HIGH-RETURN, LOW-RISK INVESTMENT: Combining Market Timing, Stock Selection, and Closed-End Funds by Thomas J. & Robert F. Drach Herzfeld

HIGH-RETURN, LOW-RISK INVESTMENT: Combining Market Timing, Stock Selection, and Closed-End Funds

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An innovative, impressively documented theory of equity investing--from two Florida-based market pros (significantly, perhaps, away from Wall Street's mainstream). What Herzfeld and Drach have devised is a market-timing system based on the bedrock principles of supply and demand. It limits individual transactions to a master list of just 146 seasoned common stocks (ranging from Abbott Labs through Xerox and Yellow Freight); to be included, a company must have relatively predictable earnings on an upward track. In brief, a buy signal is flashed when at least 75 percent of the monitored issues have lower price/earnings ratios than they did four weeks earlier. The logic is that downward P/E shifts are ""the best indication of seller dominance."" There are corroborative benchmarks as well, e.g., overall market volume increasing by 15 percent or more. It's time to sell when conditions are roughly the converse of those for going long; in both cases, the duration of holding periods runs around four to five months. Next, Herzfeld and Drach explain the application of their grind-it-out approach to so-called closed-end funds (which, unlike conventional mutual funds, do not continually issue or redeem shares); here, too, they offer step-by-step instructions on how investors may take advantage of these vehicles in pursuit of appreciation, income, or a combination thereof. Along the way to reaching their own conclusions, Herzfeld and Drach poke fun at many of the mechanistic investment theories (like indexing) that have achieved at least interim acceptance among money managers. Those in the market for an intelligent alternative will find this distinctly worth exploring.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Putnam