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Readers reviews of BULLS, BEARS & BRAINS
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Just how useful is the internet for investors? This book believes the net offers the opportunity for investors to use the resources of some of the world’s best analysts and traders. The net provides a transparent view of performance, analysis   and investment style that has not been available before. In the past investors found it difficult to get access to a wide range of opinions. The net changes that, and these two writers believe it provides a tremendous advantage.

 

Forget the hype surrounding irresponsible chat rooms and the rantings of unknown individuals. There are many solid and reputable investment sites on the web. This books lists 20 US sites and carries extensive interviews with the site founders. The investment and trading styles range from long term fundamental investing to an example of short term day trading. The emphasis is on the fundamentally based,  long term investment styles. This is a well trodden path, but the web sites mentioned provide some interesting applications of this approach.

 

What gives the web the advantage is the simple fact that financial institutions and analysts do not make money from issuing good advice and picking good stocks. They make money from the fees charged to investors via brokerage, and from companies via advice and associated services.

 

The net is different. The sites mentioned in the book do not receive commission fees if a reader buys a particular stock. They do not get a  cut from the transaction costs. Many of the sites are free, or have a free component. Those that charge a fee make their income purely from good and accurate analysis. It is a test of proof that few institutions who provide analysis for retail investors can pass.

 

Active traders will not find much that is new in the book, although they may wish to explore some of the sites in more detail. The book is written by Wharton Business School students, so it is mired in some out of date understandings of technical analysis. The book is important because it suggests that traders and investors can harness the reputable knowledge available from the net and improve their understanding of the market, and their trading results.  Intelligent minds tend to gravitate together on the net, and your challenge is to find those points.

 

Sites such as the infamous Motley Fool bring together smarter and more up to date fundamental analysis. It is not a place for hyped up stock ramping from compulsive day traders and scammers. The investment philosophy is Benjamin Graham, but it is applied using the most up to date internet resources.

This is the key message in the book. The internet is a valuable investing resource and with a little work, you can make this meeting of investment minds work for you.

 

 

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