Yes, You Can Time the Market!

Overview

In this smart, simple book, Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth show you how to use the tools of technical analysis to determine the relative "cheapness" or "expensiveness" of the market as a whole at any given moment. They demonstrate that basic criteria like dividend yield and price to earnings ratio are like clocks that can tell you when it's a good time to jump into an index fund, the stock market, or when you'd be better off putting your money in bonds, real estate, or cash. ...
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Overview

In this smart, simple book, Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth show you how to use the tools of technical analysis to determine the relative "cheapness" or "expensiveness" of the market as a whole at any given moment. They demonstrate that basic criteria like dividend yield and price to earnings ratio are like clocks that can tell you when it's a good time to jump into an index fund, the stock market, or when you'd be better off putting your money in bonds, real estate, or cash.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Arriving a few years too late to slap some reality into the legions of day traders suckered by the stock market gold rush, TV game show host Stein's latest is still a smart, commonsense guide to investing. Stein and DeMuth's primary dispute is with the old adage that one can never tell when the market is going to go up or down, something they attempt to disprove with a wealth of charts showing how to buy stocks cheaply over the long term (as in decades). This is no get-rich-quick scheme, merely a case being made to, in essence, treat the Street like many fans treat baseball: work the numbers. In between the sizable chunks of data, Stein and DeMuth drop in bits of advice, e.g., pay more attention to the S&P 500's trends than frequently slippery P/E ratios; invest in bonds before stocks-they're more stable; and always, always buy low. Best of all is a three-page cautionary list that should be required reading for anyone even thinking of investing. Some of the better nuggets: "Does the word `synergy' appear in the prospectus?... Run!"; "Never accept any unsolicited financial advice"; and "Do not invest in a store because you see a lot of customers there at the mall or because you like the coffee or blue jeans or jelly beans. Sales do not equal profits." Again, where was this book when we needed it? (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Stein may be known for the droll sense of humor he exhibits on his Comedy Central show, Win Ben Stein's Money, but it is hardly evident in this straightforward investment guide. Writing with coauthor DeMuth, an investment adviser, the former Nixon speechwriter counters the "conventional wisdom" that investors cannot time (or predict) their investment decisions to maximize profits. The authors cite a number of technical factors-e.g., Tobin's Q, price/earnings, dividend yield, price to cash flow, and price to sales-to show that careful study of these metrics demonstrates that some times are better than others for going into the market or buying a particular stock. They also show that protestations to the contrary, the "street" frequently times the market. Eighty tables and graphs are used to buttress their case. Stein's popularity and the use of his face on the book's cover may draw readers beyond the usual investment crowd, though some may find this joke-free treatment a bit too technical. Still, it is a competently written, well-argued case for a sensible investment approach and is quite suitable for academic and larger public libraries.-Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technology Coll., LaCrosse Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Arriving a few years too late to slap some reality into the legionsof day traders suckered by the stock market gold rush, TV game showhost Stein's latest is still a smart, commonsense guide toinvesting. Stein and DeMuth's primary dispute is with the old adagethat one can never tell when the market is going to go up or down,something they attempt to disprove with a wealth of charts showinghow to buy stocks cheaply over the long term (as in decades). Thisis no get-rich-quick scheme, merely a case being made to, inessence, treat the Street like many fans treat baseball: work thenumbers. In between the sizable chunks of data, Stein and DeMuthdrop in bits of advice, e.g., pay more attention to the S&P500's trends than frequently slippery P/E ratios; invest in bondsbefore stocks-they're more stable; and always, always buy low. Bestof all is a three-page cautionary list that should be requiredreading for anyone even thinking of investing. Some of the betternuggets: "Does the word 'synergy' appear in theprospectus?...Run!"; "Never accept any unsolicited financialadvice"; and "Do not invest in a store because you see a lot ofcustomers there at the mall or because you like the coffee or bluejeans or jelly beans. Sales do not equal profits." Again, where wasthis book when we needed it? (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly,March 24, 2003)

Stein may be known for the droll sense of humor he exhibits onhis Comedy Central show, Win Ben Stein's Money, but it is hardlyevident in this straightforward investment guide. Writing withcoauthor DeMuth, an investment adviser, the former Nixonspeechwriter counters the "conventional wisdom" that investorscannot time (or predict) their investment decisions to maximizeprofits. The authors cite a number of technical factors - e.g.,Tobin's Q, price/earnings, dividend yield, price to cash flow, andprice to sale - to show that careful study of these metricsdemonstrates that some times are better than others for going intothe market or buying a particular stock. They also show thatprotestations to the contrary, the "street" frequently times themarket. Eighty tables and graphs are used to buttress their case.Stein's popularity and the use of his face on the book's cover maydraw readers beyond the usual investment crowd, though some mayfind this joke-free treatment a bit too technical. Still, it is acompetently written, well-argued case for a sensible investmentapproach and is quite suitable for academic and larger publiclibraries. — Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin TechnologyColl., La Crosse. (Library Journal, May 1, 2003)

"...it's readable, coherent, sensible, good-natured..."(Barron's, May 26, 2003)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471679264
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

BEN STEIN is best known as the former host of ComedyCentral’s Emmy Award—winning game show Win BenStein’s Money. He is also an economist, humorist, investor,lawyer, and actor. The author of several books on finance, hisessays and columns have appeared in such publications as the WallStreet Journal, Barron’s, and Forbes.

PHIL DeMUTH is an investment advisor and PhD psychologistwho has a longstanding interest in the stock market and has writtenfor the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, as well as HumanBehavior and Psychology Today.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One
The Impossibility of Market Timing 1

Chapter Two
The Power of Price 9

Chapter Three
The Price/Earnings Ratio 29

Chapter Four
Dividend Yields and Market Timing 51

Chapter Five
Fundamental Value 69

Chapter Six
Bonds, Price-to-Cash Flow, Price-to-Sales 87

Chapter Seven
Combining Factors for Superior Returns 103

Chapter Eight
Using Market Timing 135

Chapter Nine
Looking Forward: A Note of Caution 165

Appendix 179

Bibliography 183

Index 187

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2003

    Thanks Stein and DeMuth

    I am a regular financial news reader, but this book is a knock out for me. I wish I had read this book earlier. I thought I knew everything about the market until I read this book. Yes, you can time the market by Stein and DeMuth is a total upgrade for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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