THE PERFECT INVESTMENT by Lowell Miller

THE PERFECT INVESTMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Disregard the titular hype: this is a blue-chip guide to equity investing that neatly bridges the gap between introductory and advanced manuals--but not for the uninitiated or the impatient. In his safety-first system (which involves screening hundreds of candidates to unearth a handful of so-called perfect investments), Miller effectively synthesizes fundamental and chart theory: ""Reason will tell us what to buy and why; technical analysis will show us when to do it."" In brief, he counsels searching for investment-grade issues that, notwithstanding protracted selloffs, retain well-defined recovery potential. According to his by-the-numbers rules, a Dow Jones industrial whose stock price has been beaten down to 35 percent or less of its previous five-year high would be a logical contender. Next, Miller advises checking for ""signs of life""--maintenance of a dividend, rising sales volume, divestiture of non-performing assets, new management, and a capacity to stay in the black. (To be avoided, though, are sold-out situations whose product lines may be obsolescent; the same holds true for concerns with exposure in offshore markets where expropriation is a threat.) Having done with fundamentals, Miller surveys tools of the technician's trade in a chart-crammed section that incorporates as much lingo as language--double bottoms, head-and-shoulders formations, momentum gaps, etc. As soon as tape readers detect a technical turn, he suggests they review price/earnings ratios (with six times or less the recommended benchmark), cash flow, insider purchases, and related factors that could enhance market performance. Unlike many securities gurus, Miller has a good deal to say on the subjects of holding and selling as well as buying--with precepts no less demanding than those he applies to accumulation. Throughout, success stories are balanced with references to infelicitous decisions that offer object lessons on discipline or other virtues required to beat Wall Street at its own game. The bottom line: a valuable and ready reference for thoughtful investors content with the possibility of slow killings.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1983
Publisher: Dutton