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M Thomas (London, UK)

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The Complete TurtleTrader: The Legend, The Lessons, The Results
The Complete TurtleTrader: The Legend, The Lessons, The Results
by Michael Covel
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sure what it is trying to be, 2 Jan 2009
This book covers the story of the Turtles - a group of non-traders that applied to a newspaper advert from two of Chicago's best traders.
In writing this book, Michael Covel has managed to get interviews with many of the Turtles. He also goes into the story of the Turtles and also talks about the performance of the Turtles (and related traders) and because the book does not focus on any one of these areas it satisfies none well.
The way he writes the story of the Turtles is too dry to make it an entertaining read. The technical trading stuff lacks the depth to make it useful (as mentioned in another review Curtis Faith's "Way of the Turtle" is a much better primer for a Turtle style of trading) and the performance figures seem to fall foul of Michael Covel's biggest weakness in my opinion - his utter belief that the ONLY way to trade is a trend following style.
You cannot argue with the long term records of many of the trend-following traders he talks about, but it does get up my nose that any other successful traders are basically either derided or we are told they are also trend-followers.
Essentially a book that could have been great, but while there is some good information and interviews, overall it is an unsatisfying read.

The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep Your Portfolio Up When the Market is Down (Little Books. Big Profits)
The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep Your Portfolio Up When the Market is Down (Little Books. Big Profits)
by Peter Schiff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.92

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very 'now' but not nesc tomorrow, 8 Dec 2008
I've read several of the 'little books' range and generally they are good and well written for the non-finance geek and this is no exception.

The reason I have only given it 3 stars is that it does not actually take it on to provide a definite game plan beyond the near(ish) future.

The book starts out with a very good piece on the issues we now face and how we got here, including some proof that the author called this back in 2007 amidst much derision. This is all pretty informative and well written.

Where I feel this book falls down is that the other books in the series I have read have given back tested styles of investing. Although these all suffer the intermittent glitches, as any style will, they can be applied in the future and used to develop your own style of investing.

This book simply gives an overview of the recent past and what you should do now, but nothing too much about future economic cycles. More importantly there is lots of subjective advice, but very little concrete back-testing beyond retelling of how he called this right.

Now I am not arguing with Mr Schiff's reasoning or intellect, but that this is great for now, but what happens when things move on as they invariably will? You will need to find someone else that 'gets' it then and tell you what to do again at that point.

So to sum up, if you want to get a better understanding of the economic mess we are in in the latter part of 2008 and some suggestions about what to do now, this book is pretty good.

However, if you are looking for something that could be the basis of an investing approach for the long term or if you are looking at this during some future economic cycle, then it's probably not going to be so useful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2009 9:28 AM BST

No Country For Old Men [DVD]
No Country For Old Men [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.96

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, 6 July 2008
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
This film is tricky to review. For anyone else this would be a 4 star review, but this is the Coen's and somehow you just expect more. The acting is uniformly good (Bardem, Brolin and Jones getting most of the plaudits, but I felt Kelly MacDonald was the stand-out as the innocent dragged into the mess) and the premise and opening are fantastic, but...
As I said, normally I love the Coen's films and this doesn't find it's subject matter too far from their usual fare. The problem I think is two-fold. Firstly it is adapted from a crime-thriller book and for some reason this doesn't leave the Coen brothers enough scope to add their slightly bizarre and off-key humour that made films like Fargo and The Big Lebowski so iconic. Add to this the slightly disjointed story-lines whereby Tommy Lee-Jones character is left as basically an observer and it leaves you with a slightly disappointed 'was that it?' feeling at the end.
If you have not seen any Coen brother's films before then do delve into their earlier work first. If you have seen them, then do get this and watch it as it is still a good film...just not great.

The Bourne Ultimatum [DVD] [2007]
The Bourne Ultimatum [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £2.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others, but still a very good film, 20 Jan 2008
I had better say that this could be a bit of a spoiler if you haven't seen it, so skip this review if you don't want to know what happens!Following along in the tradition of other great trilogies like Star Wars and The Godfather, this is the weakest in the trilogy. This is not to say it isn't a good film, it is far better than pretty much anything else out there in this genre, but there are a few things that just didn't make sense in the whole scheme of things. To make this even more annoying is that it starts out brilliantly, including one of the most tense set pieces you will ever see, set in Waterloo Station. The problem is that all the way through these films, Bourne has been capable of out-thinking his opponents and only getting involved when he has no other option. In this film once the action heads to the US, it is almost as though he starts acting like a more traditional action hero - it's as if the writers suddenly decided that since he was in the US he had better start acting like he was in Die Hard 4. So all of a sudden we see him going into the heart of enemy territory then telling them that is where he is (the only time he did something like that before was to accomplish his goals, there was no reason to do it in this case) cars driven off the side of buildings and crashing at high speed only for everyone to get out pretty much unscathed. The final thing that just did not sit well was one of the other assassins suddenly getting an attack of conscience, even though he has not been through the journey that brought Bourne to this point (namely no memory of what he was, which gave him the drive to make good on the horrible things he had done before) and then there is the very cliched final scene....
But having said that, it does tie up the loose ends pretty well, there are some fantastic set pieces and Matt Damon is once again, very good in the role, it's just that you feel they got slightly lazy with the script, which just stops it being the 'perfect' finale it could have been.

Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker
Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker
by Stewart Reuben
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but too much jargon and examples using obscure games, 28 Aug 2005
This book is a bit of an enigma. Some of the concepts make perfect sense and are well explained, others make very little sense in the descriptions and the examples used to describe them come from some very obscure games that I had real problems even finding the rules for! If you have read the better known books and are looking to further your knowledge, then there are some things in here that I haven't found elsewhere, but it is by no means essential reading. I don't think my poker playing materially improved after reading this, which is the whole point of buying these books really. If you haven't read 'Harrington on Hold em', 'Super System' or 'Theory of Poker' then go for these first

Tournament Poker for Advanced Players (Advance Player)
Tournament Poker for Advanced Players (Advance Player)
by David Sklansky
Edition: Paperback

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the difference between tournament and cash games?, 28 Aug 2005
If you have a decent working knowledge of the basics of poker, you will get a lot from this book especially if like me you want to move from cash games to tournament play. Some concepts like the Gap Concept and how they alter during the tournament, how the value of chips alters etc. seem really obvious, but only when someone points them out to you. Other concepts such as when to go all-in when short stacked seem counter intuitive too, but you can't argue with Sklansky's well reasoned logic.
Before this I was an OK mid-level cash game player, but tournaments...I could never get beyond the last 10%. I was a survivor, but I always just ran out of chips and got bullied into submission. After reading this book and altering my mindset (the harder part!) it began to make sense and I've made the finals tables at several pretty large online tournies (9th in a 2500+ field being my personal highlight, especially as I was only put out by a very bad beat) and won several smaller ones. It's also helped my cash-game as I now understand where some of my opponents are coming from and can more easily put them on hands and work out how to play them.

Donnie Darko [DVD] [2002]
Donnie Darko [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Price: £2.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it once and skip work to watch it the next 4 times, 22 July 2003
This review is from: Donnie Darko [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is one of those films that makes writing a review really hard as you can't really just say why it's so good, it just is. People have already mentioned the rabbit, time travel etc and no the plot doesn't really tie up neatly...until you watch it again and you realise that the thing that was niggling you has been resolved and something else has cropped up! The whole point of this film isn't really to sit there and try to spot where the plot falls apart or not, in the same way that watching Memento the 'right' way round to see if the plot holds together isn't the point. In fact it's more like a book than a film in that you can project your own interpretations onto what has happened as it isn't all laid out there for you. Remember Quentin Tarantino's take on Top Gun? This film allows you to waste many a Sunday down the pub with your mates coming up with things far more bananas about this (my favourite so far is that the US flag is used to denote God and hence Drew Barrymore is an angel!) Go watch it, play around with the Easter Eggs and the website, watch it a few more times and become a sad movie-geek and bore all your mates down the pub - you know you want to.....

Back In The USA
Back In The USA
Price: £6.46

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When did they invent bass?, 21 Dec 2001
This review is from: Back In The USA (Audio CD)
If the only thing you know about MC5 is 'Kick out the Jams', this is a big change. The first thing you notice is a complete lack of bass compared to Kick out the Jams, which gives it a real feeling of speed ball energy. By the time they have blazed through the first couple of tracks you realise that somewhere this bunch of kids singing about going out, getting laid, fighting, getting into trouble etc. morphed into the politically charged monster of lore and you begin to hear it poke through in certain tracks (Human Being Lawnmower for example). More than that, this album reminded me of the early Ramones stuff, blazing through songs in a blur of buzz saw guitars with a few old Rock n' Roll covers thrown in for good measure, but with a certain amount of quirkiness that makes it sound like no-one else. You can definitely hear where a lot of the later punk/new wave bands were coming from. Basically, I loved it!

The Richest Man In Babylon (Unknown)
The Richest Man In Babylon (Unknown)
by George S. Clason
Edition: Paperback

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simple...., 7 Dec 2001
I read this on a flight from New York about 5 years ago, since then I put the advice into action and I now have enough money behind me so that I can carry on as normal without a job for several years. It isn't a 'get rich quick guide', it is a 'get money working for you, rather than you working for money' guide. Read this in conjunction with the Motley Fool's 'You have more than you think' and put it into practice....

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