A wily stock market strategy presented in an informative, if somewhat muddled, manner.



Financial advice from a longtime investor focuses on stocks that sell for less than $10 per share.

For investors who want to buy individual stocks, Carach has an intriguing proposition. Why not consider cheap stocks rather than the more common blue chip ones? A former real estate appraiser and lifelong investor who wrote Forty Years a Speculator (2007), the author calls stocks selling for less than $10 per share “the most ignored and detested sector” of the market—but this has not stopped him from pursuing them for decades and making a tidy profit. For the first 100 or so pages of this book, Carach shares his observations about the market and his “conviction-contrarian” philosophy of investing: buying low-cost stocks “when they are being hammered into the gutter” and holding them for “at least two to five years.” This early material provides intriguing insights into how the author invests, but it is unevenly written and highly repetitive (a fact Carach acknowledges; he apparently collected previously penned articles and included them as chapters). The second half of the book moves from the general to the more specific as the author delves into several market sectors, including mining, oil and gas, high tech commodities, gold and silver, and real estate investment trusts. He assesses some of these sectors as well as the American economy in blunt style; for example, he asserts, “The next chapter in the history of gold and silver will be written in Asia where it is adored and not in the west where it is scorned and regarded as a barbaric relic.” Carach lists some of his favorite stock picks with only spotty details about them. Readers may, of course, regard these choices as recommendations, but he cautions investors to do their homework: “Research your stocks before and not after you buy them. Diversify broadly, no more than 5% in any position, and the riskier the play the less of your money should be in it.” While some of the prose seems amateurish, the author’s unorthodox investment advice may spark serious interest.

A wily stock market strategy presented in an informative, if somewhat muddled, manner.

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-67674-617-1

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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This penetrating interview with dominant financial philosopher and philanthropist Soros (Underwriting Democracy, 1991, etc.) is unfortunately hindered by repetition, obscurity, and occasionally forced contrariness. A book of conversations with a successful investor automatically suggests the Market Wizards collection, the seminal pair of books containing interviews with financiers who fit the title. Like those works, Soros on Soros sinks or swims with the ability of its subject to shed light on the methods that have made him the second most successful money manager in history (after Warren Buffett). The reflective and talkative Soros provides three interviews. The first, conducted by investment strategist and Soros friend Wien, concentrates on the Hungarian immigrant's upbringing and investment style. Hungarian journalist Koenen poses the questions in the second interview, which explores Soros's philanthropic efforts and global political interests. The final interview, again by Wien, delves more deeply into Soros's philosophy as it informs his life outside of investing. Untangling the man's uniquely philosophical approach to market prognostication, the first section is by far the most tantalizing. Since 1969, Soros has managed the Quantum Fund, the superior precursor to today's hedge funds, which, by employing a greater deal of leverage than most funds dare, has grown at a pace that would have turned a $1,000 investment in 1969 into over $2 million today. Soros is perhaps best known for Quantum's attack on the British pound in 1992, a maneuver that netted Quantum shareholders over $2 billion but is viewed with hostility by many who fear the trader's power. The play-by-play of this wrangle and others best grabs the attention of readers not intimidated by concepts such as derivatives and currency speculation. Call it messianic or ballsy, there's a courage to this interviewee that makes for both an educational and entertaining read, though one dampened by the constraints of the question-and- answer format. (First serial to Fortune Magazine; $250,000 ad/promo)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 1995

ISBN: 0-471-12014-6

Page Count: 321

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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Utterly timely and readable, if not terribly comforting in the midst of the current pandemic.



A geeky but fascinating exploration of the mathematics of things that go viral—not least of them viruses.

“If we want a better grasp of contagion, we need to account for its dynamic nature,” writes Kucharski, who does mathematical modeling of disease transmission at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He elaborates throughout: Contagion is constantly in motion as it courses through a population, finding its “susceptibles” and slowing down as the number of susceptibles declines. By the author’s capable account, the math works out pretty much the same whether applied to some negative force, such as a COVID-19 category virus or the concomitant financial crumbling that has surrounded it, or some positive force—e.g., a cultural innovation such as a pop song or dance move. Kucharski works his way through some key epidemiological ideas, including one advanced by the scientist who put it together that malaria was spread by mosquitos, earning him the Nobel Prize—although that scientist later protested that his larger achievement was formulating “general laws of epidemics.” These laws embody a mathematical formula that looks rather like an hourglass turned on its side, representing three key groups: the susceptible, the infectious, and the recovered. There are also the dead, of course, but they don’t move, as the dynamic model does. Kucharski takes his readers down provocative detours, such as the use of public-health models of disease transmission to examine how social networks figure in urban gun violence, with algorithms that take into account such things as “age gang affiliations, and prior arrests.” When things go viral, all kinds of interesting mathematical and real-world effects can happen, from stock market bubbles to horrific explosions of disease. Kucharski is there, calculator in hand, to suss it all out, and highly numerate readers will enjoy going along with the ride to guesstimate the R value of a contagion’s spread.

Utterly timely and readable, if not terribly comforting in the midst of the current pandemic.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5416-7431-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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