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The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History's Best Investment Strategies Hardcover – 13 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (13 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470377097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470377093
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 690,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Over the past six decades, the U.S. stock market has averaged an annual return of about eleven percent per year. Yet, except for a few renowned Wall Street gurus, the vast majority of investors, both amateur and professional, fail to come anywhere close to those eleven percent average annual gains. Why do most investors fail—and what do those very successful investment gurus have in common? The Guru Investor identifies the stock picking methodologies developed by some of history′s best and most successful stock market gurus—including Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Martin Zweig, John Neff, and others—and shows how you can combine these proven strategies into a disciplined investing system that has been proven to outperform the market. John Reese breaks down the very different approaches of each of the gurus—encompassing value, growth, and quantitative investing—and lays out their philosophy and achievements, detailing step–by–step the secret formulas they used to beat the market, while explaining why these legendary investors consider certain factors to be so important when analyzing individual stocks. Reese not only discusses the individual gurus, their strategies, and why they are important, but he also explains how to best use these strategies in the real world, showing how to sift through all of the choices to find a strategy that works for you. The model portfolio system that the author has developed turns each strategy into an actionable system, addressing many of the common mistakes that doom investors to failure. In addition to offering these individual guru–based models, Reese also explains how to combine and implement these approaches into a multi–guru system that will provide you with a comprehensive, practical stock investing strategy with a proven track record. He reveals when you should buy, when you should sell, how many stocks you should own, and much more. All investors can learn from the thinking, writing, and experience of Wall Street′s greatest investors. The Guru Investor, and its free companion Web site——will teach you the lessons of these greats and give you all the tools needed to put those lessons to work in your investment strategy.

From the Back Cover

The Guru Investor A detailed look at the successful strategiesused by some of the world′s best investors What can we learn from those rare investors who have consistently generated outstanding returns over the long haul? In an easy–to–read and simple format, The Guru Investor dissects strategies from ten of Wall Street′s greatest investment "gurus" and shows exactly how to implement those strategies to improve your own long–term investment results. This book offers a step–by–step guide to the investment methodologies of Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Joel Greenblatt, James O′Shaughnessy, David Dreman, John Neff, Benjamin Graham, Ken Fisher, Joseph Piotroski, and Martin Zweig. Based on the model portfolio system that the author has developed, each strategy is turned into an actionable system that systematically addresses many of the common mistakes that hurt individual investors′ long–term investment results. In addition, The Guru Investor shows how you can combine the proven strategies of these legendary gurus into a disciplined investing system for building and managing portfolios—including the author′s key rules for when to buy, when to hold, and when to sell.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. E. Edwards on 21 Feb 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked this up when searching the US site. Its a similar book to David Stevenson's Smarter Stock Picking and assumes that the market is not always efficient, at least for some managers with the "right" system. The book has a US bias - most investment books do it seems. It also rather plugs the author's company but, on the positive side, does provide free access to a separate web site.

I found the author's style very clear and he managed to explain the approaches taken by the various managers in an entertaining way. I wan't sure whether to give it 5 stars but, on balance, I gave it 4 stars because of the references to his company site and because of its IS bias.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
One stop shop for stock investing strategy and creating investing philosphy by learning from the investing legends 11 April 2009
By Sidarta Tanu - Published on
Format: Hardcover
John Reese's book "The Guru Investor - How to beat the market using history's best investment strategies" fills the gap in investing books on how a person who doesn't have a stock investing background (and struggles for some time with it) create a strategy to beat the market (and have a chance to beat the market) by learning from those who have beat the market consistently in the past. The book covers important most of the basic financial metrics and also covers value, growth and quants strategy. This book is basic enough and easy to understand. This book can be a one stop shop for investing books if you already know the basic of stock investing, but if you don't know much about stock market or how stock investing works, then this is not the book that you want to read first.

The 6 principles of "Guru Investing" (what I personally called investing philosophy):
1. Combining strategies to minimize risk and maximize returns
2. Stick to the numbers or the market will stick it to you
3. Stay disciplined over the long haul
4. Diversify, but you can't beat the market by owning it
5. Size and style - focused systems only limit investment possibilities
6. You don't have to hold stocks for the long term to be a long term investor

1. practical and succinct
2. covers most of the investing legends strategies and their "story" (Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch, David Dreman, Ken Fisher etc)
3. Covers many important financial ratios
4. Covers in depth the topic of "Determining when to sell"
5. Relate to the audience well (as someone who is trying to learn about investing from the investing greats)
6. Includes interesting facts in the fact box (or key learning) for each chapter or for each important topic.
7. Covers the performance of "Guru" based stock model portfolio and yearly track record comparison

1. Marketing (cross selling) their other investment service (validea dot com and Validea investing system)
2. Supporting a subjective topic of the drawback of market timing/short term trading (that "one have to be right at least 74% of the time to make money with market timing approach")
3. Should include more learning/strategies from Philip Fisher

In conclusion, "The Guru Investor - How to beat the market using history's best investment strategies", is a very good resource to help us understand many of the proven stock investing strategies (as applied by several of the investing legend). This book is a nice hybrid of "the intelligent investor" type book (theory concentrated) and "One up on Wall Street" (practical and experience) type book.

