Little Rishi

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Book Review - Full of Book
Since I like learning about stock investing, I was very excited to go through Full of Bull: Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money in the Market in the hopes of learning more about investing. However, after reading the book, I felt that except for a couple of chapters, the book was a bit of a disappointment. Reason? The central idea of the book is that ordinary, individual (retail) investors should be careful about the analyst buy/sell recommendations and not take the Wall Street literally. Despite being a relatively thin book (with 196 pages devoted to the main content), the author keeps repeating this theme throughout the book without going too much into how individual investors can better analyze the stocks.

About the Author

The book is written by a highly experienced and well-known analyst, Stephen T. McClellan. He's a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has over 30 years of investment analyst experience at various firms, including Salomon Brothers and Merrill Lynch (which is now part of Bank of America). He also ranked on the annual Institutional Investor All-America Research Team for 19 consecutive times. Full of Bull is actually Stephen McClellan's second book, the previous one being The Coming Computer Industry Shakeout. Needless to say, the author has an impressive background and credentials, and his achievements are all the more remarkable considering that the author grew up delivering newspapers while in high school.

About the Book

The first edition (hardcover) of Full of Bull was published in late 2007, with some revisions made for the second printing which was released in early 2008. The latest 2009 paperback edition (which is being reviewed here) was printed in June 2009. It has extensive updates and includes a new chapter on bear market investing (Chapter 4). In all, the paperback edition has the following 8 chapters:

Chapter 1 - Decoding Wall Street's Well-Kept Secrets
Chapter 2 - Understanding Wall Street's Misleading Practices
Chapter 3 - Strategies in Quest of the Ideal Investment
Chapter 4 - Investment Strategies to Survive in a Bear Market
Chapter 5 - Evaluating Companies as Investment Candidates
Chapter 6 - Executive Traits Are a Revealing Investment Gauge
Chapter 7 - How Street Analysts Really Operate
Chapter 8 - Reforming Research to Level the Playing Field

The main point discussed throughout the book is that individual investors should be careful and not trust the Wall Street research. Individual retail investors are an after-thought for research analysts, brokers, and corporate executives who are all primarily interested in professional institutional investors such as pension funds, mutual funds, and hedge funds. According to the author, stock picking is not the analyst's job, and individual investors should not blindly trust the buy/sell recommendations of the analysts as these recommendations are unreliable and often late. As per the author, while the analysts may be good at providing thorough, informative company and research information, their buy/sell rating record is mediocre. Much of the book is devoted to the discussion of these points, and at times, feels repetitive.

What I like about the book?

If you want to know how Wall Streets and analysts operate, this book is it. The book claims to be geared towards individual investors. However, it is better suited for research analysts, and discusses topics like research conflicts, analyst conferences, reading corporate executives' body language, and so forth. For example, Chapter 6 - Executive Traits Are a Revealing Investment Gauge, discusses at length the various types and traits of corporate executives so that you know whether they are being truthful or just hyping the prospects of their companies. However, this chapter is better suited for research analysts since they are the ones who come in direct contact with the corporate executives. Most individual investors will only have indirect and occasional contact with the corporate executives via conference calls, and interviews in media.

That said, most individual investors will like going through chapters 3 and 5 which are the best part of this book. These two chapters focus on important rules about investing. The list of strategies/rules is fairly comprehensive, very useful and informative, and worth reading. Some of the important points discussed in this chapter are:

- Protect your capital
- Own only few stocks and invest for the long term in dividend-paying stocks of financially strong firms
- Pursue healthy, stable or expanding profit margins
- Avoid IPOs and turn-around plays
- Prefer smaller firms over bigger ones
- Avoid firms with weird stock structures or sweetheart management setups
- Look for steady expansion of revenues, not just profits

What I dislike about the book?

As mentioned earlier, except for couple of chapters, this book does not provide much new information for becoming a better investor. The fact that individual investors should not naively buy into the advice of Wall Street feels overly repetitive by the end of the book (as it does also probably in this review).

Final Word

Overall, Full of Bull is an ordinary book from the perspective of experienced individual investors. The book does have a couple of useful chapters which discuss many strategies that are especially useful for novice investors

Interview with the author


I have received complimentary copy of the book. Please also see Disclosures and Disclaimer

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posted by Little Rishi @ Wednesday, June 30, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, June 27, 2010
Weekend Quote - ASAP (Always Say A Prayer!)
There's work to do, deadlines to meet.
You have no time to spare.
But as you hurry and scurry...
Always Say A Prayer.

In the midst of family chaos,
Quality time is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest.
Always Say A Prayer.

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather...
Always Say A Prayer.

God knows how stressful life can be,
And He wants to ease your cares.
He'll respond to all your needs...
Always Say A Prayer.

Today I'm saying a little prayer
That God will send a smile to you
And send you special blessings
Through everything you do.


- Lisa Engelhardt


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, June 27, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, June 26, 2010
Weekend Quote from a Book - Bouncing Back
The human spirit—the force we all possess that drives us to live extraordinary lives, to overcome adversity and get back to having fun—is hard to deny. It is a time-tested universal truth that human beings bounce back. And when we do, we usually bounce back stronger and happier and more grounded than when we first fell down.

This happened in the Great Depression and it will happen again. We will learn once more the truth of the phrase “This too shall pass.”

