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Your Next Great Stock: How to Screen the Market for Tomorrow's Top Performers Hardcover – 13 Nov 2007


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"Your Next Great Stock makes a clear and persuasive case for a systematic investment strategy. Though simply written, both amateurs and professionals can profit greatly from the wisdom revealed in its pages." Joel Greenblatt, author, The Little Book That Beats the Market

"Jack Hough has written a thoughtful and disciplined book about picking stocks. In an age where most people look for the quick buck, his commonsense approach will outlive bull and bear markets alike." Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC and Fox News personality

"Hough has put together an easy read that′s actually fun. Most of the book focuses on why stock screening works, while the last half of the book helps the reader put together some stock screens of their own."––Stockpunk.com

"The book covers some fairly challenging concepts, but it doesn′t read like a dry academic study. That′s a testament not just to Mr. Hough′s knack for explaining arcane financial concepts in everyday language, but also to his sense of humour; it′s not often that you find an investing author who spent year doing standup comedy in New York."––Globe and Mail

From the Inside Flap

Tomorrow′s top–performing stocks are giving off clues today. The world′s most successful investors don′t wait to stumble upon those clues; they find them by searching the entire market in seconds using a process called stock screening. Now, with Your Next Great Stock, author Jack Hough shows you how to use this proven process to locate stocks that are poised to outperform.

Too many investors use a company–by–company approach to stock investing. They collect tips from friends or financial professionals and base buying decisions on anecdotes rather than evidence. That approach rarely works. Your Next Great Stock will show you a better way. You′ll size up more stocks in less time and find bargains that other investors haven′t yet discovered.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, Your Next Great Stock outlines a "Sherlock Holmes" approach to investing. It uses the power of stock screening to uncover and interpret important clues as to where a company and its stock may be headed. Along the way, you′ll also learn which combinations of clues are most likely to produce winning stocks.

Divided into four parts, Your Next Great Stock:

  • Covers the essential elements of stock investing and screening

  • Examines more than a dozen powerful stock–screening strategies from the Impatient Value screen to the Follow the Leaders screen that Hough has "shamelessly stolen" from the world′s best financial minds

  • Discusses how to pick the likeliest winners from your stock screen results

  • Reveals where to find today′s best stock–screening tools most are free or inexpensive

  • And much more

Filled with in–depth insights and practical advice, Your Next Great Stock is perfect for both new and experienced investors who refuse to rely on the outdated suggestions of co–workers or brokers when looking to make money in the markets. With this book as your guide, you′ll quickly discover how combining a fact–based investing approach with today′s screening technology can put you on a real path to profits.

Don′t forget to visit YourNextGreatStock.com to run free online screens based on some of the strategies covered in this book.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended 11 Nov. 2007
By hi2125 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding guide to picking stocks. It presents some of the best-supported and most logical strategies I've seen for beating the market, and serves as an easy-to-read backgrounder on many financial subjects (some of which can be pretty complicated). The writing is clear and jargon-free and funny in parts.

There are basically three parts to the book. The first is not to be missed. You won't buy another actively managed mutual fund after you read it. You might not buy an index mutual fund, either. The author demystifies (debunks, really ) such high-brow finance topics as the efficient markets hypothesis and capital assets pricing model by tracing the history of probability math and showing how it was gradually misapplied to the stock market. I suffered through several investment courses in college and have long wondered about the everyday usefulness of the material, so I was fascinated by the author's case that much of it amounts to "mathematical incest" and a mischaracterization of risk. This part also has a highly useful guide to telling reliable stock picking strategies from bad ones. There's a list of "financial parlor tricks," or ways that investment firms and stock-picking services sometimes fabricate their performance numbers.

The middle section is short. It contains just enough of an intro to financial statements so that you're familiar with most of the terms used in the later strategies chapters. It also has a brief review of screening tools. (The author writes for a company that has one, but he's up-front about this and mostly just lists the features of each
screener.) This section also has basic info on how to use screening tools. Keeping this section so short was a good idea, I think. It keeps the reader from getting bogged down before getting the to payoff in the next part.

The last part contains what many people will probably buy the book
for: a round-up of the best stock-screening strategies the author says he has found during his work writing columns on the subject. I found several that Ive already started using. One chapter has a way to considerably improve the returns to a strategy I already knew about (Dogs of the Dow). Another is about using research spending to find companies whose earnings might be about to surge. Whether you're a growth investor or value investor (or both) you'll almost certainly find something here that can boost your investment returns. To me that makes the book a bargain.

