Laszlo Birinyi has been following the markets for around 50 years, and he's developed a methodology which has made a lot of money for himself and his clients. On that basis alone, it is worth reading this informative book filled with charts and tables. Birinyi believes that his strategy of following money flows of non-block trades in individual stock names is clearly superior to others. In effect, you are `following the money' and if money is flowing into a stock on a net basis that is a hugely positive thing, and the stock is likely to rise. In its essence, I believe this is what he does. However, I think it is hard for the novice to grasp this quickly, and I only really fully understood it after I went to a website link provided by the publisher in the back of the book.
Professional investors will find much that is useful. I had often wondered what the outlook might be, statistically speaking, for a stock which plunges or surges at the close. Will the plungers recover and how much and how soon? Birinyi has done a lot of great work on this. He shows how many indicators are useless or overrated, such as sentiment. Many of us know deep down that sentiment and market forecasts are not worth paying attention to. Birinyi explains why and explains it well. He works with 200 years of stock market history to make his points. There are sections on market cycles, rotation, growth vs. value, issues with strategists and timers, stock price and order flow issues---he covers a lot of territory and it's very useful for serious investors.
There is also a lot of other good common sense investment strategy for the amateur. Define your objectives, maybe it's not necessary to take the risks to beat the index. Be careful to understand ETFs and mutual funds, their strengths, weaknesses and fees. Don't pay attention to today's news. It's easy to be bearish, being bullish makes one sound pollyannish or naive. There is a lot of great stuff in here.
Birinyi devotes the first 50 pages to explaining and proving why technical analysis is a waste of time. Yet, what Mr.Birinyi himself practices does indeed have its own technical aspect, and he is somewhat sheepish when he admits to being a trend follower---not a crime in my view, but still. All of this is fine, but I prefer to read why he is right rather than why everyone else is wrong. I rate this book highly because it is compelling, well-written, useful--can actually help you make money--and has an original view. Yet at times I thought it could have been subtitled `If only everyone had listened to me'. There are also sports metaphors, some of which are lost on me and would definitely be lost on, say, a non-American style football playing investor from Germany.