Happy Investing,

Sidarta Tanu
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Book Review from the Aleph Blog 23 Jan 2010
By David Merkel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
John Reese and I share something in common: we both once wrote for Occasionally I would question him in the CC about what he wrote, but I never got an answer back. He was probably a busy man.

Well, now I get to review his book, and I have to say that I like it. It won't be one of my favorite investment books, but it embeds many good ideas that will be useful to average investors. Here are some of the main advantages:

1) It points people toward strategies that are valuation-conscious. Whether investing for growth or value, the best investors pay attention to valuation.

2) Valuation is not everything. Earnings growth and price momentum also are valuable to follow.

3) Quality of the balance sheet matters.

One of the things that I like to say to investors is find something that fits your character, your free time, and your time horizon. This book simplifies the strategies of ten clever investors. Some require more time and effort, some less. With ten good strategies to choose from, perhaps one will fit your situation well.

For the ten gurus, it describes them, their strategies, and how to implement them in a simplified way. I knew a little about all of the gurus before reading the book, but I learned a little bit new about each one, except Buffett. They made life choices that led them to their investment theories, and the book makes that connection.

Sell Discipline

The sell disciplines in the book are similar to mine -- rebalancing, and adding stocks that the model likes better, and removing those that rank lower. For fundamental investors, that's a reasonable way of limiting risk, assuming that you review your thesis before adding new money.


1) Earnings quality: leaving aside Piotorski, the rest of the gurus spend little time on earnings quality. Particularly for value investors this component is critical for avoiding mistakes.

2) What Reese puts forth is a simplified version of what most of these great investors do. The actual process is more complex, and requires business judgment. That said, his simplifed versions have done better than the market, in general.

3) Performance calculations cut off in July 2008. Now, he had to cut off somewhere, or he couldn't publish. Still, it would be interesting to know how the strategies did July 2008 through February 2009 -- how did they do at risk control?

4) To be able to use this book effectively, you would need to have access to some reasonably sophisticated stock screening software. The cheapest one that I know of would come from AAII, but you would also have to be an AAII member to buy it. (If anyone knows a better one at a cheaper price, let me know.)

Who Would Benefit From this Book

This book would work best for people who want to follow valuation-conscious strategies, and not spend a ton of time at it, if they are willing to put in some time at the beginning setting up stock screens.


If after you have read this, you want to buy the book, you can buy it here -- The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History's Best Investment Strategies.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Learn how to invest from the Gurus 8 Mar 2009
By Steve Burns - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is simply one of the best investment books on the market. Who better to learn from than the greatest investors in history? What better strategies can you use than the ones used by Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Ken Fisher, Martin Zwieg or Peter Lynch? What this book does is review the lives and investing performance of the top ten investors who ever lived. Then the book presents how to invest like them using the same metrics and valuations that the gurus used based on their own books or from writings from people who have studied the gurus. The author has used model portfolios based on the techniques in the book to show that these approaches continued to work from 2003 to 2008 with most of them doubling and tripling the performance of the S&P 500 over that time.
The book will give you the knowledge you need to pick stocks using stock screeners based on price to sales ratios, price to earnings ratios, book value, liquidity, earnings growth, and many other metrics you will learn from the gurus. There is also a free companion web site that gives three stocks for each guru that currently meet their guidelines. The book recommends sticking with a strategy for the long run to really get results. It also explains the need to balance your portfolio at regular intervals, and sell stocks when the fundamentals have changed or they get involved in an accounting or other scandal. Excellent book for getting started in investing or for improving your investing performance.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great Book For the Novice Investor 8 Mar 2010
By Jacob Wolinsky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book details the formulas that ten top gurus used/ back tested to beat the market. The ten investors the book discusses are Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, John Neff, Peter Lynch, David Dreman, Joel Greenblatt, Ken Fisher, Martin Zwieg, James O'Shaughnessy, and Joseph Piotroski.

The book was an excellent review for me. I have read many of the books by the gurus featured in the book but I forgot many of the specific details. This book filled in those gaps that I was missing.

However, this book is more geared towards a new investor. It gives a novice investor some valuable advice about investing( and value investing in particular). Instead of going out and buying like twenty books most of the information is contained all in this one book. The book also discusses important topics that no investor should be without such as when to sell, and how tax laws should effect your investing. I would recommend this book to a novice investor who wants to learn more about how to manage their portfolio.

I am a financial columnist for an investor website, I wrote a full review on the website. I can not write the full review here because I am a paid columnist and they have exlcusive rights to my articles. If you want to see my full review you can find it through my profile.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Guide for Today's Market ... "Old Knowledge" with a Bonus 23 Mar 2013
By Joseph G. Wick - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've held my own as an investor/trader for years and collected a large library of trading and investing books. This book is simply superb. It is shorter than many, has good factual and statistical backup regarding results, and you don't need an MBA to use it.

The authors have analyzed and simplified the methods of ten famous investors having successful long term records. They have developed an approach to combining these methods in a number of ways, including their own proprietary combination. This book is not for daytraders but is appropriate for position traders and longer-term investors.

There is a nice bonus. Having the book allows you to sign up for the free portion of the authors' web site. There, you can see up-to-date ideas using the techniques of the famous and successful investors analyzed in the book.

The other reviews here do a good job of summarizing the key points and the pros and cons of the book. So, keeping this short, I recommend buying this book. You might also benefit by reading this together with "Trade Like an O'Neil Disciple" by Gil Morales, which I have also reviewed.
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