’s Lament – Video Book Review:

The Intuitive Investor Book Review

The Intuitive Investor Book Review

The Intuitive Investor

The Intuitive Investor by Jason Apollo Voss is a Radical Guide for Manifesting Wealth.

This book came up on my radar because the author, Jason Voss, writes regularly for the CFA Enterprising Investor blog. Eventually, I started reading his website and purchased his book. In this book review, I’ll tell you if that was the right decision.

But before we get into the book, I’d also like to further introduce you to the author. His credentials and success were another important reason why I bought this book.

First of all, Voss retired before the age of 35. Anybody who has cracked that code is definitely worth listening to, if you ask me. Plus, he was a portfolio Manager for a well-regarded mutual fund. And he beat his benchmark by a long shot, during his money management career. So with that in mind, it’s pretty amazing you can buy his insights for much less than a nice dinner out.

The Intuitive Investor Book Summar:

The Intuitive Investor is a radical guide for manifesting wealth. But the book approaches this in a much different format from most other investment books. And by the way, I’ve read a ton of trading and investing books. Most of these books are analytical or anecdotal accounts of how to beat the market. They focus on methodologies, strategies and tools to help you try and outperform the pros.

But that’s not what this book is about. And I’m actually happy for that. In fact, I think this book is closer to Trading in the Zone, than The Intelligent Investor.

That’s because The Intuitive Investor is focused on helping you tap into the powers of your creative right-brain and harnessing insights to drive investment success. And it’s fascinating stuff.

The book starts with a discussion of emotions, feelings and their implications for investors. This is ground that isn’t often covered, but it’s absolutely essential. Because at the end of the day, humans are emotional creatures and if we’re not careful our emotions can have a big impact on our actions. For better, and for much, much worse.

From there, the book introduces a number of frameworks for how to access your right brain, to receive insight and intuition that can help your investments outperform. As far as investing books go, this is pretty esoteric stuff. And I wouldn’t blame you for feeling skeptical.

But keep in mind the author’s credentials, and throughout the book he absolutely emphasizes the importance of sound and diligent left-brain driven analysis. Actually, those are the table stakes. This book goes further into how to access your entire thinking apparatus to achieve the financial future you want. Now let met tell you what I liked most about The Intuitive Investor.

The Best Part of The Intuitive Investor:

If you ask me, the best part of The Intuitive Investor was how actionable the book was. This trait primarily displayed itself in three ways.

First, the entire book is very well-structured. The key concepts are broken down into digestible parts, from the 4 Principles to the 7 Behaviours and Beliefs, this book lays out incredibly insightful ideas in easy to understand pieces. In fact, Voss asserts the most important investment skill is “understanding information.” So he does his readers a big service by sharing his wisdom in straightforward and simple terms.

Next, the book is also very actionable. Each chapter ends with self-assessment questions, and exercises. To be honest, I need to put a little more work into these parts of the book myself. Since I read it while commuting it was a little bit tough to do all of the exercises. Nonetheless, the author put in a lot of thought and effort into helping you get the most bang for your book. Especially since there’s talk of meditation included it’s helpful the author gives specific action steps.

Finally, Voss shares interesting and educational investment anecdotes from his professional career. Not only is it insightful to better understand how a professional portfolio manager finds and considers investment ideas, but these anecdotes

What The Intuitive Investor Is Not:

If you’re looking for a trading system, analytical technique or some crazy scheme to get rich, this book isn’t it. On the other hand, if you seriously contemplate the material in The Intuitive Investor it can help you live a much richer life. Further…

I know there are readers out there who will scoff at this book. They’ll call it soft, fluffy and irrelevant. But I’d be willing to bet a pretty penny that’s just their ego trying to defend itself. Therefore, if you’re willing to think a little bit differently and consider some new ideas you might want to pick up The Intuitive Investor for yourself.

With that, let’s wrap it up…

The Intuitive Investor – The Final Word:

As you’ve probably surmised by now, The Intuitive Investor is an intriguing investing book that will make you think about your portfolio, and yourself, in entirely new ways. For this unique perspective alone, I recommend you pick up a copy of The Intuitive Investor on Amazon.