All told: Excellent beginning, good (and short) middle and excellent end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who invests.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Basic Overview, Zero Real World Examples 13 Jan. 2008
By Prahasaurus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this book, as it seemed to be consistent with my own investment philosophy: do your own research, screen for potential winners, etc. The author does a good job of presenting why stocks are your best type of investment, and why stock screening can lead to higher annual returns. But the book itself seems to be written for a beginner. As an example, Hough gives a one page overview of how to read a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. I'm not sure three pages of material does that topic justice. Nor do I believe anyone with no conception of these financial reports should be picking their own stocks: better to just invest in index funds if you're still at this very basic level.

Hough does give some examples of screen strategies he apparently uses himself in real life, and this is helpful. However, it's never clear if these screening techniques work in practice because - and here's the biggest weakness of the entire book - Hough does not give one example of a company he found with these screening techniques. Not one. Why couldn't he include some winners that he initially found from using the techniques recommended in the book? It's a huge omission, and really hurts the credibility of his message.

His general approach seems sound. But I wanted a lot more details, especially real world examples of success (and perhaps even a few failures) he's had with these strategies. Very disappointing.

Still, if you are new to investing, this is probably a good overview of stock screening, and can get you started. However, I strongly recommend doing additional study on a host of items briefly discussed in this book before committing a lot of capital to the stock market. Until you feel comfortable, stick with index funds. But definitely invest. On that I agree with the author completely.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Useful and avoids the hype 9 Nov. 2007
By Balint Kacsoh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In general, the book is an easy read even for a novice investor, and contains solid ideas as well as practical advice.

The stock screen web site that Jack Hough and Smart Money make available for free is pretty limited. The book points out the features of various for-fee stock screen services, and informs the reader about their cost.

Some of the screens recommended in the book are difficult to implement in practice.

This book is strictly about stock picking, and does not cover portfolio design that is probably more important than individual stock picking for achieving superior returns. Therefore, the book's true value can be best realized if its used together with other books (e.g., Ken Fischer's "The only three questions that count").

Chapter 3 has some excellent insight about behavioral finance; the reader should re-read this chapter when doing the post-screen selection.

Chapter 9 was probably the most disappointing part of the book. It attempted to explain how to read and interpret income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, but the coverage was cursory - insufficient even as an introduction.

There were some errors in the book that were pretty self-evident, and indicated that additional proofreading would have been needed.

I also missed a number of things from the book. For example, the Author stated about the various stock-picking screens that they could beat the market by a certain percentage point per year, and when back-tested over a long period, what was the total and annualized return. What is missing here is the actual holding period after buying the stock. The stock screen reveals good prospects that are, by definition, good today. But it is obvious that their advantage is temporary; buying them today does not guarantee market-beating returns for the next five years without selling the stock and buying another that takes its place by the same screening process. The turnover rate of the screens is extremely important because of the impact of commissions and taxes on the realized gains. Just as the compounded interest is powerful to increase wealth, the compounded impact of taxation is powerful robbing one of that wealth. Hough describes screens that beat the market by e.g. 6%, but if it is in a taxable account, and the screen requires a less than 12 months holding period, much of the gain will be eaten up by the taxes to the point that a merely market-matching index fund that does not incur tax expenses (no realized gain, very long holding period) may come out ahead. Of course, that is not an issue in an IRA account.

It is highly respectable that Hough does not promise outlandish results - no hype here. All in all, this book is a good addition to your library's selection on stock market investing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fades in the stretch 22 Oct. 2008
By Theodore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book and was really excited to start screening for stocks as the book suggests, but found myself unable to follow through with its screening techniques. My lack of follow through was not due to lack of motivation, but due to vague descriptions of the stock screens with no clear way to implement them. I tried three of the screeners suggested and was not able to get any of them set up to screen as the book described. It would be helpful, essential even, for the author to include real world examples so readers can apply his screens as laid out in the book. For reference, I run my own business, read the WSJ and am not a novice investor. This is a book which could be made much better and more useful with a clear way to apply the techniques. I was not able to accomplish it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
stock screening 9 Feb. 2008
By Stockmon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Your Next Great Stock: How to Screen the Market for Tomorrow's Top Performers
I believe it is important to have a repeatable method that can be monitored, tested and tweaked to select stock candidates. Stock screening best fulfills this requirement. Your Next Great Stock provides comprehensive basic training about screening and also includes advanced information, tools and strategies. Since I am an advanced screener, most of my focus was on Part Three: Strategies. Here, the author provides the reasoning and academic sources supporting the 10+ screens and lists filters that can improve screen results and limit selections to a manageable number.
I learned from this book and highly recommend it.
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