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Posted October 14, 2000
I have to admire any investment author who starts with the premise that the past is just as worthy of study as the future. We are fortunate to have among us, though not for much longer, a number of living legends in the world of finance -- Fisher, Templeton, Buffett, and others -- who will one day take their habits, idiosyncracies, and wealth-building secrets to the grave. When they are gone, there will be no one to take their place, or enrich us with their wisdom. For years, we have been deluged with repetitive texts on how to become a millionaire like your neighbor. Isn't it better to have a manual on how to emulate the titans? There's an old saying in the school yard that if you are going to cheat on an exam, copy off the person who gets the A+, not the C students. Nikki Ross' book has been sorely needed and will prove just as pertinent today as it will in 20 years -- when the memories of these legends grow more faint. What I liked most about Nikki's work is its translation value -- her ability to condense the lingering, sometimes philosophical synapses of these great men into lingo that lay investors can use practically. She avoids the temptation of delving at length into their biographies (which are rich enough and worthy of a sequel) and instead presents us with step-by-step instructions (almost as if she was taking dictation from Fisher and Buffett themselves). A savvy stock-picker will quickly pick out the common threads that run throughout the book. All of these titans boiled down investing to a few core principles: 1) They view stocks as pieces of businesses and put all their efforts into determining the value of their prospective purchases. 2) They focus on price but understand that the real value of an investment is procured over time as the company grows. 3) They shun convention and believe today's dissertations on portfolio modeling are recipes for mediocrity. 4) They don't give a hoot about day-to-day fluctuations in the stock market. 5) They are all humble men who delighted in increasing clients' net worth just for the sake of proving it was possible. It helps that Ms. Ross is a certified financial planner and a columnist. Her experience in giving real-world advice to individual investors lent itself to an easy-to-read, well planned book that any investor -- sophisticated or otherwise -- can use to their advantage. This book successfully bridges the gap between stock-picking and financial planning without coming off as self-serving, as many financial planning books are.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2000
When the dust settles from the late 20th century stampede and from the castles which have been brought low by circling efficient markets, what will remain are these time tested 'Lessons from the Legends of Wall Street'. Nikki Ross distills the essence of sound advice from the five legendary investors who share their insight and wisdom into an understandable three-step approach, The author brings us into these legends' world while they openly share how they collect information (the first step), evaluate the hard and soft data (the second step), and then make a decision to invest (the third step). In her first step, Nikki Ross provides the details of where to source the information from Internet sites and print media. Key questions from Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, T.Rowe Price, and John Templeton help the reader in the evaluation process. Their experienced perspectives offer a guiding hand approach to the evaluation phase while key concepts of firm foundation investing, portfolio management, diversification, and elimination of unsystematic risks are covered in a light comprehensible manner. This well presented and interesting book gathers prudent wisdom to help the investor in the third step, decision making - buy/sell/hold. Forget rumors, forget tips, forget crowds, I highly recommend this user-friendly book to anyone who wants to have a better thought out approach to investing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.