Now, if you still aren’t sure if this book is for you, I encourage you to watch the video book review below to finally decide once and for all if The Intuitive Investor is the book for you.

The Intuitive Investor – Video Book Review:

Jesse Limermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks (Book Review)

Jesse Livermores Methods of Trading in Stocks Book Review2Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks, by Richard D. Wyckoff is a collection of articles and interviews. These columns originally appeared in the Magazine of Wall Street, of which Wyckoff was the editor.

As long time readers of StockIdeas.org know, Jesse Livermore is one of the greatest speculators of all times. And I’ve already read a few books about him, like: Reminiscence of a Stock Operator and How to Trade in Stocks – both of which gave insight into Livermore’s market methodology. So you can understand why I was excited when I discovered that these lost volumes had finally been brought back into print.

Further, I also recently read and reviewed Richard Wyckoff’s own book, Studies in Tape Reading. I found his approach to be matter-of-fact, simple to understand and most of all, time-tested. While these approaches were written about in the early 1920, they’ve stood the test of time. And I was optimistic Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks would present more of the same.

I was not disappointed. Let me tell you why.

Overview of Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks:

As I mentioned, this book is actually a collection of articles and interviews. They were written at the time when Jesse Livermore was the most well-known speculator in the markets. And while Livermore historically avoided the spotlight, he did agree to share his methods in this one set of interviews. Neat, right?

So as you might expect, the book is actually quite short. I would almost call it a pamphlet. That means, at only 32 pages, it’s a very easy read, and each chapter is completed self-encapsulated. But you might be wondering, is a book that short worth reading?

Emphatically, the answer is yes. Although the book is simple, it’s still profound. To paraphrase Livermore himself, there’s nothing new in speculation because human nature doesn’t change. The tactics and strategies he used over 100 years ago are still effective today because our brains and emotions still work the same way. Hope and fear spring eternal.

And that leads my to my favourite part about this unique trading book.

The Best Part of Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks:

For me, the best part in Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks is the fact that the book is so simple. And I’ll tell you why.

It’s because in this day and age of online brokers and advanced technical analysis, there’s a tendency to overcomplicate the market. CNBC has 24 hours to fill, 7 days a week. So you can’t blame them for manufacturing drama and complicating the market analysis.

On the other hand:

If Jesse Livermore can lay out his methodology for trading and speculating in stocks in just over 30 pages – and still have the lessons be applicable 100 years later – then it just goes to show that  playing an active hand in the market doesn’t have to be that complicated. You see…

Livermore’s words are a great reminder that you can keep things simple. It’s the classic advice you’ve heard a million times before: go with the trend, cut your losses and let your winners run, and don’t listen to random tips from people on the street.

Of course, there are some nuances. And putting this advice into practice is easier said than done. But I found it incredibly encouraging to see that the approach Livermore espoused is similar to the best practice guidance you hear today. Speculating isn’t complicated, us humans just like to make it that way.

So if you’re looking for a simple to read introduction to the kind of trading advice that’s stood the test of time, then Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks might just be the right book for you. Since it’s only a couple dollars and under 35 pages, I highly recommend you check it out on Amazon.

For more information, you’re welcome to watch the video book review below to get even more information on this unique trading and speculating book.

Jesse Livermore’s Methods of Trading in Stocks – Video Book Review:


What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars Book ReviewWhat I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is an auto-biographical book about the life of Jim Paul, by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynhian.

Although I very recently read this book, I can’t remember where I heard about it or why I picked it up. But either way, I’m very excited to write this review. Because this was one of the best finance books I’ve read in a long time. Can you guess why?

Basically, What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is all about failure. It stands in stark contrast to 99% of the other investing and trading books out there. Believe me, I’ve read a lot of them.

So this one was refreshing.

I can’t wait to tell you all about What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, so you can decide whether or not this is the right book for you. So let’s get into it, shall we?

A Summary of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars:

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is an autobiographical account of Jim Paul’s life as a trader and broker. It chronicles the exciting ups and downs in a fun and easy to read way. And as a bonus, the book is educational too.

