- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Vision Books (30 October 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8170945615
- ISBN-13: 978-8170945611
- Package Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,45,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
It's When You Sell That Counts Paperback – 30 Oct 2006
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About the Author
Donald Cassidy is the founder and executive director of the Retirement Investing Institute (RII), a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping individual investors face the challenges of investing and retirement. Formerly, he was Senior Research Analyst, Lipper Inc., a Reuters Company, from 1990-2006. He is the author of five books on personal investing, including When the Dow Breaks (McGraw Hill), as well as a weekly radio guest on mutual funds for a local Denver radio station. In addition, he is the author of an online mutual funds curriculum for the Wall Street University.
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chapters revealed several of my tendencies that hinder my investing style. (Our sense of believing we are
right can keep us from investment success.) That is why I return to this book from time-to-time for some
'selling attitude adjustment'. I recognize my tendency to believe that a company stock price stock will
recover 'some day', if I just wait long enough. The critical point is to realize when a promising company
should be sold without hanging on to hope. Even Mr. Cassidy cannot reveal when a stock should be sold
in every circumstance, but there are clues. Chapter 23 is a good chapter to read again regarding the use
of above-market orders instead of stop-loss orders. He mostly discourages the use of stop-loss orders.
Read the chapter to find out why. There are many books for 'buying' the right stocks, but few for 'selling'
the right stocks at the right time. This is one! Bill
I have often wondered over the past year or so, "why didn't I sell some of my stocks when I had a profit?"
This book helps you understand why people hold on to stocks and why a "never give an inch" buy and hold philosophy can be disastrous. Cassidy hit me perfectly when he classifies some owners as 'collectors'. I've done that with stamps, land, and other assets. As he says, I became a stock packrat.
The third part helps you set up an investing plan that includes recognizing prudent selling points and how to set a target and to discipline yourself to pull the trigger.
The fourth part gives selling tactics to help you beat the crowd and take your profits.
This book is not a lesson in day-trading. It is a good book for all investors to have so they won't be locked into a mindset that prevents one from making money.
1. This book is focused only on "trading" and not investing. In other words, it seeks to maximize short term profits, and does not deal with the investor who is willing to take risks and ride out adversity and selling opportunities for a profit in the long term. Unfortunately, this orientation is not explained in the book description, and is only stated as a "by the way" on page 87. I probably would not have bought it if I had known this. For the investor, this book is of very limited value. It is hard for me to judge the value to traders, since I am not very knowledgable on the subject.
2. The bulk of this book is explanation of technical sell indicators. There is no attempt to connect between them, merely to catalog all the various "sell" signs. The fact that many of the indicators may contradict themselves with an individual stock is not dealt with.
On the positive side, the first part of the book lays out a laundry list of reasons why there is a bias against selling, ranging from the nature of the brokerage industry to behavioral economics. I found this part of the book very interesting and fresh, and it provided useful food for thought about my own patterns of selling. If you can find the book cheaply, it is worth the price for the first section alone, even if you are an investor and not a trader.
I bought the book because selling is the hardest part of the game. The topic of the book therefore has merit but the book's treatment of it is generally flimsy.
I first want to dig into the main problem of the text before turning to the positive sides. The four sections are named 1) Understanding the Selling Problem in Depth, 2) Developing the Proper Mindset, 3) Mastering the Contrarian Approach and 4) Using Smart Selling Tactics. Although this looks like an organized setup where the first part discusses the difficulties of selling, the two in the middle cover how this could be mended and the final part gives hands on advice on the execution of selling, structure isn’t what comes to mind when reading the text.
There are 30 very short chapters and it’s hard to see the logic of many of them as a number of recurring themes are repeated multiple times in basically all sections of the book. For someone advising on how to set up a well-thought-out sell strategy this doesn’t inspire confidence - and this is the 3rd edition of the book.
A large number of reasons for selling and methods of selling are discussed but there are few attempts made to connect them or direct specific investors to tools that are more suitable for them. Further, many of the pictures of the book – at least in my print - are sadly of such low quality that it is virtually impossible to interpret them.
All this is a shame since there are some definitive qualities to the book. Fist and foremost the strength of the text is the author’s understanding of trading psychology. The keen psychological interest makes the book come to life and the reader can very easily relate to what is said. The topic of trading psychology is also covered broadly, it describes buying as well and pops up at various places in the book but this is more easily forgiven by the shear enthusiasm Cassidy shows for the topic.
Apart from the apt account of trading psychology the author, benefitting from 4 decades in the financial markets, delivers plenty of sound advice and insights into the investing world. His account of the brokerage industry and why sell-side analysts don’t give the recommendation “sell” very often is clearly cynical but probably not entirely wrong. It simply hasn’t been good for business with the business model that has been in use.
Further, while I above noticed that the author had a mid-term investment horizon the methods portrayed could also be quite useful to longer-term oriented investors (or stale buy-and-holders and stock collectors as the author describes them – I’m always surprised how different types of market participants form separate religions), as they are to sell their winners. Especially, value investors tend to buy too early and sell (winners) too early and could do well by studying techniques such as for example trailing stop losses. Finally, the checklist in chapter 29 starts to bring everything that has been said in the book into order.
There is much to learn in this book for the retail investor with a medium term horizon. Unfortunately it takes some serious work to distill a clear selling strategy out of this text. A forthcoming edition slimmed down from 280 pages to 180 with more structure and less duplication would be a real winner in my mind.
This is a review by investingbythebooks.com