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Take This With A Grain Of Salt

  • Jul 8, 2000
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As many other reviewers have commented, the author's tone throughout this book is somewhat arrogant and distant. Many of the examples he provides are quite vague and described from the point of view that the reader should already have a clue about the stock market. Since this book was last published around 1995, the internet revolution as come on full force and has significantly changed the way stocks are traded. Stocks can fall over 8% in one day and recover that the next day. If one was to listen to Mr. O'Neil's theory of selling at 8% one would LOSE ALOT OF MONEY!!!!

In addition,Mr. O'Neil's views on other investment vehicles are extremely narrow minded. Writing Covered calls CAN I repeat CAN supplement one's income and allow one to continueously earn extra dollars on investments should your call continue to expire from month to month as long as the stock does not go belly up altogether. Covered Calls are relatively safe that they are allowed in IRA's. Mr. O'Neil was to busy looking at all the negatives that he did not bother to mention this critical positive and the the other pluses of Writing Covered Calls such as that you canbuy to cover if the stock shows more downward movement.

O'Neil's views on Mutual Funds and Charting are vague and inaccurate. One should always investigate who Manages the money in a Mutual Fund and the years experience these mangers have. This is not stated at all. To say that you must hold a Fund 10-15 years minimum is ludicrous. I've gotten plenty of mileage out of my Mutual Funds after less than five.

One of the few decent points O'Neil makes involves the CANSLIM method. It is outlined accurately so one can do their own research into those areas. It would have been nice if Mr. O'Neil gave some specific examples on how CANSLIM would have worked with a good stock like IBM or Exxon. Instead O'Neil merely throws charts at his audience and oversells the Investors Business Daily. Don't get me wrong, his paper is quite good but if I want to believe in an investment book, I don't want to be sold on a Newspaper.

A few years ago, O'Neil's strategy might have had some merit. Today it just sounds like the ramblings of a angry old windbag who has lost alot of touch with today's investor.

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Glenn Wiener ()
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From the school of unemotional investing comes the classicHow to Make Money in Stocks, by Wall Street analyst and publisher William O'Neil. Readers new to securities will find it an excellent primer, one that relies on time-honored indicators such as quarterly earnings, market capitalization, and daily indexes. O'Neil's study of winning stocks stretches back to the 1960s, and he shares his insights here, describing what characterizes a growth stock, when to cut your losses (at 7 or 8 percent, no more), and how to spot a market top.

The techniques in How to Make Money in Stocks are hardly revolutionary, but therein lies their strength, as O'Neil claims his is "a winning system in good times or bad." Investors interested in Net stocks might be disappointed--the author's first rule is that a company must show a pattern of growing profits, which disqualifies many dot coms. (Try Rule Breakers, Rule Makers for a different take.) O'Neil's approach to stocks is, above all, rational, and he pays little heed to market hype.

Those new to investing would do well to read this book before embarking, and even more seasoned traders may find How to Make Money in Stocks a refreshing return to basics. Markets may swing bull and bear, but O'Neil promises to stand firm. --Demian McLean

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