The first part of this book, and probably the most exciting, is about the life of Jim Paul. It starts at childhood, and documents his exploits through adolescence, college and his nascent career. Since Jim’s such a good story teller, it makes for fun reading. You get a sense of what he was like growing up, and why he became the big shot futures trader that he did.

But then things take a turn for the worst.

The second part of this autobiographical section is the downfall of Paul’s trading career. It explains how he rode a big winner into an insanely large loser. And it’s amazing how quickly things unraveled. This part of the story is both gripping and unbelievable.

The third part of this book, and probably the most interesting, is the post-mortem. Paul takes a cold hard look at his downfall. He tries to learn where he went wrong, and how to succeed in the market. But then, he has a revelation.

Instead of trying to find a holy grail technique to conquering the market, Paul decides to become an expert on losing. He goes to great lengths to learn why people lose in the markets. And to his surprise, there are only a few key reasons. This is where things really get fascinating.

My Favourite Part of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars:

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book overall. But for me, the last part of the book really stood out as the most educational and insightful.

The most interesting part for me, is that it turns out there are only a couple of ways to lose money in the markets. While there are innumerable ways to make a profit, losing comes in only one of two ways.

I don’t want to give away the book here, but it boils down to (1) losing money via your trading or investing methodology, and (2) losing money due to psychological mistakes that cause you to deviate from your methodology.

Make sense?

in the last section of What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, Paul goes deep into the second factor. Because that’s where most people lose most of their money. Neat, isn’t it?

But to be honest, there’s one thing you should know before you buy this book.

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars – A Word of Warning:

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book, don’t get me wrong. But it’s hard to overestimate how hard it is to implement the advice in the book. You see…

This is the same kind of advice I really enjoyed reading about in Trading in the Zone. And that was one of my favourite trading books of all time. I’m always encouraged when great books independently correlate each other.

But here’s the thing: I’ve read Trading in the Zone 5 times at least. And when reading What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, I combed over it with a pencil and paper. I do my best to absorb these lessons, and they’re still hard to apply.

The deep-seeded desires of the ego are hard to overrule. But with practice and conscientiousness, I believe it’s possible. So if you have trouble applying the lessons in the book, just keep trying.

Now, let’s bring this book review to a close.

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars – The Final Word:

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a great book. I honestly can’t wait to read it again. For the reasons above, I highly recommend you check out What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars on Amazon for yourself.

If you want even more information though, you’re also welcome to watch the video book review below.

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars – Video Book Review:

Studies in Tape Reading Book Review

Studies in Tape Reading Book ReviewStudies in Tape Reading by Richard Demille Wyckoff is a classic trading book that you won’t want to miss.

And in this book review, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this unique book. To give you a bit of perspective before we get started, you should know this book was actually originally published in 1910. The recent edition I’m reviewing was re-published in 2011, but without any changes to the original version.

One of the reason’s I wanted to read this book is because it provides a unique historical perspective on Wall Street, and speculative trading and investing. I really enjoyed the book and am excited to tell you about it. So let’s get down to business.

Studies in Tape Reading Book Summary:

Studies in Tape Reading is a wonderful book. The author, Richard Wyckoff was himself a very successful speculator. And as he became wealthy, his attention turned to educating other aspiring traders. He was the editor of Wall Street Magazine  and Stock Market Techniques. So you get the explicit sense that the author was in touch with the stock trading strategies of his day.

Studies in Tape Reading offers a very unique perspective. The book is essentially a collection of magazine columns that share tips, tactics and techniques for improving tape reading, and trading. While we obviously don’t have ticker tape machines today, the basic concepts are the same. The book is only about 175 pages and very easy to read, so it’s not too intimidating if you’re just getting started with the stock market.

Additionally, it’s incredibly insightful to read advice from 1910 that says essentially the same thing you read today: cut your losses, let your winners run, go with the trend and try your best not to be overly emotional. The book explains trading and successful speculation is a business that can be learned if only one has the right knowledge, discipline and tenacity.

