Amazon.con Book Reviews
The Astute Speculator



5 of 5 Stars -A disciplined approach to short-term trading.



R. Lyon "Ruth Henriquez Lyon" (Duluth, Minnesota USA) -

The Astute Speculator is a practical guide for investors wanting to improve their short-term trading skills. Eric Prentis makes no promises of exorbitant riches here. Rather, he presents a comprehensive, methodical plan to improve success for those that follow it. The book covers essential but oft neglected rules for money management which protects capital from losing trades. Even if fewer than half of trades are profitable, good money management protects the principal from significant loss. Dr. Prentis shows how to calculate risk prior to triggering a trade, and the use of protective stops after trades are executed.

A companion to The Astute Investor, his first book, The Astute Speculator expands on the subjects of short selling (a method for profiting from a falling market), industry sector analysis, momentum speculating, and fundamental and technical analysis.

The Astute Speculator is clearly written, well organized, and includes a comprehensive financial glossary. If I had read and practiced the methods recommended when I was starting to trade stocks, I would have saved myself from many bad trades. I highly recommend this book for beginning and intermediate-level investors interested in increasing their chances of making successful trades.

Review written by Jeffrey Lyon.



5 of 5 Stars - Investing in Specualtive Stocks.



By  John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV) -


I enjoyed Dr. Prentis' earlier book on investing so thought I'd like this one as well, and I did. He uses the same concepts of laying out some fairly simple rules, as he puts it in the introduction, 'eleven key scientific speculative factors, three speculative arts and ten speculative bylaws' lay out his rules for speculative investing with a goal of making a 33% a year gain.

As with his earlier book there are a lot of references to the internet in this book. There's an amazing amount of information available on the web, and most books don't mention it.

I couldn't help but be reminded as I read this book of the old saying that it's easy to predict the future, it's just being right that's hard. What this book is trying to do is give you a foundation to use for speculative investing that removes as much of the emotion from the speculative investment as possible. This book is too new to know how well the results will turn out if you follow these rules, but they are certainly a good place to start.


5 of 5 Stars: Speculating on the future.

By  Thomas Mongle (Houston) -

Eric Prentis' timing couldn't be better. And timing is just what you need to be a successful speculator. His first book, The Astute Investor, came out one-third of the way through the low-volatility bull market from 2003 to 2007, where "investing" (the buy-and-hold approach) paid rich rewards. That was the easy money. We are now entering a more volatile environment where the payoffs going forward will accrue to those who can play both sides of the street with equal aplomb - in other words, speculation.
The Astute Speculator is a compendium of stock market strategies that lend themselves to volatile markets. From buying, selling, and shorting stock, to options and futures, to options on futures, to technical and fundamental analysis, and on to momentum theory, Prentis puts his skills to work introducing you to winning methods in markets where trees don't grow to the sky and trends tend to be counted in days rather than years.
Particularly interesting is Prentis' treatment of the mental game - the psychological framework for money management in a more volatile world. He begins the book by stating the case for speculation and ends it with a healthy discussion of how to handle your biggest obstacle to profiting from this coming era - the inner you. By the time you get to the end of the book, you should have a good grasp not only on what to do, but also why and how you should do it.
You would be hard pressed to find a more basic, yet thorough discussion of how to deal with the increasingly complex financial markets of today, as well as the tools needed to deal with the profitable strategies of tomorrow.


5 of 5 Stars: A Recipe for Beating the Market.


Thomas M. Loarie (Danville, CA USA) -

This review is from: The Astute Speculator (Hardcover)

Author Eric L. Prentis' "The Astute Speculator" builds on his first book, "The Astute Investor." Together, these books provide a complete guide to stock market investing for both the novice and the professional. "The Astute Investor" should be read first to establish a basic understanding of the market, to become acquainted with basic terms, and to learn how to access and use data. Both books are practical, self-empowering, and will go a long way in establishing confidence in investing and speculating.

In "The Astute Speculator," Prentiss offers the reader:
* How the market can be beaten when experts say the market is "unbeatable" - when to buy, what stock to buy, and the price to be paid.
* How to use the "stop-loss" order to protect one from a major human weakness for investors - the letting go of a stock.
* How to read "the tape" and identify turning points.
* How to use momentum speculating and why it is different from momentum investing.
* How to start with simulation and to use money management rules to prepare for downside losses.
* How to manage the pressures of funding in a volatile market.

Prentiss points out that the vast majority of speculators trade on the long side of the stock market and feels this limits their upside potential. He encourages speculators to become astute and trade on both the long and THE SHORT side of the market. He provides a systematic method and alternative strategies to do so, and he strongly advises readers to adhere to his:

* eleven speculative scientific factors, including knowing the stage the market is in, whether a stock is under or overvalued, and knowing crowd psychology; and
* three speculative arts factors, including how to time stock buying or short selling, how to sell or cover, and how to know thyself so one can determine which strategy works for him/her.

"The Astute Investor" is organized around ten chapters preceded and followed by an introduction and conclusion respectively. These include: Principles of speculation; Short selling; Buying Common Stock: Selling or covering stock; Volume and Turning points; Momentum speculating; Money management; Speculative Bylaws; Speculative Strategies; and Futures and options.

I am neither an active investor nor a speculator. But if and when I do, I will use both of Prentiss' books to guide me in the fundamentals and to highlight the "tricks of the trade." This is a good purchase for those speculators seeking a systematic approach to speculation and for those who need to understand what speculation is and how it works.