CONTRARY INVESTING: The Insider's Guide to Buying Low and Selling High by Richard E. Band

CONTRARY INVESTING: The Insider's Guide to Buying Low and Selling High

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KIRKUS REVIEW

David Dreman's The New Contrarian Investment Strategy (1982) remains the bible for against-the-current sophisticates, but this amiable briefing can tell market newcomers all they care to know about the potential of nonconformist investment techniques. Band, the editor of Personal Finance magazine, reviews a wealth of assets--collectibles, commodity futures, exchange-listed options, fixed-income vehicles, precious metals, real estate, et al. At heart, though, he's an equities maven, and common stocks figure in roughly half his buy-cheap/sell-dear scenarios. Nor is he an uncompromising contrarian. Early on, he observes: ""The majority is often right, especially about the primary (market) trend, for many months at a time."" And he concedes that widespread use of anti-consensus indicators would probably diminish their utility. In that cautionary perspective, he examines a few ways in which mavericks might profit. Among his possible Wall Street applications of deviant precepts: electric utilities with nuclear exposure, distressed or even bankrupt enterprises with well-defined turnaround prospects, high-tech concerns lately fallen from favor, and companies whose insiders are on-balance buyers of securities. Band warns, however, that, for every Chrysler, there may be a W.T. Grant to slip under the waves. He makes a generally persuasive case for a contrarian, or at least skeptical, approach to investment. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, he offers hilarious accounts of just how poor a job most financial journalists as well as fiduciaries make of their advisory responsibilities. In short, this is a wide-angle populist survey that provides a mercifully non-didactic introduction to contrarian theory and practice.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1985
Publisher: McGraw-Hill