And that leads me to my favourite part about this classic trading book.

The Best Part of Studies in Tape Reading:

While I enjoyed the entire book, there’s one special part of Studies in Tape Reading that I can’t help but really appreciate. And basically, it boils down to this: There have never been any short cuts on Wall Street.

It really struck me when reading this book, that even over 100 years ago, traders and speculators were constantly scheming to beat the market. They were worried about the tape being manipulated. There were tips, scams and anxiety, just like you see in today’s markets.

So I can’t hammer home this point enough: There are no secrets or short cuts in the stock market. That’s because the markets are made up of human beings, and human nature and psychology doesn’t really change. At the end of the day, we still experience fear and greed just like our ancestors did over 100 years ago.

I think this realization had a big impact on me. People have been trying to find new ways to beat the market for centuries. But at the end of the day, it comes to consistently executing a profitable strategy. And the basic tenets of going with the trend and keeping losses small are still essential to long term success.

So by now you might be wondering, is there anything I didn’t like about this book?

One Cautionary Note on Studies in Tape Reading:

Well, overall, I really enjoyed reading Studies in Tape Reading. It’s a unique book that provides a glimpse into the thinking of Wall Street speculators over 100 years ago. For this reason alone, I think the book is worth buying. But there is something you should be warned of.

Obviously, the book is a little bit dated. It pretty much only refers to traders as men. And some of the language is a little bit old-fashioned. Additionally, there are some spots where the author shows a series of transactions from the tape. Whiel thesis very interesting, I hadn’t read a ticker tape before, so this took a little bit of getting used to. That said, I enjoyed the novelty of it and wouldn’t avoid the book for these quaint little features. Make sense?

Now, with that in mind, let’s bring this book review to a close.

Studies in Tape Reading – The Final Word:

Studies in Tape Reading is a wonderful book that shows how people have been trying to make mont in markets for over 100 years. For this reason alone, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Studies in Tape Reading on Amazon and read it for yourself.

However, if you’re still looking for a little more information, then you’re encouraged to watch the video book review brow to get even more insight into this classic trading book.

Studies in Tape Reading – Video Book Review:

Panic Proof Investing Book Review

Panic Proof Investing Book ReviewPanic-Proof Investing by Tom Basso shares Lessons in Profitable Investing from a Market Wizard.

I first read about Tom Basso in Jack Schwagger’s Market Wizards. But since then, I sort of forgot about Tom. However…

He recently popped up on my radar again when listening to the Michael Covel podcast. Michael interviewed Tom, a few times, and I found his insights to be fascinating. In fact, there is a four hour interview with Tom that I listened to while running a half-marathon a few months ago.

So when I learned that Tom had a book, Panic Proof Investing, I wanted to check it out. Now keep reading this book review to learn everything you’ll need t know about this unique investing and trading book. Now let’s get into it.

Panic Proof Investing Book Summary:

Panic-Proof Investing is a great book. It’s just under 150 pages and is very easy to read. Even if you don’t know too much about trading or investing, this would be a great primer to help bring you up to speed.

But that doesn’t mean the book is for amateurs, either. Don’t let Tom’s way of making things sounds quant fool you: Panic Proof Investing offers timeless advice from a Market Wizards. It could be a reference book that you re-read on an annual basis. I think that’s how I’m going to treat it.

The point I’m making is, no matter how experienced an investor or trader you are, the stories and lessons in Panic Proof Investing will be worth your time.

The book is structured wherein each chapter in the book is a different investing lesson. Most of the lessons are illustrated with a personal anecdote. Tom has been in the money management business for a long time, so you get the idea he’s seen most (if not all) of these lessons first-hand.

And whether you’re a trader or investor, or even just delegating your money management to someone else, this book will be of value to you. In fact, Tom makes the point that even if you don’t have an interest in investing you should at least learn how to find someone who will be a good stewart of your capital. And even then, you still have to deal with your own emotions as they relate to money, investing and YOUR net worth. Take responsibility.

There’s all kinds of insight like this throughout the book. But there’s one part of the book that’s especially thoughtful.

