This week we'll be speaking with Marc Gerstein, a noted financial author, investment analyst and commentator. Marc is an expert in rules-based equity investing strategies and he currently works for Portfolio123.com, a platform professional and individual investors can use to develop and backtest stock screening and ranking strategies to simulate real-world performance, and maintain portfolios based on the user's rules. Prior to Portfolio123, He was a research manager at Lipper and a director of investment research at Reuters. He got his start in investing at The Value Line Investment Survey, where he was an assistant research director and a portfolio manager for Value Line's High-Yield Corporate Bond Mutual fund.

Marc has written two books on stock screening methods and an ebook on objectivism. (Please see their covers below the article).

With that said, what's in your library Marc? 


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Graham & Dodd's Security Analysis (5th Edition) by Benjamin Graham & David Dodd
Talking about investments without talking about Graham & Dodd is like talking about religion without mentioning the Bible. One key point, often missed, is that the book reminds you to actively analyze the numbers and readjust on your assumptions where appropriate and not just look passively at them.


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One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
This book allows you to get inside the mind of a great stockpicker. Especially read chapters 6 - 9; These chapters offer timeless advice that reminds you to look off the beaten track to get stellar investment returns.


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The Warren Buffett Way by Robert Hagstrom
Another look in the mind of a great investor. Chapter four is the highpoint of this book, in my opinion, because it really shows that a stock investment is actually the process of buying part of a business.


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Wall Street Meat: My Narrow Escape From The Stock Market Grinder by Andy Kessler
One of several biographies written by former Wall Street analysts. It stands in contrast to the other books by showing the often not-so-neat and sometimes not-so-clean ways that people analyze stocks in the real world, where life doesn't conform to textbook assumptions.


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Confessions Of A Street Addict by Jim Cramer
"If this guy saw an ivory tower, he'd probably hire someone to clear off those ugly leaves!" This is a valuable book, though, because even if you aren't driven by the pulse of the market and are not a short-term trader, it is important to look into the mind of someone who is. It's also important to look behind the scenes of these investment websites on which we have all come to depend.


Thanks Marc.

As usual, if you'd like to buy one of the books, just click on the Sniper Book Bin button at the top of the page and you will be taken to my store on amazon.com. To subscribe to my investment newsletter, The Sure Shot Letter, click here.



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As promised, here are pictures of the covers of Marc's books: Buy them through the Book Bin button at the top of the page.  On a personal note, I have known Marc, and his work for about twenty years and I can tell you from experience that this man knows his stuff. Try his books. You won't be disappointed!

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Screening The Market by Marc Gerstein

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The Value Connection by Marc Gerstein

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Atlas Upgrades: Objectivism 2.0 by Marc Gerstein

 
 
Welcome back. This week I'll be speaking with Paul Olszewski, Research Director of Miller Gesko in Buffalo, New York. Paul is a CFA with over twenty years of investment industry experience. Prior to Miller Gesko, Paul was the Director of Research and Chairman of the investment council at Harold C. Brown & Company. Paul has also had stints at Merrill Lynch and ABN Amro, and started his career at Value Line Inc.

So, what's in your library Paul?


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The Little Book That Beats The Market by Joel Greenblatt
Although this book has a little bit of the feel of an infomercial, the value investing priciples Greenblatt writes about are sound. It's a good book to refer to clients who are interested in the market, but don't have an investment background.  It's an easy read, too, so it's a great book to bring on a plane or to the beach. Definitely worth a read!


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Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis 
Liar's Poker is a comical look at life as a bond trader. This story never gets old! This book is a great conversation starter for people in the business because while we don't all have stories like Lewis' we all do have stories of the crazy things that have happened to us...or our friends while working on the Street.


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Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
A good read to help provide some perspective to those who think they have too much stress or pressure in their life. The book recounts the travails of Easy Company during World War II. From D-Day to Hitler's Eagles Nest this unit always seemed to get the toughest assignments and persevered. The horrors these men lived (and died) through make a "tough day in the office" look like a caribbean vacation!


