Book Reviews of Two Very Different Books

Tonight’s book reviews are of two very different, yet very similar books: Fire Your Stock Analyst!: Analyzing Stocks On Your Own (2nd Edition) and, Far from Random: Using Investor Behavior and Trend Analysis to Forecast Market Movement.

Why different?  Well, the first relies on fundamental analysis, and the second on technical analysis.  Why similar?  They are both very single-minded in the way they present how to win in investing.

There are other differences, though.  Fire Your Stock Analyst, by Harry Domash, is a very complete fundamental investing guide for both value and growth investors.  Very complete, to the degree that most average investors will not be able to do all that Harry recommends.  There is a lot to do, and not all of it is of highest importance in my opinion.  Many professional investment shops ignore steps that he prescribes.  I don’t do half of what he prescribes, and I do better than most.  Also, much of what he prescribes is not applicable to financial stocks, but he does not seem to realize that.

Far from Random has a different flaw.  It spends 75% of the book talking about what does not work, and only 25% on what he thinks works.  In the last quarter of the book, the author asserts that trend channel analysis works  through giving stylized examples.  There are no academic studies to prove the point, or, audited track records, as Michael Covel is fond of.  (This makes me want to recommend Trend Following (Updated Edition): Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets; there is more logic behind it than Far from Random.)

Who could benefit from these books:

With Fire your Stock Analyst, someone who wants an introduction to fundamental analysis could benefit.  Far from Random, I’m not sure anyone could benefit.  There are much better books on technical analysis.

Full disclosure:  Publishers send me books for free.  I review some of them, the ones that I think are most interesting.  If you enter Amazon through my site and buy anything, I get a small commission.  Don’t buy anything you don’t want.  I do this as a service to readers, and am not looking for remuneration as much as tips for what I have written more generally.