My Favourite Part of Panic Proof Investing:

While Panic Proof Investing is a well-written and easy to understand book, it has one additional feature that makes things even easier. At the end of the book, there’s a quick checklist that summarizes all of the lessons in a few pages.

This simple little addition makes the book much more valuable. I enjoy quickly skimming the lessons every now and then. Or I’ll read one a couple times each day to try and internalize it. The advice of Basso is worth listening to and these digestible nuggets are one of my favourite ways to keep the concepts he suggests top of mind.

Now, usually I try to find something to criticize about the book I’m reviewing. But in this case, I really can’t find any faults. I appreciated Tom’s perspective, and will look forward to reading this book again.

The one thing I will say is that you should NOT buy this book if you are looking for a specific trading system invented by Tom Basso. The principles shared here are much more valuable. With that in mind, let’s wrap this up, shall we?

Panic Proof Investing – The Final Word:

Tom Basso’s Panic Proof Investing is a great tread. He shares timeless market wisdom that can be of value to any trader or investor. So for that reason alone, I’d recommend you pick up a copy of Panic-Proof Investing on Amazon for yourself.

Of course, if you still want more information about this book, you’re welcome to watch the video book review below, to help you decide if Panic Proof Investing is the right book for you.

Panic Proof Investing – Video Book Review

Trend Following with Managed Futures Book Review

Trend Following with Managed Futures Book ReviewTrend Following with Managed Futures by Alex Greyserman and Kathryn Kaminski is all about the search for crisis alpha.

After reading Michael Covel’s Trend Following, I was definitely intrigued by this tactical and technical investment strategy. So I wanted to dive deeper. While I’m primarily an equity investor, I wanted to learn more about futures trading and trend following.

So in this book review, I’ll give you a summary of Trend Following with Managed Futures. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know everything you need to decide if this is the right trading book for you.

Trend Following with Managed Futures Summary:

Trend Following with Managed Futures starts with an 800 year history of trend following. That’s right, 800 years! The authors collect data on commodity and financial markets going well back in time to help establish that not only has trend following been around for centuries, but that’ it’s also performed well during this entire time. Compelling, right?

After the fascinating history lessons, the authors talk briefly about the futures markets in general before digging deeper into trend following itself. Next there are a few chapters that look at the different facets of trend following trading strategies. I think the authors did a good job breaking down the different parts of this trading strategy, and how they contribute to your returns.

Notably, one part of the trend following performance puzzle is what the authors call crisis alpha. This essentially means that trend following has historically outperformed during times of market crisis. This may be appealing because trend following can act as a hedge compared to the other strategies you could be running in your portfolio.

From there, the book spends some time looking at the risks of trend following compared to other alternative trading strategies. In most cases, trend following stacks up well as a low-risk approach to earning steady returns. Finally, Trend Following with Managed Futures looks at how trend following fits into bigger institutional portfolios and different strategies for allocating money to a trend following manager.

Overall, this is a very in-depth look at trend following in the managed futures space. And even if you’re only trading stocks and/or options, trend following strategy can still be incorporated to your approach.

Now let me share my favourite things about this book.

The Best Parts of Trend Following with Managed Futures:

There were two things that I really liked about Trend Following with Managed Futures

The book touched a lot on behavioural finance. Since I recently read Thinking Fast and Slow, which is a wonderful behavioural economics book, I really appreciated seeing how trend following strategies are designed to work against our cognitive biases and position us for success.

This was neat to see in practice. I was also encouraged to see the authors, both successful academics, talking about the merits of behavioural finance and it’s real-world implications.

Another thing I really liked about Trend Following with Managed Futures was the discussion of convergent vs. divergent risk taking. This wasn’t a topic I was previously familiar with. But it’s a powerful one. In short…

Convergent strategies believe the market is efficient and things will revert to the mean. Value investing strategies are convergent risk-taking, as are mean reversion and arbitrage trades. Convergent strategies are correlated with short volatility.

On the other hand, divergent risk taking strategies believe the markets are periodically inefficient and you can capture massive market moves every once in a while. Divergent strategies are long volatility. And as you might have guessed, trend following is a divergent strategy.