But this doesn’t mean you can just sit back and wait for things to get better. The other great truth is that how fast you bounce back depends on how well you prepare yourself to bounce back.

This is your chance to start over and to start stronger. It is your ultimate opportunity to hit the reset button on your life, both personally and financially. Don’t let it pass you by.

Source: Start Over, Finish Rich: 10 Steps to Get You Back on Track in 2010

by David Bach


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, June 26, 2010   0 comments

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Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sweepstakes: Win a Seagate 500 GB FreeAgent Hard Drive
As part of its sweepstakes giveaway, Serendipity Mommy is offering a chance to win a Seagate 500 GB FreeAgent hard drive. Deadline to enter is ends July 6, 2010.

For complete details, see:

Serendipity Mommy: Preserve Your Summer Memories with Seagate 500 GB FreeAgent Go Giveaway!


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posted by Little Rishi @ Thursday, June 24, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sweepstakes: Win an iPad or iPhone 4 (ends July 30, 2010)
As part of its sweepstakes giveaway, MyBankTracker, is offering a chance to win an iPad or iPhone.

To enter, simply write a review on a bank. You can write up to two reviews. You can also get additional entries for your referrals. Deadline to enter is ends July 30, 2010 and winners will be drawn on August 10, 2010.

For complete details and rules, see my referral link below:

MyBankTracker Sweepstakes


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, June 20, 2010   0 comments

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Weekend Quote - Faults in Other People
Do not blame others by pointing out their faults. You will find, upon self-examination, the faults you see in others ae in you. When you correct yourself, teh world becomes correct.

- Sri Satya Sai Baba

Source: Teachings of Sri Satya Sai Baba


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, June 20, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, June 19, 2010
Weekend Quote from a Book - Latte Factor
Whenever I talk about the Latte Factor, someone always objects that they don’t drink coffee and would never waste the money Kim did buying nonfat muffins and power bars. But that misses the point. What we’re talking about here isn’t just lattes. What we’re talking about is that we don’t realize how much we spend on little things and how, if we thought about it and changed our habits just a little, we could change our destiny.

Source: Start Over, Finish Rich: 10 Steps to Get You Back on Track in 2010

by David Bach


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, June 19, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, June 13, 2010
Weekend Quote - Forgetting Debt
Forgetting a debt doesn't mean it's paid.

- Irish Proverb


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, June 13, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, June 12, 2010
Weekend Quote from a Book - Trade Conviction
Soros dropped in on him (Stanley Druckenmiller, money manager who worked with Soros at the Quantum fund) in his office and discussed the trade.

'How big a position do you have?' he asked.

'One billion dollars' Druckenmiller answered.

'You call that a position?' Soros asked derisively. . .

Soros suggested that Druckenmiller double his position. He did. And just as Soros had predicted, even more profits poured into Quantum.

'Soros has taught me,' noted Druckenmiller, 'that when you have tremendous conviction on a trade, you have to go for the jugular.


- Source: Soros: The Life, Ideas, and Impact of the World's Most Influential Investor

by Robert Slater


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, June 12, 2010   0 comments

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Friday, June 11, 2010
25,000 bonus points for Chase Sapphire credit card
For a limited time, if you apply and get approved for the Chase Sapphire credit card and spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, you can get 25,000 bonus points which can qualify you for a free domestic airline ticket. The card has an annual fee of $85 but it's waived for the first year.

For complete details and restrictions, see:

Chase Sapphire Credit Card: 25,000 points

For terms and conditions:

FirstUSA.com: Pricing & Terms

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posted by Little Rishi @ Friday, June 11, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, June 6, 2010
Weekend Quote - Parents
"I'd give up a year of my life for just half a day with my parents," says Jonathan Herman, a 33-year-old health-care executive in New York. He lost both his parents to cancer before he was 13. "I've had friends complain that they have to drive to see their parents for Thanksgiving," he says. "I tell them: I'd do anything to spend Thanksgiving with my parents."

- Jonathan Herman

Source: WSJ.com: Families With a Missing Piece - A New Look at How a Parent's Early Death Can Reverberate Decades Later


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, June 06, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, June 5, 2010
iPad giveaway at ChristianPf.com
ChristianPf.com, an excellent blog site, is having another give away - this time an iPad along with 5 Amazon.com gift cards.

There are number of ways to enter the giveaway. For eg, you can create a post mentioning about the giveaway on your Web site, or post a comment on one of the ChristianPF's forum, or twitter about the giveaway. Deadline is Jun 17, 2010

For complete details, see:

ChristianPf.com: iPad Giveaway


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, June 05, 2010   0 comments

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Weekend Quote from a Book - Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is seductive. It’s all too easy to ease onto the slippery slope — and slide down into overwhelming debts. You never — well, almost never — get asked to pay off your debt. The bank will “graciously” allow you to make low monthly payments. Easy. Far too easy! Your obligations continue to accumulate and accumulate until you get The Letter, saying you have borrowed too much, your interest rate is being increased, and you are required to switch, somehow, from money going to you to money going from you to the bank. You are not just in debt, you are in trouble. If you don ’ t do what the bank now says you must do, legal action will be taken. Be advised! Never, never, never use credit card debt.

- Source: The Elements of Investing

by Burton G. Malkiel & Charles D. Ellis


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, June 05, 2010   0 comments

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Favorite Quote
"Work is worship".
                - Author Unknown
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