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Economic and stock-market cycles affect companies in every industry. Unfortunately, a confusing array of anecdotal and conflicting indicators often renders it impossible for managers and investors to see where the economy is heading in time to take corrective action.
Now, a thirty-five-year Wall Street veteran unveils a new forecasting method that will help managers and investors understand and predict the economic cycles that control their businesses and financial fates. In Ahead of the Curve, Joseph H. Ellis argues that the problem with current forecasting models lies not in the data, but rather in the lack of a clear framework for putting the data in context and reading it correctly. The book explains critical economic indicators in nontechnical language, identifies and documents the recurring cause-and-effect relationships that consistently predict turning points in the economy, and provides the tools managers and investors need to position themselves ahead of cyclical upturns and downturns.
Economic events are not as random and unpredictable as they seem. This book will help readers recognize and react to signs of change that their rivals don't see-and win a sizeable competitive advantage.
Author Bio: Joseph H. Ellis was a partner of Goldman Sachs and was ranked for eighteen consecutive years by Institutional Investor magazine as Wall Street's #1 retail-industry analyst.
Posted December 23, 2007
We all want to have as much data as possible when investing in the stock market, but we want to also spend our efforts efficiently. Joseph Ellis gives us an outstanding framework to understand how we can take common, public data and create ways to track the broad market. Ellis places a very high emphasis on consumer spending, which is not a surprise given that he was Goldman Sachs' lead retail analyst for many years. Without going into significant detail, Ellis shows how a single economic indicator - personal consumption expenditures - plays a significant role in the overall economy and stock prices. Ellis spend the majority of the book outlining the relationships between different variables such as inflation, tax policy, and the S&P to show a different approach of how to analyze economic data. I left with two key takeaways. First, using charts and year-over-year percentages helps simplify the analysis needed to analyze the stock market. Second, the often-quoted recession fears may be used in a totally different method to make your investing decisions. Ellis writes in a very simple and readable style. There were a few sections with very technical prose that requires a second reading, but these are few and far between. It is clear that Ellis is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about this book. I think this is a great book for those who want to know more about the overall strategy of the stock market. Seasoned traders may not learn as much from the book, but Ellis' contrarian viewpoints at least allow one to look at market data in a different way.
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Posted October 26, 2008
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