If you haven’t learned about these different kinds of risk taking, I really encourage you to learn more about them (either in this book or with a quick Google search) because it added an important element to my understanding of investment strategies.

Now, before I get too carried away, there’s one caveat I’d like to mention…

Trend Following with Managed Futures – A Word of Warning:

One thing I do want to point out is that while Trend Following with Managed Futures is incredibly educational, it’s not a book written for the retail investor. In fact…

Trend Following with Managed Futures is actually written for institutional investors. So if you’re just looking for a lazy summer read, then this might not be it. While the book is incredibly informative, at times it felt a bit dense.

The book is packed with graphs and formulas that relate trend following to academic finance, which the institutional audience surely would appreciate. But you might not care so much about  how Sharpe ratios change over time and across asset classes compared to other hedge fund strategies. For retail investors looking to get up to speed I’d first recommend Covel’s book, Trend Following.

In the end though, Trend Following with Managed Futures is definitely a rigorous analysis of trend following, and in the end the book gives this investment strategy a passing grade.

So let’s wrap this book review up.

Trend Following with Managed Futures – The Final Word:

Trend Following with Managed Futures was a great read. It really pulls the curtain back on trend following. And if you’re seriously interested in learning more about this investment approach then I encourage your o buy a copy of Trend Following with Managed Futures

Of course, if you’re still looking for more information then I encourage you to watch the video book review below to learn more about this investing book.

Trend Following with Managed Futures – Video Book Review:

The Perfect Speculator Book Review

The Perfect Speculator Book ReviewThe Perfect Speculator, by Brad Koteshwar, explains How to Win Big in Up Markets and Lose Nothing in Down Markets.

The Perfect Speculator came up on my radar when somebody mentioned it as a good, but relatively unknown trading book. As I’ve already read most of the mainstream investing books, I’m always on the lookout for lesser-known books with a unique point of view.

So does The Perfect Speculator deliver?

Well, in this book review I’ll tell you what The Perfect Speculator is all about, so you can determine if it’s the right trading book for you. Sound good?

Great. Then let’s get down to business.

The Perfect Speculator – Book Summary:

The Perfect Speculator shares stock market rules in a teacher and student format. The book is written from a first-person perspective, which makes it engaging and easy to follow.

The story is about an old stock market guru who is passing on his knowledge to a trusted friend and neighbour. The lessons are technical in nature. And the approach is similar to what Nicholas Darvas wrote about.

The lessons are simple to follow, and the stock picking method that the book teaches is a form of trend-following for growth stocks. If you’re looking to capture lightening in a bottle with momentum stocks, this might be the right kind of trading book for you.

On the other hand, if you don’t appreciate technical analysis whatsoever then you’l probably want to take a pass on this book.

But overall, I really enjoyed reading The Perfect Speculator. It was concise, focused and had a compelling point of view. I’ve had some luck augmenting my value investing with technical overlays and had some luck. So this book came at a great time for me.

But let me tell you what I liked most about this stock trading book…

The Perfect Speculator  – The Best Part:

My favourite part of The Perfect Speculator is how simple it is. The book is incredibly easy to understand, and straight to the point. Even if you are new to the market, you can learn a lot from this book.

The Perfect Speculator did a remarkable job of communicating a succinct set of principles to help you master speculation. And then it repeated them again and again. Truthfully…

Although this book was only about 115 pages, it could have been much shorter. However the author did a great job illustrating the simple lessons multiple times in easy to understand ways. And somehow, it wasn’t repetitive.

I already look forward to reading this book again.

But, before you think I was obsessed with this book, let me tell you a couple of negatives about The Perfect Speculator…

The Perfect Speculator – Two Small Complaints:

Overall, I really liked The Perfect Speculator. But there are two small complaints that I want to share in order to keep your expectations in line, in case you buy this book for yourself.

So the first thing to explain, is that the book is written in a very casual style. While I’m all down for simple and easy to understand books, I think a little bit more editing could have been helpful. There were a few times I had to re-read sentences because I ‘didn’t understand them the first time. It’s not a huge complaint though.

