Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques, Brought to you by Steve Nison

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques:
A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East
Written by: Steve Nison
Published in 1991

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East

This book reads like a textbook.

If there was one thing I would have wanted to know before getting this book, it would be that. It reads very much like a textbook as opposed to a typical "book". Is that a bad thing? That's up for the reader to decide on their own. The last book I reviewed, "The Most Important Thing," read more like a book. Reading it in the morning before work or at night before bed was ideal. This book was very different for me.

Now that I write it, that point seems very obvious. A book explaining technical analysis is inherently going to be more in depth and 'technical', for lack of a better word, than a book targeted towards developing an investment philosophy about value investing.

Does that mean I didn't like this book?   Absolutely not.
Does that mean this book wasn't helpful in it's own right? Abso-freaking-lutely not.

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques has been one of the most educational and helpful books I have read about investing. Clearly this will only pique the interest of the technical, chart reading investor. Very much the opposite of someone who likens Buffett to a god, or claims Graham wrote the bible of value investing. Nothing against either of those men. Their success and genius is something to admire and strive for, but I think their view on this book, and these types of books, is going to be poor.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Howard Marks is Going to Live In Your Brain After Reading 'The Most Important Thing'

Earlier this week I started - and finished - 'The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor' by Howard Marks

For the second time.

I have been living in the realm of investments lately and this piece of non-fiction lands in the center ring. Based strictly on the title, it reads like it would be one of those, "do this to get rich," or "how to get rich, quick." This book is as far from that category as you can imagine. The opening even states it is not meant to be a "guide" or a "hand-book" of sorts.

It is a composition and expansion on his memo's to investors. Second only the Buffett, the memo's, all of which are archived on the Oaktree website, are pure gold.

For those of you who don't know who Howard Marks is, you should. In 1995, Marks and 5 other partners founded Oaktree Capital Management where he remains the co-chairman. The focus of Oaktree (traded on the New York Stock Exchange under OAK) is on private equity, distressed debt, and high-yield bonds, among others. The public listing IPO'd for $43 dollars raised about $380 million for the firm. Though the stock today is trading at approximately the same level, it bolsters a strong, consistent dividend. 2017 returned roughly 7.00% alone just from dividends. But I digress.

Howard Marks specializes and firmly believes in value investing. (He has appeared many times on television, often talking about the current state of the markets. Typically seen on Bloomberg). It seems his investment philosophy is built around just that. Buffett himself heralded the book saying, "This is a rarity, a useful book." The book itself is created from the same guiding principals encompassing value investing, but goes in a different direction than most. There are no formula's. There is no math. There is no instruction on finding intrinsic value. There is only thoughtfulness.