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on 27 March 2008
This book certainly opened up some aspects of investment that I had not been aware of, in a very readable and understandable way.

This book is now about 2 years old as I write this, and everything he wrote then about commodities has come to pass, as we have seen record prices for oil, gold, and even wheat very recently.

I cannot really agree with the cautions of reviewer "noj"; if you read the book carefully and use the same amount of caution as you would with any other investment decision, I don't see why it should be particularly dangerous. And even putting money in the bank could be regarded as dangerous these days; and if not dangerous, it's arguable whether money in the bank will hold its value, whereas if you invest in the way that M.S. suggests, you could make your "savings" grow substantially.

I would agree with criticisms of some other reviewers, that there is not enough detail about how spread-betting works, but this is not really a book about spread-betting, and there is plenty of information on the web about it. Similary there is nothing about some of the newer variations on S.B., such as binary bets. Maybe this is covered in his newer book.

Regards,
M.
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on 12 August 2007
Although the title is a bit long winded and seems to be focusing your purchase because of an interest in commodities, I was pleasantly surprised to find a great deal more in the content. The author seems to have a wealth of experience in playing the markets and this comes through in his writing. I particularly found the chapters on the psychological side of speculation and the examination of past investment booms interesting.

In addition, the author includes one of his own methods of investing, which aside from the Alexander Elder books, I haven't seen included in finance publications before.

The second half of the book deals with the coming or present boom in commodities and covers the subject adequately but for me, the real value in reading this book is to see how a professional investor approaches and profits from the markets.

This book provides good solid advice and its well worth a read
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2008
I have had the pleasure of meeting the author Mark Shipman in a journalistic capacity and I must say he does not come across as the sort of chap who sits it out on the fence when it comes to trading strategies or speaking his mind on investing. This is mirrored in his engaging commentary in the financial press as well as this very readable book about investing in commodities.

Shipman posses a world of experience when it comes to playing the markets and it reflects in his written work. Some parts of the book stand above the rest, for instance his treatment of the psychology of successful long term investing. He also makes a passionate case for why commodities are where one should put one's money. Examples of technical analysis techniques as envisaged by Richard Donchian in the book are also noteworthy, more so as Shipman explains how he uses these techniques / strategies when trading himself.

On reading it I thought it was brilliant! Two people have borrowed it from me - they think it was very good too! However, there is the odd caveat or two. First of all, the treatment of spread-betting is inadequate. Secondly, in my opinion as a financial journalist this book on its own cannot help one develop a personal investment strategy from scratch.

I remain deeply sceptical if such a layman's investment bible exists anywhere. Shipman's sound advice and guidance should be taken on board, but this book is no one-stop shop for buying investing acumen. It is complementary investment literature and not a supplementary one. Caution is needed. It may be used among a pool of resources to be used to learn more, but not on a stand alone basis. That's despite the fact that it is undoubtedly among the best in its genre.
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on 18 August 2007
This has got to be the best book I've read on investing for years. Not only is it written in an easy to understand style, I like the way the author approaches the markets.

Effectively, he uses a two pronged approach. Firstly, identifying an asset class using simple fundamental analysis and then he applies chart based analysis, which provides him with the discipline to then enter and exit the markets. It's a strategy that's used by a number of successful investors and traders and you can see why Shipman has adopted it as well.

I think this is a "must have" book whether you're interested in stocks or commodities.
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on 9 August 2006
I have read this book end to end in the last week.

What Shipman says about the psychology of succesful long term investing I found particularly interesting and enlightening- it has made me think differently about entry and exit points when dealing in shares.

His selection and analysis of examples of investment manias that turned into bubbles I found particularly enjoyable - and Shipman makes the point that bubbles may be good -providing you are aware that you are in one and get out as soon as it looks set to burst.

What I found irritating was his description of the method he uses to invest- spread betting. I read that they are tax efficient and use gearing to increase profits- but I still do not understand how they work. Some more detail here would have been helpful.

So overall I think this is a good buy for the serious investor-but I shall have to do research elsewhere on spread betting.

Enjoy it.
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on 11 April 2008
Mark Shipman gives some very compelling reasons to why we are at the beginning of a huge boom in commodities. He explains the nature of booms from the tulip boom in Holland hundreds of years ago to the recent dot com boom, and outlines how commodities are at the beginning of a similar cycle. He also gives some examples of Donchian-based technical analysis techniques, and how he uses these strategies in his own trading methods.
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on 23 January 2015
It took me a while to get round to Mark Shipmans book after buying it..... I know now, that the delay in reading this book, has probably cost me money.

The title put me off initially... I interpreted it as arrogant but how wrong I was to judge this book by the cover. The book is excellent. Marks style of writing makes it very easy to take in, clear and to the point. He isn't selling anything, only offering constructive advice and explaining how he makes his living. Very admirable that he has shared this with the rest of us. By the first chapter you know you're onto something here... this was subsequently confirmed when back testing his strategy over some of the assets I watch, the results were very impressive and it would of made me a fortune if I'd followed it earlier, hence the delay in reading it costing me money.

The predictions section is scary, almost clairvoyant-like because everything he described, pretty much happened. His analysis on emerging markets and their use of commodities was spot on. I suspect he is a very rich man now on his oil predictions alone (at the time of the book, brent crude was around $40 per barrel .. Mark predicted it would go $100+... we all know what happened next).

My top 5 Investment books are:
1) Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
2) The Speculators Edge
3) The Next Big Investment Boom
4) Pitbull (Marty Schwartz)
5) Kroll on Futures.
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on 6 August 2007
This book is apparently written for beginners, but contains advice that is positively dangerous for the inexperienced. The last thing a newcomer should do is dabble with spread betting and futures; one well-respected primer on stocks and shares simply has, under the subheading Futures, "AVOID!" -- it's just too risky.
If you are new to the field, books such as the Naked Trader and the FT book on investing look to be better purchases. Either way, you'll need to read a few titles to get sufficient grounding before you invest/trade for real, and this book isn't one of them.

Another thing: quoted commendations on the book cover aren't convincing, some of whom come from friends of the author. Also, the Foreword tells us that the author is an accomplished drummer who once played with "a well-known 80s pop group" -- really? A Google search reveals nothing. Okay, this doesn't damn the author, as such, but it indicates a tendency for self-promotion and hype over substance.

To sum up: Is the author a good guide for your investing decisions? Sorry, Mark Shipman, but I think not. In fact, rather than give the book away to charity (the normal route for things I no longer need), I'm going to bin it, in case it gets into the hands of someone more naive/less cautious than myself!
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on 24 January 2007
This book advocates following medium to long term trend trading. It distills the essential principles from many other investment books including the psychological aspects of trading and puts it all in very readable terms. Good for beginners but experienced investors could also learn from it. Its the only trading book I've read that includes a clear trading system that can be easily understood and followed. There's a further reading list in the back, and investment courses are also available based on the systems in the book. (Should anyone not find the book straightforward enough)
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on 28 April 2006
I only purchased this book a week ago but have not put it down since, Shipman really gives you a clear insight in how to invest in commodities and the pitfalls to look out for.

Being only a small private investor I feel better armed to grow my investments after reading this informative book.
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