Second, I honestly just wish The Perfect Speculator was a little bit longer. I guess the truth is that the rules of speculation are relatively simple. It’s executing them consistently that’s the tricky part. We humans don’t always make it easy.

And to be honest, if the book was longer, I might complain that it was repetitive. I think the author did a old job on the whole, and these gripes are quite minor. I’m still very happy to have read this book.

Now with that in mind, let’s wrap this up.

The Perfect Speculator – The Final Word:

The Perfect Speculator is a wonderful read, that’s easy to understand and delivers time-tested lessons in speculation. For these reasons, I suggest you check out The Perfect Speculator on Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself.

I hope you have a good overview of this book, now that you’e read my review. But if you want more information, you’re welcome to watch the video book review below to learn even more.

The Perfect Speculator – Video Book Review:

Thinking Fast and Slow Book Review

Thinking Fast and Slow Book ReviewThinking, Fast and Slow is a book written by Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman.

And in this book review, I’ll tell you what I liked about this book, and even why you might want to check out this great read for yourself. Sound good?

Thinking Fast and Slow covers a lot of ground, all of which is applicable to individuals looking to make better decisions in their lives. And investors and traders are especially encouraged to pay attention to the lessons in the book. Because…

Your unknowing misbehaviour in the markets could be costing you.

Thinking Fast and Slow Summary:

Thinking, Fast and Slow covers a lot of ground. The book is around 420 pages, so I’ll do my best to give you a concise summary about this discussion of prospect theory and behavioural economics.

Basically that means…

Thinking Fast and Slow looks at the different ways our brain works and how this impacts our decision making. It is a stark contrast with traditional economic utility theory that states individuals are rational actors at all times. The differences are fascinating.

And the first part of the book talks about two ‘parts’ of our brain: the fast system and slow system.

You might be able to realize this in your own life: We have a quick and intuitive part of our brain that provides intuitions and snap judgements. We also have a slower, more logical and rational part of our brain that we can engage for analytical reasoning. The book describes the different ways these two systems interact, and how they sometimes miscommunicate, causing us to make sub-optimal decisions.

There are tons of illusions, fallacies and irrational choices that we make, which this book explains in detail. For example, Thinking Fast and Slow is packed with short exercises and thought experiments to help you really experience these logical shortcomings. It’s really eye-opening to see for yourself.

Beyond that, Thinking Fast and Slow looks at some of the other discrepancies such as the difference between our experiencing and remembering selves. It turns out our brains play some unique tricks on remembering experiences vs. how we perceive things in the moment.

The book also discusses the differences between humans and econs, the latter of which are the ultra-rational agents used in traditional economics. This discussion is incredibly valuable and a great introduction to behavioural economics. But it’s not even the best part.

The Best Part of Thinking Fast and Slow:

A big theme of Thinking, Fast and Slow is that we are wired to make sub-optimal decisions, in some circumstances. But the bigger take-home lessons is that it’s incredibly hard to catch yourself in the moment making these poor decisions. We’re not as clever as we think we are.

And for me, I really enjoyed this honest approach. It would have been easy for this nobel-prize winning author to come across as condescending or smug. But instead, he freely admits that he still makes mistakes of reasoning and has trouble catching himself. This humbleness is refreshing.


This theme throughout the book really makes you feel like you’re working with a trusted advisor who will show you a more enlightened way forward. The unfortunate reality is that it would take a lifetime of mindfulness , and even then, perfect decision making would be impossible. But…

Striving to spot shortcomings in our logic, and fallacies in our reasoning (both in ourselves and those we care about) is a worthy undertaking. This is especially true if you are working in financial markets.

Thinking Fast and Slow For Traders and Investors:

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a great book for traders and investors. That’s because a lot of the logical illusions described in this book are applicable to financial markets. For example…

The book talks about subjects like thinking in probabilities and the role of chance in gambles and how our brains are not well-squared to deal with these types of data.

The book also talks about a “disposition effect” and how our brains are wired to avoid selling losers, and instead cut our losses short by selling winners. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There are numerous passages of this book that are can’t-miss reading for any serious investor hoping to protect themselves, from themselves.