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One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Lynch does a good job of making the complex sound simple. In general, his message is pay attention, and invest in what you know. Don't rely on Wall Street for your information, but instead do your own research as you walk through the malls of America. While all of what he says sounds like a great idea, putting it into practice for the average Joe is likely to get the same result as Tiger Woods saying just swing the club. Even so, for a person with some experience in investments he does have some good ideas that when put into practice, can lead to some great gainers.


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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
What happens when a country embraces Socialism? Look around you. Rand saw it coming in 1957. While the world hasn't turned out exactly as she envisioned (more like a mix of Atlas Shrugged and 1984), there are enough parallels to make you stop and say hmmm. While the story is good and on target, Rand's writing can get a bit tedious. The message here, though, is more important than the messenger and so the book should be a must read for anyone who truly loves freedom.


Thanks Paul.

I always find it interesting to see what books people read because it gives you insight into their thought processes. The managers, analysts and traders that I interview in this blog are all successful professionals. These books have had an impact on their lives and careers. For those of you just starting out in the business, these books can be a great way to gain insights into investing and living. For you "old pros" these books could give you a new way to look at old problems. Either way they are great reads! If you'd like to buy any of these books, just click on the Sniper Book Bin button at the top of the page and it will take you to my store on amazon.com. or just click on The Sniper Book Bin.he right.

While you are in a reading mood, make sure to check out my newsletter, The Sure Shot Letter. It too is a good read. Or 



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Welcome to the inaugural issue of "What's In Your Library?" Each week I will interview a money manager, analyst or trader about what books have been the most influential on their careers. I am going to keep these articles short and sweet. One paragraph to introduce the interviewee, and then I will ask them what books have had the most influence on their careers and why. They will then have a few sentences to explain each choice.


To get the ball rolling, I'll start with my picks. To introduce myself, I am Wayne Nef, President of Sniper Research and author of The Sure Shot Letter. I have worked on the Street for over twenty years with stints at Value Line, Merrill Lynch and Circle T Partners. For the past ten years I have worked as a consultant to hedge funds through my company Nef Value Research.


So, what's in my library?
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A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel Love it or hate it, the book lays out a lot of reasons on why most investors would be better off buying an index fund. Although I don't believe this academic totally proves his point; There are a number of managers out there that beat the market year in and year out fairly consistently (i.e. trend followers). Even so, the book does a great job relating market history and showing how hype has driven the market and individual stocks to great heights in the past, only to lead to crushing losses as reason takes hold and the bubbles burst. All said, this is a great book for anyone interested in market history.

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Innumeracy - Mathematical Illiteracy And Its Consequences by John Allen Paulos
This is a great read! Although you would think a book about statistics and probability would be a cure for insomnia, Paulos does a good job of keeping his examples interesting. Innumeracy shows how many common misconceptions occur due to people's lack of understanding of probability and large numbers. He makes a good case that many government policy blunders are caused by innumeracy as are many confused business and personal decisions. This book will be a real eye opener for those too lazy to look past the headlines!


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Candlesticks Explained by Martin J. Pring Simply the best book I have read on technical analysis in general and candlestick chart reading in particular. I keep a copy of this book on my desk as a reference for when I come upon a chart that looks like it has potential, but I just can't put my finger on why. A great book for beginners and pros alike!

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How To Make Money In Stocks - A Winning System in Good Times or Bad by William J. O'Neil
This book came out when I was just getting out of college and it is one of the first books I read on investing outside of the classroom. I loved the C-A-N S-L-I-M formula and still like to see many of those same signals in my stocks today. Who says that Value and C-A-N S-L-I-M can't mix!


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The New Money Masters by John Train
My father always said, "Try to learn from the best." This book allows you to do just that. Train has chapters dedicated to the investment strategies of legeneds such as Soros, Lynch, Rogers, Neff, Wanger and Steinardt. The book is both lively and informative. Well worth the time it takes to read!



Well, there are five books to keep you busy! I have a large library and many favorites so at some point I may come back to you with a second list. Being the author of the blog has its privileges! In the meantime, I will have a new interview for you next week. If you are interested in buying any of the books mentioned above, just click on the Sniper Book Bin button at the top of the blog and it will take you to my store on amazon.com. Or just click

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Also be sure to check out my newsletter, The Sure Shot Letter