Thinking Fast and Slow The Final Word:

Whether you’re an experienced investor looking to improve your edge, or just interested in making better life and business decisions, Thinking Fast and Slow is the right book for you. It’s an entertaining, enjoyable and educational read. What more could you ask for?

That’s why I recommend buying a copy of Thinking, Fast and Slow on Amazon. Of course, if you’re still not convinced, I encourage you to check out the video book review below to get even more information on this great book.

Thinking Fast and Slow – Video Book Review:

Zen in the Markets Book Review

Zen in the Markets Book ReviewZen in the Markets by Edward Alen Toppel shares Confessions of a Samurai Trader.

And in this book review, I’m going to tell you what Zen in the Markets is all about. To be honest…

This isn’t your average trading book. I’ve reviewed tons of finance books and none of them have been quite like this. Zen in the Markets provides a unique perspective on the stock market. And I’m excited to tell you why.

Because even though this book was published in 1992, it provides a timeless perspective that I could see myself applying today. Now let me pull back the kimono for you.

Zen in the Markets – Book Summary:

Zen in the Markets was written by professional CBOE options pit trader Edward Allen Toppel. The book was written because on one particular day trading IBM options, he had an enlightening experience. He caught himself in a moment of flow, only to realize it was one of the most profitable days of his career.

From there, Toppel began embracing and studying Zen, in order to better apply it to his trading and become more profitable. And then he wrote this book. So does it work?

I think that’s up to you. Let me explain.

Zen in the Markets provides a really important perspective. The book starts by explaining the different ways your mind and your ego can trick you. It shows how you get in your own way and act against your own best interest in a vain attempt to feel good, or not admit fault.

Besides explaining many of the ways we undermine our own investments, the book ends with some Zen parables, exercises and questions to help you contemplate your own approach to markets, and to life. The author also shares his daily routine and approach to meditation.

Throughout the book, there are also Zen quotes, saying and poems. These are often humorous or insightful and add a nice flavour to the book. One of my favourite is that (paraphrasing) ‘We do not see things as they are, but as we are”

It’s these kind of enlightening ideas that make Zen in the Markets so insightful. And while incorporating the Zen techniques described in the book would required consistent daily practice, I believe the lessons of the book to be very important. The reason is…

Not enough trading books talk about the games that happen inside our head. And that’s a serious impediment to long term success. Zen in the Markets really pulls back the curtain on this area in a succinct and profound way.

Discovering your own Zen in the markets is likely to be an ongoing discovery process that happens one day at a time. Now let me tell you about my favourite part…

The Best Part of Zen in the Markets:

The best part about Zen in the Markets is that the book is so simple. It comes in just under 100 pages, yet it says so much. Seriously…

I’m not sure how he does it, but the author cuts through the noise and gets straight to the point. I have read 500 page books that don’t convey as much wisdom as these short pages. I actually wish it was longer.

I guess that’s why I’ve re-read it five times already. And I learn something new each read. The other great thing about this kind of knowledge is that it really is timeless. It’s wisdom for the ages that kind of hits you over the head.

The only problem with Zen in the Markets is that even the though the insights are so simple, they aren’t always easy to implement. For some reason, we are programmed (via our egos) to get in our own way.

While this book doesn’t offer a trading system or methodology for picking stocks, it does provide very actionable ideas for how you can improve your trading psychology to improve your chance of market success.

Personally, I look forward to re-reading this book on a regular basis, and doing my best to get out of my own way. So by now I think you probably have a pretty good feel for this book. Let’s wrap it up.

Zen in the Markets – The Final Word:

As you probably guessed by now, I’m a big fan of Zen in the Markets. It looks at trading in a way that over 95% of other trading books don’t. It can really help broaden your thinking about the markets and potentially improve your odds of success. For those reasons, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Zen in the Markets for yourself on Amazon.

Of course, if you still aren’t convinced this isn’t the right book for you, you can watch the video book review below to learn even more about Zen in the Markets.

Zen in the Markets – Video Book Review: